Book Review:
Adobe Photoshop Elements One-Click WOW!Book

Adobe Photoshop Elements One-Click Wow! by Jack Davis and Linnea Dayton. 58 pp. plus CD-ROM. Peachpit Press, 2002. $29.99

At first glance, Adobe Photoshop Elements One-Click WOW! Book looks like more a children’s picture book than a typically brawny computer title. Indeed, this is no ordinary computer book. Rather than an instruction manual, this is a marvelous collection of styles and effects for enhancing Photoshop Elements.

Think of Adobe Photoshop Elements One-Click WOW! Book as book-ware. Part book, part software, the CD-ROM is the heart of the package, containing more than 300 layer styles designed to be added to Photoshop Elements’ Layer Styles menu. These styles, which have been effectively repackaged from the authors’ Photoshop WOW! books, can be applied to any Photoshop Elements graphic or type element. Most of the styles consist of several skillfully combined elements; they range from sepia tones to frames and softened borders, painting-like textures and darkroom effects. The graphic and type effects offer dozens of looks that can be applied to text or line art, ranging from translucent 3D plastic (think Aqua) to embossed metal to glistening gemstone textures. Recipes, which can be added to Photoshop Element’s recipes menu, guide the reader through tasks such as creating a frame within an oval or other shape.

The book begins with instructions for installing, applying, combining and, when necessary, resizing the effects, along with a tutorial that walks you through a sample project. The rest of the book features large, full color illustrations of each effect in action, displayed catalog-style and keyed to brief descriptions. This appealing format makes it a pleasure to browse and select just the right effect for a project – no squinting at tiny thumbnail illustrations. Instructions for using the styles with Photoshop version 6 or later are also included.

The robust collection of effects, appealing book format and affordable price make Adobe Photoshop Elements One-Click WOW! Book a winning partner for Photoshop Elements.

– Elsa Travisano

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