Adobe Photoshop Elements Review

Good

Intuitive new GUI, very accurate organizer, direct uploading to several social media sites

Bad

Too few interesting new effects for sure in the package

Overall

Still one of the best editing suite available, but not enough new features to warrant owners of the previous version upgrading.

Editor's Ratings

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Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 is the little brother to the full blown Photoshop CS6 editing suite. The package fills the gap in the market for amateur photographers and enthusiastic photo editors alike who want most of the features without the big dent in their wallet or purse.

Installation

You will need plenty of room on your drive for this app as it needs 2.6GB of drive space available. This is quite extreme compared to other apps that need a fraction of that to perform many of the same functions.

The Adobe Download Assistant needs to be downloaded and this then pulls in the purchased software. A fairly typical way to perform an installation these days.

Interface

With the latest version of Photoshop Elements, the UI has been retooled to make it look simpler and easier to use. With the move towards flat design, and more attractive coloring, this is clearly keeping with the times.

The package is split into Organizer and Photo Editor.

The Organizer is meant to be an app to work with your photos: edit them, organize them, add appropriate tagging, etc. It can therefore be paired with the Photo Editor app too, or indeed the user can use an alternative photo editor package like Picasa if they prefer.

There are some rudimentary editing and filters that can be applied to photos within the Organizer.

Editing Tools

However, the new editing tools in Elements 11 have missed their purpose. Not that there are not enough new effects to explore, but the fact is that only the "Comic" effect managed to spark some interest. On the bright side, Adobe finally saw fit to add a decent vignette tool. However the new tilt-shift effect is terribly inaccurate and hard to use. Especially compared to competing software suits, like Corel PaintShop Pro X5.

One tool worth mentioning is the so called  "Refine Edge dialog". This tool draw in areas missed by the “quick selection”tool. This makes it much easier to do cut outs.

Facial Recognition

It is also possible to use facial recognition to try to quickly identify your friends in a collection of photos, adding tags for them where appropriate. A list of your friends can be downloaded from a Facebook account. The recognition does a fair job, but it is less than perfect and does make some errors along the way including suggesting male names for female images and visa versa.

It is a personal choice whether this division of organization from image editing appeals for its clutter removal in the UI or seems more complex as you may have to flit from one app to the other and back again as you work.

Photo Editor

The package really comes into its own with the editing app.

It's possible to pull people out of backgrounds, change the aspect ratio of a picture without stretching the image or making the human subjects unrecognizable. All the usual image editing functions one would expect to see like blur, sharpen, adding clip art, and blemish removal, can be used easily.

RAW image files can also be edited. Image noise reduction, red-eye removal, and the usual other tweaks to remove bad artifacts from an image are simple to master.

Organizer

The other side of Elements is the organizer part, to store and manage image collection. This section too has received the new look and also the tools for sorting and managing have received some welcome new additions, like sorting a collection by media, people, places or events. This works out quite well and the organizer worked with an impressive accuracy.

Sharing and Social Media

As soon as a new photo album is created, sharing it with the most popular sharing services is easy. The suite comes with easy uploading tools for Flickr, Facebook and Adobe's own service. However, Twitter is standing out because of its absence, which is strange considering it is currently one of the top three social media sites.

Conclusion

For photographers who wish to get hold of a professional image editing tool, but also be able to get up to speed on it quickly, they really cannot go wrong with industry leader, Photoshop Elements 11.

General Information

  • Special Features  : Many
  • Supported OS(es)  : 2
  • Support  : 3

Photo Editing Software Features

  • Corrections  : Advanced
  • Batch Editing  : No
  • Editing Effects  : 100+
  • 3D Support  : No
  • RAW Processing  : Yes
  • Editing Features  : Many
  • Utilities  : Yes
  • Drawing Features  : Yes
  • Input Formats  : Many
  • Output Formats  : Many
  • Sharing  : Yes
  • Backups  : No
  • HDR Editing  : No
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