Photoshop Elements 15 is here!

I know that my readers rely on me to review the new Photoshop Elements releases each year and it's a task I truly look forward to. Photoshop Elements is absolutely my program of choice for digital scrapbooking and all sorts of photo editing projects. It's the less expensive version of Photoshop geared more toward the everyday creator. Make no mistake though, it's powerful! Unless you are a high end designer, I really believe it is the only program you need!

The software is available with or without Premiere Elements (video editing) so you can choose the product (or bundle) based on your needs. The price is lower if you are upgrading from a previous version than if you are buying for the first time.

Here are a few of my favorite features from Adobe Photoshop Elements 15:

More filters and effects. I especially like the Smart Looks option that recommends 5 effects that would look the best on your photo.

Guided edits are one of the most powerful tools offered in PSE 15.

Fixing photos by the batch is a great new upgrade!

Of course my readers are going to be very interested with what is new in the expert mode since that is where digital scrapbookers do their thing. The workspace is clean and bright and the setup is familiar. This is a screen shot taken while using my free template set in PSE 15. 

The biggest upgrade is the ability to group layers. This is something you previously had to use the full Photoshop program to do. Why group or link layers? It's mostly about reducing clutter in your layers stack. It's also helpful if you want to apply a certain effect or shadow set to a large number of layers at the same time. The Adobe website has more explanation and Heddy wrote a post about this topic at The Daily Digi. 

I still love creating collages in PSE. This is not a new feature, but it is still one that I use a lot and I'm glad they keep improving it with each version. In the expert screen, go to the "create" drop down menu on the top right of the screen and choose "photo collage". I select the 12x12 size so I have a square layout, but there are other options as well.

Then after you select the pictures you want included in the collage (have them all open in the photo bin and just select all of them), run the collage feature. It will autofill for you and you can move things around as you please. You can also choose different layouts on the bottom right of the screen.

Super quick and easy! In fact, that is exactly what I love about using PSE 15 (and it's previous versions) - it is always super quick and easy!

The one question I always get when I post my annual review is "Do I NEED to upgrade?" As always, my answer depends on your circumstances. If you don't mind spending $79 for the Elements upgrade or $119 for the Elements + Premiere Video, than it's a no-brainer. These are great programs with the most updated features!

If you aren't sure, consider what version you are currently using. If you are using 13 or 14 and are happy with them, you are just fine to keep using them. If you are using an older version like 12 or under, you will probably really notice a difference in workflow and tools that will make it worth the money. 

I still use Photoshop Elements a lot so I love having the latest and greatest version to play with. I'm happy with the changes that have come to version 15 and I can't wait to get digi scrapping!