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Frequently Asked Questions

Photoshop Elements Basics & Beyond Book by Patty Debowski

Did you just update your old book Digital & Hybrid Scrapbooking & Card Making with Photoshop Elements or will the new book Photoshop Elements Basics & Beyond have new stuff in it?
Photoshop Elements Basics & Beyond is a brand new book, with brand new art with a lot more screenshots. It would have been easier to just update my screenshots but that's not what I did. The new book will be in an easier format to find things and will still have the great Index so that when you want to find one specific thing you can do it quickly. You'll be amazed at all of the tips and tricks in this book! I've also added a lot more information for Mac users. As always the book is written in easy to understand plain English, no techie jargon!

Photoshop Elements has also changed since I wrote my first book in 2007 so the new book reflects those changes. Don’t worry if you have an older version of Photoshop Elements because I give you work arounds.

I have also learned a lot of new tips and tricks teaching hands-on classes over the last four years and have included that information in the new book.

What if I have an older version of Photoshop Elements, will the book still work for me?
Yes, if your version does not have some of the newer features of Photoshop Elements we've included a work around for most things with the exception of the new Fun Photo Editing actions. You can always download a free 30 day trial version of Photoshop Elements from Adobe directly to try it out.

Is the new book for beginners only?
No, this book is for brand new through advanced users of Photoshop Elements.

Are you offering book specials for the new book like you did with the old one?
Yes, we have several different book specials that include different products including videos. We will also offer pre-order specials.

I've been asking for videos, are you ever going to do videos?
We've had many of our students request videos. We now have videos that will follow the steps in the books. This will help you learn faster than just watching a video or reading a book. We offer specials that include the book and videos.

This book is huge! Do I have to read the whole thing to be able to digi-scrap?
No, not at all. This book is broken into sections so you can use just the section you need. Unlike other digi-scrapping resources on the market today it has a very comprehensive index to help you find what you’re looking for. Did you read about a clipping mask in a magazine and you’re not sure what it is? Look it up in the index and you will find an example complete with step by step instructions. I do highly recommend reading the section on Organization and implementing the things I teach, because it will save you a lot of time in the long run.

I like to work with my book open on my desk, will this book lay flat?
Yes, this book is big and heavy and has no trouble laying flat as you can see by the photos. I do have several customers who have had the book spiral bound at an office supply store for about $7.00.

I haven’t started digi-scrapping yet, should I buy Photoshop Elements or Photoshop?
I personally would recommend Photoshop Elements for a beginner mainly because of the cost of the program. I’ve been using Photoshop Elements for several years and have found it adequate for my needs. Many of the designers who contributed digi-kits for the DVD included with this book told me that they use Photoshop Elements to digi-scrap and Photoshop to design their products. You can download a trial version of both programs at If you are considering buying Photoshop be aware that if you are a student you may be eligible for student pricing. Check with your instructor for more information. 

I don’t know how to get started using Photoshop Elements to digi-scrap, do you have any suggestions?
This book starts with step by step directions including how to install the program. My recommendation is that you start with a simple page and complete it. Use your available free time to learn new skills and use the elements included on the DVD instead of surfing the web for freebies. While surfing for freebies can be exciting, it is also addicting and takes up a lot of time and space on your computer for things that you may never use.

I don’t know how to use the tools in Photoshop Elements; can I still use your book?
Yes, all of the tools in Photoshop Elements are explained in detail from a digi-scrappers point of view. The reason I wrote this book is because all the books I’ve read about Photoshop Elements explain how to use the program to edit photos, not make scrapbook pages or cards. That is what makes this book unique because you can learn how to edit photos and make projects like scrapbook pages, cards, etc.

Is this book written for PCs or Macs?
The book covers both PC & Mac. Shortcuts are shown for each version and any differences are shown or explained. The Mac version of Photoshop Elements 9 and newer also includes the Organizer.

My girlfriend wants to borrow my book should I let her?
No way! You’ll never get it back! Tell her to buy her own, or better yet be a great friend and buy her one for her birthday or Christmas present. Buy 2 books and save money by purchasing our Digi Friend Special - click here.

I’ve looked at computer program books in stores and they’re written for computer techies which I’m not. Is this book written for techies?
No, this book is definitely not written for techies. All of the examples in the book are explained in plain English. Nowhere will you find an explanation like “rasterize the vector layer” and wonder what it means.

Every time I’ve tried to digi-scrap I make so many mistakes I get frustrated and quit. How can this book help me?
Each tutorial is written in step by step, simple to understand terms along with screen shots showing the different steps. Also listed are some of the common mistakes that might be made and how to avoid them. In addition, there is an entire chapter in the book devoted to common errors you may make and how to fix them along with other help resources for you to use.

Do you show any shortcuts in this book?
There are more shortcuts shown  in this book than you could possibly ever remember. A handy shortcut card is also included with each book at no extra charge. In addition, each tool is always identified with its shortcut key and shortcuts are always listed when applicable in the instructions. Because shortcuts speed up your digi-scrapping so much, I felt it was important to include them at every opportunity. Just by following the instructions in this book you’ll learn them quickly. Make it a game to learn a shortcut a week and you’ll speed up your digi-scrapping considerably.

I’m not completely sold on digi-scrapping yet. I like to use all of the cool traditional embellishments. Can I still do that?
I love to use traditional supplies on my traditional pages and cards as well.  This is what the term hybrid means-using digital & traditional methods together. This book helps you edit your photos so they look great on a scrapbook page, it also shows you how to organize your photos in ways you never imagined. It also shows you how to make digital scrapbook pages and cards that you can easily add your traditional embellishments to. Don’t forget that you can also print out your digital supplies and add them to your traditional projects.

I buy scrapbooking magazines and see the cool digital scrapbook pages but they never have instructions or they’re written for a different computer program. Do you have detailed instructions in this book?
Yes, this is one of the biggest reasons this book was written. You are not alone in your frustration.

Do you have a lot of pictures of digital scrapbook pages in this book?
I have pictures of scrapbook pages and cards in my book, but not a lot for two reasons. First, there are many magazines available for purchase that are filled with scrapbook pages that you can use for examples. I felt it was more important to show you how to get the results the magazines show. This is not an idea book but a reference/how to guide. Second, I do not own commercial licenses for the scrapbook kits I own. If I did not communicate with the designer about the use of their kits in the book I did not show them in the book.
I’m not very good on the internet but I want to be able to get all the free stuff. Does your book show how to download and unzip freebies?
Yes, this book shows how to download, unzip, and organize freebies and dig-scrapping elements you purchase. In the beginning, try to spend more time learning how to digi-scrap instead of searching for freebies. This book has many kits contributed by many talented designers for you to use when learning. The more time you are able to spend learning and practicing digi-scrapping skills the faster you’ll get, and the happier you’ll be.

How long does it take to get really good at digi-scrapping?
It doesn’t take very long to get good at digi-scrapping when you have a good source of information like this book. Start with a basic project and practice. You’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish quickly.
Are you going to sell this book as a pdf download?
No, I have no plans to sell this book as a pdf download. I know that some of you need this book at this very moment because you are stuck on a project, and believe me you have my sympathy because I’ve been there a lot of times. We normally ship right away and you’ll have your book in a few days, as long as you don’t choose the media mail shipping option. To get full use of this book you need it sitting on your desk where you can read it and follow along. You wouldn’t be able to do this with a pdf version unless you printed it out, and with 384 pages it would cost you a fortune and would take forever to print.

My husband says that ever since I bought this book I don’t need his help anymore. He was never very patient when he helped me anyway. Is this normal?
Yes, it’s normal that husbands are usually not too patient when helping their wives on the computer! And yes, it’s a great feeling when you can instantly look in the index of this book and get the help you need right away without stopping to call someone or search for an online tutorial. I’ve had many people email me and tell me how great it feels to be able to install their own program and finally understand how their computer works.

I would like to offer this book for sale in my scrapbook or internet store. How do I do this?
Click here for information.

I would like to earn commission selling your products through a link on my website or blog. Do you offer an affiliate program?
Yes we do offer an affiliate program, click here for information.

Do you give a discount for digital scrapbook teachers or other large orders?
Yes, we have several specials that include six books and other product. These books and other product are shipped in one box by USPS priority mail which is a faster shipping option than medial mail. When the shipping savings and discount are added up the savings on these specials is substantial. These specials are available for addresses in the USA only. To view these specials click here. If you are interested in purchasing one of these specials in another country email me.

Product Reviews

You have several product reviews on your website who writes them?
Our customers write the reviews of our products. If you would like to add a product review click here for instructions.


Is the DVD included with the book or do I need to buy it separately?
The DVD is included with the book; there is no additional charge for it. We also sell the Organizer Catalog Backup that has all of the images pre-tagged for you. This will save you about 15 hours of time tagging the items yourself (Mac Photoshop Elements 9 and newer only).

What’s on the DVD?
More than 3,200 pieces of digi-scrapping elements, templates, and actions from more than 24 different designers and 17 coupons are on the DVD. The digital scrapbook paper on the DVD is 12 x 12 and will appeal to a broad spectrum of digi-scrappers.

If I purchase and restore your Organizer Catalog Backup do I need to copy the book DVD on to my computer too?
No, however there are practice photos, actions, and brushes on the Book Companion DVD that will not appear in the Organizer so keep the DVD handy.

Where are the coupons?
The coupons can be easily found in the individual digi-scrapping store’s folder on the DVD.

What’s the big deal about the Tags file?
When you first open the Organizer in Photoshop Elements (All Windows versions and Mac Photoshop Elements 9 and newer only) there are no tags that are specific to digi-scrapping. You can make a tag for different colors, types of elements, designers, and themes like holidays, etc. This takes a lot of time, especially to make them look nice so they can be easily used. Installing the Tags file takes less than a minute and saves you many hours of work. Once you install the Tag file, you will have more than 300, categories and sub-categories instantly available to tag your digi-scrapping supplies. If you don’t think you’ll ever use one of them, you can easily delete it. When you tag your digi-scrapping supplies, you are able to find the exact element you need in seconds. Once you install the tags file you can tag your supplies and photos. If you don’t want to tag the items on the Book Companion DVD purchase our Organizer Backup Catalog which took Patty 15 hours to tag and she’s pretty fast!

Will the DVD work on a Mac computer?
Yes, the DVD will work on a Mac or PC.

Can I copy the DVD and give it to my friend?
No, everything on the DVD is copyright protected. When you buy your friend a book for her birthday or Christmas present she’ll have her own DVD anyway!

Can I copy the DVD onto my computer?
Yes, you can copy the DVD onto your computer and save the DVD as your back-up. If you purchased our Organizer Catalog Backup you don’t need to copy the Book Companion DVD onto your computer.

Organizer Backup Catalog

What do I get when I purchase the Organizer Backup Catalog?
Basically you are buying Patty’s time to tag the 3,200+ items of digital scrapbooking supplies that are on the Book Companion DVD (15+ hours). There are some added digital supplies that are included on the Organizer Backup Catalog that are not on the Book Companion DVD.

I bought the Organizer Backup Catalog for your first book-Digital & Hybrid Scrapbooking and Card-Making with Photoshop Elements do I need to buy the one for Photoshop Elements Basics & Beyond?
There is no standard answer for this question. Organizer catalogs at this time cannot be combined, we don’t know if they will ever be able to be combined. Even though you can’t combine catalogs it’s easy to use more than one catalog in the Organizer. It depends on the amount of time you have available to tag your supplies (which we highly recommend you do).

  • If you installed the Organizer Backup Catalog for the first book, and you have added a lot of items to it then you may not want to purchase the new Organizer Backup Catalog. Patty spent more than15 hours tagging the 3,200+ items for the new Organizer Backup Catalog, if you value your time you may want to also install it and just work with two catalogs, it’s really a personal choice.
  • If you installed the Organizer Backup Catalog for the first book and didn’t add anything to it, then it’s probably a good idea to purchase the new Organizer Backup Catalog because it will save you a lot of time.

If you purchased the first Organizer Backup Catalog and didn’t do anything with it yet, purchase the new Organizer Backup Catalog, install it, and get started…no more excuses!

Shortcut Card

I love the tips card that was included with my book. I teach digital scrapbooking. Can I get some for my students?
Email me the information and I’ll see what I can do!

Shipping Issues

How do I know if my order has been shipped?
Once we ship an order Paypal automatically sends an email with shipping information. Please check your inbox or spam filter for this email. We also update your order in our store to show that it was shipped. Normally this information is added once the order is processed for shipping and the order is shipped the following day. We do our best to ship the day after your order is received however if we are out of town at a scrapbooking convention it may take a few extra days to ship your order.

How can I track my order?
The shipping information email from Paypal will contain a USPS tracking number. Go to and enter this tracking number.

Tracking information for my international order does not show up at, what do I do?
Sorry, I'm not sure but I think this must be due to security issues and terrorism. If you have not received your international order 2 weeks after we have shipped it please contact us.


Why would I want to buy your Organizer Backup Catalog?
The Catalog listed for sale in the store includes all of the supplies on the DVD that comes with your book with the tags applied. For example a piece of red, white, and blue, stars and striped scrapbook paper would have seven tags applied to it (Red, White, Blue, Stars, Stripes, Paper, & the Designer’s Name & Kit Tag). You are purchasing the time it took me to tag the items for you since you already own the DVD. You must purchase the book to purchase this item for copyright reasons.

Why would I want to use templates to make my scrapbook pages?
Templates are a great way to speed up your digi-scrapping. With a template the design is already done for you and is perfectly aligned. You save time by not having to search for a design of your own, make it, and line it up perfectly.   

Why are your templates so inexpensive, I usually pay about $2 each for them and yours are 40¢ a piece when you purchase a CD?
I admit it, our templates are a bargain! Not only are they a great price but we include each template in a PSD file (layered file) and in a PNG or JPEG file (single layer). Each PSD file (layered file) includes an instruction layer right in the file that can be turned on and off when you need it (something I’ve not seen before). Our layered templates also number the shape on the template and the layer with the same number so they’re easier to use. Our templates hold several photos because we have found by experience that most scappers want to use more than one photo on a page.

What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept PayPal, and checks. We can also accept your credit card over the phone if necessary. If you would like to pay by check you can do this through PayPal or by mailing a check to our office. Please do not mail cash, if you want to pay by cash, you can do this at our office in Fountain Valley, CA. We do not have any of your credit card information stored. Be aware that if you pay by a check with PayPal there is a waiting period required by PayPal.


Do you ever teach classes outside Southern California?
Visit our Classes page to see our schedule which is updated  frequently. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when classes are added.

Are you a “real” teacher?
Yes, and no! I am a teacher qualified to teach at community colleges and other locations. I do not hold a teaching credential from the State of California that would qualify me to teach in a public school.

How can I set up a class?
Email me all of your information; be sure to also list several possible dates for your event.


I have my digital scrapbook supplies stored all over my computer. Can this book help me?
Yes, there is an entire section devoted to organization in this book. The organizational skills you learn in this book will also help you when doing other work on your computer. For more information regarding organizing and tagging your photos and digital scrapbooking supplies please click here.

Do I need to buy an additional program to organize my digital scrapbook supplies?
Personally, I don’t think so. All Windows versions and Photoshop Elements 9 and newer for the Mac include the Organizer. Currently I have more than 42,000 items in my Organizer and it works great. Using my organizational system explained in the book I can find the exact piece of scrapbooking art I’m looking for in seconds flat! Why spend money on another organizational program when you can spend it on more digi-kits!

Digi-Chick & Book Cover

I love your digi-chick on your website and book cover! Can you tell me where to get my own?
I love them too! Clara Wallace at is the designer for both the digi-chick and book cover and did a great job. To order your own digi-chick click here.

© 2007 Patty Debowski. All rights reserved.
Photoshop & Photoshop Elements are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Inc. Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. Mac is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.