Editing gif template for book cover

  sheila.weston 20:31 02 Oct 2010

I have downloaded a gif template file for an A4 Book cover from lulu.com. When I open it in Photoshop Elements it has a chequered area showing where to put the text and images. What do I do next? How do I change the chequered area to white and how do I add new layers as the icon is greyed out? Also how do I remove the existing text which shows the dimensions? Thank you for your help.

I have put this query on the lulu forum, but not got any replies. I realise that it is something to do with the layers in Photoshop, but don't know what to do.

  lotvic 00:21 03 Oct 2010

I only have a very old copy of Paint Shop Pro (before Corel bought them out) but in my help menu I found this which is probably pertinent to working with your .gif template:

""A background layer is not the same as a background.
When you create a new image and choose transparent as the background colour, the new image contains a transparent layer floating above the background, which appears chequered. This transparent layer, which is always labelled “Layer 1,” can be moved in the layer stack. It is a layer, not a background. The background cannot be moved.""

So to me that means ignore the chequered transparent background, it doesn't show/print in the finished .gif
I would presume with your template what you have/see is the new transparent layer on top of a transparent background waiting for you to paste something on it.

  lotvic 00:28 03 Oct 2010

To remove the existing text I would guess that you have to select it and delete it.

(Note: I have never worked with a template)

  lotvic 00:50 03 Oct 2010

edit.... as missed last bit off sentence....

..waiting for you to paste something on it as a new layer which would then be layer 2

  sheila.weston 17:31 04 Oct 2010

Many thanks, Lotvic, but all the layer options are greyed out and the 'chequered' layer is locked and won't be unlocked. Selecting the text and trying to delete it doesn't work. I'll go back to the lulu website and reword my query on the forum and have another look at the help fies, which didn't help last time I looked!

  lotvic 17:48 04 Oct 2010

On mine, When I paste something on it becomes Layer 2, Look at your Paste Options, I have several ways, I don't have to create a layer first.

And it is supposed to show a 'chequered' background as that is the area size marker of your 'page'

  QuizMan 18:03 04 Oct 2010

Almost certainly, the image is in Indexed Color mode. Go to Image > Mode > RGB and you should be able to add the new layer.

  lotvic 18:29 04 Oct 2010

I found a tutorial (with screenshots) for using template in Photoshop Elements click here

Firstly it says to make a duplicate of your template and work with that so that you do not ruin your original template...

  sheila.weston 21:51 04 Oct 2010

Many thanks, Quizman. Yes, I have now changed the mode to RGB and added a new layer. What now? I can drag the layer with the writing off the top of the chequered layer, but can't see what to do with it! It has sort of lines going across and down to form big squares. When I drag layer 1 (with the text on it) the lines change to white and break up the chequered layer. At some positions the lines change to multicoloured. Is this a problem with my PSElements or something else?

  QuizMan 23:07 04 Oct 2010

Well I am not really sure I know what you want to achieve. Deletion is usually a case of selecting the offending part and go to Edit > Delete.

To fill the chequered pattern, I am guessing that you need to fill it with white. To do so you need to ensure that the default foreground colour is set to white. The quickest way to do that in PSE is to tap the D key which sets the foreground to black and the background to white. Then tapping the X key which switches those two colours around. Having done that you need to use PSE Fill function. It looks like a partially overturned paint pot on the set of toolbox icons. Click on it and then click on the area you want to fill.

I hope that is clear.

  QuizMan 23:12 04 Oct 2010

By the way you can verify that the D and X key trick is working by looking at those overlapping squares on the toolbox. D puts black on the top one and X is a toggle key. Press X once and the top square (the foreground colour) turns white. pressing it again turns it back to black.

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