Why create a personal or family history scrapbook? I have answered that before in a post entitled Why create a family history scrapbook? I have also used scrapbooks to Gain Access to Other People’s Stuff. I hope you’ll review posts for more inspiration.
Now that we’ve reviewed why I want to begin showing you how I Power Scrapbook and Family History Scrapbooking Simplified using Photoshop Elements (PSE).
Optional Step: Organize in Windows Explorer
Being organized before jumping into a project pays off in efficiency… hence the term Power Scrapbooking. Being organized is an ongoing process, but you can start that process today.
Before I organize my files in Photoshop Elements, I have to digitize them with a scanner or by photographing them. I have written before about how I organize the photos into batches for scanning or the memorabilia into piles for photography.
Once my photos and memorabilia are organized, then I use Windows Explorer to organize these images electronically. I have written about this in previous posts entitled Keep the Story and Photos Together (Part 1 and Part 2).
|Files Organized in Windows Explorer|
You do not need to do this as Photoshop Elements has a tandem program called Photoshop Elements Organizer that can organize your photos on your hard drive. I like to pre-sort my photos into files by year and month, which I have written about before. Then load these folders into PSE.
|Using Windows Photo Viewer to Accept or Reject Photos. Only click on|
the red “X” if it’s a truly bad photo.
After sorting my photos chronologically, I use the Windows Photo Viewer which opens up when you double-click on a photo in Windows Explorer. I will use the forward and back arrows in the Photo Viewer to look at each photo. If the photo is unintentionally blurry or a definite reject, I will delete them immediately.
Again, you do not necessarily need to do this step. I do not like to bloat my PSE Organizer with photos that will definitely not make the cut. So… if you have iPhoto or Windows Explorer, preview the photos and delete the ones you won’t ever use again. Then move on to loading the photos in PSE.
Step One: Load into PSE
1. Open Photoshop Elements Organizer
2. Click Import. Then Select Files and Folders
3. Select the photos or files in the Get Photos And Videos From Files and Folders dialog box.
- Turn off the Automatically Fix Red Eyes
- Check Automatically Suggest Photo Stacks.
- Click Get Media
4. Optional… import keywords and tags (if any… don’t select blurry, high resolution, etc)
Once you have imported your files, you’ll see this.
Notice that the file folder names are similar to the ones you created in Windows Explorer. The confusion sets in when you import 01 Jan from 2014 and 01 Jan from 2015. You’ll have two folders with the name 01 Jan. Clicking on the folder will show you what is in each one.
I solve this problem by only importing the folders I want to work on and leaving the remaining photos out of the PSE Organizer.
Step Two: Create Album Category
Think of Album Category as the title of your project, for instance, Disney Vacation 2015 or Bob’s Year in Review 2014. This is the preparatory step before your organize your photos into page groups. For now, create your scrapbook project’s Album Category.
1. Click the green plus sign beside Albums
2. Select New Album Category
3. Type a name for the album (your project name)
4. Click OK
Step Three: Organize Photos Into Album
Albums are like the pages you will place in your scrapbook project. In your Disney Vacation album category, perhaps an album (or page) would be Space Mountain or Meeting Cinderella. In Bob’s Year in Review, an album (or scrapbook page) would be Pinewood Derby or Last Day of School. You would have a number of albums under your album categories.
1. Click the green plus sign beside Albums
2. Select New Album
3. Type a name for the album (your project name) in the area where the red box is.
4. Drag-and-drop photos from the Media view to the Content area of the Add New Album panel.
5. Click OK.
The albums will become temporary folders that link to your files on your hard drive. You’ll be able to add and remove photos and other images to these folders without altering where the files are on your computer (if you’re careful).
You can put the same image in multiple albums without making extra copies of the actual file on your hard drive. Does this make sense? If not, leave me a comment below.
When you remove an image from your album, you won’t necessarily delete the image from your hard drive. If you encounter a prompt to delete from the album and/or your hard drive, never click the hard drive.
The benefit of creating these albums is you can dump all the photos and visual items you may want to include on a scrapbook page. When you’re ready to create the page, you can add more or remove excess without affecting the original digital media files.
In the future, we’ll walk through the steps of crafting a scrapbook page. Before you embark on that wonderful journey, organize your overall project into an Album Category and with possible scrapbook page images sorted into Albums.
If you want more details on this step, leave comments below and I’ll explain it further.
Bonus Tip for Photoshop Elements:
The great thing about PSE is that you could have the latest version PSE 13 or an older one PSE 9 and have the power you need to create beautiful pages. Additionally, there is a tremendous amount of tutorials written and recorded about using this program, especially for scrapbooking. If you do not have a copy of this program already, look for an outdated copy (PSE 11 is what I use) or get the newest version near Black Friday for $50. Otherwise, the program generally runs $100. Additionally, you do not need to upgrade the program every year. Get your money’s worth by using it for several years.