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Introducing Photoshop Elements 10

By Kelly  ·  September 19th, 2011

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.

The Text On Shape tool lets you apply text to an ellipse (used here), rectangle, or other shape.

Pleasing Proportions

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 better composition, place your subject on one of the lines in the Crop tool's Rule Of Thirds overlay.

Assisted Edits

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 new Orton Effect guided edit produces a soft, dreamy 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.

Easier Searching

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.)

The new Object search lets you identify objects such as pets and then search the rest of your library.

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.

The Details

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.

41 Replies to Introducing Photoshop Elements 10:

  1. Greg

    September 20, 2011 at 12:41 am

    I’m tempted. I think I’ll take a peak. unfortunate,they we Australians never reap the benefit of the American prices. But thnkas folks, I love what you do.

  2. James

    September 20, 2011 at 1:23 am

    The new version sound like it has a lot to offer. I will have to look the new Mac version over and see if it meets my needs. Hopefully Adobe has heard the voices of those who have asked for improvements.
    Will probably wait for others to state their opinion to see if any new problems show up in the first few months.
    Hope not!!
    Cheers, Jim (JAW)

  3. Ann

    September 20, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I am wondering if they have made it possible to e-mail photos direct from Elements with windows 7. If not I will stay with Elements 9. It seems ridiculous to me that they did not do this in 9 with an upgrade in the program after all the complaints.

  4. Marianna

    September 20, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Alas, you did me in long ago. No Intel processor and I am not going to buy a new computer to accommodate an upgrade! Will stick with my PE6.

  5. Roger

    September 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    e-mailing direct from elements with windows 7 is importent to me and
    would not consider 10 if this is not possible

  6. Ronnie

    September 21, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Don’t think it’s right when 9 just came out no too long ago. We should get a discount to upgrade. I just spent $100 for 9 how much more will it cost to get 10? Then when you have 10 version 11 will be available……….

    • Julie

      September 22, 2011 at 5:38 am

      @ Ronnie This is nothing new. Adobe has been releasing a new version of Photoshop Elements pretty much like clockwork every year since version 1 in 2001, at least for the PC platform. It can be frustrating but I’d rather that than have them delay and stagnate the product.

      • Julie

        September 22, 2011 at 5:39 am

        Oops forgot to say, you do get a $20 discount, as Kelly mentioned, if you have a previous version of the software.

      • Bruce B

        September 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm

        Since the upgrade period (annual) is steady, I consider each version whether it adds enough to make it worth it. I have skipped a number of versions. Sometimes I want the features I’ve missed but I know I only have about a year to wait. Now that Adobe appears to have returned to full support to the Mac OSX (at least on the Intel platform), I’m glad to see the updates. As you said, it is better than a product that stagnates.

    • Larry

      November 25, 2011 at 9:22 am

      If you are in the US, Costco has Elements 10 for $50 right now. Seems like a good price to me for full product and not much to complain about.

    • Jim

      December 26, 2011 at 4:04 pm

      It is called marketing

  7. Ramesh

    September 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm

    Like many, I have suffered badly from the auto-analyser corrupting Date Picture Taken, and other metadata, that made the pictures lose their chronological order in the organiser. It also made .mov files bunch together. Have they improved the auto-analyser in Elements 10?
    According to this review, the Elements 10 seem to be worth considering.

  8. Lee

    September 23, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    Until Elements takes a quantum leap forward (e.g. adding layer masks as they did in version 9), I wouldn’t advise anyone to upgrade to PSE10. I jumped from PSE6 to PSE9 last year, and that was worthwhile. AND, Julie is correct in that we can expect Adobe to bring out a new version of PSE every fall. Perhaps PSE11 (September 2012?) will have something that’s really worthy of our being excited.

    • Kelly

      September 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

      I think the decision to upgrade largely depends on how much use you think you’ll get out of the new features. Not everyone uses the program in the same ways. If you have Elements 9 and don’t do a lot of text wrangling, upgrading to 10 may not make sense for you. However, if you’ve been holding off on upgrading and are using Elements 8 or earlier, I personally think Elements 9 and 10 combined make for a pretty compelling upgrade—especially with the support for layer masks in 9. But I don’t think even Adobe expects everyone to upgrade to every new version.

  9. Donald

    September 23, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    Last December I upgraded from PSE5 to PSE9. Primarily, it was the ability in PSE9 to add a layer mask to a layer that made the upgrade worthwhile. If Adobe ever adds a Curves Adjustment Layer to PSE, that will, in my opinion, make the next PSE upgrade equally worthwhile.

  10. John

    September 23, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Version 11:

    Give me Bridge back (Mac)!
    Give me all the Camera RAW features that Photoshop users enjoy i.e. Curves, B&W, Split Toning, Noise Reduction, Lens Correction (post crop vignetting), Presets & Snapshots!

    Now that would be one heck of an upgrade!

    I know, dream on.


    • Mike

      September 23, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      I know it’s been said before, but do be sure to head over to Adobe and give them your feedback as well. Chances that they’ll see comments here are pretty slim. Who knows if it will produce results, but it sure can’t hurt…

    • Lee

      September 25, 2011 at 12:35 pm

      Roger that.

    • Lee

      September 25, 2011 at 12:41 pm

      John, I don’t think that’s likely as, unless I’m mistaken, they’ve put those features in LightRoom 3. So, it seems to me, that would be counterproductive to their sales model. I use LR3 as well as PSE9 so I have everything I need (and almost everything I’d like) for my professional work.

      • Bill

        October 1, 2011 at 6:36 am

        LR3 with PSE is the combination I have found I like the best as well. It is more to do with the fact that I also found PSE orgainizer confusing and not as smooth as LR3. I am using PSE6 though. Has the orgainizer improved with the new releases?

  11. Dave

    September 24, 2011 at 10:20 am

    So far, I’ve made an upgrade every other year, and just purchased PSE10 (upgrading from PSE8). In past upgrades, I haven’t yet seen a compelling reason to make the additional purchase every year.

  12. Irene

    September 25, 2011 at 12:05 am

    None of the features I see here make it worth upgrading to PSE10 for me.
    I would only upgrade to Photoshop if I could afford it.

  13. Jane

    September 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    I am very disappointed that Adobe has already come out with another version. I believe that Adobe has a responsibility to fix things that are wrong with version 9 before going to version 10. I,too, like several of the other responders feel that they should fix the email attachments so we can attach photos in the PSE to send to friends. I am very thankful that Photoshop Elements Techniques continues to support past versions. I have learned so much.

    • Lee

      October 1, 2011 at 2:17 am

      Jane, I concur with you in both points you made. From what I’ve seen of Adobe, they don’t put much effort into fixing Bugs or improving their products between “major” releases. PSE9 has been out 12+ months and the current version is 9.0.3. Only three tweaks in 12 months? Unfortunately for us, that’s typical of Adobe. Also consider their nose-bleed retail and “on sale” pricing. Customer satisfaction isn’t their prime concern. (This also may explain why their stock “ADBE”, along with Microsoft “MSFT”, isn’t where you want to put your money. Adobe still believes they’re the software industry’s alpha dog, as they were just before the tech bubble burst.)

  14. James

    September 30, 2011 at 4:24 pm

    I refuse to pay full price for a few add-ons. Adobe needs to value its existing users and offer upgrades.

    • Chris

      November 7, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      It would be so nice if we could choose which feature we can upgrade by downloading that particular one and not pay so much for a full version. I really like the text on a path and wish I could just get that.

  15. Bobbi

    October 1, 2011 at 3:41 am

    I currently have and use Pse8, and I am still waiting for – and will definately purchase – the next edition that will include a Kaleidascope effect. I have to keep switching from my Paint Shop Pro (which has a FANTASTIC Kaleidascope effect) back to Elements. Other than using PSP for this effect, I use Pse8 for everything else, and all the time. Please look into including this much popular feature in the next edition. PSE Rocks !!

  16. Marilyn

    October 1, 2011 at 7:02 am

    I have been using Elements 8 on my computer and am very happy with it. I am thinking of purchasing an IPad2 and am wondering if Elements can be loaded on it.

  17. Gretta

    October 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm

    Does anyone know if the Mac version of Photoshop Elements 10 has finally gotten the ability to create animated slideshows? In version 9 the Mac version still can only create pdf slideshows (rather useless), whereas the Windows version can create great animated slideshows complete with an optional pan and zoom feature.

  18. KEN

    October 5, 2011 at 2:54 am

    I can’t believe neither the reviewer of this software, nor anyone else who has commented so far, has missed a HUGE GLARING FLAW in Elements 10 — there is no support for 64-bit systems! Yes, I understand the people with older machines who rightly say “I’m not paying for this if it can’t run on my computer.” But the opposite is just as aggravating: for those of us with fast, sleek, ultra-fast and modern Macs, why would I want to pay $75 to upgrade to something that STILL doesn’t run in 64-bit mode? (Elements 9 didn’t either.) What is Adobe SMOKING?

    Don’t believe me? Here is the quoted text right off the Elements 10/Elements Premiere 10 tech specs page (the regular Elements 10 only page made no mention of processor compatibility at all, which is another bogacity from Adobe):

    “Mac OS X v10.5.8 through v10.7 (all applications run native on 32-bit operating systems and in 32-bit compatibility mode on 64-bit operating systems)”

    Simply, astoundingly, stupid.

    • Rick LePage

      October 5, 2011 at 9:19 am


      I’ll be honest – I don’t really think that Elements _has_ to be 64-bit compatible. Many Macs nowadays come with 8GB of RAM, and all of that is supported by Elements 9 and 10.

      If you’re a professional, who is working with huge (gigabyte-sized) images, you won’t be using Elements; you’ll be using Photoshop, and that has to be 64-bit compatible (and was, with CS5).

      I would much rather see important feature additions – true actions support, the Lens Blur filter, and a few others – than see 64-bit support. Five years from now, all software and operating systems will be 64-bit, and RAM will be much more plentiful, but you’re honestly not going to see a noticeable performance hit between a 32-bit version of Elements and one that’s 64-bit compatible. Seriously.


  19. Toby

    October 7, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    I have been using 8 since it came out and tried 9 and have had a bad time using it. Don’t like the organizer at all. iPhoto works just fine for me. Might try 10 and see if it will work any better. Has anyone had andy trouble using iPhoto with 8 or 9?


  20. Ron

    November 17, 2011 at 6:32 am

    I just installed elements 10 but when I try to add my nik plugins color efex pro 3, silver efex 2 and viveza 2 it says elements cannot read these files. Is anyone else having this problem? Any suggestions? Thnaks Ron

    • Steve

      November 22, 2011 at 1:50 am

      Ron, I just installed PSE 10, I too have Color Efex Pro. What I ended up doing was going back to the NIK Website, I logged in and downloaded the same version again. The version installed itself into Photoshop Elements 10. There is an area of NIK where you can access your activation codes should you ever lose your computer. When I reinstalled Nik Color Efex back, it did reinstalled back into Aperture, Photoshop and my new Elements 10. I was running Elements 9. It never asked me to reactivate using the code. I tried googling how to move Nik from 9 to 10 and found nothing. I hope this helps. If you go to the Nik website, look at the top head far right for login. You will see your purchases from NIK with activation codes.

  21. Roger

    November 22, 2011 at 3:55 am

    I am considering an up grade to Elements 10 for Mac from Elements 6. I really like Bridge as my organizer, can I continue to use it with Elements 10?

    I also have a friend that is new to Elements 9 and HATES the organizer. Can he acquire Bridge?

  22. Steve

    November 22, 2011 at 6:33 am

    Roger, I just upgraded from 9 to 10 and enjoy using bridge as my image organizer. When you open Photoshop Elements 10, on the opening screen upper right corner is a link called Settings, you can change how you want Elements to open, mine opens straight to the EDIT part of the application, not the Organizer. While using 9 I did not use the organizer, I stayed with Bridge and had no issues. The same with 10…I am staying with Bridge. You are going to like the upgrade. I started with 6 on my Mac several years ago. I got very use to Bridge and have never wanted to move from it. Bridge was part of Elements until version 9 I think. I tried the organizer in 9 and also did not like it. I wish Adobe would reorganize the organizer to bridge. It would seem so simple since so many like it. I hope this helps. Hopefully more folks will chime in.

    Take Care


    • Steve

      November 22, 2011 at 6:34 am

      I forgot to mention, I too am running a Mac. No issues at all.

  23. James

    December 5, 2011 at 2:58 pm

    Has anyone had difficulty installing pse 10 on windows 7?

    • Rick LePage

      December 5, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      I have installed it on three Windows 7 machines, James, and haven’t had any issues – what types of things are happening?

  24. James

    December 10, 2011 at 8:38 am

    basically program will not complete the install. probably too much to explain, but basically i have spent too many hrs. with adobe tech “support” only to have the the issue unresolved. I own several previous versions of elements and have never had this problem occur. Their solution last week was to download and install the trial version which of course doesn’t work either. I guess the only option is to forget it or spend more time working on this. I think i prefer root canal ! anyway if you have any thoughts on this i would greatly appreciate it.

  25. Huguette

    October 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    I just subscribe again.

    I updated to Photoshop Element 10 and I tried to use the Greeting card and a message say”Valid size not available for this creation”. I’m using a Mac and I will like if someone can help me. I’m taking a course and I would like to use this option of making nice greeting card.

    Thanks in advance.

    Huguette Cheff

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