At one point or another, when you’re learning how to design web sites, you’re going to have to learn how graphics and photos for web sites work and how to place them on your web page. Photoshop by Adobe is the popular choice for manipulating images, graphics, and text effects for not only web sites but for print ads as well. But what if you don’t plan on doing print ads? What if you only want to focus on web page design? What if you don’t want to (or can’t at this stage) spend the amount that Photoshop costs until you decide that web design is, in fact, for you? Then try Photoshop Elements.
Photoshop Elements is the less expensive version of Adobe’s Photoshop. The main difference is that Photoshop Elements works with RGB color while Photoshop works with RGB and CMYK. For a brief explanation of these, RGB stands for “red, green, blue” while CMYK stands for “cyan, magenta, yellow, black.” CMYK is used for offline printing like brochures while RGB is for online presentation of images and graphics displayed by monitors. If you only plan on designing for the web, then you don’t need the full expense of Photoshop.
Photoshop Elements will give you the effects you need to jazz up your web site and make it graphically appealing. The tools in Photoshop Elements are easy to learn and easy to use but don’t expect to become an expert overnight. There are many great books available that will walk you through step by step and there are a lot of tutorials online. If you look up a tutorial online to learn a digital image manipulation that you want to master, but you can’t find it for Photoshop Elements, try looking at how the tutorials and guides say to do it in Photoshop. You’ll notice the similarities between the two and you’ll be that much more proficient in using the Photoshop interface for if and when you decide to move up to the full version of Photoshop.
Adobe Photoshop Elements sells for $99.99 at www.adobe.com and it’s also for sale in the brick and mortar world in places such as Best Buy. If you’re not quite sure that you want to spend that amount just yet, Adobe offers a 30-day trial version that you can use to test it out. Keep in mind that most good graphic and digital image programs will cost about the same amount, if not more, and if you’re serious about learning web site design, you’ll need to use a graphics program at some point. Photoshop Elements will help you start along the design path and will prepare you to move to the full version when you’re ready.