November 10, 2013

Installing Layer Styles in PSE

Installing layer styles in PSE can be a little confusing, so I’ve created this step-by-step guide to help you out. This guide is for PC only.

Make sure PSE is closed.

Make sure you have your folder with your styles and metadata.xml document open (you’ll need to copy and paste these files in a minute).

Open a new Windows Explorer window. You can just open your documents folder to do this. In the address bar at the top, click to the right of the file location and paste this: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\9.0\Photo Creations\layer styles  (be sure to change the PSE version number, if needed).

Flip back to the folder with your styles, and select both the .asl and .xml files and copy them.

Flip to the explorer window where you have your PSE files open and paste the .asl and .xml files there.

Once your styles and XML file are copied, click in the address bar of the explorer window again and paste this location: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\9.0\Locale\en_us  (again, change the version number, if needed).

Locate the file named MediaDatabase.db3 and rename the file to MediaDatabase.old (you may receive a warning that changing the file name will make it unusable–this is ok because we want to force PSE to rebuild the database).

Close the explorer windows and open PSE.

PSE will now go through the process of rebuilding the effects database. This could take a while. Once the database has rebuilt, you should be able to navigate to your newly installed layer style in the Effects pane.

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Cheat Like a Pro: 10 More Cheats for PS & PSE

If you’ve already read Cheat Like a Pro: 10 Cheats for PS & PSE, you may have found yourself craving more little gems to make digital scrapbooking with Photoshop or Photoshop Elements easier, faster and more productive.  Here are 10 more cheats to keep you going!

Cheat #1
Double clicking a text layer thumbnail selects the entire string of text within the layer.

Cheat #2
Clicking on a layer and dragging it over the “New Layer” button in the layers palette duplicates the layer.

Cheat #3
Clicking on a layer and dragging it over the “Trash” button deletes the layer.

Cheat #4
Want to make your text quickly match one of the colors in your canvas or foreground/background color palette? Select the text, click on your text color swatch and use the eyedropper tool from the color picker to click on your foreground/background colors. You can also eyedropper anything in your canvas.

Cheat #5
Edit a layer style by double clicking the “fx” icon on the layer to bring up the layer style dialog box.

Cheat #6
Most every setting that features a slider bar for adjustment can also be set by typing a value in the box in the immediate area of the slider. For example, you can quickly adjust layer opacity by highlighting the value in the box and typing in the desired opacity value. Hitting the “Enter” key on your keyboard removes the active cursor following the change.

Cheat #7
To apply the same layer style to multiple layers, right click the layer with the layer style you’d like to duplicate. Choose “Copy Layer Style” from the menu. Select multiple layers by clicking each layer while holding down the “Ctrl” key. Right click over one of the target layers and paste the layer style.

Cheat #8
To select a group of layers in a row, select a single layer then scroll to the last layer in the row you want selected. Hold the “Shift” key while you click that last layer. This will select the second layer and every layer in between.

Cheat #9
To deselect a single layer in a group of selected layers, hold the “Ctrl” key and single click the layer to deselect.

Cheat #10
To quickly rename a layer, double click the layer name. This will activate the curse and you will be able to type in the desired layer name.

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Cheat Like a Pro: 10 Cheats for PS & PSE

Would you like to learn tricks for Photoshop and Photoshop Elements that help you do more with your digital scrapbooking time? Many people don't realize that there are several "hidden" tricks that you can use in PS and PSE to make these programs even more powerful. Graphics professionals always have an arsenal of tricks that they use to do things better and faster and now you do too!

Cheat #1
When you have the move tool selected, you can also use the arrow keys on your keyboard to “nudge” the desired image(s) a few pixels at a time in any direction. Using the nudge option is handy when you want to make very fine adjustments to positioning and you’re finding it hard to have precise control using your mouse.

Cheat #2
When a selection is active, using the move tool will move the contents of the selection area.

Cheat #3
Holding the “Shift” key while using the move tool will move the object along a straight line.

Cheat #4
To zoom into a particular area of your canvas very quickly, activate your zoom tool and with your mouse, click and drag over the area you want to see closer. You will be zoomed in to this specific area immediately.

Cheat #5
Want to make your text match with a color found in the supplies you’re using or a photo? Use the eyedropper tool to grab the exact color from an existing image in your canvas.

Cheat #6
To make a perfectly proportioned square or circle with the rectangular or elliptical marquee tool, hold the Shift key on your keyboard while dragging your selection.

Cheat #7
Holding the “Shift” key while you use the brush tool will allow you to brush in a straight line.

Cheat #8
When working at a zoomed view of your canvas, make use of the spacebar on your keyboard to activate the hand tool and move around your canvas very quickly without zooming out.

Cheat #9
Holding the “Ctrl” key while left clicking on a layer thumbnail will create a perfect selection of everything within that layer.

Cheat #10
Holding the “Ctrl” key while left clicking on the layer name will allow you to select one or more layers. This is handy for moving contents of multiple layers around your canvas, duplication of multiple layers, deletion of multiple layers and many other functions.

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February 01, 2013

Hybrid Folded Heart Valentine

This tutorial is going to show you how to create a cute little hybrid folded heart valentine. The project is easy (the kids could do it!) and it doesn’t require expensive, thick cardstock. You could use a lightweight project paper, or even good old fashioned copy paper if you wanted. In fact, because of all the folding, a somewhat thin paper is easier to work with. Just make sure whatever paper you choose is thick enough so that when you print on both sides, the design can’t be seen from the other side.

The supplies you will need to complete this project are:

Copy paper or lightweight project paper
Digital scrapbooking papers/kit (I used the Smitten page kit found here)
Heart template (which you can download in .PSD format here)
Ribbon (optional)
Double-sided adhesive (optional)

To get started, open your heart template in Photoshop or Photoshop Elements, along with the digital papers you want to use for both side of the heart. You may want to include some elements on the white layer that I created to hold your text.

Clip the paper you want to show on the outside of your folded heart to the heart shape layer.

Clip the paper you want to show on the inside of your folded heart to the heart shape layer.

Create your text and arrange any elements over the white text area layer.

Hide your inside clipped paper and your text area layer, text and any elements you’ve included. Print the heart template. Reload your printer with the heart template page so that when you print again a two-sided heart will be created. Note: The way you have to load your paper will be specific to your printer. You may want to print a test page on draft so that you know how the paper needs to be loaded to print on both sides.

Cut the heart out.

2.5” from the left edge of the heart, create a straight fold.

2.5” from the right edge of the heart, create a straight fold.

2” from the top of the heart, create a straight fold.

5.1” from the top of the heart, create a straight fold.

You will now be able to slip the pointed flap into the pocket created by the top of the heart.

Steps to optionally attach a ribbon to tie your folded heart valentine closed.Cut a piece of ribbon the appropriate length.

Run a line of adhesive along the ribbon.

Line up the ribbon in the middle of the back of your folded heart and affix firmly.

Tie your bow and trim the ribbon ends.

Completed valentine, exterior and interior views:

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