Using Quickpages in Photoshop Elements

December 15, 2014

Using Quickpages in Photoshop Elements

As we talked about in our previous post, quickpages can make creating digital scrapbooking pages quick and easy. We also saw that there are two different types of quickpages. There are PNG quickpages which are one layer files with cutouts for photos. And then there are layered quickpages that include all of the file layers and, for that reason, are fully editable.

In this post, we'll show you how to add your photos to each of these kinds of quickpages using Photoshop Elements. The example we'll be showing uses the digital scrapbooking quickpages that are available as a free gift in my previous post.

Before you start, it's a good idea to make a copy of the quickpage that you're using and then do your editing on that copy. This way, your original file remains intact.

Adding Photos To A PNG Quickpage

Step 1

Open the Photoshop Elements Editor and move to the Expert edit workspace using the tabs found near the top of the interface.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Open the PNG quickpage. To do this, choose File>Open from the top menu bar and then navigate to the location of the quickpage.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

When the Happy Holidays 1 quickpage opens, I can see that there are two open areas for photos. That's where we'll be adding our pictures. There is also a small journaling area in the lower right of the quickpage. We will be adding a bit of text there too.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Step 2

I'll open the two photos that will be added to the quickpage. To open these photos, choose File>Open and navigate to the place on the hard drive where the photos are saved.

We now have the quickpage as well as the two photos open in the Editor workspace. All three files will be visible in the Photo Bin at the bottom of the interface.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

By the way, if you don't see the Photo Bin, it can be opened by clicking on the Photo Bin icon at the bottom of the editor workspace.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Step 3

Now we want to copy the two photo files into the PNG quickpage.

To do this, first make sure that your Layers panel is visible by clicking on the Layers icon in the bottom Taskbar.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Now click twice on your first photo in the Photo Bin to make it visible in the Active Image Area. Right-click on the image layer in the Layers panel. If you are using a 1-button mouse or MacBook trackpad, you can "right-click" by pressing and holding the Control (Ctrl) key while you click the mouse button.

A pop-up menu will appear. Select Duplicate Layer from the pop-up menu.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

The Duplicate Layer dialog box will open. There you will see the lower section is titled Destination. Click on the document pop-up under Destination and choose the quickpage document. Then click OK.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Navigate back to the quickpage file by double clicking on its icon in the Photo Bin or by clicking on the appropriate tab in the bar above the Image Area. The quickpage will appear and you will see that the photo that was copied now appears in a layer above the quickpage.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Step 4

Repeat the process from Step 3 to copy the second photo into the quickpage.

There should now be three layers in the quickpage file, with the two photos in layers above the quickpage.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

The quickpage layer needs to be moved to the top of the layers stack. To do this, click and drag the quickpage layer up above the two photos.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Or, another way to do this is to click on the quickpage layer to select it, then choose Layer>Arrange>Bring to Front from the top menu bar.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Step 5

With the photos in layers below the quickpage, it's now just a matter of using the Move tool to move, resize and rotate the photos until they fit nicely in the frame areas of the quickpage. In doing this, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • The Move tool looks like an arrow and can be found in the Toolbar located on the left side of the workspace.
    digital scrapbooking quickpages

    The Move tool can also be selected by using pressing on the V key on the keyboard.

    After selecting the Move tool, be sure that the box next to Show Bounding Box is checked in the Tool Options bar.

    digital scrapbooking quickpages
  • With the Move tool selected, you can reposition the contents of a layer by clicking on that layer in the Layers panel and then clicking and dragging with the cursor to move the object into place.
  • Holding down the shift key while using the Move tool will cause the object to move in a straight line.
  • You can also nudge the contents of a layer by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
  • Holding down the shift key while nudging with the arrow keys will cause the object to move in bigger steps.
  • To align multiple objects, first select the Move tool. Then select the layers containing the objects that you want to align. To do this, select the first layer by clicking on it and Ctrl-click on a PC or Command-click on a Mac to select each additional layer. With all of the layers selected, click on the appropriate Align option in the Tool Options bar.
    digital scrapbooking quickpages
  • To resize an object, click and drag on one of the corner handles of the bounding box surrounding that object.

    Be careful which handle you click on. If you use one of the side handles, the aspect ratio of the object will change. And you almost never want that to happen when you're resizing a photo. So be sure to use a corner handle when resizing a photo.

    When you're happy with the resizing, click on the green check mark to accept the change. If you're not happy with it, click instead on the red circle to cancel the change.

    digital scrapbooking quickpages
  • To rotate an object, hover your cursor just outside the corner handles of the bounding box surrounding the object. The cursor will change to a double-headed arrow.
    digital scrapbooking quickpages

    With the double arrow showing, to rotate the object either:

    • Click and drag to rotate the object. When you're done, click on the green check mark to accept the change or on the red circle to cancel it.
    • Or type in the degrees to rotate in the Tool Options bar.
    digital scrapbooking quickpages
  • Holding down the shift key while rotating an object causes the rotation to happen in increments of fifteen degrees.

Step 6

After you have moved, resized and rotated the photos to fit into the frame openings of your quickpage, you may find that there is some overlap where one of the photos in intruding into the picture frame of the other.

In our example, you can see where this is happening:

digital scrapbooking quickpages

To fix this problem, you need to cut away the part of the one image that's overlapping onto the other. There are a lot of ways to do this. My favorite uses the Magic Wand tool.

To do this, first click on the quickpage layer to select it. Then select the Magic Wand tool. It's grouped with three other tools including the Quick Selection tool and can be found in the lower right corner of the Selection section of the toolbox.

Once the tool has been selected, be sure that New is selected in the Options bar.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Using the Magic Wand tool, click inside the frame of the photo that's being overlapped on. So in my example, I'll click inside the frame that holds the photo of the little girl, Sophie. This will create a selection outline along the inside edge of the photo frame and, so, that's where you'll see you'll see the "marching ants" selection marquee.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Make the selection a bit bigger by choosing Select>Modify>Expand from the top menu bar.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

And then type in 3 pixels in the Expand Selection dialog box. Click OK.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Click to select the layer of the photo that needs trimming and press the Delete key to erase the overlapping section.

Deselect the area by pressing Ctrl-D or choosing Select > Deselect from the top menu bar.

The overlap is gone!

digital scrapbooking quickpages

When you are working on your own digital scrapbooking project, you may have multiple places where the different photos overlap. So repeat this process as necessary by selecting the area of each photo frame using the Magic Wand tool, expanding that selection by a few pixels and then using that selection to delete the overlapping areas of the other photos.

Step 7

The quickpage is almost done! All that's left is to add a bit of journaling.

Click on the quickpage layer to select it. Then select the Type tool. The Type tool, which looks like a capital T, can be found in the Drawing section of the Toolbox.

The Options for the Type tool will appear in the bar at the bottom of the workspace. There, I'll change the font to Caflisch Script Pro Bold.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

I'll click on the page and start typing, "Christmas Morning, 2014".

After some tweaking on the font size (55 pt.) and rotating the text box (using the Move tool as we did above), here's my finished page:

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Don't forget that the quickpage we use here is available as a free download by clicking on the link below:

Adding Photos To A Layered Quickpage

Step 1

Open the Photoshop Elements Editor and move over to the Expert edit workspace using the tabs found near the top of the interface.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Open the layered quickpage. To do this, choose File>Open from the top menu bar and then navigate to the location of the quickpage.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

The Happy Holidays 1 layered quickpage will open in the Elements Editor.

Unlike the PNG quickpage, this quickpage has a number of layers in the file which you can see visible in the Layers panel on the right.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

If the Layers panel isn't open, you can open it by clicking on the Layers icon in the bottom Taskbar.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

You can see that all of the layers in the file are marked with a description that will help you know what is on that particular layer.

The Happy Holidays 1 layered quickpage has 8 layers. These layers contain everything that makes up the digital scrapbooking page. So you'll see a layer for the background paper as well as a layer for the sparkly tree embellishment and another for the journaling note.

There are also layers for your photos, along with mats for those photos. The photo layers are clipping mask layers that you will clip your photo to. You will know these layers by their title in the Layers Panel. The title of a photo layer always begins with 'CLIP - PHOTO'. If there is more than one photo layer, you'll also see a number behind this title. In our example, the Happy Holidays 1 layered quickpage has two photo layers.

Now that we've looked over the layout of the quickpage, it's time to add our photos.

Step 2

Open the two photos that will be added to the quickpage. To open these photos, choose File>Open and navigate to the place on the hard drive where the photos are saved.

We now have the quickpage as well as the two photos open in the Editor workspace. All three files will be visible in the Photo Bin at the bottom of the interface.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

By the way, if you don't see the Photo Bin, it can be opened by clicking on the Photo Bin icon at the bottom of the editor workspace.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Step 3

The next step is to copy the two photo files into the layered quickpage.

Before we do that, though, let's step back and think about how we're going to lay out our photos. Which photo will go into which frame?

Again, let's look at our layers.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

For this scrapbook page, I think I'd like to put the picture of Ethan into the photo frame on the left (CLIP - PHOTO 1) and the picture of the little girl, Sophie, into the frame on the right (CLIP - PHOTO 2).

Step 4

First we will bring in the Ethan picture.

With the quickpage still visible in the workspace, select the photo layer for the Ethan picture by clicking on the layer titled 'CLIP – PHOTO 1' in the Layers Panel. That layer will be highlighted.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Double click on the picture of Ethan in the Photo Bin to make it visible in the Active Image Area. Then right-click on the image layer in the Layers panel. If you are using a 1-button mouse or MacBook trackpad, you can "right-click" by pressing and holding the Control (Ctrl) key while you click the mouse button.

A pop-up menu will appear. Select Duplicate Layer from the pop-up menu.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

The Duplicate Layer dialog box will open. There you will see the lower section is titled Destination. Click on the document pop-up under Destination and choose the quickpage document. Then click OK.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Navigate back to the quickpage file by double clicking on its icon in the Photo Bin or by clicking on the appropriate tab in the area above the Image Area. The quickpage will appear and you can see that the photo that was copied now appears in the layer above the photo clipping mask.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Step 5

Repeat the process from Step 3 to copy the second photo, the picture of Sophie, into the quickpage. This time, click on the second photo layer, 'CLIP – PHOTO 2', in the quickpage before copying the image.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Step 6

Now, it's time to clip the photos to the photo layer clipping masks.

We'll start with the Ethan photo. Before doing this, I'm going to hide the layers above the picture so that I can see better what I'm doing.

To hide a layer, click on the small eye icon in the column to the left. This will conceal the layer temporarily and the eye icon will change to show as slashed with a red line To unhide the layer click again on the eye icon.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

To clip the picture to the photo layer, hold down the ALT key in Windows or the Option key on a Mac and hover the mouse over the line between the photo layer and the clipping mask (CLIP-PHOTO 1). The cursor will change into a square alongside a bent, down-pointing arrow.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

If you are working on an earlier version of Elements, you may instead see the cursor change to two overlapping circles.

When you see the cursor change, click the mouse button. The photo will clip to the clipping mask and will only be visible within the shape of the mask.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

By the way, you can release a clipping mask by right clicking on a clipped layer and choosing Release Clipping Mask.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Step 7

To fit the photo into the frame, click on the layer with the photo to select it and use the Move tool to move, resize and rotate the photo until it is sized nicely within the area of the clipping mask.

In doing this, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:

  • The Move tool looks like an arrow and can be found in the Toolbar located on the left side of the workspace.
    digital scrapbooking quickpages

    The Move tool can also be selected by using pressing on the V key on the keyboard.

    After selecting the Move tool, be sure that the box next to Show Bounding Box is checked in the Tool Options bar.

    digital scrapbooking quickpages
  • With the Move tool selected, you can reposition the contents of a layer by clicking on that layer in the Layers panel and then clicking and dragging with the cursor to move the object into place.
  • Holding down the shift key while using the Move tool will cause the object to move in a straight line.
  • You can also nudge the contents of a layer by using the arrow keys on your keyboard.
  • Holding down the shift key while nudging with the arrow keys will cause the object to move in bigger steps.
  • To align multiple objects, first select the Move tool. Then select the layers containing the objects that you want to align. To do this, select the first layer by clicking on it and Ctrl-click on a PC or Command-click on a Mac to select each additional layer. With all of the layers selected, click on the appropriate Align option in the Tool Options bar.
    digital scrapbooking quickpages
  • To resize an object, click and drag on one of the corner handles of the bounding box surrounding that object.

    Be careful which handle you click on. If you use one of the side handles, the aspect ratio of the object will change. And you almost never want that to happen when you're resizing a photo. So be sure to use a corner handle when resizing a photo.

    When you're happy with the resizing, click on the green check mark to accept the change. If you're not happy with it, click instead on the red circle to cancel the change.

    digital scrapbooking quickpages
  • To rotate an object, hover your cursor just outside the corner handles of the bounding box surrounding the object. The cursor will change to a double-headed arrow.
    digital scrapbooking quickpages

    With the double arrow showing, to rotate the object either:

    • Click and drag to rotate the object. When you're done, click on the green check mark to accept the change or on the red circle to cancel it.
    • Or type in the degrees to rotate in the Tool Options bar.
    digital scrapbooking quickpages
  • Holding down the shift key while rotating an object causes the rotation to happen in increments of fifteen degrees.

Here's my scrapbooking page after resizing and moving my first photo.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Step 8

Repeat the process with the other photo.

First, unhide some of the layers hidden earlier. With that done, the second photo along with its clipping mask and photo mat are visible. I've left the sparkly tree ornament hidden for now.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

As with the first photo, clip the second photo to its clipping mask by holding down the ALT key in Windows or the Option key on a Mac and hovering the mouse over the line between the photo layer and the clipping mask (CLIP-PHOTO 2). Click the mouse button when the cursor changes into a square alongside a bent, down-pointing arrow (or to two overlapping circles on earlier versions of Elements) to clip the layers.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Then use the Move tool to move, resize and rotate the photo to fit within the shape of the clipping mask.

With the second photo resized and repositioned and the sparkly tree ornament visible, here's how my scrapbooking page looks.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Step 9

The quickpage is almost done! All that's left is to add a bit of journaling.

Click on the quickpage layer to select it. Then select the Type tool. The Type tool, which looks like a capital T, can be found in the Drawing section of the Toolbox.

The Options for the Type tool will appear in the bar at the bottom of the workspace. There, I'll change the font to Caflisch Script Pro Bold.

digital scrapbooking quickpages

I'll click on the page and start typing, "Christmas Morning, 2014".

After some tweaking on the font size (55 pt.) and rotating the text box (using the Move tool as we did above), here's my finished page:

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Keep in mind that, since this page was created using a layered quickpage, this doesn't have to be the end of the story. With access to the individual layers of the page, you can edit any and all of its elements. You can move things around, copy layers, delete (or just hide) layers, add in layers, change the background, etc.

For example, a couple of quick edits on my layered quickpage give this layout:

digital scrapbooking quickpages

Again, don't forget that the quickpage we used here is available as a free download by clicking on the link below:

So that's it! Enjoy your Holiday scrapbooking! Until next time…




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