Scrapbooking Basics in Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements 2018 Basics

Photoshop Elements is my favorite platform to use to create scrapbooks because of the ability I have to customize layouts to accommodate the pictures and text that I want to share to tell a great story about my ancestors or my family’s daily life. Let’s walk through a few basics of the program so you can get started right away.

When you beginning opening PSE 2018, you’ll get this screen.

PSE Opening Screen
There’s always a sale going on, but really there’s no reason to upgrade every year.

Click on the Photo Editor option

PSE create a new file
Use this screen to make selections to create a new file.

The first step is how to create a new file:

  1. File, New, Blank File
  2. Options: Options:
    • US Paper – Create for my favorite size vertical 8.5×11, but you can choose this and rotate the layout to horizontal if you like. I’ll show you that in a moment.
    • Scrapbooking – This is for square layouts
      • 12×12
      • 8×8
      • 6×6 (Please don’t do this size. They’re really too small)
    • Add Title:
    • Make sure resolution is 300 dpi (don’t need higher)
    • Leave all the other default settings the same
  3. Press Okay

Now that you have prepared your workspace, it’s time to add some photos to this layout. The two ways that I recommend you add photos to Photoshop Elements is by dragging and dropping pictures from a file organization program (i.e. Windows Explorer) to PSE.

Windows Explore to Photoshop Elements.
Open a program such as Windows Explore and drag the photos you want to use onto the Photoshop Elements work surface.

The other way is to loading your photos into Photoshop Elements Organizer and then selecting your photos from that interface and opening them int Photoshop Elements Editor.

PSE Organizer
Select the photos you want to use and press the Editor icon at the bottom of the screen in Photoshop Elements Organizer.

The last task we’ll discuss in this tutorial is adding a photo to your work space. That’s what you created when you created a new file.

Adding Photos to Work surface in PSE

Since your photos are in your Photo Tray, you simply:

  1. Click on the work surface, so that you can see the blank surface in the editing window.
  2. Click and hold the photo you want in the photo tray and drag it to the workspace.
  3. Release and the photo will be placed in the center of the work surface. (It always goes to the center)
  4. When you want to move the photo to a new spot, click and hold the image you want and move it around. When you release the left mouse button, the image will be placed in that spot. (As we go through PSE, you need to make sure the Move tool is selected)

With these three basics, you’re ready to start scrapbooking. In the video below, I share these tips and a few more as it’s easier to show than tell when scrapbooking. Check it out!

Scrapbooking is often better learned though demonstration, which is why I created this video. Click the video in this window, or click here to watch on YouTube and leave comments.

Here are a few additional videos that can help you get started scrapbooking today:

Cropping is key in scrapbooking.
Matting Photos can make your images pop.

These videos are piece-meal topics in scrapbooking. If you would like to watch my pre-recorded scrapbooking webinars you can any session through our Vimeo channel. Click here for more details.

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee

Devon Noel Lee is passionate about capturing and preserving family stories so no one alive today has to be researched, or forgotten, tomorrow. She has authored 6 how-to books, a memoir, two published family history biographies, and over 60 family scrapbooks. She's an enthusiastic speaker who energizes, encourages, and educates at the same time.

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