About panels

Panels are available in both Photoshop Elements and Elements Organizer; however, they behave a little differently in each. Panels help you manage, monitor, and modify images. Some panels have menus that provide additional commands and options. You can organize panels in the basic and custom workspaces in Expert mode. You can store panels in the Panel Bin to keep them out of your way, but easily accessible.

Panels in Photoshop Elements
Dragging a panel
Dragging a panel.

Panel menus

Some commands appear in both the panel menu and the menu bar. Other commands are exclusive to panel menus. Click panel menu to view the different commands in each panel.

Pop‑up sliders within panels

Some panels and dialog boxes contain settings that use pop‑up sliders (for example, the Opacity option in the Layers panel). If there is a triangle next to the text box, you can activate the pop‑up slider by clicking the triangle. Position the pointer over the triangle next to the setting, hold down the mouse button, and drag the slider or angle radius to the desired value. Click outside the slider box or press Enter to close the slider box. To cancel changes, press Esc.


To increase or decrease values in 10% increments when the pop‑up slider box is open, hold down Shift and press the Up or Down arrow keys.

Multiple ways to enter values
Different ways to enter values

A. Dial B. Click to open window C. Text box D. Menu arrow E. Scrubby slider F. Check box G. Hotkey H. Pop‑up slider triangle 

Work with panels

Panels contain features, information, or functionality, in logical groups, for fast and easy access. The Panel Bin is on the right side of Photoshop Elements. It displays tabs and panels, depending on the mode you are in, or the kind of elements you want to work with. The Panel Bin displays:

  • Quick mode: lists the quick-mode effects that can be applied to a photo
  • Guided mode: lists all the guided-mode edits that you can apply to a photo
  • Expert mode: lists the options for a selected panel (Layers, Effects, Graphics, or Favorites)

Panels in the Expert mode

In the Expert mode, panels can be displayed in two ways - Basic Workspace, and Custom Workspace.

Basic Workspace

By default, the available workspace displayed is the Basic Workspace. In this view, buttons for the most frequently used panels are placed in the taskbar. The buttons in this workspace are Layers, Effects, Graphics, and Favorites. For example, clicking the Layers button displays all the layers-related options. To view all the other available tabs, or close open tabs, click More.

Custom Workspace

To view panels in a tabbed layout in the Panel Bin, click the arrow next to More, and select Custom Workspace. Click More to view a list of all the available tabs, and select one from the pop-up list. The selected tab is displayed. You can keep the frequently used panels open in the custom workspace. Group panels together or dock one panel at the bottom of another panel. You can drag title bar of the tab and drop it in the tabbed layout, or drag-and-drop the tabs dialog into the tabbed layout.


Drag a panel out of the Panel Bin if you want to remove it from the Panel Bin and keep it open.

Panel Bin
The Panel Bin

  1. To show or hide the Panel Bin, Choose Window > Panel Bin.
  2. In the Panel Bin (Custom Workspace),

    • To remove a panel from the Panel Bin, drag the title bar of the panel out of the Panel Bin.
    • To add a panel to the Panel Bin, drag the title bar of the panel into the Panel Bin.
    • To rearrange panels in the Panel Bin, drag the title bar of the panel to a new location.
    • To expand or collapse panels in the Panel Bin, double-click the name of the panel.
  3. To use panels outside the Panel Bin, in Custom Workspace view, do any of the following:

    • To open a panel, choose the name of the panel from the Window menu, or click the arrow next to the More button in the taskbar and select a panel.
    • To close a panel, choose the name of the panel from the Window menu. Or click the Close button  in the title bar of the panel.
    • To change the size of a panel, drag any corner of the panel.
    • To group panels (one panel with multiple tabs), drag the panel onto the body of the target panel. A thick line appears around the body of the target panel when the pointer is over the correct area for grouping to occur. If you want to move a panel to another group, drag the tab of the panel to that group. To separate a panel from a group, drag the tab of the panel outside the group.
    • To move a panel group, drag the title bar.
    • To expand or collapse a panel or panel group, double-click the tab of the panel or title bar.
    • To dock panels together (stacked panels), drag a tab of the panel or the title bar to the bottom of another panel. A double line appears at the bottom of the target panel when the pointer is over the correct area.
    • To reset panels to their default positions, choose Window > Reset Panels.

Use the taskbar


At the bottom of the Photoshop Elements, the taskbar displays buttons for the most frequently used panels and operations performed while editing and modifying images. You can use the Photo Bin and Tool Options buttons to toggle between displaying thumbnails and tool options. You can quickly undo and redo operations, rotate images, or change the layout. You can also click the Organizer button to start Photoshop Elements Organizer. The Home Screen button give you access to the home screen. In the Expert mode, click the arrow beside the More button, to see the option to toggle between Basic and Custom workspaces.

Use the Photo Bin

Located toward the bottom of the Photoshop Elements window, above the taskbar, the Photo Bin displays thumbnails of open photos. It’s useful for switching between multiple open photos in your workspace. The Photo Bin has controls that let you open or close images, hide images, navigate through open images, make a specific image the frontmost image, duplicate an image, rotate an image, or view file information. You can easily bring open images into Quick mode for editing. Multipage projects created using the Create tab open in the Create panel.

Photo Bin
The Photo Bin

  1. Do any of the following:
    • (Windows only) To open an image, drag a file from any location on your computer (including the Photo Browser) or from any storage device connected to your computer into the Photo Bin. 
    • To bring an opened image forward as the frontmost image, click a thumbnail.
    • To rearrange photos, drag thumbnails in the Photo Bin. The order here does not impact the photo’s order in the Elements Organizer.
    • To close an image, right-click a thumbnail in the Photo Bin and choose Close.
    • To hide an image that is in a floating window, right-click the thumbnail and choose Minimize from the context menu.


    To show an image after hiding it, double-click its thumbnail in the Photo Bin, or right-click the thumbnail and choose Restore from the context menu.

    • To view a photo’s file information, right-click a thumbnail and choose File Info from the context menu.
    • To duplicate an image, right-click a thumbnail, choose Duplicate from the context menu, and name the file.
    • To rotate an image, right-click a thumbnail and choose Rotate 90° Left or Rotate 90° Right from the context menu.
    • To show filenames, right-click in the Photo Bin and choose Show Filenames from the context menu.
    • To manually show or hide the bin, click the Photo Bin taskbar icon.
    • The flyout menu of the Photo Bin contains additional options to work with the images that are available in the Photo Bin:
      • Print Bin Files. Opens the Photoshop Elements Print dialog box, with options to print the photos currently selected in the Photo Bin.
      • Save Bin as an Album. Enables you to name and save an album containing the images in the Photo Bin. The new album is available in Organizer.
      • Show Grid. Displays a grid around images in the Photo bin.

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