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The Recompose Tool in Photoshop Elements – Instructions

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A picture of highlights applied by the Recompose Tool in Photoshop Elements, showing areas to remove and protect in a photo.

Overview of How to Use the Recompose Tool in Photoshop Elements:

            The Recompose Tool in Photoshop Elements lets you remove unwanted items or objects from photos and shift points of interest. To use the Recompose Tool in Photoshop Elements, open the image to manipulate. Then select “Image| Recompose” from the Menu Bar or select the “Recompose” tool from the Toolbox.

            To remove items from the photo, select the “Mark for Removal” tool in the Tool Options Bar. Use the “Size” slider in the Tool Options Bar to set the brush size. Use the “Threshold” slider in the Tool Options Bar to set the threshold that controls any distortion that occurs when using the tool. Then click and drag over the pixels you want to remove to highlight them. To adjust the painted pixel selection, click the “Erase highlights marked for removal” button. Then paint over the highlights you want to remove.

            To protect areas of the image during the recompose process so they are not removed or distorted, select the “Mark for Protection” button in the Tool Options Bar. Then click and drag over the pixels to protect to highlight them. To adjust the selection, click the “Erase highlights marked for protection” button in the Tool Options Bar. Then click and drag over the highlighted pixels to remove them from the selection.

            When finished, click and drag the resizing handles on the top, sides, or corners of the photo and slowly pull towards the middle of the photo. Once the unwanted item no longer appears, release the mouse button. At that point, both a small green checkmark and a red circle button appear in the lower right corner of the photo. Click the green checkmark button to save the manipulated photo. Alternatively, click the red circle button to close the image without saving the changes.

A picture of highlights applied by the Recompose Tool in Photoshop Elements, showing areas to remove and protect in a photo.

A picture of highlights applied by the Recompose Tool in Photoshop Elements, showing areas to remove and protect in a photo.

Instructions on How to Use the Recompose Tool in Photoshop Elements:

  1. To use the Recompose Tool in Photoshop Elements, open the image from which to remove items.
  2. Select “Image| Recompose” from the Menu Bar or select the “Recompose” tool from the Toolbox.
  3. To highlight the parts of the image to remove, select the “Mark for Removal” tool in the Tool Options Bar.
  4. Use the “Size” slider in the Tool Options Bar to set the brush size.
  5. Use the “Threshold” slider in the Tool Options Bar to set the threshold that controls any distortion that occurs when using the tool.
  6. Then click and drag in the image to highlight the areas to remove.
  7. To adjust the painted pixel selection, click the “Erase highlights marked for removal” button.
  8. Then paint over the highlights to remove.
  9. To highlight the parts of the image to protect, select the “Mark for Protection” tool in the Tool Options Bar.
  10. Then set the desired brush options in the Tool Options Bar.
  11. Then click and drag in the image to highlight the areas to protect.
  12. To adjust the selection, click the “Erase highlights marked for protection” button in the Tool Options Bar.
  13. Then click and drag over the highlighted pixels to remove them from the selection.
  14. To recompose the image after highlighting, click and drag the resizing handles on the border of the photo towards the center of the photo.
  15. To save your changes, click the “Commit” button, which looks like a green checkmark.
  16. Alternatively, to cancel your changes, click the “Cancel” button, which looks like a red circle.

Video Lesson on How to Use the Recompose Tool in Photoshop Elements:

            The following video lesson, titled “The Recompose Tool,” shows how to use the Recompose Tool in Photoshop Elements. This video lesson is from our complete Photoshop Elements tutorial, titled “Mastering Photoshop Elements Made Easy v.2022.”

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