Cheat Sheet

Photoshop Elements 12 For Dummies

From Photoshop Elements 12 For Dummies by Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

As you edit images in Photoshop Elements 12, you need to know your way around the Editor workspace and the Tools panel — especially the selection tools. Check out the visual reference to the Photo Editor and the Tools panel keyboard shortcuts, as well as the table of Photoshop Elements selection tricks. Having these references by your side will help you edit images in Photoshop Elements 12 quickly and easily.

Getting Familiar with the Photoshop Elements 12 Photo Editing Workspace

Photoshop Elements 12 offers two workspaces, the Organizer and the Photo Editor, and you can toggle between the two. The following figure shows the Photo Editor interface, which is reorganized in Photoshop Elements 12 to help you easily access tools as you edit your images.

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  • Open an image in the Photo Editor by choosing File→Open.

  • Get information about your image by looking at the status bar. Click the right-pointing arrow to get more details about your image.

  • Need to see detail in your image? Zoom into your image by pressing Ctrl+spacebar and clicking where you want to see the image close-up. Zoom back out by pressing Alt+spacebar and clicking.

  • Easily switch the display for Tool Options to Photo Bin by clicking the Photo Bin button. The Tool Options panel disappears and thumbnail images for photos opened in the Photo Editor appear in the Photo Bin.

  • Access panels as needed by choosing them from the Window menu or the Panel Bin.

  • Easily select tool options for a tool selected in the Tools panel by making choices in the Tool Options panel.

Selecting Tools with Handy Keyboard Shortcuts in Photoshop Elements 12

In Photoshop Elements 12, you don’t see tools nested in pop-out toolbars, as you have in previous versions. Companion tools are contained in the Tool Options below the image window. Selecting a tool in the Tools panel opens the Tool Options, where you can select additional tools if you’re using keyboard shortcut keys.

To cycle through tools that share a keyboard shortcut, simply press the Shift key in conjunction with the key that corresponds to your desired tool until that tool is selected. For example, if the Elliptical Marquee was the last tool used, press Shift+M to return to the Marquee tool. The following figure shows the keyboard shortcut for each tool in the Tools panel, as well as which tools share a keyboard shortcut.

You can change how the Shift key works in the General Preferences. If you disable the Use Shift Key for Tool Switch option, you don't need to press the Shift key to change tools.

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Perfecting Selections with Keyboard Commands in Photoshop Elements 12

If you want to pluck an element out of its environment and stick it in another, or apply an adjustment to just a portion of your image, you need to create a selection around that element. Finding out how to make accurate selections is one of those skills that’s well worth the time you invest. Refer to the following table for handy keyboard shortcuts that enable you to refine a selection in Photoshop Elements 12.

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