Category: Photoshop Elements Tips
Operating System: Windows 8
Software: Adobe Photoshop Elements 11
One of my favorite things about digital scrapbooking is that there is so much room for creativity. Everyone approaches it differently and that approach can change from layout to layout. Personally, I usually start a layout with the photos, but occasionally I will get a fantastic new product from the Scrap Girls Boutique and decide to start with that. No matter what artistic direction you use to approach your digital layouts, there are a couple of technical steps that everyone should start with on their layouts.
First, let me clarify that I scrapbook in Photoshop Elements 11, so the steps I am describing are specific to that program. Second, while some of this tutorial will be “old hat” to seasoned scrapbookers, I’ll throw in some shortcuts and presets that you may not be using yet to make your scrapping faster! I am going to show you how easy it is to use presets and guides!
The first step everyone should take when starting their layout is to create a new document. Creating a new document gives you a fresh, clean canvas on which to build your scrapbook layout.
To do this, open your program and select File from the menu bar across the top. On the pop-up menu, select “Blank File.” This can also be done with the shortcut Ctrl+N. This pop-up menu is where you put in your specifics. Your Preset should be set to Custom; this lets you control the other settings in the menu.
Make sure your paper size is set to inches and enter whatever size you scrap in; here’s what I do with these settings:
Width: 12 inches
Height: 12 inches
Resolution: 300 pixels/inch (this makes for sharp printing)
Color Mode: RGB Color
Background Contents: Transparent
In Photoshop Elements 11, there is a handy preset you can use called Scrapbooking. This works great for me as it opens a 12×12-inch document with a resolution of 300, color mode RGB, and transparent background contents. This saves me the step of putting all those numbers in myself.
If you scrap in a different size, however, you will use the Custom setting.
Now that we have our new document open, another handy step is to place some guides. Many businesses that print your digital scrapbook pages will caution that a 1/2-inch bleed area around your layout could be cut off while printing. I can’t tell you how many times I have uploaded layouts only to have them printed up with embellishments, photos, word art, or journaling cut off because they were in the bleed area. So, it’s definitely worth the extra couple of minutes to set up these guides. And not to worry, the guides don’t save onto your layout, so they will not be seen when you print them out.
On your new document click “View” on the menu bar along the top. On the drop-down menu, select “New Guides” from the bottom of the list. This brings up a menu that will allow you to set your Orientation and Position.
I set two horizontal guides – one at 0.5 and one at 11.5 for each side of my layout, then I did the same with the vertical setting. Now I have guides around all four sides of my paper, and I will avoid putting anything important in these areas.
Go ahead and give these couple of steps a try, open up a fresh new canvas, and set some guides so your hard work doesn’t get cut off the page! Then upload the results to our Scrap Girls Gallery so we can oooh and aaah over your creation!
Digital scrapbooking products used: