The Filter Gallery in Photoshop Elements

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

When you apply a filter in Elements, don’t be surprised if you’re presented with a gargantuan dialog box. This editing window, as it’s officially called, is the Filter Gallery. You can also access it by choosing Filter→Filter Gallery. In the flexible Filter Gallery, you can apply multiple filters, tweak their order, and edit them ad nauseam.

Follow these steps to work in the Filter Gallery:

  1. In either Expert or Quick mode, choose Filter→Filter Gallery.

    The Filter Gallery editing window appears.

    [Credit: ©istockphoto.com/redhumv]
    Credit: ©istockphoto.com/redhumv
  2. In the center of the editing window, click your desired filter category folder.

    The folder expands and shows the filters in that category. A thumbnail displays each filter’s effect.

  3. Select your desired filter.

    You get a large, dynamic preview of your image on the left side of the dialog box. To preview a different filter, just select it. Use the magnification controls to zoom in and out of the preview. To hide the Filter menu and get a larger preview box, click the arrow to the left of OK.

  4. Specify any settings associated with the filter.

    The preview is updated accordingly.

  5. When you’re happy with the results, click OK to apply the filter and close the editing window.

  6. (Optional) If you want to apply another filter, click the New Effect Layer button at the bottom of the editing window.

    This step duplicates the existing filter.

  7. Choose your desired new filter, which then replaces the duplicate in the Applied Filters area of the dialog box.

    Each filter you apply is displayed in the lower-right area of the Filter Gallery dialog box.

    You can make these changes to your filter:

    • Delete a filter. Select it and click the Delete Effect Layer button.

    • Edit a filter’s settings. Select the filter from the list and make any changes. Keep in mind that when you edit a filter’s settings, the edit may affect the look of any subsequent filters you’ve applied.

    • Rearrange the order of the applied filters. Drag one of the filters above or below the other(s). Doing so changes the overall effect, however.

  8. When you’re completely done, click OK to apply the filters and close the editing window.