Hi... This isn't a question, but I wanted to share it with any other Elements users in case you didn't know how to do this. I just figured this out tonight through a combination of online tutorials and accidental clicking of the mouse...lol! Seriously. I thought it was only an option in Photoshop and the only time I open my Photoshop is for special effects that are just not possible in Elements. I really prefer the simplicity of Elements. I'm in 10, so don't know about the other versions.
I don't have pictures but may over the next couple days do a full write-up and put it on my blog. We'll see. For now, easy as 1-2-3 and 4...
1. Add your desired drop shadow to your element/shape.
2. Open the fx (Style Settings) window (either double click the little fx icon to the right on the selected layer or go to Layer - Layer Style -Style Settings).
3. With the fx window open, click on the shadow area of your layer and you can drag the shadow wherever you want. Drag it far enough away from your object to give space for cutting. Click ok and exit.
4. Simplify the selected layer. Use the rectangular marquee to select your shadow. Right click and select "Layer via Cut" and voila! Now you have your object on one layer and your shadow on another.
You can now move it wherever you want, erase areas you don't want, change blend modes, opacity, etc. Lots of options to explore. Hope this helps someone.
p.s. If this is already posted somewhere, sorry for the repeat. I didn't see anything about it in my browsing.