Adobe Photoshop Elements is a raster graphics editor for entry-level photographers, image editors, and hobbyists. It contains most of the features of the professional version but with fewer and simpler options. The program allows users to create, edit, organize, and share images. It is a successor of Adobe Photoshop LE (Limited Edition).
Formerly introduced alongside Adobe Photoshop version 6, Photoshop Elements targets photography enthusiasts and thus lacks many features that make it useful in a proper print production environment. For example, Photoshop Elements cannot export files in the CMYK color mode, supports a simplified color management system, and excludes detailed soft-proofing. It also includes a limited set of Photoshop plugins and instead has several features aimed at non-experts (such as removing the red-eye effect or changing the skin tone in a picture). An example of a redesigned feature would be the Variations correction dialog. Some versions can, however, open, edit, and save PDFs.
Auto Curate: Finding (most of) your best pics
Designed to speed the process of identifying your best pictures, Auto Curate — located in the Organizer component of the software — automatically analyzes your images based on some criteria, including quality, composition, and focus. The software also takes into account facial recognition, Smart Tags (a feature that automatically or manually labels subject matter, such as dog, automobile), and other parameters. The latter attempts to intelligently include people who are important to you, adding an emotional component to the curated collection of photos. A slider allows you to choose how many images are selected, with a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 20,000. By default, images are analyzed when they are imported into the Organizer. You have to wait until the initial analysis is completed in the background before you can run the Auto Curate and see the results. If you click Auto Curate too soon, you get a message saying, "Auto curation is in progress. Try again later." Only when this analysis is complete can you click Auto Curate to see the culled results.
One-Click Slideshow: Basic but effective
The automatic image selection also works with the enhanced, one-click Slideshow feature. Creating a slideshow with this new, one-click method is super simple; just click a button and decide whether you want to use Auto Curate, and Elements will select a theme, an opening slide, and a music track and put it all together. Of course, you can change the various components: Choose a different theme, change the title slide, add additional slides and captions, or replace the soundtrack with another supplied by Elements or from MP3 files on your computer. Although you may want to change a few (or more) aspects of the slideshow segments selected by the software, the automated process gives you a good head start. Unfortunately, the Slideshow feature is pretty essential, so if you want to have more control over transitions or fading the soundtrack, it's best to look elsewhere. (Photodex ProShow Gold is a great slideshow/multimedia program, although the desktop version is available only for Windows. The web version is cross-platform, though.)
Open Closed Eyes: Picasso-like
Building on tools for facial-feature adjustment tools such as "Turn frowns upside down" (which allows you to transform frowns into smiles), Elements 2018 is now equipped to substitute opened eyes for closed ones. It's a problem we've all experienced — when a subject blinks at the exact time you click the shutter. Elements suggest pictures from which to grab a substitute pair of eyes, but the results are generally at little bizarre, as seen in the screenshot below. It's best to find the same subject in a similar pose. That shouldn't be too difficult if you've taken a couple of consecutive snaps of the same person because the lighting, pose, and other parameters should be the same. I took several pictures for this purpose, asking the subject to keep her eyes closed in one shot and opened in the other. This produced much better results, as seen below. It would be nice to have additional tools, including one to adjust the eye placement, because they don't always align perfectly.
Auto Selection: Helpful, but needs refinement.
As with previous versions, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 is equipped with various selection tools, including the Magic Wand, Lasso Tool, and Selection Brush Tool, each with its own level of difficulty and accuracy. The new Auto Selection feature is the easiest of them all. Basically, you just have to draw a box around the object you want to select, and Elements does the rest. You can even select multiple objects or subjects in the same image.
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