Photoshop Elements: ability to drag several files from photobin to the canvas as layers.

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You can drag and drop a single image in the photobin as a layer onto the canvas (the opened image in the editing space).
You can also select (highlight) different files in the photobin.
However, you can't move the selected files in the photobin in a single drag and drop move as new (smart) layers.

That intuitive feature does not seem very hard to implement and would be very useful for page compositing, scrapbooking etc. And there is no 'open as layers' option in Elements contrary to what is available in free competitors softwares.
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Posted 2 weeks ago

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Steve Lehman

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Hi there Michel, 

Yes you can.  Save the file as a .gif and all the layers will stay intact as sub-files to that image file.  You can even have the option of making all of the file a transparent layer.  Save as PDF and you have the options of saving the layers as layer all intact or flattening the layers.  If you save as JPG the layers may flatten.   Saved as a PDF you can save the layers and reopen them later.   Depending how you save a GIF it behaves in a similar way.   In PDF you have more options for the type of compression.  It'll save like an uncompressed TIFF, or a full compressed JPG as it has options to the extent of its compression. 

When I submit my logo graphic (for an ad) to a magazine for publishing I have the option of flattening the layers or not, but their art dept. wants the layers to be flattened.   If they are not flattened, they can muck around with it so I never leave it open to them.  I have graphic work with PDF layers that were never flattened 20 years ago for the same type ads and I can still retrieve those layers and use them again.  Copying a layer is easy if you just change the graphic slightly.   even if i begin a whole new graphic I am fast enough to make one faster than resuming a copied graphics and its layers.     

Just last night I copied an entire graphic I had in MS Publisher (a customer coupon graphic) and I copied it into Photoshop and except for my logo it came into Photoshop.  I used the white brush color to wipe out the logo and then inserted it again in the same place so I had a fresh logo graphic, and made a whole new coupon in Photoshop.   It was sent to my customer in under 4 minutes.   I made the coupon in Publisher in 2012.  If you look for work-around's, they are there.  I don't need to copy out the layers, when I have graphics that have the same ones.   

Also last night, I remade/changed the a graphic for our website, without using the old graphic, I quickly remade the same one with the same dimensions and color background and fonts and everything in under 2 minutes and had it on the website so fast I almost forgot I did it.   Later I had to make sure it was there.  Like you, we both have become faster.   Right?   This is why I wonder why we need to copy layers.   I can make another one faster and make it better.    

It's like any of the Microsoft products, I wonder why we need to use the copy utility when I can type words much faster.  Also, I've become fluent with the mouse.   I had a partner-engineer at Microsoft who was fluent with Windows-commands such as DOS, whenever he used the old copy/paste, he did the same as I did with commands instead of the mouse.   In school we were required to know both.  But I was so much faster with the mouse and got the same amount of work done in half the time as he.   The only difference between our credentials was I was a MCSE and he an A+ tech.   

Just to decipher, my MCSE certification was for Microsoft products and his A+ Certification is the same level of expertise but for another product that utilized Unix.  His Unix expertise was for the green-screen and I had Windows color-screen expertise.  We needed each other.   We were using Microsoft Windows networking platform, then we were also using our competitor's products from Sun Micro-Systems with its green screen products.  At the time we could make a mainframe out of a rack of PC's and Sun Micro-systems made their mainframe in one box which was actually the same as we had in a rack.  We were looking for ways to compete and combine both systems.   Our assignment was to find a way to combine the two, if a customer wanted both systems.  We needed to work Windows into the system from Sun.  This was the same as finding ways to copy something that doesn't need to be copied.  Our conclusion was to make the green screens into the old Mosaic screens of yesteryear or to make Microsoft systems into a green screen which we did.  We ended up with several hybrid products with Windows in each.  Each system core was Open Systems with the same 7 layer protocol stack for communications.  It was the core of Windows and the core of Sun's system.  So why copy when we only needed to create a whole new system incorporating Windows into Sun's system.  BTW, at the time AOL was also our competitor and we had our Outlook email system with the same type of sound-byte as AOL but it was saying something slightly different - "you gots male baaaabyyyy!"   We got into trouble for that one.   

Steve Lehman, mcse   


 
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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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Steve,

Yes you can.  Save the file as a .gif and all the layers will stay intact as sub-files to that image file. 
That won't help me. I have no file with several layers. I don't want the limited GIF format either.

The situation is when I have a number of files already opened in the editor at the same time and I want to add them as new layers on my canvas or opened project.
There are different situations when you want to add several files as layers for ulterior editing or compositing. In Photoshop and other softwares, you can select a batch of files and 'open as layers'. In Elements, the natural process would be to select your files in the photo bin and drag them to your canvas in a single move. But Elements only moves one file instead all of the selected ones, which would seem obvious.
My request is to make that drag and drop from photobin work as expected intuitively by normal users: dragging all the selected files as layers. Absolutely no interface change, only applying the drag move to all selected files instead of only one.
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Steve Lehman

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Good suggestion.   But think if there might be any obstructions or problems it might cause if Photoshop becomes confused about this command and begins with another instead.   Are there any other confusing things it might do while dragging from the photo-bin?  While opening a photo, could it have any confusion?   If so, state that - if not, note that.  If there is a problem, find a work-around or resolution.   That's the mark of a good programmer and test engineer working together.   


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Michel BRETECHER, Champion

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I have never met any issue when dragging files individually one after the other from the photobin onto the canvas. That does not mean there could not be an issue with the number of files to move at the same time (RAM amount, a warning message might be prudent).
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Steve Lehman

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I wouldn't invite error messages to be programming into Photoshop.  It'll confuse a lot of issues about memory and other things, the lesser error messages the better.  We just got Windows 10 in a better place without a lot of error messages, although it has a lot of other problems we need to work-around.