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Using HP Photosmart Essential 2.0 Imaging Software

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This document pertains to HP Desktop computers that came with HP Photosmart Essential 2.0.
This document contains an overview of HP Photosmart Essential features and how to use them. It also provides answers to frequently asked questions. For more detailed assistance on using the program, refer to the detailed help information contained within the application.
HP Photosmart Essential is a collection of software tools that help you edit and manage your digital photographs. These tools are brought together in one easy-to-use software interface. Use this document to learn how to use and troubleshoot HP Photosmart Essential.
Figure 1: Main window of HP Photosmart Essential
Image of main window of HP Photosmart Essential

Installing HP Photosmart Essential

You may need to download HP Photosmart Essential before using the program. Use these steps to download and install HP Photosmart Essential:
  1. Click Start , All Programs , HP , and then click HP Photosmart Essential .
    If the HP Photosmart Essential program opens, you do not need to perform these steps. Proceed to Creating a Library .
    If your Web browser opens prompting you to download HP Photosmart Essential, proceed with Step 2.
  2. Click the Free Download button.
  3. Select the operating system and click the Download button.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the download and install HP Photosmart Essential.

Opening HP Photosmart Essential

To start using HP Photosmart Essential, use one of the following methods:
  • Double-click the HP Photosmart Essential icon on the desktop.
  • Click Start , All Programs , HP , HP Photosmart Essential , and then click HP Photosmart Essential .

Creating a Library

The Library is a location on the computer hard disk drive where HP Photosmart Essential stores the photos that you import. The first time you open HP Photosmart Essential, the following window opens:
Figure 2: HP Photosmart Essential welcome screen
Image of HP Photosmart Essential welcome screen
The default location of the Library is the Pictures folder. To keep this folder as the location of the Library, click Add to Library .
Click Skip to use HP Photosmart Essential without a Library. All of the photos you view and edit in HP Photosmart Essential will exist only in the original folder. Photos imported from an external device such as a digital camera are saved in the Pictures folder.
To choose a folder other than the Pictures folder as the location of the Library, follow these steps:
  1. Select Somewhere else on my computer .
  2. Click Choose Folder .
  3. Browse to the folder you want to use as the location of the Library, and then click OK .

Viewing photos

From the HP Photosmart Essential, click View Library to find, view, and manage single or multiple photos or video clips.
Figure 3: View Library window of HP Photosmart Essential
Image of View Library window of HP Photosmart Essential

Selecting photos

To select the photos that you want to print or use, click the photo (or photos) in the work area. Every photo you select is added to your tray and highlighted. To set the photos you have selected aside for later use, click the Hold all photos button in the Quick Access toolbar at the top of the screen.
Use the following buttons to select favorite photos, tagged photos, or all photos in your Library:
The total number of photos you have selected is displayed at the bottom of the HP Photosmart Essential window.

Browsing by date

Click the Date tab to view all your photos by the date associated with the photo. Click Imports to view all imported photos by date.
To change the date assigned to a photo, right-click the photo and select Show Picture Information . Type the date into the Date Taken text box.

Browsing by tag

Tags are a way to quickly find photos with a similar theme. For example, you may want to assign a tag to all photos with family members.
Click the Tag tab to view only the photos you have assigned a tag. Click an individual tag name to view the photos that have been assigned that tag.
For more information about how to assign tags, see Assigning tags and setting favorites .

Browsing by folder

To view the photos by the computer folder, click the Folder icon. To add photos from a folder to your HP Photosmart Essential Library, click Add These Photos . HP Photosmart Essential adds all the photos from that folder to your Library.

Adding photos

To add more photos from an external source (such as a digital camera or photo scanner), or folder on the computer, click Import Photos . Select the device or click Folder to browse to a computer folder.

Changing display options

To change how the photographs are displayed, click the view controls:
These views, from top to bottom, are:
  • Basic View - Displays photos as thumbnails with aspect ratios preserved.
  • Compact View - Displays photos as photos all the same size. This display setting may show only a portion of some photos.
  • Details View - Displays photos with information about each file.

Viewing a slide show

To view all the photos in a full screen slide show, click the Slide Show icon.

Assigning tags and setting favorites

Assigning a tag makes finding and selecting photos quick and convenient. You can assign the default tag (Favorites ) or a different tag you create. You can assign multiple tags to any photo.

Creating a tag

By default, only the Favorites tag is ready for use. Before you can assign a different tag, you must create the tag. Use these steps to create a tag:
  1. Click the Tag tab to browse your photos by tag.
  2. Click Add Tag .
    The Add Tags window opens.
  3. In the Name field, enter a name for the new tag.
  4. The tag group is displayed next to Group . To select a different the tag group, click Change .
    For information on creating a new tag group, see Managing tags .
  5. Click Add Tag .

Assigning a tag to an individual photo

Use these steps to assign a tag to an individual photo:
  1. Click the Tag tab to browse your photos by tag.
  2. Right-click the photo, select Add Tags , and then choose the tag you want to add.

Assigning a tag to multiple photos

To assign a tag to all the photos in your tray, click the Add a tag button button in the Quick Access toolbar, and then select the tag you want to add.

Setting Favorites

You can set photos as Favorites one at a time or you can set all of the photos in your tray at once. To set one photo as a Favorite, right-click the photo and then select Favorites . To set all the photos in your tray as Favorites, click the Favorites button in the Quick Access toolbar at the top of the screen.

Removing a tag

To remove a tag from a photo, right-click the photo, select Remove Tag , and then choose the tag you want to remove.

Managing tags

The Manage Tags window allows you to create new tags and groups, delete tags and groups, and edit existing tags. To open the Manage Tags window, click the Add a tag button in the Quick Access toolbar, and then select Manage Tags .
Create a tag or group
Use these steps to create a new tag or group:
  1. Open the Manage Tags window.
  2. Click Add Tag or Add Group .
  3. In the Name field, enter a name for the new tag or group.
  4. Tags and groups are created inside the existing groups. The current group is displayed next to Group . To select a different group, click Change .
  5. Click Create .
Delete a tag or group
Use these steps to delete a tag or group that you have created:
  1. Open the Manage Tags window.
  2. Click the name of the tag or group you want to delete.
  3. Click Delete .
  4. Click Yes to confirm the deletion.
Edit a tag or group
Use these steps to edit a tag or group that you have created:
  1. Open the Manage Tags window.
  2. Click the name of the tag or group you want to edit.
  3. Enter a new name or click Change to select a different tag group, click Change .
  4. Click Save .

Editing photos

You can edit photos using several methods. Use the Quick Access toolbar to quickly make changes to all of the photos in your tray. Double-click a photo or right-click and select Edit to edit all of the photos in your tray.

Using the Quick Access toolbar

Use the Quick Access toolbar at the top of the screen to use the following tools on all of the photos in your tray.
  • - Set all photos as favorites.
  • - Rotate all photos.
  • - Tag all photos.
  • - Hold all photos.
  • - Remove all photos from the tray.

Using the right-click menu

The following options are available by right-clicking a photo:
  • Edit - View the photo larger and display the editing tools. For more information, see Using the Edit Photo window .
  • Show Full Screen - Expand the photo to cover the whole screen.
  • Hold - Hold a photo or a selection of photos in the tray for later use.
  • Clear - Remove the photo from the tray.
  • Favorites - Add the current photo as a favorite.
  • Add Tags - Assign a tag to a photo.
  • Remove Tag - Remove a tag from a photo.
  • Rotate Right - Rotate the photo 90 degrees to the right.
  • Rotate Left - Rotate the photo 90 degrees to the left.
  • Set as Desktop Background - Set the photo as your computer's desktop background.
  • Move to Folder - Move the photo to a folder that has been included in the Library.
  • Delete from Disk - Permanently delete a photo from your computer hard disk drive.
    NOTE:Using the Delete from Disk feature in HP Photosmart Essential will permanently remove all copies of the file from your hard disk drive. If you wish to save the photo, make sure to back it up on an external device or save a copy with a different name to the hard disk drive before using Delete from Disk .
  • Create a Duplicate - Create a duplicate of the photo in the same folder as the original folder.
  • Show Picture Information - Display information about the photo, such as file name, assigned tags, date, and file size.
  • Refresh Thumbnail - Refresh the view of the thumbnail.

Using the Edit Photo window

To open the Edit Photo window, right-click a photo and select Edit , or double-click a photo. The Edit Photo window allows you to edit all of the photos in your tray. To cycle through the photos, click the left or right arrow.
When you make changes to a photo, the original version of the photo, called a Digital Negative, is stored in the Image Vault. When you save the changes, the Digital Negative is deleted. To save the edited photo and keep the Digital Negative, place a checkmark next to Save a copy before clicking Save .
The following options are available in the Edit Photo window:
  • Enhance Resolution - Click to reduce the pixilated appearance of a low-resolution photo.
  • Photo Fix - Click to automatically adjust the brightness, contrast, and color of the photo.
  • Edit Photo - Click the arrow next to Edit Photo to use the following tools:
    • Rotate - Select the orientation you want for the photo. Rotates the photo to the orientation you select.
    • Straighten - Move the slider to straighten a photo that has a misaligned horizon or other distracting orientation.
    • Crop - Select a standard photo size or drag a corner the cropping area to set the dimensions of the photo.
    • Flip - Select the orientation you want for the photo. Flips the photo to the orientation you select.
    • Remove Red Eye - Move the mouse cursor over the photo to display the magnifying tool. Move the target to the instance of red eye and left-click.
    • Resize - Reduce the size of the photo so that it is suitable for e-mail or a Web page.
  • Color and Light Tools - Click the arrow next to Color and Light Tools to use the following tools:
    • Adaptive Lighting - Add detail to shadowed or backlit areas.
    • Temperature - Move the slider to increase the color temperature of your photo by increasing the amount of red or blue.
  • Special Effects - Click the arrow next to Special Effects to use the following tools:
    • Black and White - Apply a black-and-white filter to the photo.
    • Sepia - Apply a sepia filter to the photo.

Printing photos

To print photos from the Library, select the photos and click Print . You can select from the following options:
  • Simple Print - Choose from the most common photo print sizes.
  • Photo Template - Choose from a variety of photos print sizes in a collage format.
Use these steps to print photos:
  1. Under Settings, set the following options:
    • Printer - Set the printer you want to use.
    • Copies - Set the number of copies to print.
    • Paper Size - Set the paper size for the printed photos.
      NOTE:The available paper sizes may vary by country/region. Depending on the print size and paper selected, HP Photosmart Essential may print more than one photo per sheet of paper.
    • Print without page border - When checked, prints the photo without a page border.
  2. Under Photo Layout Options, select the print layout.
  3. Click Print .

Sharing photos

HP Photosmart Essential allows you to share photos with family and friends by sending the photos as e-mail attachments. Use these steps to send photos via e-mail:
  1. Click Share .
  2. Enter the e-mail addresses, separated by commas.
  3. Optionally, click the Message tab to type an e-mail message to the recipients.
  4. Click Share .

Searching for photos

You can search for specific photos in the HP Photosmart Library using the Find field at bottom of the window. You can filter the results by setting any combination of tag, favorite, media type, or date range.

Frequently asked questions

Question : If I have another, older HP device, such as a printer, will it work with HP Photosmart Essential?
Answer : Yes, HP Devices are designed to work with each other. In fact, using multiple HP devices creates a solution that is “better together.”
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Question : How can I transfer photos from my digital camera to my computer?
Answer : HP Photosmart Essential allows you to import photos from a CD, camera, memory card, printer, scanner, or all-in-one to your Library. For more information, see Adding photos .
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Question : I have a non-HP digital camera and would like to make sure that the HP Photosmart Essential opens every time I connect. How can I do this?
Answer : Use these steps to set HP Photosmart Essential as the default program to open picture files:
  1. Click Start , then click Control Panel .
  2. Click Hardware and Sound, then click AutoPlay .
  3. Next to Pictures, select Import and View Your Pictures using HP Photosmart Essential 2.0 .
  4. Click Save .
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Question : What kinds of print options do I have in HP Photosmart Essential?
Answer : You can make two different types of prints. Here are your options:
  • Simple Print - Choose from the most common photo print sizes.
  • Photo Template - Choose from a variety of photos print sizes in a collage format.
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Question : Can I delete the images from my Library to save space on my hard disk drive?
Answer : Yes, you can delete any image from your Library by right-clicking the photo and selecting Delete from Disk .
NOTE:Using the Delete from Disk feature in HP Photosmart Essential will permanently remove all copies of the file from your hard disk drive. If you wish to save the photo, make sure to back it up on an external device or save a copy with a different name to the hard disk drive before using Delete from Disk .
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Question : Can I delete the Digital Negatives to save space on my hard disk drive?
Answer : Yes, you can delete all the negatives stored in the Image Vault. Use these steps to delete the negatives:
  1. Click the Preferences button .
  2. Click Photo Library .
  3. Click Photo Originals .
    The location of the Image Vault is displayed.
  4. Open Windows Explorer and browse to the location of the Image Vault. Delete any Digital Negatives in this folder.
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Question : What is the automatic digital negative creation (restore original image) feature?
Answer : HP Photosmart Essential automatically creates a copy of your original images and saves them as digital negatives in a separate Image Vault on your hard drive. Images remain in this location in case you need to restore a photograph to its original condition.
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Question : I am having an issue that this document does not talk about. Where can I get more help with my particular issue?
Answer : For lots of troubleshooting documents, use the help system that is built into the HP Photosmart Essential software. Open HP Photosmart Essential and click the Help button and select HP Photosmart Help .
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Question : HP Photosmart Essential does not list my HP Scanner in the Import Device Selection screen. How can I use scan an image to HP Photosmart Essential?
Answer : Start your scan from the HP Scanning software, "Solution Center", and select HP Photosmart Essential as the scan destination.

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