Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 review

It's at this time of year that Adobe historically refresh their entry level image manipulation package, Photoshop Elements. True to form Adobe have recently launched version 11 of the popular software. Previous versions have only benefited from minor tweaks as opposed to major changes, so this time it's nice to see some more sizeable improvements that are obvious from first opening the program.

All components of the program have benefited from a visual makeover, with a fresh new logical layout applied to both the Organizer and Editor. With this latest version it is plain to see that Adobe listened to feedback with regards to the dated interface. It is fair to say that the whole program has been completely redesigned from the ground up with everything appearing more logical in terms of layout. This redesign extends to all components of the program, and is clear to see when launched from the desktop shortcut. The splash screen now includes links to various video tutorials and a welcome help facility.

Elements Organizer
Unlike previous versions the Organizer is now a pleasure to use. It is clear and concise in terms of layout, with relevant controls laid out in a logical sequence. One particularly useful feature is the ‘Places facility’ which replaces maps from previous versions. I found this remarkable easy to use and surprisingly accurate. Having dismissed this function in previous versions I can confidently say that I would use this with Elements 11.

Adobe Camera Raw (ACR)
Editing RAW files in Elements 11 is very similar to previous versions although the processing engine has now been updated to version 2012 (which is essentially the cut down version of the RAW processing engine used in CS6).

Elements Editor 
Another welcome change is the layout of the editing tools within the Editor panel - all the relevant tools are now separated into different sections, which is much more logical and easier to access. This also extends to the tool specific sub menus which can now be found at the bottom of the screen as opposed to the top with previous version. This extends to the tool help facility, which is now a pleasure to use.

Another welcome inclusion within Elements 11 is the ability to create Actions. Although previous versions have supported Actions, these have always had to be either third party plug-ins or created independently in the full version of Photoshop Cs (5, 6 etc). Version 11 users are now able to create bespoke Actions, this invaluable tool is accessed via the Window menu as inWindow > Actions.

Adobe have limited the shelf life of previous Photoshop Elements versions with regards to compatibility, meaning that previous users of Elements who have recently purchased a new Digital SLR model will find they will have to update if they intend on using their cameras RAW capability.

All in all, Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 is a very polished and modern program which should be a joy to use, and I for one will look at upgrading and teaching users how to navigate the improved interface and use additional features.
  • Conclusion / New features
  • Refreshed modern interface
  • Inclusion of Places within Organizer
  • Inclusion of new RAW processing engine in Adobe Cameras Raw
  • Logical layout of tools / sub-menu’s within Editor
  • More refined extraction tools
  • Inclusion of Photoshop Actions
  • 64-bit compatibility
Anthony Sinfield will be running courses on using Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 from January 2013. CLICK HERE for dates and more information on the training course.

1 comment:

dimer said...

Thank you for this helpful summary.

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