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Adobe Elements Bundle

Unfortunately, one of the features which would have enhanced the Organizer even further is only available in the US, Canada and Japan – the order prints palette, which lets you simply drag and drop images to your chosen printing service. You can still order prints using a built-in wizard, which uploads your prints and then takes you to the Kodak-powered Adobe Photoshop Services webpage. But it’s a bit more involved.

A less laborious new tool is the Magic Extractor. This gives you a quick way to extract an object from its background, if you don’t have the patience or the steady hand for freehand marquee work. You use a simple pair of brushes to specify the foreground object and background, and the tool does the selection for you. You can then go in and fine tune things. This is advisable, as although results are pretty good for such an automatic process, you will need to tweak things with at least the edge smoother. For even more control, the Defringe Layer command lets you take a few pixels off round the edge of a cut-out when you paste it into a new image.

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The Magic Extractor lets you select elements of your image by choosing the foreground and background roughly.
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Related to the Magic Extractor is the Magic Selection tool, but this uses a slightly different system. Instead of choosing foreground and background, you select your chosen area by scribbling roughly over the areas of differing colour. We found it considerably more erratic and difficult to use than the Magic Extractor.

Elements 4 has a number of lesser additions, which are nonetheless welcome. The Adjust Color to Skin Tone effect automatically adjusts the overall colour in the photo to bring out skin tones – all you need to do is choose some skin with the eyedropper. The straighten tool lets you draw a line across an image to represent what is meant to be horizontal, and the image is rotated accordingly. This works particularly well if you have a building edge to use as reference.

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