Hi everyone! Adobe has announced a new version of Elements. Photoshop Elements 10, which is available for Windows and the Mac, offers several new features, including enhancements to the crop tool, new guided edits, and (at last!) the ability to place text on a path. There are also a few additions to the Organizer that aim to make it easier to find your photos. Here’s a quick look at some of the biggest changes. (You can find videos covering many of the biggest new features in our Elements 10 Learning Center.)
Text on a Path
For years, Elements users have been asking for a simple way to make text follow a path, such as a wavy line or oval. In version 10, Elements finally comes through. The program includes three new Type tools: Text On Shape, which lets you draw a predefined shape—such as a circle or heart—and then add text along the border; Text On Selection, which uses a Quick Selection brush to create a selection around an object and then apply text to the outside edge; and Text On Custom Path, which lets you draw out any path using the Pencil tool. Although not as flexible as the tools in the full version of Photoshop—there are no kerning controls, for example, and the path-creation tools are less precise—Elements’ new text options are welcome additions to the program.
Elements also now gives you a helping hand improving the composition of your photos by adding new overlays to the Crop tool. For example, when dragging out your crop area, you can choose to see a overlay marking the Rule of Thirds or the Golden Ratio. Photos tend to look best when you place your subject at the intersections in these grids (Mike offers a great explanation in his video on the new Crop overlays). There is also a Grid option that divides your image into a regular grid.
For times when you want a little help getting just the right look, Element 10 offers a collection of new assisted edits. The program’s Guided Edit mode adds three popular photo projects: the Orton Effect, which adds a soft, dreamy look to your photos; Picture Stack, which makes an image look like it’s created out of multiple smaller photos; and Depth Of Field, which lets you fake the effect of a shallow depth of field by blurring the background of your photo. All three guided edits offer simple controls for editing the effect.
The program also adds 30 new effects to the Smart Brush tool, which lets you paint predefined edits onto your image. For example, a new Artistic category includes options to turn a selected area in a pencil sketch or oil pastel, while the new Texture category gives you access to 13 different textures.
The Organizer also gets an upgrade in version 10 with new options for searching your image library. The Organizer has been able to search for the people in your photo for a couple of versions, but until now turned a blind eye to some of the favorite members of our families: our pets. A new Object search addresses that issue by letting you identify an object in one photo—such as a dog, cat, flower, landmark, and so on—and then search your catalog for other photos that feature that same object. (The tool uses the color and shape of your original object to find matches, so expect some surprising results.)
If you’re not looking for a particular object, but rather want to find all of your sunset photos, Adobe also improved the Visual Search feature (previously available in the Windows version and now making its debut on the Mac). Just drag a photo up to the Find bar in the Organizer to start the search. Dragging additional images (up to four) to the bar will help refine the results further.
If you find your catalog cluttered with lots of nearly identical shots that make it hard to find what you want, a new Search Duplicates option can help you tame the clutter. When activated, the Organizer tracks down images that it identifies as being very similar—either from the same shoot or with the same subject in a similar pose. You can then choose to stack the images, to remove the duplicates from the Organizer, or to delete the duplicates completely. (Unfortunately, you don’t get a lot of information to help you choose which image you want to keep. You can hold your mouse over the image to see its file path, but you can’t quickly glimpse file size, date, or other metadata.)
The Organizer has also become a bit savvier when connecting to Facebook. The Organizer now knows who your Facebook friends are, and will suggest matches when tagging people in your photos. You can then choose to use these tags when you upload photos to Facebook (photos then also appear on the tagged person’s profile page).
The program includes many more smaller changes, as well—including options to upload larger images to Facebook, to hide the Welcome screen when starting the program, and to upload YouTube videos from the Organizer.
Photoshop Elements 10 costs $99.99; however, you can upgrade from any previous version of Elements for $79.99. (Adobe has done away with the rebate program offered with previous releases.) You can get the program bundled with Premiere Elements 10, Adobe’s consumer video editor, for $139.99.
Of course, you don’t have to upgrade your software to continue enjoying your subscription to Photoshop Elements Techniques. We are committed to supporting all recent versions of Elements—both for Mac and Windows users—whenever possible, and that won’t change.