New user? Subscribe!  ·  Already a subscriber? .

Finding the Elements manual

By Rick LePage  ·  September 28th, 2010

The most common questions (complaints, really) that we hear from new Photoshop Elements users is, “Why isn’t there a manual? And, why isn’t it in the box?”

We’re not Adobe, so we can’t answer the why, but we do tell people that Adobe does provide a solid help system for Elements. Plus, if you want something a bit more traditional, you can download a PDF of the full manual online. With the release of Elements 9, I thought it would be a good time to post the locations of the online help areas–which include links for downloading the PDFs for the most recent versions.

Photoshop Elements 10

Photoshop Elements 9

Photoshop Elements 8

Photoshop Elements 7

Photoshop Elements 6

The PDF manuals are generally found in the black bar at the top of the screen–on the left side for some versions, on the right for others–just click the link “View the PDF.” (click the images below to see them a bit bigger)

Adobe's Elements 9 Help page

Elements 8 Help page

General Elements help can be found online here.

22 Replies to Finding the Elements manual:

  1. Mary

    October 17, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Great! Thanks!

  2. William

    October 18, 2010 at 7:32 pm


  3. Thomas

    November 1, 2010 at 8:14 am

    This is very good but I have PSE 5 and would like to get a manual for that version. Thanks, Tom

    • Rick

      November 1, 2010 at 12:27 pm

      Unfortunately, Thomas – Adobe appears to have removed the manual for Elements 5 from their site. Or they’ve made it very hard to find, because all of the old links I have take you to the main Elements support page.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help on this,

  4. Robert

    November 4, 2010 at 10:43 am

    I’m eagerly awaiting my first issue of elements magazine.

  5. Chris

    November 12, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Do you have a Photoshop equivalent? I recently purchased Photoshop. I am still using Elements as I am still learning, but I find your webpage to be very resourceful.
    Chris Pidgeon

  6. sally

    November 14, 2010 at 8:00 am

    Easy ascess will be great.

  7. Bill

    December 2, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Really like your magazine and your web sight. I just downloaded Elements 9, so I know even less about 9 than I did about 8. Should I delete 8? If so, How? Will I loose any photos? I don’t want to touch anything until I am sure that I know what I am doing. Thanks

    • Rick LePage

      December 2, 2010 at 2:37 pm

      I wouldn’t delete 8 until you’re sure your catalog got updated ok in Version 9, and you’re seeing your old photos and tags. After that, you can use the Remove Programs option in Windows to get rid of Elements 8.

      It’s not going to delete any of your photos regardless – deleting Elements will only get rid of the program, not your stuff.


  8. Richard

    December 18, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    I can pretty much see why they didn’t publish the manual. The PDF for the editor is 327 pages. That’s a lot of added cost, and it’s still available to download for people like me who don’t know squat about this stuff.

  9. Howard

    December 28, 2010 at 2:46 pm

    Unfortunately, this has been a common theme, forcing the consumer to download and/or print using his own paper and ink. A cost savings for the software manufacturer, but a shifting of cost to the consumer. I think this is short-sighted. Can you imagine buying a book that has a link to a website where you can view it? Oh, I forgot. Those are called e-books.

  10. Howard

    December 28, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    And of course they also ‘sell’ a book about how to use the program.

  11. Michael

    February 12, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Help — in PSE9 I hane 3 hand tool, 3 eyedroppers tools , 3 zoom tools all the tools are shower 3 at one time.

  12. Dr. Robert H.

    March 8, 2011 at 8:38 am

    I hate to tell you this, but I believe you have put (2) Chapter 7s in you user’s manual found in the HELP section of Photoelements 9. Maybe I’m wrong, but it sure looks like two different subjects are listed as being Chapter 7. One was labeled “Managing Files and Catalogs”, listed as Chapter 7. And the other, a chapter on “Color and tonal correction” also is named Chapter 7. It must have been missed in the editing process..


  13. KIRKE

    March 22, 2011 at 4:59 pm

    This is GREAT. I am very new to Elements (I have ver 9) and totally lost. Your note on finding the PDF Manuals from Adobe Help was outstanding. I now have a place to start. Your Magazine along with your tutorials gives me real encouragement. I tried Photoshop CS but finally gave up after three months of intense study. It was just too much to absorb especially if one is not going to use it all the time. thanks, Silver Leaf

  14. Verneitta

    April 19, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    This is great, Just what I needed.

  15. Christine

    November 5, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    So far I have spent about 6 hrs trying to find where the artwork I need is located in PSE9. I scrapbook and combine pics on one picture to tell a story. The collage feature in PSE9 is different from that in version 7 which is very user friendly. Was this functionality removed from PSE9?

    In addition if you can tell me why and how to fix an error I am receiving in PSE7 I would appreciate. Adobe CHAT was useless. The pop up error which constantly pops up and is in a box labelled Photoshop Elements is that a file – MP4FileLibU.dll is missing. This message appeared suddenly yesterday. Prior to this I had no issues. I am using Windows 7.

  16. Eileen

    November 15, 2011 at 2:40 pm

    Why does it say Photoshop Elements 10 when I open up Photoshop Elements 9.
    Thanks Eileen

  17. Gwen

    December 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    We all need a little help now and then. Great to have this info!

  18. James

    January 21, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks for this, it’s great to have it handy!

  19. David

    March 5, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    I have been struggling thru Elements 10 and so far finding more frustration than enjoyment or satisfaction. Initially I copied my picture files into 10 assuming their folder/events organization would go with them. Not true. I erased the first effort and looked up in a forum how to achieve my organized pictures goal. I followed the instructions believing that I could import my 25 K+ pictures into 10 from iPhoto, still organized in groups as they were in Events. Not true. I got files organize by date only and in some cases where date files had been changed when I replaced pics with repaired versions they have random dates.
    Can I in fact import the files in the previously organized order? If so, where can I find the instructions? I have begun to try labouriously to organize my files into albums and /or to give them tags but this is a VERY time consuming and frustrating task given that it is already done. Would the new tags and albums be lost if I re-import the files?

    Now a new problem. I recently checked my trash file and found thousands of .xmp files. I believe they must be from the above mentioned erasing of the first copy of pictures. I checked to see what they are and discovered that they are the RAW information files attached to pictures. I don’t take or use RAW files so I assume they must be attached to files on entry into 10 Organizer. I can’t find new versions of xmp files so now I wonder if these files are necessary and should be restored, thus destroying my subsequent work, or that they will have been replicated and can be removed from trash?

    Perhaps related to this issue is this. I using my iPhoto library as a source for random screen savers. This morning I got a black screen saying that there were no pictures in the assigned files. I checked in preferences and found that I could not re-assign iPhoto as a source. So I checked the library file and discovered that iPhoto was in shadow print and Adobe was in bold. I returned to preferences and selected Adobe. My screen saver returned. What happened here?

    Thanks for your assistance in this. I probably sound thick but I just changed to Mac after 25 years of PCs and added to my misery by adding the learning required by 10.


  20. brian

    January 4, 2014 at 11:42 am

    If I create a pattern in elements 10 and define it and give it a name what file extension should I use?

Tell us what you think.

You must be to post a comment.

Photo One Media

Photoshop Elements Techniques is published by Photo One Media, Inc. Copyright @2016

Follow us!

Follow us on Twitter Find us on Facebook