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Photoshop Elements 9 is here

By Kelly  ·  September 20th, 2010

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.

The new Content Aware option in the Spot Healing Brush can make quick work of repairing old photos.

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.

The new Out Of Bounds option in Guided Edit mode.

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.

The Organizer looks for people in your photos so you can tag them with the correct name.

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.

54 Replies to Photoshop Elements 9 is here:

  1. Robert

    September 20, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    I sure would like to hear that there is a Windows 7 64bit version. Anyone?

    • Rick

      September 21, 2010 at 11:11 am

      It is not 64-bit, on either Windows or Mac. Not quite sure why.

      • Dennis

        September 28, 2010 at 6:06 pm

        Its a 32bit app — but I installed it on my office PC as a test, which is Win7 64bit and I had no problems. I did NOT have a large set of photos (about 50), but I ran through organizer stuff and some editing.

        My real machine is at home and its XP 32bit — but I plan to swap my office PC to home soon, so I was concerned, thus the test.

    • Cheryl

      September 23, 2010 at 6:51 am

      I have PE 6 on Windows 7, 64 bit. I was planning to buy PE 9. What’s the issue?

    • Mary

      January 14, 2011 at 12:48 pm

      I Can’t find the content aware button on pse9

      • Marcia

        January 24, 2011 at 11:01 am

        Click on the spot healing brush and it will show up in the top menu bar

  2. Ronald

    September 21, 2010 at 1:46 am

    I too hope that there is a Win 7 64 bit version available. Looking forward to downloading the trila dn see how it goes.

  3. Victoria

    September 21, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Definitely going to upgrade this time (currently using PSE6 on Vista). Having palpatations over the content-aware option. :-) Any idea on the date when it will actually be available? The adobe sites (UK and US) seem to still be flogging 8 on their PSE pages.

    • Victoria

      September 21, 2010 at 7:20 am

      Answered my own question. Page is now up on adobe uk – won’t let me buy at the moment, but will remain patient as surely imminent.

    • John

      September 23, 2010 at 9:04 am

      I downloaded a trial of PSE9 last night. I think they say it should be out in October

  4. Larry

    September 21, 2010 at 8:48 am

    I think I will update this time…from PSe7…I have learned enough to appreciate the new features in PSe9.

  5. Ella

    September 21, 2010 at 9:30 am

    I am anticipating purchacing same!!

  6. Laton J

    September 21, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    It really sounds very interesting. I have PSE7 and I did not buy 8 but PsE9 sounds very good. I will try to check out before I purchase it.

  7. Jim

    September 21, 2010 at 5:43 pm

    Downloaded in US tonight and it is pretty slick. It is still 32 bit. Easy install and conversion of 30M file Organizer was fast and seamless.
    Interface is different, lighter and will take some getting used to and I don’t believe it is adjustable.
    One bug I have had in several versions was scrolling ability in typefaces and that is working in 9!
    Content-aware is slick on the few little trials I did.

  8. Salvatore

    September 22, 2010 at 9:51 am

    I have Photoshop Elements 8 and love it but I think there should be an “upgrade” price for Elements 9.

    • Brian

      September 22, 2010 at 4:10 pm


    • Dave

      September 23, 2010 at 10:57 am

      Agree. There have been upgrade prices on other versions. Why not this one?

    • Turner

      September 28, 2010 at 12:53 pm

      I agree as many others: purchased in December 2009 which is less than a year. I am not asking for a free upgrade but perhaps a reduced upgrade price of $29.99 or in an acceptable price range. If this option is not available I will remain with Lightroom 3 as my primary editing software which is excellent and has many features for a photographer at my current skill level.

  9. Joseph

    September 22, 2010 at 7:00 pm

    Elements 9 now has layer mask capability, long overdue! Now that it’s here I would like to share an editing technique that, as far as I know, has not been described before. It involves using a color swatch pre-set to selectively and incrementally alter the opacity of the mask. I also use the technique as a dodge & burn tool. Anybody interested?

    • Gail

      December 27, 2010 at 11:04 am

      Yes, using a color swatch pre-set to incrementally alter opacity sounds like a neat trick. I would love to know how you do that.
      send2gail @

  10. John

    September 23, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I am about to enter the world of really meta-tagging my photo’s and think the face recognition will be quite useful.

    Does anyong feel the need to go to Lightroom for more advanced editing / corrections or is PSE 8 as good?

    Anyone have asource for a good tagging protocol?

    Love this site ………..

  11. PETER

    September 23, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    Will PSE-9 work with the X-rite color checker Passport software?
    When will PSE put out a video on how X-rite color checker works with PSE -7/8/9?

  12. Joyce

    September 23, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    A question on Organizer: is it any less “buggy” than it has been in PSE7 and earlier versions? I had to finally give up and buy ACDSee. It was too frustrating to use Organizer.


  13. Toni

    September 24, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I haven’t been able to down a trail! don’t know why that is.

    I have pse 8 for mac and use bridge (acr) to do some initial editing it that still there?


  14. John

    September 25, 2010 at 1:39 pm

    This is really a drag. I just bought E8 5 weeks ago. There-awta-b-a-law!

    • Dennis

      September 25, 2010 at 6:02 pm

      John – check with Adobe (probably their sales contact). Sometimes a company will give you a rebate on the old version if it was purchased within a given period of time prior to the release of a new version. For the future, remember that Adobe has been releasing new versions in the fall of each year.

  15. Dennis

    September 25, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    Does PSE 9 have the same Print function as PSE 8 or have they restored the functions available in previous versions (e.g. ability to set position of photo on page, ability to scale, etc)?

    • Katharyn

      September 27, 2010 at 12:41 pm

      I, too, would like to know if the ability to set the position of the photo on the page and/or scale it is back. Lots of wasted paper printing in the center.

    • Kelly

      September 27, 2010 at 1:10 pm

      Hi Dennis,
      The Print dialog in version 9 does let you specify an exact position for the photo on the page.

      • Katharyn

        October 4, 2010 at 12:29 pm

        Can you tell me how to access that. I don’t see this capability in the trial version. Thanks.

      • Kelly

        October 4, 2010 at 2:11 pm


        When you go to the Print dialog box from the editor, look in the bottom center of the pane. You should see a box labeled Position. Deselect the Center Image option and you can specify the position of the image on the page using the Top and Left fields.

      • Katharyn

        October 6, 2010 at 8:41 am

        Thank you so much Kelly. It was too easy. What I realize now, after your reply, is that you can only do this in Editor mode not in Organizer mode. Thanks again.

  16. Jill

    September 25, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Propaganda for PSE9 boasts “larger, easier-to-read interface text”. Is it really enough larger to read easier? I just upgraded from E4 to E8 2 months ago, and if I hadn’t known what some of the toolbars said before, I wouldn’t have been able to find anything in E8. It’s annoyingly small print, and white on black doesn’t help… major eye strain when working for long periods.

    Has anyone actually SEEN the interface? And how old are your eyes? Mine are over 50, and they need all the help they can get!

    • Rick LePage

      September 26, 2010 at 12:52 pm


      My eyes are pretty bad, and I think that Elements 9’s interface is much better to read than any of the previous versions. There are a few videos (ours and others on the Adobe site), where you can see, and you can always download a trial version to see if you find it readable enough for you.


  17. Judy

    September 26, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I just bought PSE8 for the Mac in August. Is there a free upgrade to PSE9?

    • Rick LePage

      September 26, 2010 at 12:51 pm

      No Judy,

      Unfortunately Adobe doesn’t offer upgrades of any type with Photoshop Elements. Depending upon when you purchased it, they do offer a sidegrade, but you’d need to call them to find out if you qualify. They’re at (800) 833-6687.


  18. Maureen

    September 26, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    My eyes are in their late 60s (I’m sure I’m not that old tho…lol) and PSE9 (trial version) is MUCH easier to see and utilize. I totally agree with Jill. I think I would have had a hard time learning on E8 with the size of the interface.

    I won a copy of ACDSee and will wait to see if the Mac version actually does come out this fall before I migrate from iPhoto to Organizer.

  19. Larry

    September 27, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    PSE 9 looks pretty good. Why is Tile and Cascade grayed out when I have several pictures loaded? I can arrange the pictures using the new arrangement button in the upper left hand corner but Tile and Cascade are still grayed out.

    Thanks, Larry M

  20. Wally

    September 28, 2010 at 9:37 am

    I upgraded from version 6 to 8 only because I bought a new computer and 6 would not work with windows 7. Adobe is bottom of the barrel when it comes to fixing glitches, i.e. – you can use a work-a-round to get an email sent but I only found out about it on a forum. Adobe NEVER answered my reply about this issue.

    I find it unacceptable that they don’t offer an upgrade price to existing customers. At this point I will switch to a competitor before I upgrade again.

  21. Alecia

    September 29, 2010 at 8:53 am

    I installed the trial version of 9 and it didn’t copy any of my plug-ins or additional brushes or effects that I’ve added over the past couple years. Do I have to reinstall everything? I also have OnOne Photoessentials 2 that I’ve been using with version six but I can’t seem to make the plug-in work on 9. Anyone else having problems?

  22. Jon

    October 1, 2010 at 1:15 pm

    I was expecting (or at least hoping) that PSE 9’s camera raw editor would be the full editor. It came with 6.1 (for Windows), and I immediately upgraded to 6.2 still hoping…was a HUGE disappointment!! ACR still has only the 3 tool pallets (basic, sharpening, white balance). It’s like being on training wheels when the rest of PSE 9 is like a motorcycle. What’s wrong with Adobe??

  23. charles

    October 4, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Just purchased the boxed edition at my local Apple Store. Installs Premiere Elements with PSE 9.0. Also it contains both Mac and PC install disc. That’s great in my case because I use both Mac and PC. Adobe offers a $20 mail in rebate… not an upgrade rebate… just $20 bucks back for buying the box. Thanks Adobe!

  24. Dennis

    October 10, 2010 at 11:18 am

    I have version PSE 8. Just upgraded my PC to Win 7/64. I am waiting for a 64 bit PSE before I upgrade again. I do have problems with Premier 8. Addressing 8G RAM with Premier 64 bit would be very helpful.

  25. Annette

    October 11, 2010 at 1:21 pm

    Costco Online is selling PSE9 for $80 plus a $20 mail-in rebate or $60 total. Purchase includes shipping & handling. Valid for orders placed September 21, 2010 through December 31, 2011.

    The Product Details tab has a nice list of features. Long URL…|84|20522|20533&N=4001512&Mo=13&pos=3&No=1&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=20533&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&ec=BC-EC9-Cat20522&topnav=

  26. John

    October 17, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    Don’t have much disk space. To get from Elem 7 to Elem 9, do you erase 7 or just add to? How much added disk space necessary? What happens to add-ons like Topaz Labs?


    • John

      October 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm

      No responses.

      Makes sense that month old blogs don’t get read.

  27. Eric

    October 22, 2010 at 3:43 pm

    i have not installed PSE9 yet, but i’ve upgraded from earlier versions of PSE many times (i have 8 now) and every time the install was “beside” the existing version of PSE, not “on top of.” that is, the old version of PSE remains on the system and can even be run if desired. Of course, you could always uninstall PSE 7 after you install 9.

    don’t know how much disk space is required but i’m sure the website will tell you.

  28. Patrick

    October 28, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    Annette, Do count on ever receiving the rebate on your discounted purchase. When you send the receipt and box-tab it tells Adobe to ignore you. I am still waiting for a rebate from July. I called,sent letters and now you may note my disappointment. I have been a Photoshop 7.0 and Adobe Elements 8 user with upgrades and add-ins. But I’ve made my last Adobe purchase.

  29. Harvey

    November 12, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I have PSE6 and just purchased PSE9 earlier today. Assuming I do not delete PSE6, and simply install PSE9 alongside, then when I open the PSE9 Organizer, will my 3,000 picture be there?

    • Harvey

      November 17, 2010 at 4:12 pm

      OK … I can now answer my own question. I just finished loading PSE 9, and its Organizer has full access to all the photos I had in my PSE 6 Organizer.

  30. Monique

    December 7, 2010 at 12:20 pm

    Hello Rick,
    I’ve been a PSE8 user for a couple of years and am a suscriber to the photoshop elements magazine.
    I also enjoy your tutorials very much they have been very helpful.
    I do have two questions for you.

    1. I recently changed over to PSE9 and the key word tags that I make in the organizer, ALL come out the same!!! A small orange tag instead of a heart or bird or whatever tag I choose. It is impossible
    to organize my catalog. I made a new catalog to hold all my scrapbook stuff, my papers and embellishments, brushes etc… I have thousands of items for my scrapbooking. So you can imagine
    how frustrating it is to have all the same keyword tag.. Is this a bug in the new PSE9?? The PSE8
    works good. How can this be fixed??

    2. I did not uninstall the PSE8. Should I just purchase the Elements+ add-on and work in this one
    instead of the PSE9 which is not working very well for the organizing part!! What do you think??

    • Rick LePage

      December 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm

      Hi Monique,

      there’s a thread over on Elements Village about the tag/icon issue that sounds like what you’re seeing, and it _looks_ like there’s a solution:

      You can’t mix and match between versions of Elements (i.e. using the 8 Organizer with the 9 Editor, or vice versa). I think the first thing I’d sort out is whether PSE9 will work for you in the long run, then figure out whether t makes sense to add Elements+ to the mix.

      Hope this is helpful.


  31. Bonnie

    May 13, 2011 at 9:27 am

    I have photoshop elements 8 and just bought 9…do I need to remove 8 to install 9 and will I lose my Topaz remask plug in?

  32. Barbara

    June 6, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Went from PSE 7 to 9 about a month ago – with all the help on this site and the elementsbox dot com, I have learned to do several things in PSE9 that I really like. I’m just learning using the layer mask, but these tutorials are helping a lot! Thanks and keep up the good info!

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