Hi everyone. I want to let you know that Adobe has announced a new version of Elements. Photoshop Elements 9, which is available for Mac and Windows users, includes several interesting new features–as well as one very significant change for Mac users.
On the editing side of things, you’ll find that the Spot Healing Brush now offers a Content Aware option that attempts to erase unwanted objects by analyzing the surrounding image—whether it’s a rocky landscape or grove of trees—and guessing at what the missing background should look like. It’s a great timesaver for tasks like fixing torn photos or removing strangers. You’ll also find–finally!–true layer masks, which let you selectively hide or reveal part of any layer. That’s right, no more playing with workarounds like empty adjustment layers, which will make a lot of us very happy.
For those who are looking to mimic a particular look, but aren’t sure how to go about it, Elements 9 adds new quick-fix tools. The Fun Edits section of the Guided Edit mode, for example, lets you quickly apply automated actions, including adding reflections, creating the cross-processed look of a Lomo camera, building 3D pop-out effects and Pop art images, and more. On the other hand, if you have a favorite photo—such an image by Ansel Adams—and want to mimic the colors or tones in your own photos, you can load it into the new Photomerge Style Match tool and dial in the effect.
For Mac users, the biggest change with Elements 9 is the inclusion of the Organizer file-management software, which until now was offered exclusively to Windows users. This means that Mac users who had developed an efficient workflow in Bridge will have to acclimate to a new interface. But it also means you’ll be able to take advantage of some of the Organizer’s more interesting features, including face recognition, slideshow tools, predesigned print layouts, and online sharing options.
If you need help getting caught up with the Organizer, you can check out one of the videos posted in our new Elements 9 Learning Center. (By the way, if you used the Organizer in Elements 8 on Windows, you won’t find many new changes in this version beyond a new option to share your photo on Facebook.)
Photoshop Elements 9 also offers several more subtle, though still very welcome changes, including larger, easier-to-read interface text and enhanced panorama blending tools that attempt to fill in missing areas of your scene.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention that Premiere Elements, Adobe’s consumer video-editing software, has also been updated—and like the Organizer is now available for the first time on the Mac. Premiere Elements 9 adds improved audio controls, new themes and effects, an option to upload videos to Facebook, and more.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 is available for $100. (You can get it bundled with Premiere Elements 9 for $140.) Although there’s no upgrade price, it does come with a $20 mail-in rebate.
If you’re interested in checking out some of the new Elements 9 features in more detail, we’ve got you covered.
Of course, we understand that not everyone is interested in upgrading to each new version of Elements. And that’s perfectly fine by us. Here at Photoshop Elements Techniques, we support all recent versions of Photoshop Elements, both for Mac and Windows—no small task, let me tell you. We also try to be very clear about those tutorials and tips that are specific to only the latest version. So you can rest easy knowing you’ll continue to find helpful and relevant tutorials regardless of whether you make the switch or not.