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Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 & Adobe Premiere Elements 11 First Look
by Theano Nikitas -  9/25/2012

Adobe has launched Adobe Photoshop Elements 11 and Adobe Premiere Elements 11, the latest editions of its enthusiast image and video editing software. Available for both Apple Mac and Microsoft Windows (including Windows XP), the software brings updates that are substantial, although not revolutionary. However, both applications offer a new user interface (UI) which is the easiest to use yet. This feature is particularly important for photographers who are just getting into video editing and are interested in learning Adobe Premiere Elements.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 11

Adobe Photoshop Elements 11's UI is lighter, cleaner and, in conjunction with larger icons, much easier on the eyes than the UI in Elements 10. While Photoshop Elements still offers the same options (Organizer, Editor, Create, and Share), navigation has been simplified throughout the application and is more user-friendly, thanks to the context-sensitive Action Bar at the bottom of the window. Here, you can effortlessly access the various options available to the current mode, depending on the active window.

Lots of tagging options are available, including a new geo-tagging feature. These fit perfectly with the Organizer's four options: Media, People, Places (with geo-tagging), and the new Events. As with any digital asset management tool, Photoshop Elements' Organizer is most effective if you take the time to utilize all of the program's tools to categorize your images for easier sorting.

Editing power remains strong, with a choice of Quick, Guided and Expert editing modes. In fact, several new Guided Edits have been added, including Tilt-Shift, Vignette and High-Key and Low-Key photo effects. Other creative options revolve around filters with new Comic, Graphic Novel and Pen & Ink additions, along with easier custom layouts and new templates for printed output and online albums. The ability to share images (and videos) to different sites has also been expanded.

Adobe has also incorporated Photoshop Creative Suite's Refine Edge feature in the latest version of Elements. This means that users can more effectively fine-tune selections in the Expert editing mode. Next to the revised interface, Refine Edge may be the most important new feature. On the other hand, geo-tagging is also going to be popular across the Elements user base.

You still can't create your own actions in Elements, as you can do in Adobe Photoshop Creative Suite. Elements 11, though, comes with a variety of actions. Better yet, you can import actions, too.

Adobe Premier Elements 11

Many of the same enhancements to Photoshop Elements 11 also apply to the video editing member of the Elements suite. Adobe Premiere Elements has also been updated with a new, fresh UI that's more comfortable on the eyes and simpler to navigate.

Since Premiere Elements and Photoshop Elements share the same Organizer, video clips will be included in the Media section of the Organizer. Yet these can also be tagged and organized according to People, Places and Events.

Correcting video and adding special effects is much easier than before, and Adobe has added some new options for this. Now, you can get creative by applying various movie styles such as Old Film or Red Noir to your videos. You can also utilize photo-blending to add a special touch.

Whether captured on a point-and-shoot camera or a DSLR (or anything in between), still photos can be transformed into slow motion footage or sped up frame-by-frame to make movies more interesting. You can even run some frames backwards.

There are plenty of other user-friendly options as well. And, when you're done, you can share the videos, through options that include a direct upload to Vimeo.

Stay tuned for our full review for more details.

Adobe Photoshop Elements $99.99 (full); $79.99 (upgrade). Photoshop and Premiere Elements bundled: $149.99 (full); $119.99 (upgrade).