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Tutorial Template

:::Creating your first layout using Photoshop Elements:::
Watch the VIDEO version of this tutorial right here:
Video Tutorial: Creating your first layout using Photoshop Elements
Also, I created a little bit different tutorial for Photoshop users right here:
Creating your first layout using Photoshop
Step 1 Opening a new layout  

***NOTE*** In this tutorial I used paper and elements from the free kit, Vintage Florals, designed by Shabby Princess. You may download it here:

I used Photoshop Elements 5 (PSE5) to create this tutorial, but it should work from PSE2 & up.

If you are a Photoshop user, please use this tutorial instead:
Creating your first layout using Photoshop

Also, if you prefer to learn while "looking over my shoulder", I produced an online VIDEO version of this tutorial that is very easy to follow right here:
Video Tutorial: Creating your first layout using Photoshop Elements
~Laurie Garza

Ok- let's get started!

Press Ctrl+N to open a new layout.

{figure 1a} Enter the dimensions that you want your printed page to be. Be sure to keep in mind the size of your album pages and if you would like your printed pages to be the same size or smaller. I chose 8x8 for this tutorial, but you may scrap in 12x12, 8x10, 8.5x11, or whatever size you want your finshed product to be! Some even scrap 12x12, but then print 8x8. Enter the other values as shown- which are probably default. (You can name the layout when you save it in Step 3.)

{figure 1b} I personally don't use the Photo Bin (probably because I'm used to working in Photoshop which doesn't have it). So I hide it by clicking once on the arrow. You are more than welcome to use it- it's totally up to you!

Step 2 Opening a photo

To open a photo, press Ctrl+O.

{figure 2a} Navigate to the folder where your photo is stored and double-click on it. If you can't see the thumbnails, click on the arrow on the View Menu icon and choose Thumbnails. Double-click on one photo.

{figure 2b} If the photo takes up the whole window, you will need to click on one of the three multi-window icons (in the upper right-hand corner of the photo window (not the very top one- that's Photoshop Elements) to see both the layout window and the photo window at the same time.

{figure 2c} Select the Move Tool (V).

{figure 2d} Drag the photo onto your blank layout. Close the original photo. You'll resize the photo in Step 5.

Step 3 Saving as you go

Just in case your computer or software decides to shut down, you should "save as you go"- you don't want to lose all of your hard work!!!

***NOTE*** There are so many different filing preferences for saving layouts. Some digi scrappers have a scrapbooking folder with 3 folders: one for all of their layered layouts, one for all of their web sharing layouts, and another for all of their layouts at high resolution for printing.

I personally have a scrapbooking folder where I have one folder for *each* layout idea. In each layout folder I have:
1. a copy of the photo(s) that I may want to use.
2. (sometimes) a text file with ideas of how to scrap the photos, title ideas, and journaling.
Once I start scrapping:
3. A layered file.
Once I'm finished:
4. A file for web sharing.
5. A file for printing.

This way, when I am ready to scrap I just go to one of these folders. When I am finished with a layout, I put the whole folder in the "finished layouts" folder.

It's up to you how you set up your filing "system", just be sure to be consistent. :)

For now, you will want to save a layered file- just in case you need to make changes later for typos, etc.

{figure 3a} Click File>Save As.

{figure 3b} Navigate to where you want to save your layout. Give your layout a name. (I usually name mine by who and what my layout is about, rather than the actual title- that I sometimes haven't even thought of yet.) Click Save.

While creating your layout, you will want to press Ctrl+S OFTEN to continue saving the additional changes as you make them.

Step 4 Adding the paper and elements

To add the paper and elements, press Ctrl+O again.

{figure 4a} Navigate to the folder where your paper and elements are stored that you want to use. While holding Ctrl, click on all of the items that you think you might use; click Open.

Each item will open in it's own window.

{figure 4b} You'll need to go back to get the alpha because it is in a separate folder within the kit folder. Press Ctrl+O again, double-click on the alpha folder, and then double-click on the letter you want to use. (Again, you may need to click on one of the three multi-window icons in the upper righthand corner if you only see one window.)

{figure 4c} One by one, drag all 3 items over to your layout; close each original after you drag it over. (Note: depending on which multi-window mode you chose, you may need to drag your layout window from behind all of the element windows first.)

{figure 4d} Maximize the layout window.

{figure 4e} Optional: I prefer to hide the Artworks and Effects Palette in the Palette Bin by clicking the small arrow next to it. This way I have more room for my Layers Palette.

For the following step, if the Layers Palette is not open, click Window>Layers in the Menu Bar at the top.

{figure 4f} In the Layers Palette, drag the paper layer beneath the photo and element layers.

Optional: I usually rename my layers- especially if it isn't obvious what they are by the thumbnail. I just double-click on the existing layer name and start typing.

Step 5 Resizing and moving

***NOTE*** I always make a copy of a photo layer before altering it in any way. Just make sure that the photo layer is active in the Layers Palette and then press Ctrl+J.

{figure 5a} With the copy layer active in the Layers Palette, click on the eye next to the original photo layer beneath.

To resize the photo, press Ctrl+T. (Press Ctrl+minus once or twice if part of the bounding box is hidden.)

{figure 5b} Users of PSE4 and previous, while holding the SHIFT key (this is VERY important to constrain the proportions!), drag a corner of the photo in.

PSE5 users please note: INSTEAD of using the shift key, you may check the "constrain proportions" box that appears at the top. Holding shift will NOT work to constrain proportions while that box is checked, so choose one option or the other- not both.

If you make any mistake, just click Edit>Undo in the top Menu Bar or Ctrl+Z.

If you decide you want to make changes to the photo layer later on, simply drag the copy layer to the trash can icon, make another copy by pressing Ctrl J, and start over.

{figure 5c} Move the photo by positioning the cursor inside the bounding box and dragging it where you want it to be. (You may continue resizing if you want to.) Click the checkmark that appears at the bottom of the photo (or in the options bar for previous PSE versions) or press Enter when finished.

Continue to move all items until they look similar to this example.

1. Be sure that the Move Tool (V) is selected when you want to move something.

2. Be sure that the layer you want to move is active in the Layers Palette. Here I have the "Auto Select Layer" box checked at the top. (Otherwise you may Ctrl+click on an item in your actual layout and the layer will become active.)

3. Press Ctrl+S often to continue saving your changes!

Step 6 Adding drop shadows

Ctrl+plus until you are up to 25% (close to printing size- depending on the size of your monitor). The size is shown in the bottom left hand corner of your screen.

{figure 6a} With your photo layer selected, click on the arrow next to Artwork and Effects in the Palette Bin to open it back up again.

{figure 6b} Click on the middle icon as shown here.

{figure 6c} In the left dropdown menu choose Layer Styles. In the right dropdown menu choose Drop Shadows.

{figure 6d} Double-click on Low.

{figure 6e} To adjust the shadow, double-click on the sunburst icon in the Layers Palette.

{figure 6f} Don't be afraid to play with the setttings. You will want to vary them according to how light or dark your photo and background are. Be careful not to make the shadows too big or your elements and photo will look like they are floating! For the look here, adjust values as shown. Click OK.

{figure 6g} The easiest way to copy a drop shadow from one layer to another (for just a couple of layers) is this:
Hold onto the Alt key while dragging the sunburst icon from one layer to the next.

{figure 6h} For the flower, I used these settings. (Again, double-click on the sunburst to open the drop shadow window.)

Repeat step 6c to copy the flower layer shadow to the alpha layer.

Press Ctrl+S to save.

Step 7 Adding type

***NOTE*** You may use whatever fonts you like, but these are the fonts that I used for my layout:
Respess Capitals for the title, Halcyon for the journaling, and Artistamp Medium for the date.

Click on the top layer in the Layers Palette (so the type layer will be created above that layer).

{figure 7a} Select the Type Tool (T)

{figure 7b} In the Options Bar (at the top), choose your font and size, (to go bigger than a 72 pt. font size, you will need to highlight the current number and type in the value- in this case 100); click on the box where it says color.

{figure 7c} When the Color Picker window opens, use the eyedropper that appears to click on the cream color of the flower. Click OK.

{figure 7d} Click on the upper left hand corner of your layout and start typing your title (a new layer will automatically be created). Click on the green checkmark in the Options Bar.

You may need to click on the Move Tool (M) to move the title around or to change the font size for the best fit.

{figure 7e} While on the Type Tool, drag out a box for your journaling.

{figure 7f} In the Options Bar, choose your font, size, alignment (left here), leading (spacing between lines- this should be at least the same number as the font size- usually bigger), and color.

Start typing and click on the green checkmark in the Options Bar when finished.

{figure 7g} For the date (while still on the Type Tool), click on the alpha element.

{figure 7h} Choose your font, size, and color in the Options Bar. (I kept the color the same here.)

Start typing and click on the green arrow in the Options Bar when finished.

Yay- you did it! One more thing left to do- save your work one last time by pressing Ctrl+S. Steps 8 and 9 will show you how to save a file for web sharing and a file for printing (both optional).

Step 8 Saving a file for web sharing (optional)

***NOTE*** This is the file that you would use to share your layout anywhere online: in a gallery, email, website, blog, etc.

{figure 8a} Click on Layer>Flatten Image. Click OK to discard hidden layers.

{figure 8b} Click on Image>Resize>Image Size

{figure 8c} Click on Resample Image. Change resolution to 72. Click OK.

{figure 8d} Click File>Save for Web.

{figure 8e} Be sure file format is set to JPEG. Click on tiny arrow as shown and click on Optimize to File Size.

{figure 8f} I always choose 100K for the file size because it is within most gallery/magazine submitting guidelines. Click OK. Click Save.

{figure 8g} Navigate to where you want to save your file for web sharing. I always add "web" to the end of the file name that I save for web viewing. Click Save.

Step 9 Saving a file for printing (optional)

***NOTE*** You may wish to wait to do this step until you are ready to print- it's up to you.

***IMPORTANT***Always doublecheck to be sure you aren't ever saving your flattened layout over your layered .PSD file!

{figure 9a} Click Edit>Revert to get back to the layered file.

{figure 9b} Click on Layer>Flatten Image. Click OK to discard hidden layers.

***NOTE*** Some digi scrappers scrap in 12x12, but print in 8x8 or 6x6. If this is you, this is the time to resize. Click on Image>Resize>Image Size. Change width only- height will change automatically. Click OK.

{figure 9c} Click File>Save As.

{figure 9d} Navigate to where you want to save your file for printing. I always add "print" to the end of the file name that I save for printing. From the format menu, choose JPEG. Click Save.

{figure 9e} For the Quality, I always choose 10. For the Format Options, I choose Baseline ("Standard").

:::Copyright Shabby Princess Designs 2007:::
{Tutorial written by Laurie Garza}



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