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Basic Editing of Images with Photoshop Elements


Adobe Photoshop Elements can be used on the Terminal server, laptops borrowed from the Academic Technology Center, or through Faculty/Staff purchase. Students may purchase Adobe software through the Student Licensing Program


The instructions below detail the most common edit functions that WPI faculty/staff utilize Photoshop Elements for. There are many other features Photoshop Elements can perform. To view a more comprehensive list of the most commonly used tools in Photoshop Elements and their functions, visit Photoshop Elements Most Commonly Used Tools and Tasks.

Opening Photoshop Elements Editor

  1. On a PC, click on the Start menu and select All Programs > Adobe > Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0. The Photoshop Elements splash screen loads on your screen and brings you to the Welcome Screen.
  2. Select the Edit and Enhance Photos button.


If you want Photoshop Elements to open the Editor each time you run the program, at the bottom of the Welcome Screen, select the pull-down menu next to Start Up In: and select Editor.

Cropping Images

  1. Using the Crop tool from the Tools pane, drag and select an area on your image that you would like to crop the image down to. The area outside of your selection darkens.

    Select an area on your image to crop to

  2. Either press the Crop tool button again to crop, or press the Return key on your keyboard. Your image will be cut down to only the area you selected in step 1.

Resizing Image

  1. To make an image larger or smaller, from the Image menu select Resize > Image.
  2. Use the scale to select your resizing preferences. If you want to resize only the width or only the height of an image, uncheck the box next to Constrain Proportions. Otherwise, your image will maintain its size ratio depending on which selection you enter for a width or height increase/decrease.


Photoshop Elements defaults to pixel size when resizing an image, but it is often easier to visualize an increase or decrease in size by percentages rather than pixels or inches. The drop-down menus next to Width and Height allow you to change this selection.

Drawing on Your Image

  1. Use the Pencil and/or Brush tools on your image to add custom drawings.
  2. When you select these tools, their option menus appear near the top of the Elements window, allowing you to select their pixel size and any special properties.
  3. To select a different color, chose the color pallet at the bottom of the Tools menu. Double click on the foreground color box and select your new color.

Adding Text to Images

  1. Using the Type tool, select a location on your image where you would like to add text. The Type tool option menu appears near the top of the Elements window.
  2. Select the font, size, and color and begin typing on the image.
  3. Use the Move tool to move your text if it is not in the ideal location on the image.

Adding Shapes to Your Image

  1. Select the Custom Shapes tool from the Tools pane. The Shapes tool option menu appears near the top of the Elements window.
  2. Select the shape and fill color. If it is a custom shape, select the drop-down menu next to Shape.
  3. On the image, click, hold, and drag your mouse to create the shape. When you are happy with the shape, release your mouse button.


Photoshop Elements User. (2005). Photoshop Elements Techniques. Retrieved October 3, 2005.

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Last modified: Jul 14, 2009, 15:01 EDT
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