112. About the Preset Manager
Before You Begin
110 About the Toolbox
111 About Tool Options
113 Select a Color to Work With
Photoshop Elements can present a bewildering variety of presets: brushes, swatches, gradients, and patterns you can use when painting directly onto an image. The Preset Manager helps you keep track of them. It serves as a console for gathering all the materials you use in painting and drawing into accessible groups or libraries that you can easily recall from the Options bar. This way, you never lose a brush tip or the perfect gradient pattern in the endless sea of choices.
To open the Preset Manager, from the Editor's main menu, select Edit, Preset Manager. Here, you can collect your favorite brush tips and save them in a library you can reload when you want to use them. You also can choose from libraries of brushes, swatches, gradients, and patterns. Open the Preset Type list to select one of these options.
The Preset Manager dialog box.
Preset Manager already compartmentalizes several libraries. To choose one and open its contents, click the More button and choose the library's name from those listed in the last section on the menu.
You can select part of a picture and save it as a brush. Select the area you'd like to useperhaps a round, button-shaped object like an animal's eye or the headlight of a car. Then select Edit, Define Brush from Selection. In the dialog box that opens, enter a name for the brush and click OK. The brush is included in of the current brush library. You can use it as you would any other brush tip.
To save the current brush settings, such as those for the Brush tool, open the Brushes menu on the Options bar, select the brush library you want to add your brush to from the Brushes drop-down list, click the right arrow button, and choose Save Brush. Type a Name and click OK.
Select part of a picture such as the headlight of this hot rod and save it as a brush.
Suppose that you have a custom brush or two you have created and also some standard brushes you use often. You can save them in a new library that you can recall whenever you want to use these brushes. From the Editor's main menu, select Edit, Preset Manager. The Preset Manager opens and displays the brushes in the current library. Select the brushes you want to place in the new library then click the Save Set button. Give the new library a name and click Save. You can find this library again by clicking the More button.
You can save a custom preset library in any folder you want. However, if you save it in the Photoshop Elements Presets folder with other presets of its type (for example, save a brushes library in the Brushes subfolder), the custom library will be listed when you click the Preset Manager's More button.
With the Brush tool, when you open the Brushes menu on the Options bar, a list of Default Brushes appears. If you prefer the Calligraphic Brush tips instead, you can use the Preset Manager to make those tips appear by default, for all the brush tools such as the Selection Brush, Clone Stamp, and Pencil. Just select the library you want use from the More menu. Then open the More menu again and choose Replace Brushes to set the current library to the default.
If a preset has a name that doesn't suit you, change it to something more descriptive. Click the preset in the listing and then click the Rename button. In the Name dialog box that appears, enter the new name you want to use and then click OK. You're returned to the Preset Manager.
To restore the original library that was shipped with Photoshop Elements, select Reset on the More menu.