What computer operating system is your Premiere Elements 11 running on?
Are you opening the program from the Welcome Screen or bypassing it to get to the Premiere Elements 11 workspace.
The following is the Premiere Elements 11 Expert workspace that you should be seeing
Are you getting the lineup of menus are the top of the Expert workspace as shown in the above screenshot?
Action Bar Menu
Let us start here. If your Premiere Elements 11 Windows Expert workspace looks differently than the screenshot posted, could you post a screenshot of what you are seeing instead.
Thanks - I'll have to dig into those tutorials and other pages, almost all of which I hadn't found yet. Your image clearly shows the menus I'd expect, but mine does not have that top row and I didn't know if it was supposed to be there or if there was some way to hide it that I could turn off. I've never seen it. zz in any case - here's what I see every time.
Incidentally, I'm running Windows 7 32 bit on an old Dell XPS laptop with 2 gb of RAM. I'm still wondering if I have a bad install, or if there is some way that the menu bar has been turned off in my copy.
Has your computer Taskbar always been at the top of Window 7 32 bit Window? That caught my attention first thing.
What is the native resolution of your computer monitor and what is the display actually set at.
Another consideration is your level of computer resources. Much too low for your video editing plans especially if you go beyond SD.
Premiere Elements 11 on Windows 7 32 bit is a 32 bit application with all the limitations of a 32 bit system which includes maximum supported installed RAM 4 GB with 3 GB or less of that available. And, you only have 2 GB RAM installed to start with. To take advantage of Premiere Elements11, it should be running on Windows 7 or 8 64 bit with at least 4 GB installed RAM, preferably 8 GB.
But, for now, my prime candidate for those missing menus is display settings for your computer monitor.
Also, make sure that you have the latest version of your video card driver installed according to the web site of the manufacturer of the video card. By any chance are you running Windows 7 with a High Contrast Theme?
Please review the above and then we will see if we can sort out the factors resulting in the missing menus.
Depending on your answers to the above and your troubleshooting, a program deactivation, uninstall, ccleaner run through, reinstall may be in order. Do you have an installation disc for the program?