What version of Premiere Elements and what computer computer system?
My first impression without more information is that you have a mismatch between import and export settings, but let us see the details that you supply in your reply.
1. What is your project preset? See Edit Menu/Project Settings/General and readings for Editing Mode, Timebase, Frame Size, and Pixel Aspect Ratio (even if the field look grayed out).
2. Do your imports fill the space provided in the Edit area monitor?
3. What are your exact export settings - are you using default presets or customizing the Adobe preset under the preset's Advanced Button/Video Tab?
Let us start here and then decide what next based on the details in your reply.
Thanks for the help offer. I'm running PE 11 on a Dell laptop (Latitute E5540) -- I'm the communication guy for a mid-sized public high school, so I'm usually trying to squeeze as much quality as I can out of a limited budget.
Editing Mode: DSLR
Frame size: 1920 x 1080
Pixel Ratio: square pixels
In the most recent case, the imported graphic has a vertical orientation so it doesn't match the frame dimensions, and I used the chromakey effect to drop out the background (separate annoying issue - when doing this I occasionally still end up with an outline of the graphic when I'm trying to remove the background) and have published with default mpeg settings: MPEG2-DVD, 720x480, 29.97, NTSC.
My first look at the details suggests you are using 16:9 project settings for a 4:3 export.
If you are using Publish+Share/Computer/MPEG with Presets = NTSC DVD Standard, please use Presets = NTSC DVD Widescreen.
Please confirm so that we can rule in or out this factor.
Well, I feel like a real idiot, because that simple solution seems to have worked perfectly. I'll just have to be a little more careful with my publishing settings. Thanks!!!
Wonderful news. Glad the suggestion worked for you. Get job of presenting your information and follow up to gain success.
Best wishes for your Premiere Elements workflows.