Photoshop Elements 12 For Dummies

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Become a member and get unlimited access to the entire software training library of over 5, video tutorials. The instructor spoke slowly and gave reasons why or why not he would be using certain features.

Overall a very good introduction to PSE He explains everything extremely well. There is so much to learn in this program and the way it is taught makes sense. This website uses cookies to improve usability. Find out more about this in our privacy policy. By clicking the OK button, you agree to the policy. Share Share this course Facebook Linkedin Twitter. Photoshop Elements 12 Chapter name: Lesson name. Photoshop Elements 12 Ready to watch the complete course?

This update is, however, short on truly new photo editing tools.

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Adobe's consumer photo editing software nevertheless continues to make splashy Photoshop effects possible for novices to accomplish. For those who don't want to perpetually pay for Photoshop subscription, it also provides a good many of that program's tools. Photoshop Elements continues to be our Editors' Choice for enthusiast-level photo editing software. A day trial version is available for download, too. Speaking of downloading, the app's installer is not small, at 2GB, and the installed program takes up 2. Note that Elements no longer requires Apple QuickTime.

View All 21 Photos in Gallery.

To get started, you must enter your Adobe login. For the longtime Photoshop Elements users, here's a quick rundown of the major new features in the version:. In past reviews of Photoshop Elements, I've complained that you have to go through Organizer to get to the actual photo editor.

The Organizer

You've long since been able to bypass it, but with the version, there's another starting point before you get to the editor. The new Start screen is not only your portal to both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements , but it also presents some very useful features. On it you see tips for how to use new editing tools, links to most recent files you worked on, and Auto Creations—slideshows and collages the program automatically generates from your content.

The Organizer application, as its name makes clear, is where you import, group, tag, and output your photos. You don't have to use it, but it offers a lot of capabilities that would otherwise clutter the main editing application. Its powerful search, auto curation, and sharing tools can be very useful additions to the standard organization tools. Five main mode choices appear at the top of the Organizer's window: eLive tips and creative ideas , Media, People, Places, and Events. The Organizer search bar lets you filter content by people, place, keyword tags, media type, date, and folder.

Adobe Photoshop Elements

You can combine search criteria to narrow down the results, too. Smart Tags automatically identify what's in the photo—an animal, a face, a landscape, a flower. It's part of the trend of using artificial intelligence and machine learning that we've seen in Flickr, Google Photos, and OneDrive.

This cutting-edge technology saves you from having to explicit apply tags to photos, though you can still do this if you want the control it affords. Organizer's Places mode showed my iPhone photos' location based on their embedded GPS data, but the Places section on the Search page told me there were no Places tags to search by—you have to enter location tags manually for anything to show up here.

It's a little annoying when one part of a program has information that's not accessible in another feature. Also, I prefer the way Windows 10's and macOS's Photos apps let you see a small map in the Info panel while viewing an individual photo. To search based on faces, you understandably need to supply names in the People module.

The program detects all faces and tries to match them to any you've already identified, but it's not percent accurate, and sometimes is fooled by profiles or weird angles. It's easy to add photos to a face tag by confirming the program's proposed images. Once you do this, though, you can search for all photos that have Jordan and Max in them, or for all photos with Jordan or Max, which is nifty. Below the search bar is the Auto Curate check box. The first time I tried to check this, it said Auto Curation was in progress—understandable, since it analyzes the entire photo library.

A few minutes later I could see the chosen images, with a slider to increase or decrease the number of photos shown.

Photoshop Elements 10 for Dummies by Barbara Obermeier

The fewer you choose, the higher the quality of the photos that appear. So, for example, you can see what the program thinks are your 50 best photos or your best 10 is the minimum.


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The app looks for things like lighting, composition, focus, and even emotional impact. Most of my results understandably included humans, and the tool did turn up a bunch of good shots I'd forgotten about. You can even apply Auto Curate to a search, so you could find, for example, your best shots of mountains or cats.

A couple of quibbles are that you can't double-click on a photo in Organizer's search results to launch it in the editor, and you don't get smart albums, such as Last Import as you do in Apple Photos and Adobe Lightroom. After I had it import about a couple hundred photos and video clips, the home screen showed me more than a dozen Auto Creations it had produced from my content. From photos shot around the same area and time, it produced pleasant collages, which benefited from a bit of editing and photo swapping. The feature also produced several slideshows of varying interest from my test media, with effective transitions and backgrounds.

The background music was usually well chosen to fit the image subjects, but if often stopped abruptly, rather than fading out. Some were so short as to be pointless. In any case, the project can provide starting points for your own creativity. Elements still lacks one feature that's offered by Apple Photos, Google Photos, and Windows Photos—automatic album creation. Those products group photos from locations and time periods and automatically suggest albums.

Though these don't always hit the mark, they can be a good way to get you started with albums.

Photoshop Elements 12: New Features

Photoshop Elements really comes into its own when you move from the Organizer to its full editor app. The program makes many of Photoshop proper's high-end image manipulation capabilities but without the same degree of difficulty. Many of the tools, particularly content-aware ones that let you do things like removing areas or objects without disrupting the background, are unique to Adobe software. Elements Effects feel like Instagram squared, with control that the mobile app simply can't match. The Smart Looks tool chooses an effect based on image analysis, with four variations.

Photoshop Elements 12 tutorials

These indeed matched the image types of my test shots well. I like how this tool shows your actual image under the influence of the effect, rather than just a sample image, as some programs do. When you choose the crop tool, you see four proposed crops in the bottom panel, based on faces found and other criteria. It works impressively, framing group photos and suggesting creative looks for landscapes.

The crop tool, too, is suitable for many professional use cases, letting you specify standard aspect ratios and even a target size in pixels. Expert mode offers near-Photoshop levels of control, complete with filters, layers, actions the ability to run preset Actions like resizing and effects, not to create them , histograms, and tons of artistic and graphic effects.

As with Photoshop, you get an array of tool buttons along the left, and edited files are saved in Photoshop PSD format. For web producers, there's the Save for Web option, which optimizes that is, reduces the file size of images for online display. These don't appear in the Filter Gallery, but must be chosen from the Filter menu directly, which may be an oversight.

That said, they can produce some pretty amazing effects. Expert Mode also has a generous selection of content, such as backgrounds, frames, and shapes to spruce up a photograph. The Text tool lets you wrap text around a shape so it doesn't overlap important parts of an image. Character-styling options are far less extensive than those in Photoshop, however. The Recompose tool is one of the program's most impressive: It lets you change the aspect ratio of an image without stretching or squashing faces and the like.

You can even remove selected objects and mark others for preserving.

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