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Framed image of 'the pocket-watch man' from the cover of the book How to Cheat in Photoshop Elements 12

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Time-saving tips!

Do you want to start producing amazing creations in Photoshop Elements, without the need to read through page after page of instructions? How to Cheat in Photoshop Elements 12 gives you everything you need to know to begin creating stunning images, quickly and intuitively.

Each project has large, full color images making it easy to follow as you work through the techniques. There's also a glossary of terms, useful keyboard shortcuts, and a detailed index that will help you locate that fantastic technique in a flash.

Save time with invaluable shortcuts and tips to cut through unnecessary steps, helping you to work faster and smarter. Impress your friends and family by creating your own montages and manipulations. There’s a whole world of opportunity out there for creating fun photomontages, perfect panoramas, and dynamic distortions.

It's so convenient now that we can buy books online from the comfort of our chairs and have them delivered straight to the door. This does, unfortunately, take away the ability to thumb through the pages to get an idea of the book's content, as we could if we had pulled a copy from the shelf of the local bookstore.


To help bridge this missing link there follows a list of the chapters with a brief synopsis of what each contains. There's also a sample page from each chapter in PDF format. These can be viewed in the browser or downloaded to your computer by right-clicking 'download linked file' (or equivalent for your browser).


You'll need Adobe Reader to view the files. If you don't have it installed, it can be downloaded from Adobe's website.

Selection techniques

Elements 12 has a wealth of tools for making  selections. Learn how to extract objects and people perfectly  from their backgrounds, as well as protecting and copying parts of an image.

Working with layers

Just like selections, layers are an essential part of creating complex images. With layers we can build the artwork stage-by-stage with the ability to position and edit the components at any time.

Hiding and showing

Find out how layer masks and blend modes are used to hide and  combine parts of an image to control how the components of the artwork interact to build an image.

Image adjustments

Discover how to use adjustment layers to change the colors and tones of an image. Remove blemishes and unwanted objects from a scene. Replace dull skies and more!

Quick techniques

Learn how to make give a frozen image the appearance of speed. Turn day to night. Create rainbows and light beams. Swop people's heads. Age photographs, and many more fun projects.

A change of scenery

Use your Elements skills to make paintings come to life. Create magical fantasy pictures for your kids or whisk your friends away into a beautiful, wintry snow scene.

Transformation and distortion

Creating photo-montage artwork often requires us to use images from different sources. Find out how to use transformation techniques to scale and distort the components to fit the scene.

Working with text

Creating logos, posters and fliers generally requires the use of text in some form. Learn how to use the tools in Elements 12 to style and shape text to fit your designs.

Art and design

Put yourself into a graphic novel. Create a retro-style magazine cover. Turn your kids' ideas into blueprints. Make a wild west wanted poster. Let your imagination run wild!

What's inside

Image of framed picture on an easel. The picture depicts some of the project images from the book bursting out of the pages.

About the author


David Asch is a freelance author, designer and digital artist, specializing in photomontage and image effects. He is an Adobe Certified Expert in Photoshop CC and also somewhat evangelistic about proving Elements is capable of producing amazing images that are on a par with its big brother.


As well as the How to Cheat in Photoshop Elements series, David is also the author of the top-selling book Focus on Photoshop Elements and also co-author of Digital Photo Doctor. His work has also featured in Photoshop Elements: Drop Dead Photography Effects and he has written numerous articles for UK based photography and computer magazines.


David lives in Brighton, on the south coast of England. When he's not writing, he can often be found wandering around with a camera, capturing the sights.

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If you have any questions about the techniques in the book, or the website,  please contact David using the form below.


For sales enquiries or difficulties with the book, other than those mentioned above, please contact Focal Press / Taylor and Francis directly using the addresses listed in the section on buying the book.

If you've seen enough to whet your appetite, it's time to convince you to part with your hard-earned cash and grab yourself a copy of the book. You may want to read what people have said about previous editions of the book; some reviews can be found below.


The book can be purchased online and through all good book stores. Use the links below to jump to the book's Amazon UK, US and Barnes & Noble pages.

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“We think Adobe should include a copy of this book with every copy of Adobe Photoshop Elements”



“If you’re regularly finding yourself scratching your head for new workarounds in Photoshop Elements, this book is the ideal solution… we recommend this book for all Elements users aiming to push boundaries. Photoshop isn’t compulsory when there are books like How to Cheat out there.”



“During your school days, did you ever sneak a peek at the teacher’s edition of your textbook? It was just like yours, only it had all the answers filled in! Imagine if you took your teacher’s book and took out all the boring background stuff, leaving just the questions and answers. That’s exactly what How to Cheat in Elements is like: no boring background, just all the answers!”


How to buy the book

Image of framed picture on an easel. This picture shows a piggy-bank and some money on top of a copy of the book.