Luckily for us, the Elements working environment is a desktop, rather than a smelly, messy darkroom. It used to be that going into the darkroom was the only way you could do much of anything with a photo. That's why there are so many shoeboxes full of bad photos in so many attics, basements, and forgotten closets. Begin now to think about where they are. Pretty soon, you'll want to find them and fix them.
Let's start by looking at the Elements desktop shown in Figure 21.4. As with most other programs, there is a menu bar at the top. Next, there's a Shortcuts bar and beneath it, an Options bar. At the left is the toolbox and on the right end of the Shortcuts bar is the palette well. Rulers may or may not be displayed in the image area as shown here; their display is controlled by a command on the View menu, which is discussed later in this chapter.
Figure 21.4. Your desktop should look something like this.
There may or may not be palettes open on the right side of the screen. As you learned earlier in this chapter, a palette is a kind of window that gives you information about your project or lets you choose from a display of colors or styles. We'll look at the menus and tools in a moment. For now, let's jump ahead a step to the Shortcuts bar.