Alibony Lessons for Photoshop Elements, Lightroom, and Digital Photography

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Digital Scrapbooks: How to Use a Template

Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 7

November 7, 2008

Templates are layered PSD files for Photoshop or Photoshop Elements that contain the framework for a layout to which you can add your own paper, elements and text. Each layer in the PSD file is a placeholder for an element in the layout. Templates come in handy for learning principles of page design and producing a well-designed page quickly. In this lesson, learn how to personalize a template in Photoshop Elements.

Template Completed template

Resources Used in This Lesson

  • Template by Sine included in the Fallin for You mega pack at Scrap Orchard.
  • Papers from various digital artists included in the Fallin for You mega pack at Scrap Orchard.

How to Use a Template in Photoshop Elements

Basically, to use a template, you can fill the shapes in the PSD file with digital papers, edit or replace elements, and then edit or add text or word art.

  1. Open the template and the papers you want to use in Photoshop Elements. Note that the template consists of several layers of grayscale shapes.

    Tip: Duplicate the template and work with a copy to avoid ruining the template source file. To duplicate a file, from the File menu, select Duplicate.

    Layers in template
  2. To add the background, select the background layer, then copy a paper to the template:

    1. Make sure you can see the template and the paper in the workspace. From the Window menu, select Images, then Cascade to display both files.
    2. Select the Move tool, then drag-and-drop the photo to the template. The paper is displayed on the layer above the background.
    Replace background
  3. To fill shapes with paper, select a grayscale shape layer, then copy a paper to the template:

    1. In the template, select the layer that contains the shape you want to fill.
    2. Make sure you can see the template and the paper in the workspace. From the Window menu, select Images, then Cascade to display both files.
    3. Select the Move tool, then drag-and-drop the paper to the template. The paper is displayed on the layer above the selected shape.
    4. With the paper layer selected, press Ctrl+G to create a clipping group with the shape layer below. The paper is now displayed within the shape.
    Filling shapes with paper
  4. Repeat this process with all the shape layers you want to fill.
  5. To add a photo, select the photo layer, then copy the photo to the template:

    1. In the template, select the photo layer.
    2. Make sure you can see the template and the photo in the workspace. From the Window menu, select Images, then Cascade to display both files.
    3. Select the Move tool, then drag-and-drop the photo to the template. The photo is displayed on the layer above the photo shape.
    4. With the photo selected, press Ctrl+G to create a clipping group with the shape layer below. The photo is now displayed within the shape.
  6. Resize and reposition the photo as needed:

    1. After you drag the photo to the template, the photo has handles that you can use to resize and reposition the photo in the frame.
    2. If you do not see the handles, in the Layers palette, select the layer that contains the photo and press Ctrl+T to display the bounding box.
    3. Click the green checkmark to apply the changes.
    Adding a photo
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Updated on July 31, 2013