Photoshop Elements 11 Filter Basics
Single-step and multistep filters
Single-step filters: The easiest filters to use, single-step filters have no options and use no dialog boxes. Just choose the filter from the menu and watch it do its stuff on your image or selection.
Multistep filters: Most filters come complete with at least one dialog box, along with (perhaps) a few lists, buttons, and check boxes. And, almost every multistep filter has sliders you can use to adjust the intensity of an effect. These filters are marked on the menus with an ellipsis (a series of dots) following their names.