Before you start making beautiful images for your blog, I’m going to show you a great organizational tool that comes with newer versions of Elements. The Organizer lets you get every photo in your collection sorted into albums, tagged with keywords, and arranged just the way you want to – so that when it’s time to sit down and write your post, you know just how to find the image you’re looking for.
In the first lesson of our series, you’ll learn how to add photos from your hard drive, sort them into albums, and tag them with keywords. So roll up your sleeves and let’s get started!
Instead, I’ve decided to do this video series with a focus on projects. I hope to give you at least one handy thing you can make or do in each video, and then give you time to practice it on your own.
So in this video, you’ll learn how to add photos to the Elements Organizer. By the end of the video, you’ll be able to start cataloging your files and getting them set up to start editing on your blog.
So, first things first: what is the organizer? It’s just an interface for managing your photos. It doesn’t contain the files themselves – they’ll still be in the same place as they’ve always been, on your hard drive – all it does is give you a way to work with the files that are already on your computer and arrange them so they’ll be easy for you to find.
So let’s get started.
When you first open up Photoshop Elements, you may be in Edit Mode. This is where the magic happens, in terms of editing your photos, manipulating them, adding text, etc. But we’re going to go “behind the scenes” to the Organizer. And to get there, you click the Organizer button at the top of the window.
Now – on a Mac at least, the Editor and the Organizer load as two separate programs. So we’ll wait for the Organizer window to appear.
…and here it is. The big window in the center is where you’ll see all the images that are currently inside of Organizer (I don’t have any in here right now), and to the right you’ll see the ways to organize these photos, like Albums and Tags.
The first step is to add photos that are already on my computer to the Organizer. To do that, we’ll go to File > Get Photos and Videos and click “From Files and Folders.” Then you’ll navigate to which photos you want to add and click “Get Media.” To select more than one file to add, you can hold down the command key (on a Mac) or the Control key (on a PC) while you select the files.
If you just want to select the whole folder, navigate up a level so you can see the folder you want and click on the folder, then click “Get Media.” Organizer will import all the photos in that folder.
Now that you have the images in the Organizer, it’s time to do the leg work to get them organized. Before you spend lots of time organizing files you don’t need, it’s a good idea to go ahead and delete the “bad ones.” Digital photos are HUGE in terms of the amount of space they take up on your hard drive, so it’s a good idea to delete the photos you don’t need to free up space on your hard drive.
To delete a single photo, just click on that photo to select it, then hit “delete.” You’ll get a popup window asking you to confirm that you really want to delete the photo. Since you want to get it off your hard drive altogether, go ahead and click the box that says, “Also delete the item from the hard disk.” This will get rid of it for good.
If you’re going through your photos and have lots of them you want to delete, there’s a shortcut you can use. Elements has a “Star” rating system you can use to indicate which files are most and least important. To make deleting your photos a breeze, just go through and give the photos you don’t want to keep one star. Once you’ve found all the photos you don’t want, go up to the top right where the little stars are and click on one star. Select “only” to indicate that you’re selecting ONLY the one-star photos. Then hit your delete key and remove them from your hard drive.
Now you can maximize your time by only organizing the photos you want to keep.
The first thing to do is add your photos to an album. This is kind of like the file drawer where you’ll be storing your photos. You can organize them by date, by who’s in the photos, or whatever method works best for you. My favorite method for organizing is by DATE – because I can still (usually) remember when I took a photo I’m looking for. When my son was first born, I organized my photos by MONTH…but six years later, I’m now organizing them by YEAR. But I think that’s because the months are such a blur these days. 🙂
On the right hand side, under Albums, go to the little Plus sign and add a new album. Name it whatever you want. I’ll name mine 2004, and then I’ll add another one for 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, etc.
(By the way – these travel photos I’m adding were taken in the days B.C – before children. I haven’t traveled ANYwhere in the past six years. These days, I do well to make it to the grocery store once a week. 🙂
It’s important to note that you can nest albums inside album CATEGORIES. So, if I was a photographer who took thousands of photos every month, it might make sense to add albums for the months, but keep them inside an album CATEGORY of the year name. The process of adding an album category is just about the same. When you click the Plus sign, you’ll click “New Album Category” and after you create it, you can drag and drop your albums into that category.
If you make a mistake and create an album that won’t work for you, just right click the name of the album and then select “Delete the Album.” I find it easiest to try to set up the main part of my organizational system BEFORE adding photos to it.
Then back in the main window, I’ll choose which photos I want to add to an album. To select more than one image, once again, I’ll hold down the Command/Control key while selecting them. Then I just drag them over to the right side into the folder where I want them to go. Easy peasy.
If you’re brand new to Elements and you don’t already have an organizational system in place, you might want to take a little shortcut here and create what’s called a “Smart Album.” I’m not sure about in earlier versions, but in Elements 10 you can let the Organizer do some organizing FOR you. As I said, I organize my photos by DATE, which lends itself to using Smart Albums. So to create my smart album, I’ll go to the Plus sign and click “New Smart Album.” First I give my album a name, then I’ll use the box below to select the criteria for the search.
To quickly add all my photos from 2005, I’ll give the search box these criteria:
I want it to search for files which match “All of the following.”
Instead of filename, I’ll have it search by Date of Capture. I want it to be after 12/31/2004 and (click the plus sign) BEFORE 1/1/06. Click OK and the album should start automatically populating with the images from that year.
If this looks like something that’s up your alley, feel free to poke around the Smart Album features and explore what you can do on your own.
Depending on what you’re using these photos for, you might want to give your photos keyword TAGS as well to help you refine your organization. Just as in blog posts, you can tag your photos with lots of different tags to help you find them when you’re searching later.
In my photos from 2005, these are all Travel photos, and I might want to be more specific about the subjects I photographed. I can create Tags for individual items, or I can organize them with categories and sub-categories. You can get as crazy as you want with your photo organization – it depends on your personality and what exactly you want to do with the photos. For the purposes of this video, I’m just going to create tags inside the “Places” category. I’ll make a tag for “Paris” and a tag for “Loire Valley.”
You can do that by highlighting the images you want to tag and then clicking the little Plus sign under “Keyword Tags.” It’s important to note that you can have a many tags on a photo as you want – so you could tag a family photo, for example, with the names of all the people who are in it. That would make it easy to search for photos of Aunt Ruth, because all you’d have to do is click the “Aunt Ruth” tag and you’d see all the photos she’s in.
Once again, if you create tags you don’t want or need, just right click on the name of the tag and then click “Delete.” This won’t delete the photos themselves; it will just remove that tag from any photos it was on.
In the future, when you want to apply tags you’ve already created, you can just to the left hand side and select the photos you want, then drag them down into the tag you want to use for them.
I have a few more little tips to pass on to you about using the Organizer, but I’ll save those for the next video. For now, you should have the tools you need to get started organizing!
So – in this video, we learned what the Organizer is, how to add photos from your computer to the organizer, how to create Albums and Tags, and how to add photos to albums and apply tags to them.
Your assignment for this lesson is to add photos from your computer to the organizer, create a few albums, and add photos to the albums. If you have the time, go ahead and try creating tags and tagging a few photos as well.
Next time on Elements for Bloggers, we’ll learn how to use the Star Rating System and the People Recognition tool to further refine your organization in the Elements Organizer.
I’m Jeni Elliott from The Blog Maven.com. Thanks for watching. 🙂
I’ll be giving you a few extra tips on how to make the Organizer work for you as a blogger. Follow my Facebook page to see when the next lesson is ready!
Questions or Tips to Share?
Please leave them in the comments below!
Be a friend: Share this resource with others!