Photoshop Elements 11 The Missing Manual

The author of this book clearly distinguishes the purpose of Elements from that of the full Photoshop product. The book deals entirely with the loading, organising, and editing of photographs and covers just about everything you'd ever want to be able to do with a photo.

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This is an excellent book for anyone who has a large photo collection and who wants to use Photoshop Elements 11 to organise and edit their photos on their computer. The book covers everything you'd ever be likely to want to do with your photos other than preparing them for publication in a book (which is the one situation where the author suggests that you should be looking at obtaining the full version of Photoshop as Elements doesn't have all the options necessary to prepare photos for book publication). The book covers all aspects of photo processing from when you first offload them from the camera onto the computer, through how Elements can apply quick fixes to try to resolve the most common problems, manual fixing in expert mode, organising photos, and even how to prepare copies of the photos suitable to share with others either via email or via the web. The book does get a bit technical in places such as where it talks about calibrating your monitor to set the colour mode correctly but most of the sections of the book are written so that they can be used without necessarily having to apply everything else.

Both the Windows and Mac versions of the program are covered. There is very little in the book that deals specifically with one or the other and so the two versions of the program are presumably very similar in how they work. The book can therefore be used regardless of which of the two systems you use and would continue to be useful if you decided at some time to switch from one to the other or if you use both on different computers. Photoshop Elements is a quite sufficient program for graphics that does not involve professional printing at the end of the process and this book demonstrates how you can do almost everything relating to manipulating photos with Elements that you could do with the full version of Photoshop (the one or two things that the equivalent book for Photoshop covers that are not covered here are things that you would be unlikely to want to do in the first place).

The one area where this book is lacking in information is when it comes to using the program for graphics work that doesn't involve photos. As the book makes clear, the main difference between this program and the full version is the lack of the CYMK colour mode and so the program ought to be able to be used for a lot of things that don't involve photos however there is little in the book relating to use of the program for creating graphics that are not photos.

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This article written by Stephen Chapman, Felgall Pty Ltd.

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