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Hidden Power Support Support and discussion area for Richard Lynch's book and software series

Help for a newbie

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  #1  
Old 01-09-2005, 10:16 PM
fscodave fscodave is offline
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Unhappy Help for a newbie

Looks like I got in over my head with the book. I'm pretty new to all this. I got Elements 2 with my scanner, sans manual, and played around with it a bit. Then I bought 3, and then your excellent book. However, I'm not even that familiar with the interface. Is there some more basic book you could point me to to get me started? I'd also like to use the Album aspects to keep tabs of my pictures.

Maybe in a bit I can then start splitting out the R G and B elements and working with them. I hadn't even done anything with layers up until now, although at least I had played with the Levels feature...

Thanks.
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Old 01-10-2005, 04:35 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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My standard reply to this is that you don't need another book, because there is always the manual. Granted you have to read it at your computer, but it is there. However, it is also free...and you already have it.

Start up Elements and select Photoshop Elements Help from the Help menu. This will open Elements help. On the left of the screen there is a content menu. click on the arrow to the left of the Help Topics, and this will reveal an extensive menu of categories. click on the arrow to the left of the first category (Understanding the Work Area) and you will see an extensive list of topics there. Start reading from the top down.

While this may not seem as promising as a book to help you through, Adobe has really spent quite a lot of effort covering the program. The topics are generally to the point. While they might lack a little in the area of creativity and personality, the materials certainly cover the basics of how it works. My book is intended to take over from where you are comfortable with those basics.

if you have other specific questions, I invite you to ask them here...I would be glad to answer them. I had thought of writing a beginners book at some point, but i almost feel that information should be free, and, well, my wife won't have me at another charity project ;-). Another place to look around is the internet where there may be any number of helpful tutorials. my problem with beginning books is that they are essentially throw-away...once you get to the end, you won't need it anymore.

That may not be the answer you were looking for, but i hope it helps.
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Old 01-10-2005, 09:21 AM
fscodave fscodave is offline
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OK thanks

All right, I'll go through that. At least I don't have any photo equipment yet, other than a Pentax film camera and an Epson Perfection 2400 scanner. I still want to get 1. a good colour printer (still looking up stuff on that; 2. good film scanner like the Nikon V ED (lots and lots of slides...); 3. good digicam. Roughly in that order. Maybe if I look around in the PSE2 forums I'll see some printer discussions.

Thanks. I'll be back...

David
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Old 01-11-2005, 03:42 AM
WendyW WendyW is offline
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Richard,

PSE3 doesn't come with a proper manual ....


Wendy
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:12 AM
BobJones BobJones is offline
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Wendy,

You're correct, there isn't a printed manual included with the product, but Richard is correct, there is an extensive help system just as he described. And, while I'm not a fan of reading extensive text on-line, it is there and it is free.

The other thing that fscodave should be aware of is that the installation disc has some additional instructional material on it. There are two pdf files, the "getting started" which is also in the box, and a "product highlights" that goes over the major features. Not much meat to them but for someone new to Elements, a good idea to look at. Best of all, and fscodave should really watch this, there is an introductory training video called "overview.wmv" which goes over the basic organizer functions and how to use them and an intro to the quick fix editor, the full editor, and creations. Just the thing for someone new to Elements 3.

Bob
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Old 01-11-2005, 05:35 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Bob, thanks for the fill in, all quite right. I like to see people explore the materials developed by the publisher of the software before running out to buy a manual for basic stuff.

Wendy...if you mean 'proper' as in printed, no. However, being one who has been involved in documenting software for a company (not adobe) as my full-time job, there are distinct advantages to electronic documentation. First, you can search it by phrase easily to find exactly what you need (try that with print). Second, as things change in the program, the documentation can actually be updated along with the program during bug fixes and other patch updates. Third, it saves trees. Fourth, it is always right there with your computer -- no need to look through piles for it.

If you ever need anything printed, there is the print function ;-)

And really, for whatever reason, people tend not to read the manuals -- which have a pretty bad reputation. Some of it deserved -- likely because manuals may be written mostly by technicians, programmers and others (as available), largely as a necessary evil. Some companies do the right thing and hire dedicated documentation people. Adobe has been making the effort to improve documentation.
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Old 01-11-2005, 10:11 PM
fscodave fscodave is offline
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Thanks for the extra info

OK, that's a big help. I am pretty old school about manuals, having actually read through the entire WP6.1 (!) manual. But I'll get with the program with the on-line stuff. Having a video is a help, too.

Now, on to calibrating my monitor...

Then I'll be looking at some printers...

Dave
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Old 02-04-2005, 06:46 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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If you have questions, please feel free to ask them in the forum here. the purpose of the forum is to get users (at any level) the answers they need. You are likely not in over your head...take your time and expect to assimilate the information over time. That book represents about 13 years of digital image editing experience that I learned -- much by trial and error. If you can absorb it all in six months or so, that is more than I could have hoped...and you are way ahead of me in learning image editing and process.
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