Monday, March 28, 2011

Yes you can: How to install 2 versions of Photoshop on your computer

Starting today, this blog will begin to offer tips for using Photoshop Elements. I've found that many of my artist friends find the price of regular Photoshop too much for their wallet, and I've offered to teach a course on Elements 9 (the latest version as of this date, running about $88 on

Since I still use the Photoshop CS3 for my business, I needed to find a way to install Elements on my computer side-by-side. It's pretty easy, actually. Other reasons a person might want to do this is to have the safety net of the old version while learning the new one.

First, if you have another version of Photoshop running, turn it off for now.

1. Put the installation DVD in your DVD drive. Click on Run Autoplay.exe

2. Choose your language and go through any other screens until you come to the install screen.

3.The install screen will appear. Click on Install.

3. On the Product configuration screen, enter your country and the serial number from the product case.

4. This is where we get to the dual installation part. On the Destination Folder screen, click the Change button. 

5. We'll be making a new folder for the program, so we're not in danger of overwriting our previously installed software version, so click on the Create New Folder icon as shown below.

6. The new folder appears at the end of the list...

7. Overwrite the blue highlighted text with a new name, in this case, "Adobe Elements 9"

8. Now double-click on that folder to open it, and then choose 'OK'

9. The new folder will now show as your new Destination Folder. Click 'Next' to continue the rest of the steps to complete the installation.

From your start menu, you'll now be able to access either version of Photoshop.
This method works with other types of software, too.


Monday, March 21, 2011

Working with Obscure Technology #2: Minolta Slide Scanners in Windows 7

Like many of you who've been at the painting game since pre-'hysterical' times (read: pre-digital), you may have literally thousands upon tens of thousands of slides stored-- and every now and then, you decide you HAVE to access one and scan it.

I have a Konica/Minolta DiMage Scan Dual IV that I bought some years back in the slide-to-digital transition era (my 3rd slide scanner, to date). It does an OK job getting the slides moved onto the computer; i.e., not professional quality but if you need them for personal use. Then you can work them over (using cool tips you found here!) in Photoshop. However, I found the scanner would not operate on Windows 7 as it had on XP. Searching for a solution, I trolled the internet for a couple of hours and located this workable solution.

To get the drivers to work correctly in Windows 7 (also Vista), follow the steps found here (not nearly as complicated as they sound).


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Dealing with old file formats: Kodak PCD - how to install Photo CD.8BI so you can open those old photos

I can't think of anything more aggravating than wasting time on the computer trying to solve what should be a minor, minor problem (give me an afternoon sitting around at the DMV, any day). Having wasted a good day on this, I'm hoping I can spare someone else out there some grief.

Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of computers, I love the digital era. But for those of us (which has to be a WHOLE lot of us) who've been archiving our artwork since the pre-digital days (i.e., old fashioned transparencies and slides), and the early digital days, we may find from time to time that we can't access our old files.

Have some of your artwork (or favorite family photos) stored on a Kodak Digital Science Portfolio II disc? Tried to access it lately, only to find that your latest version of Photoshop (CS3 or up) won't open it? And of course since it's outmoded file format, neither Kodak nor Adobe will offer any support on what can't be an uncommon problem.

Here's the (kinda-sorta) simple solution: locate a copy of a plug-in file, namely Photo CD.8BI and place it in your current make and model of Photoshop plug-ins file.

Here's the rub: You have to have an old version of Photoshop from which to grab the plug in (luckily I did). Supposedly you just need the installation disc, but I had to actually install the old program in order to even locate the plug-in. Which led to error messages galore but I digress.
The truly simple solution: (For Windows users)
Download the Photo CD.8BI plug-in by clicking here and follow the instructions.


If you're an Apple aficionado, try this:
On Mac OS, copy the PhotoCD.plugin file from the Goodies\Optional Plug-Ins\Kodak PhotoCD folder on the installation CD to Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS3/Plug-Ins/File Formats.