Tour of the Filter Gallery

The Filter Gallery, shown in Figure 13-11 , is one of Elements' more popular features. It gives you a large preview window, plus thumbnails so you have a visual guide to what your filter will do. If you want an even larger preview, you can click the arrow that the cursor is over in the figure to collapse the thumbnails and regain that entire section for preview space.

The Gallery is more for artistic filters than for corrective filters. You can't apply the Sharpening or Noise filters from the Gallery, for instance. All the Gallery filters are in the artistic, brush stroke, distort, sketch, stylize, and texture categories. (See the next section for an overview of all the filter categories Elements offers.)

Figure 13-11. The Filter Gallery is divided into three panes. On the left side is a preview of what your image will look like with the filter applied. The center holds the thumbnails for the different filters, and the right side contains the settings for the currently chosen filter.

The Filter Gallery also lets you apply filters on top of each otheryou can stack them up and change the order in which they're applied to your image. Changing the order of filters can make some big differences in how they affect your image. For example, you get very different results if you apply Ink Outlines after the Sprayed Strokes filter compared to what happens if you apply Ink Outlines first. The Gallery lets you play around and experiment to see which order gives you the exact look you want.

In addition to letting you adjust the settings for a given filter, the Filter Gallery lets you perform a few other tricks:

• Adjust the preview of your image . In the lower-left corner of the Gallery, click directly on the percentage listing or click the arrow next to it for a list of preset sizes to choose from. You can also click the + and - buttons to zoom the view in or out. Easier still, use the Ctrl+= and Ctrl+(the Ctrl key plus thekey) shortcuts to zoom in and out from the keyboard.

• Choose a new filter . Just click a filter's thumbnail once and you get the settings for the new filter and the preview image updates right awayusually (see the box in Section 13.4 ).

• Add a new filter layer . You can stack up filters in layers in the Filter Gallery. Each time you click the New Filter Layer icon (see Figure 13-12 ), you add another filter layer to the ones you already have.

Figure 13-12. At the bottom of the Filter Gallerys settings pane, you can see what filters you've applied, and add, subtract, or rearrange their order. To add new filter layers just click the New Filter Layer button (circled).

Figure 13-12. At the bottom of the Filter Gallerys settings pane, you can see what filters you've applied, and add, subtract, or rearrange their order. To add new filter layers just click the New Filter Layer button (circled).

• Change the position of filter layers . Just drag them up and down in the stack to change the order in which they'll get applied to your image.

• Hide filter layers . In the filter layer palette, click the eye next to a filter layer to turn off the filter's visibility.

• Delete filter layers . Highlight any filter layer by clicking it and then click the Trash icon to delete it.

• Change the content of a layer . You can change what kind of filter is in a particular layer. For instance, if you applied, say, the Smudge Stick, but wish you had used the Glass filter instead, you don't have to delete the Smudge Stick layer. Instead, just highlight the Smudge layer and click the Glass filter button to change the layer's contents.

Tip: Ctrl+F reapplies all the filters that were in your last gallery set if you press it again after using the Filter Gallery.

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