I have been lucky enough to be invited to the press conference announcements the last few years when Adobe has updated their Photoshop Elements programs. If you’ve read this blog, or listened to me on The Digi Show, you know that I’m a longtime and very loyal PSE fan! I truly believe it’s a fantastic program offered at a reasonable price. I would consider myself a high level user of the photo editing features as well as the digital scrapbooking components of the program. Each year, I’m amazed to see how they have topped themselves from the previous (and already fabulous) product. This year was no exception and I’m excited to tell you about what’s new with PSE 11.
The down-low on what you need to know:
- Photoshop Elements 11 is available now. It was released today! You can download a free trial on the website if you want to try it out for up to 30 days. You can purchase an electronic copy on the Adobe site, or order the physical product from Amazon or get it at your nearest retailer (probably about mid October).
- You can also purchase PSE 11 in a bundle with Premiere Elements 11 (for video). I’m not going to cover that program today, but I’m hoping to have some time to play around with some video editing and then post a review in October. I have watched the official Adobe videos and tutorials on Premiere Elements though and it is a great program! You can also download a free trial of Premiere Elements and it can be purchased with PSE 11 or on it’s own.
- My digital scrapbooking buddies are going to ask me if they have changed anything with the text on a path option they introduced in 10 and the answer is no. I asked the product manager the same question and he said they didn’t change anything with that feature for this version. The bottom line is that you can do some limited text on a path work in PSE 10 and PSE 11, but I wouldn’t buy the programs just for that because the full Photoshop will handle that better. If text on a path is a very important tool for you, then you should spring for the full Photoshop. It’s not a big deal for me though so I don’t worry about it.
- If you ever use actions or have thought about using them, it’s worth upgrading to version 11 JUST for the new action player feature. I’m not even kidding – it’s a huge improvement! Oh, and you can add “Styles” in a new easy way as well! See below for more details.
- Can you really get by with Photoshop Elements if you’re a digital photographer and/or a digital scrapbooker? YES! Of course, you will probably want the full Photoshop if you are a designing or photography professional, but in most cases I would say that PSE will get the job done nicely for you. I’ve been digi scrapping for 7+ years now and I still love PSE. I’ve been using a digital camera since 2002 and I’m still very impressed with the options and capabilities for photo editing that come with Photoshop Elements. The new PSE 11 offers the best tools that have ever been available in this consumer level program. Good stuff!
Show me what’s new:
- A major overhaul of the interface. The screens, icons, and workspace are bigger, brighter, and easier to read and navigate. It’s a big surprise the first time you open it up because it looks so different from previous versions!
- More instant sharing options accessible from within the program; Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook, Flickr, email, and more.
- My favorite improvement has to do with actions. PSE has supported actions for a long time now, and you can see how I’ve used actions in photo editing on this blog post. Now there is an actions player that is brought to life as a main part of the User Interface, so you can apply the same edits to multiple photos or complete a complicated editing process in just a few clicks. You know what this means? No more tricky installations for actions in PSE! This is life-changing for me and I don’t say that lightly! I used to be so scared of actions because it was hard to figure out how to install them. Then I got over it and learned how to use them anyway, but now there is nothing to hold anyone back from using actions in PSE. Seriously awesome!
- The next best thing is that you can also easily load styles. No more fumbling around with instructions on where to put them, just pull up the menu and locate the style you want to use! Need some ideas for how to use styles? Check out this post I wrote for The Daily Digi.
- I’m happy that there are even more guided edits now, including step-by-step help creating tilt-shift effects that make photos look like miniature scenes, vignettes that draw attention to the center of your photos, and high- and low-key effects that add energy or drama with high levels of white or black.
- I love that there are even more filter effects to play with. I love photo filters!
- Many improvements have been made to the organizer feature. I especially like the idea that you can view “events”.
- There is a new map your photos feature that looks really neat! The Places view in Photoshop Elements 11 integrates with Google maps, enabling you to organize and search photos and videos by location. Simply type the name of a location in the search field and drag and drop photos and video clips on that location on the map to add the geo information.
After taking some time to test out the new features in Photoshop Elements 11, I would definitely recommend it to anyone who uses a digital camera and/or wants to make some creative projects on their computer. If you only use it for photo editing, it’s well worth the money. If you use it for adding word art, making invitations, creating collages, or many other simple photo projects, you will be very happy with this program. If you use it for digital scrapbooking, you will find it to be an excellent program with a lot of creative capabilities. The upgrades in this edition make a big difference to someone who wants to push the boundaries of the program with extra actions and styles that will make your creations into masterpieces. I wholeheartedly give PSE 11 a big Scrapbook Lady seal of approval!