How to Apply Filters in Photoshop Elements 15

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Filters have been around since the early days of digital imaging, when Photoshop was just a little bitty program. Filters, also dubbed plug-ins because they can be installed or removed independently, change the look of your image in a variety of ways. You can apply a filter in three ways:

  • The Filter menu: In either Expert or Quick mode, from the Filter menu, choose your desired filter category and then select a specific filter.
  • The Filters panel: In Expert mode, open the panel by choosing Window→Filters or by clicking the Filters icon in the bottom right of the workspace. Choose your filter category from the drop-down list at the top of the panel. Click the thumbnail of your desired filter.

Filters now have sliders, which appear for most filters when you click them. You can then adjust the various settings for that particular filter. Some filters also have an Advance Options button. Click to go to the dialog box with additional filter settings. Note that some filters, however, are still one-click filters (for example, Blur). Of these filters, some have an Apply More button, which does just that when clicked. Click the Revert button (the curved arrow icon) at the top of panel to start back at square one.

  • The Filter Gallery: In either Expert or Quick mode, choose Filter→Filter Gallery to apply one or more filters in a flexible editing environment.

When you’re using the Filter Gallery, make a backup copy of your image (or at least create a duplicate layer) before you apply filters. Filters change the pixels of an image permanently, and when you exit the Filter Gallery, the filters you apply can’t be removed, except for using the Undo command or History panel. But when those options are exhausted, you’re stuck with the image as is.