Photoshop Elements has long been synonymous with image editing on PCs and Macs. In fact, if you ask most average consumers, they'll say they use “Photoshop” on their computers, when what they really mean is Photoshop Elements. Adobe launched a refresh of the software late last year with new features for Photoshop Elements 9 ($79.99). Let’s take a closer look at this latest update.
Despite the affordable price, Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 is a surprisingly complete photo editing solution with a number of new features to help spark your creativity. The new, easy-to-use interface and tools promise to make your life easier whether you’re performing a complex photo edit or simply sharing your family photos on Facebook. Here is a quick overview of the newest features:
Organizer and Content-Aware Fill
For starters, the new Organizer application truly is a major part of what sells Photoshop Elements 9. The old, cumbersome photo browsing and cataloguing tools in Adobe Bridge have finally been replaced with a simple user interface. You can add keywords (tags) to your photos to make searching for images easier, you can create albums and even locate all photos with a specific person in them thanks to the new facial recognition software that Adobe calls “People Recognition.”
The newest version of Photoshop Elements genuinely seems to be aware of everything in your photo library. Not only does the Organizer make it easy to locate the photos you want, but the updated Spot Healing Brush now takes full advantage of Adobe’s new content-aware technology (formerly seen in Photoshop CS5). The old Spot Healing Brush did an okay job of covering blemishes or fixing dust spots, but the new content-aware Spot Healing Brush fills in the area with matching details, textures, and colors from the surrounding area.
As you can see in the images below, the content-aware fill sometimes has a hard time perfectly matching a complex background when filling a large area, but it does a surprisingly good job and you can always use the clone stamp tool to massage the final details when you fill in a giant area of your photo. Bottom line, Elements 9 is great for removing telephone wires, blotting out bystanders, or simply erasing any unwanted objects from your photos as if they were never there.
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