Using the Filters and Effects Palettes

Photoshop Elements includes over 100 filters and over 50 effects, offering you almost unlimited possibilities for tweaking and enhancing your images. Most filters include a dialog box where you can preview any changes and adjust the settings for either a subtle or dramatic effect. And some of the filters (such as the Liquify filter) are so comprehensive that they seem like separate little applications within Photoshop Elements.

Effects work a bit differently than filters. When you apply an effect, Photoshop Elements actually runs through a series of automatic actions in which a number of filters and layer styles are applied to your image. Effects are a bit more complex than filters. If you want to add a drop shadow, picture frame, or brushed-metal type to a photo, browse through the Effects palette to see what's available.

To view the Filters or Effects palette


Do one of the following:

  • From the Window menu, choose Styles and Effects.

  • Click the arrow on the Styles and Effects palette tab in the palette well.


From the Category drop-down menu on the Styles and Effects palette, choose either Filters or Effects (Figure 7.1).

Figure 7.1. Filters and Effects are accessed from the Styles and Effects palette.

To change the number of filters or effects displayed in the palette

Do one of the following:

  • If it's not already selected, choose All from the Library drop-down menu at the top of the palette to see all filters or effects (Figure 7.2).

    Figure 7.2. When you select All from the palette menu, every filter or effect in their respective library will be displayed at once.

  • Select a set of filters or effects from the Library drop-down menu to see just the ones in that set (Figure 7.3).

    Figure 7.3. To scan your choices more quickly, select a specific group of filters or effects.

Filter and Effect Plug-ins

Plug-ins provide a nifty way to extend your Photoshop Elements experience. Want to add some sophisticated 3D shadows or translucent effects to your photos? If you can't find the effect or filter you want in Photoshop Elements, chances are good that a plug-in might do the trick. Most of the plug-ins designed for Photoshop will work just as well in Photoshop Elements, since both applications use the same file format (PSD). Some plug-in packages, clearly meant for professionals and creative types, don't come cheapthey can cost a few hundred dollars. But many plug-ins are available free of charge. One of the best places to start looking for filter and effect plug-ins is at the Adobe Exchange site (, where you can download and share filters, effects, and other plug-in goodies with other Photoshop and Photoshop Elements users.

To change the palette view

Do one of the following:

  • From the palette menu, choose Thumb nail View to view the filters or effects as thumb nails (this is the default) (Figure 7.4).

    Figure 7.4. Thumbnail view is the default option for viewing filters and effects.

  • From the palette menu, choose List View to view the filters or effects as a list of identifying names (Figure 7.5).

    Figure 7.5. Once you're familiar with the Filters palette, you may find it easier to work in List View since it's faster to navigate than the default Thumbnail View.

    When you select a name in List View, the thumbnail for that specific filter or effect appears under the original sample image at the left side of the palette (Figure 7.6).

    Figure 7.6. In List View, the thumbnail for the selected filter or effect appears in the first column of the palette.


  • You can also install and use filter plug-ins created by third-party developers. When installed, they usually appear at the bottom of the Filters palette menu.

Photoshop Elements 4 for Windows. Visual QuickStart Guide
Photoshop Elements 4 for Windows (Visual Quickstart Guide)
ISBN: 0321423356
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2003
Pages: 178 © 2008-2017.
If you may any questions please contact us: