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Elements 3 Q & A  |   Elements 4 Q & A  |  Elements 4 Upgrade Guide   | Elements 5 Upgrade Guide

Adobe Photoshop Elements 5.0: You've got questions?


Here's some answers!

Is there a Mac version?
Can I get it bundled with Premiere Elements 3?
How do I keep Elements 5 Organizer from downloading my photos from my camera or card reader automatically?
What are some of the new features?
I put my layer styles where I did in other versions and they don't work! How do I install layer styles in PSE 5?
How do I install layer styles on Windows Vista? What I did on XP doesn't work!
How do I install custom shapes on Windows Vista?
Holding the shift key doesn't constrain!
First Notes: Installation
Want to learn more?

Upgrade Guide: Is Elements 5 for you? This link opens in a separate window.


Is there a Mac version?

Not yet, and development has not been announced.


How do I keep Elements 5 Organizer from downloading my photos from my camera or card reader automatically?

This is one of the most-asked questions since Elements got the Organizer in version 3. If you do not want the Adobe downloader to open to grab your images from a camera or card reader, then you must change the preferences.

1. Open Organizer and choose Edit > Preferences > Camera and Card Reader.

2. In the right pane, untick the box for "Auto Launch Adobe Photo Downloader on Device Connect ".

3. Click OK.


Are there new features?

You bet! Here are a few to whet your appetite. To see even more and to decide if an upgrade is right for you, read my Elements 5 Upgrade Guide.

Convert to Black and White: Choose a basic setting: portraits, landscapes, infrared and more, and tweak the results.

Adjust Color Curves: At long last, curves for Elements users!

More advanced Layer style controls (no, you still can't save them, but there are more options for editing once they are applied!)

You can now save photo layouts as psd files for printing later!

New Palettes! The Artwork and Effects Palette now includes backgrounds, shapes, themes, and even graphics you can use on your own creations, as well as layer styles, filters, and effects. You can save your favorite effects in a favorites palette too for wasy access.

Create and customize themed layouts.

Make slideshows with transitions pan, and zoom.

Photo Gallery feature has been expanded and improved.

Make animated flipbooks!

Map the location your photos were taken with the new mapping feature in the Organizer

Layer > Arrange is still on the menu so you can change the stacking order of layers (which does the same thing as rearranging layers by dragging and dropping them in the layers palette) but now, Arrange, Align, or Distribute Layers buttons have been added to the Move Tool options bar. When the Move Tool is active you can use the buttons to arrange, align, or distribute layers. With two or more layers selected you will be able to align or distribute them, something that previously required an add on to do.

In Elements 4, the cancel and accept buttons were moved to the bottom of the crop area when using the crop tool. In Elements 5, they are there for other editing operations as well, such as rotating or resizing text with the bounding box after it has been created and commited, editing custom shapes, and adding and editing cookie cutters.

The default size for new images is now 6" X 4".

Enhanced support for RAW files

View photos on your TV: Take advantage of compatibility with Intel® Viiv™ technology to show photos and slide shows on your TV (requires a Media Center PC).

Share photos on mobile phones and handheld devices: Easily download and edit photos from your mobile phone, and then send them to friends.

There's a new rotate handle when the Move tool is active. You could still hover by the corner handle to get the roate cursor—that featre is still there—but this works much easier!

Save multiple page files for albums, photo books, or photo layouts in one file. Photo Creations Format (PSE) is the standard Photoshop Elements format for multiple page creations. You should generally use this format for photo creations to save your work and preserve all your image data and layers in a multiple page file. Elements supports up to 30 pages in a single file.


How to Install Layer Styles in PSE 5 on Windows XP

If you copied layer styles to the same folder you copied them to in previous Elements versions you may have been disappointed to see they did not show up in the Layer Styles libraries in the Arts and Effects palette. That's because Adobe has moved where they have to be placed.

To install layer styles now, close Elements. Go to the C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Adobe\Photoshop Elements\5.0\Photo Creations\Special Effects\Layer Styles directory. You can't just put the .asl file into the folder, either, or they will appear in the Bevel library. Make a new folder for them and drop them in the new folder. Now open Elements and the cache will rebuild, and your new styles will be available for use.

How to Install Layer Styles in PSE 5 on Windows Vista

Installing Layer Styles and other content on Windows Vista differs from installation on Windows XP. Navigate to the C:\ProgramData > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > 5.0 > Photo Creations > special effects > layer styles folder. Copy the styles into this folder, and remember to make sure they are in their own folder or they will just appear with the bevels.

Reopen Elements and you will see a message the artwork and effect caches are being built. Once this has finished, your new shapes will be available in the Artwork and Effects palette under Special Effects > Layer Styles.

building cache

How to Install Custom Shapes in PSE 5 on Windows Vista

Close Elements. Customs Shapes can now be installed by copying the folder containing the .csh file to the C:\ProgramData > Adobe > Photoshop Elements > 5.0 > Photo Creations > artwork >shapes folder.

Shapes must be placed in the shapes folder inside a folder (ideally named the same as the shapes .csh file) because if you don't, they will appear in every subcategory. For example, if you have a custom shape file called flags.csh, make a folder inside the Photo Creations > artwork > shapes folder named flags, and place the .csh file inside the flags folder.

Reopen Elements and you will see a message the artwork and effect caches are being built. Once this has finished, your new shapes will be available in the Artwork and Effects palette under Artwork > Shapes.

building cache

IMPORTANT! The shapes you add will not show up in the options bar Shapes palette. You will only be able to load them from the Artwork and Effects palette.

Constrain is the Default

When you invoke the Move tool, you used to need to hold the shift key to constrain proportions when enlarging or reducing the size of a shape or selection. Now constrained proportions is the default. When you invoke the Move tool and click the selection or shape and start to transform, the options bar will change, and you will have the same options as the transform tool. Constrain proportions is on by default. If you don't want to constrain proportions you will have to untick the box.

move tool options


First Notes: Installation

The install of PSE 5 went very smoothly!

First I was told that I had Elements 1, 2, 3, and 4 on my system. The message said "You do NOT have to uninstall them, but you will only be able to use one version of Photoshop Elements at a time." It did not mention Photoshop 5, 6, 7, CS, and CS2 which are also installed.

For those of you running Photoshop and Elements, I was able to open PS CS2 and Elements 5 at the same time.

When you open the Photo Organizer for the first time you are told that your catalog was created in an earlier version of Elements, and Elements offers to convert it for you. This took about 10 minutes, but your mileage will vary according to processor speed and the amount of images and tags in your catalog.

My images are there, my categories are there, and my tags are there, and I am a happy camper.


Want to learn more?

Take my Elements classes at Eclectic Academy

For more information see these links:

Pricing and Upgrade Information
PSE 5 Learning Center from Photoshop Elements User
PSE 5 Preview
Compare Photoshop CS2 and Elements 5: Which is for you?

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