Book Review:Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 Idea Kit

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 Idea Kit, by Lisa Matthews. 124 pp. plus CD-ROM. Peachpit Press, 2002. $35.00

For under $100, you can buy Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0, the remarkable, easy-to-use image editing program that no digital camera or scanner owner should be without. For an additional $35, the Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 Idea Kit gives you templates and instructions for nineteen fun and useful projects that yield professional-looking results, as well as instructions for fixing images to get them ready for your projects.

All the projects are designed to be done with your own photos, logos or artwork. Arts and crafts fans will enjoy projects for hand-coloring photographs, creating postcards, posters, tee shirts and tote bags, and blending multiple images to make covers for CDs, binders and videos. Designers of web sites will find projects for creating photo galleries, web banners, buttons, navigation bars and large backgrounds for web pages. Projects with more of a business slant include adding photographs to a newsletter, creating a black and white ad for publication, creating photographic backgrounds and sidebars for slides, and making PDF slide shows.

Step by step instructions and illustrations guide the reader through each project. The CD-ROM that accompanies the book includes templates, borders and textures to use with the projects. A few projects also include PageMaker templates.

Before launching one of the book’s projects, a visit to the Quick Fixes chapter is in order. There you learn how to choose the correct image size and resolution for your project; crop, straighten and sharpen your image and correct for backlighting; remove red eye and enhance colors, and finally, save your enhancements so you don’t overwrite your original image.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 Idea Kit is ideal for beginner and intermediate users of Photoshop Elements 2.0. The project instructions are easy to follow, and don’t assume prior knowledge of graphics software. Highly recommended to buy for yourself or to give as a gift.

– Elsa Travisano
Copyright ©2002 by Elsa Travisano. This article originally appeared in the December 2002 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.