What I do is start a new layout the size I want, with transparent background, at 300dpi. Then I open whatever papers, elements, and photos I wish to include, and drag them onto the layout (each comes in on its own new layer). That way you never run the risk of messing up the original files of papers or elements or photos. After dragging them into your layout, you can edit them if you need to change colors, size, sharpen or change mode on photos, etc.
When you're using a template, you can just open that up and immediately save it under a new name, or use the Duplicate Image command. Then you can drag in your individual elements and papers according to the template arrangement.
Great tactic to read up and use the tutorials and "For Beginners" sections (under Resources on the top menu) of the website. There's a lot there to get you going. If you need extra help, Andrea Gold teaches great classes for Photoshop and Elements, and Illustrator. Daphne Whitley has great classes for PaintShopPro and Photography. And, you can always ask questions on the forum and someone will be happy to help you out.
I look forward to seeing what you come up with--don't forget to post your layout to the Gallery!
Originally Posted by susiegirl
Question: I am new to digital scrapbooking and trying to learn. Instead of just jumping in I am reading as much as I can. After I open a template, paper, etc. should I duplicate it to use in a layout or just use it?
Thanks for any help