Working with Simply Digital Page Paks
using Adobe Photoshop Elements

(Corel® Paint Shop® Pro, Adobe® Photoshop®, Corel® PHOTO-PAINT,
                Ulead PhotoImpact 7 and higher, and Microsoft® Picture It!® Digital Image Pro would follow similar instructions)

This tutorial is designed to show you how easy it is to use and customize our Simply Digital Page Paks, Element Paks, Paper Paks, and/or AlphaSets, to make your own layouts using Adobe Photoshop Elements.

What you’ll need:

You’ll learn how to make:

  • A layout using downloadable page paks


Download and Unzip Page Pak

In this example I downloaded the Grunge Grad Page Pak. I have created a folder on my hard drive specifically for my CottageArts downloads, C:\Digital Scrapbooking\CottageArts

To unzip (In XP) contents of page pak:

  1. Double click on the zip file you saved on your hard drive and you will see all the individual files listed out.

  2. Click on Extract all Files and it will walk you through a wizard to unzip the files to a folder.

The advantage of doing it this way is the default unzipping path is the path where your zip file is located (for me, it is C:\DigitalScrapbooking\CottageArtsDownloads) and then it creates a folder with the name of your zip file. In this example it created a folder called CottageArtsNetGradPak, as that was the name of the zip file. You can rename if desired, or put spaces in to make it more readable.

Open Photos

To open the photo(s) you want for your layout:

  1. Choose File > Open and browse your system for your photo.

  2. Click photo of choice and then choose Open


Open a Digital Background Paper

  1. Choose File > Open and browse your system for a digital background.

  2. Click background of choice and then choose Open. In this example, the Grad Paper Time Diamonds Blue 12.jpg was selected.

Tip: click on the View Menu Icon and change to Thumbnails view to see pictures of the contents of the folder.


Open Papers and Elements

I like to open more papers and elements than I may use, so I can test and play with what may work.

  1. Choose File > Open

  2. Drill down to folder where you extracted the page pak.

  3. Click on folder to open and view contents.Double click on the image you would like to open.

Tip: To open multiple images at once, use your Ctrl key and mouse to select more then one image. To open double click on one of the images selected and all images will open.



Copy/Drag Photos and Elements

To copy your photos, papers and elements to your new file:

  1. Press Ctrl-A to select the paper, photo or element and then press Ctrl-C.

  2. Click on your new layout (Grad Paper Time Diamonds Blue 12) to make it active

  3. Press Ctrl-V to paste it on your layout

  4. You can also select the Move Tool from the Tool Box and drag the image to your new layout.

  5. Repeat this until you have all the images you want on your layout.

Note, you can also drag them from one image to another.



Move, Resize, and Change Layer Order

In this example I am showing a layout after I copied all the photos, papers & elements. Once the layout has all or most of the images/graphics you are going to use, all you have to do is move, resize and/or change the layer order of the photos, papers, and elements to your preference.



To Move:

  1. Select the Move Tool from the Tool Box

  2. Select the layer of the image you want to move. (layer should be highlighted and you should see dotted lines around the picture in the layout.

  3. Use your mouse to drag to where you want it to go.


To Resize:

  1. Select the Move Tool from the Tool Box

  2. Select the layer of the image you want to resize.

  3. Layer should be highlighted and you should see dotted lines around the photo in the layout.

  4. Use your mouse to click on one of the corner selection handles and when your cursor turns to two diagonal arrows, you can click and drag to make smaller or larger.

Tip: To keep the element in proportion when you are resizing, hold down your shift key while you are dragging to resize.


To Change Layer Order:

In this example I want to move the mat so it is under the photo.


In the layer palette on right side of screen, click on the desired layer (photo, paper or element) and use your mouse to drag it where desired in layer order. Notice there will be dotted lines where the layer will be moved to once you release with your mouse.




Finished Layout

Voila! You can have a finished layout with just moving, resizing and changing layer orders of the photos, papers and elements.






Save Layout

Select File > Save and choose .PSD (Photoshop) to save with all layers intact, in order to be able to edit in the future.  Make sure to save as a different file name, so you don’t overwrite your original paper file.


Alternate Method for layouts other than 12x12

Create a Blank New Layout

If you are creating a layout any size other than 12x12, it is easiest to begin by creating a new file in the size you desire. In this example, we are going to create an 8.5x11 layout for printing on a standard print. Do this step before copying photos, papers and elements to your layout.

  1. Choose File > New.

  2. Type in Name of layout

  3. Enter in Width, Height and Resolution or select Letter in Preset Sizes for 8.5x11.

Copy Background to New blank file

The easiest way to get the 12x12 background on your 8.5x11 layout is to copy or drag it over.

  1. To copy, press Ctrl-A and then Ctrl-C on the 12x12 paper

  2. Click on your new blank file and press Ctrl-V.

  3. Use the Move Tool to move or resize

Note you can also use the Move Tool to drag and drop the background to the new file.


Resizing Background on New Blank file

If you do want more of the background to fit into the 8.5x11 canvas you can use the Move Tool to resize.

Hold down the Shift key and select a corner handle on the selection with your mouse, while resizing, to keep it in proportion. (Note when you resize and keep in proportion, it will not fit exactly because the papers are not in the same proportion)



Finish Layout

Follow steps above in 12x12 layout to complete this layout. You can create an 8.5x11 page very similar to the above 12x12 layout using the same page pak, but just need to resize and move the images around a bit.

Written by Karla Terry, CottageArts, LLC, Copyright 2005, All Rights Reserved