It's hard to say, without knowing what you are or aren't doing.
But you can download my free Steve's Tips article "Creating DVD Menus in Premiere Elements" from the Muvipix products page. This is an excerpt from my Premiere Elements books, and it will take you through the process step by step.
You'll need to register to the site, I think, to get to the article(s) -- but it doesn't cost anything to register and you won't get spammed or put on any mailing list.
If you still have questions after that, let us know as specifically as possible where things are failing.
Just a few questions...
a. You say that you place markers on the Premiere Elements 7 Timeline before you head over to Create Menus. Are they scene markers (green in color). And, when you have the Menu Marker dialog open, have you looked at the Thumbnail Offset (see bottom right) to make sure that it did not get moved out of place?
b. When you get to Create Menus, select and apply a menu, in the bin below the Monitor there, do you see a thumbnail for a main menu and scene menu or just the main menu? When you click on the main menu in the bin do display it in the Monitor, do you see buttons for Play and Scene Selection. If so, if you click on Scene Selection, does it bring up a page of scene thumbnails? And, another if so, is the thumbnail (scene space) on the Scene Selection page there but nothing in it or no thumbnail frame at all.
c. How long is your Timeline and how many scene markers (green) did you place? What menu did you select and how many scenes per page does it allow?
d. You say that "The menus LOOK like they're supposed to while editing but they don't show up in a preview and.....". You do not see the DVD menu in the edit phase. So, what did you mean by that statement?
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Have you checked the Premiere Elements 7 Help PDF for details of Scene Markers, etc?
Steve and AT,
Sorry to be so long replying; and thanks a BUNCH for your help. I had a crash job to get out as a draft, where the menus wouldn't work. So I didn't put them all in. Once I burned that draft, the partial menu that did exist went ahead and worked. Don't know that I did anything different than I had been doing....
In brief, my process has been; 1) Load clips using the 'Organize' tab and 'Get Media'. 2) Edit as needed using the 'Edit' tab. Place menu tabs and name them in the 'Sceneline' 3) In 'Disc Menus' select the appropriate menu. 4) Burn to disc, where the menus either work or don't......
I'm half convinced the partial menu worked only because you gents were good enough to try to help..........
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Were the articles we referenced in the above posts helpful?
Because of the semi-automatic nature of PrE's authoring function (creation of a DVD-Video), what you have on your Timeline can be very important. Also, the Menu Set that you choose can play a role too.
Can you post a screen-cap of your Timeline, and also the Disc Layout Panel? Those will go a long way to telling us what you are doing, and someone can likely see where the problem lies. Hint: use the little "camera" icon in the lower-middle of the editing screen's Toolbar to attach the screen-caps.