Jan 14, 2009

What does simplify really mean in Photoshop Elements?

"I keep seeing the word "simplify" in working around Photoshop Elements.
What DOES that mean!"

First, if you are familiar with vector images and rasterizing as in the full version of Photoshop or in PSP, then simplify could be equated to rasterize.

A vector image is a set of instructions, although you are seeing the rough results of those instructions on the screen. It is not a permanent image. Making changes in a vector image does not damage the quality of the edges (ie. create jaggies). Once you rasterize the vector image, it makes those instructions permanent. Applying the "simplify" in Photoshop Elements is the same as rasterizing.

Thereafter, changes made to the simplified image may damage the edges. However, I'm usually not so picky to be concerned with such details and changes are good enough for me. It's all a matter of the trained eye.


One example of simplify in Photoshop Elements is in the creation of text and clicking the check mark to accept the text. This is actually rasterizing (or accepting the instructions and making them permanent).

Therefore, you can look at the check mark to accept procedures and the simplify in PSE as working the same, but they use different terms.


If a layer style is applied and then that layer is simplified (right click to see the option), then it is permanently committing those instructions of the layer style to that layer. There are instances when this is necessary. For example, I was helping someone just yesterday who needed to simplify a layer before running an action.

Often, for new people, the answer to a problem is that you are on the wrong layer. The second most common answer to the problem is that of simplifying the layer. These two little helps sometimes save lots of time and stress. Always be on the lookout for them.

4 comments:

nikki said...

Thanks Hummie, I had been wondering about the purpose of simplfying. Now I know. :)

Firesong said...

Thanks, Hummie. I've been working with computers for a long time and this is the first time I really understand what rastiration really does.

Katie said...

I learned something new today thanks to you! :)

Latte' Dah said...

I've been stuck once or twice not remembering to simplify. Any yes, I learned that tip from you or I would still not know what to do if I was stuck. So Simplifying is a part of my daily PSE. :)