Grouping Files that Get in the Way in Photoshop Elements 14

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

Photoshop Elements 14 offers a few ways to organize images that are getting in the way. You can hide files, stack files, or create versions. Choose one of these options to keep those files out of your way.

Marking files as hidden

With a simple menu command, you can mark selected files in the Organizer as hidden. Select files you want to hide, and, from either the Edit menu or a contextual menu, choose Visibility → Mark as Hidden. To see the files you mark for hiding, return to the same Visibility menu and choose Show Hidden.

Essentially, you remove the check mark for Show Hidden, which results in the files being hidden. To easily toggle between showing and hiding files marked for hiding, choose View →  Hidden Files.

Stacking ‘em up

Think of a stack of images as like a stack of cards that’s face-up: You see only the front card, and all the other cards are hidden behind that card. Stacks in the Organizer work the same way. You hide different images behind a foreground image. At any time, you can sort the images or display all images in the stack in the Organizer.

To create a stack, follow these steps:

  1. In the Organizer, select several photos.

    You can select any number of photos. However, you can’t stack audio or movie files.

  2. Choose Edit → Stack → Stack Selected Photos.

    Elements stacks your photos. The first image you select remains in view in the Media Browser. In the upper-right area, an icon that looks like a stack of cards appears on the image thumbnail when you’ve stacked some images.

  3. Double-click the photo to open the stack in the Media Browser.

    You find the stack icon in the top-right corner.

    Viewing a stack in the Media Browser.

    Viewing a stack in the Media Browser.

You see an arrow icon to the right of a stack. Click the arrow, and the stack expands. A left-pointing arrow appears on the right of the last image in a stack. Click this arrow, and the stack is collapsed.

After you stack a group of images, you can use the Stack submenu commands to manage the photos. Click a stack to select it and then choose Edit → Stack. The available submenu commands are as follows:

  • Automatically Suggest Photo Stacks

  • Stack Selected Photos

  • Unstack Photos

  • Expand Photos in Stack

  • Collapse Photos in Stack

  • Flatten Stack

    When you flatten a stack, all photos except for the top photo are deleted from the catalog but not from your hard drive.

  • Remove Photo from Stack

  • Set as Top Photo

To view all stacks in the Media Browser in expanded form, choose View → Expand All Stacks. Using this command doesn’t require you to individually select stacks in the Media Browser before expanding them.

Creating versions

Versions are similar to stacks, but you create versions from only one file. You can edit an image and save both the edited version and the original as a version set. Also, you can make additional edits in either editing mode and save to a version set. To create a version set, follow these steps:

  1. Select an image by clicking it in the Media Browser.

  2. Apply an edit.

    For example, right in the Organizer, you can correct some brightness problems in your image. Click Instant Fix to open the Instant Fix panel and click one of the tools in the panel.

  3. Save the edited file in a version set.

    Choose File → Save As. In the Save As dialog box under Save Options, select Save in Version Set with Original.

  4. View the items in the version set by clicking the image in the Media Browser and choosing Edit → Version Set → Expand Items in Version Set.

    Elements automatically creates a version set for you when you apply the Instant Fix to the file. The Media Browser shows two thumbnail images — one representing the original image and the other representing the edited version.

  5. To open the original image in the Photo Editor, select the image in the Media Browser, and then click the Editor button.

  6. Edit the image in Expert mode.

    You can choose from many different menu commands to edit the image. For example, change the color mode to Indexed Color by choosing Image → Mode → Indexed Color.

  7. Save a version by choosing File → Save As.

  8. In the Save Options area of the Save As dialog box, select the Include in the Organizer and Save in Version Set with Original check boxes.

  9. Click Save.

    The edits made in the Photo Editor are saved as another version in your version set.

After you create a version set, you find additional submenu commands that you can use to manage the version set. Choose Edit → Version Set or right-click a version set and then choose Version Set.