Today I want to share my top 10 text tips using Photoshop Elements 15. When I first started using PSE I didn’t even know how to enter text on a layout. Since then I’ve learned a lot about type tools and entering text in ways that go beyond using a simple text box. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a simple text box is all you need but there is much more we can do when we don’t confine ourselves to that simple little box! I hope some of these tips will help you too.
Last month we looked at the different types of layers and how they are used in Photoshop Elements. If you missed the previous article or want to review the basics, you can find it here. This month we’ll dive a little deeper and look at filters, masks, blend modes, and more. I will walk through the process while creating a layout.
The Layers Palette in Photoshop Elements may seem a bit overwhelming in the beginning. In this tutorial, we’ll explore it and break down some basics. First of all, there are several types of layers as demonstrated in the graphic below. Each layer is like a slide that stacks on top of the next to create a scrapbook page. Image layers include such things as background papers, fill layers which may be a solid color, gradient, or a pattern, photos, and elements. An Adjustment layer is a special type of layer used to make nondestructive modifications to a layer. Shapes drawn using the shape tool are on Shape layers. Type layers are for adding words to your layout. That’s a lot of information already. Next, we’ll look at each type of layer and how they’re used.
Storyboards. You’ve probably heard of them but may not know exactly what they are or how they relate to scrapbooking. To put it simply, a storyboard illustrates changes of action visually through a series of sketches or illustrations. Animators at Walt Disney Studios first used storyboarding in the 1930’s. The animators drew scenes of a story and pinned them to a bulletin board sequentially. These helped them as they organized and developed the product. Gone with the Wind was the first film to be completely storyboarded. Can you imagine! They are still used by writers, illustrators, filmmakers, and advertisers to pitch a concept. The storyboard helps the people that they are pitching to, their audience, visualize how a story, book, movie or commercial will go. Okay, now that we know what a storyboard is let’s look at how they relate to scrapbooking.
Workspace and Preference settings are easy to set-up and personalize in Photoshop Elements. Plus the process will help you get started using PSE which is a big hurdle for many scrappers. I hear people say they’ve had Photoshop Elements for many months (sometimes years) but have yet to get it out of the box! Here are a just a few of the reasons I’ve heard: it’s too hard, it’s too different from my current program, it’s too complicated, it’s too time-consuming, and I just don’t know where to start. I feel your pain. I felt the same way in the beginning.
Creating outlined titles in Photoshop Elements is a little different from creating them in Photoshop/CC (PS/CC). An outlined title will add impact and visual interest to the layout you’re creating without detracting from the design or story. In PS/CC, the stroke (outline) can be added on the same layer as the text then when the opacity is reduced to 0% the text disappears and the stroke remains. Note: Photoshop/CC users can find a comparable tutorial here. In Photoshop Elements, if you apply the stroke on the same layer as the text both the text and stroke disappear when the opacity is lowered to 0%. That is definitely not what you want! In this tutorial, we’ll look at how to create an outlined title in Photoshop Elements.
Technology has transformed travel scrapping in a way that many may not understand. The internet, desktop computers, laptops, tablets, cell phones, and digital scrapping are just a few of the amazing advancements in technology we are blessed with today. People born in the 90s do not remember a day when these things weren’t available but I sure do! The internet, personal computers, and cell phones didn’t become “mainstream” until the mid-90s and even then they weren’t the same as what we have today. In the mid-80s I worked at the phone company in the department that issued orders to install mobile phones in cars. Yes, they had to be installed. They were big and in Texas only oil companies and ranchers had them. In a training session about mobile phones, the trainer told us that in the future mobiles phones would be the size of a deck of cards and everyone from grandparents to children would have one. We were all skeptical! Computers, like mobile phones, have gotten smaller and smaller and now everyone has several forms of technology at their fingertips. In this article, I’ll share some tips to combine our tech toys, apps, and digital scrapping to create scrapbooks about our travels that are amazing.
Photo filters and funny pages may seem like a strange title but bear with me. I was excited when I found out our topic for May is comics. When I was growing up the funny pages was my favorite section of the newspaper. I especially loved the Sunday funny pages because there were lots more comic strips and they were in color! Then a few weeks ago my daughter-in-law shared some photos and my grandson had on a t-shirt that said, “Dad is My Hero”. It made me smile because I think every child’s Dad should be their hero, I know mine was. Plus, my grandson is really into all the Avengers superheroes. With all that in mind, I came up with an idea for a design using a combination of photo filters, a puffy photo sticker, and other techniques to create a comic-themed layout in Photoshop Elements.
Journaling is important and when adding it to a layout I like to think creatively and outside the “text” box. Everyone has their own reasons for scrapbooking but I believe most of us would list memory keeping as the primary reason. Sure we want to get all those great photos and sometimes photos go a long way toward telling the story but journaling answers the questions that will undoubtedly come up at some time in the future. I keep the 5-W’s of writing in mind when I’m journaling. I imagine you’re familiar with the 5-W’s of writing but if not they are Who, What, When, Where and Why. It’s easy to answer those questions now but years from now, when you’re looking back, you’ll be glad if you’ve taken the time to record the pertinent information. When I’m journaling I don’t tend to put all the information in a tidy little box unless I’m using a block style or pocket style layout. If that’s the case text boxes are perfect but if not I like to spread information around the page a little more creatively. As you’ll see, I prefer to tuck it in here and there. I want to encourage everyone to make journaling a priority and I want to share a few ideas I use to get the information on the page but not necessarily in a box.
How to manage your multitude of fonts is a question that all scrappers face sooner or later. I believe most, if not all, scrappers have an unparalleled love of fonts. We are
hoarders collectors of fonts! There are many font managers available and they range in price from free to very expensive. Personally, I like free. I’ve tried many of the free font managers, some apps and some online. Most allow you to view your fonts and nothing more. Plus the ones I’ve tried tend to crash or freeze up continuously. That can be very frustrating, especially if you have limited time set aside for scrapping! A couple of months ago I found FontBase. Their website describes FontBase as a blazing fast, beautiful and free font manager for Windows 7 & up. So far I have loved this app. It hasn’t crashed or frozen up once since I’ve been using it and it really does have some cool features. So without further ado, we’ll look at some of the features I’ve found very useful.