Photoshop Elements 13 New Features


Photoshop Elements 13 New FeaturesPSE13_boxshot_sm
by Linda Sattgast

Hobbyists in the photography and scrapbooking market, who have made Photoshop Elements their top choice for software, will no doubt be anxious to hear about the new features of Photoshop Elements 13, released on September 24, 2014.

There are actually quite a few great new features, but I’ll start with my personal top three.

To watch my video on the new features of Photoshop Elements 13, click here.

Elements Live (eLive)

When you first open Photoshop Elements 13 you may be surprised to see a browser right inside Photoshop Elements. It’s called Elements Live, and it has its own button at the top. The other three standard views, Quick, Guided, and Expert, are just a click away, and Photoshop Elements will remember which view you had open when you close the program and reopen it.


I’m very impressed with eLive. Adobe is actually scouring the web to find the best content related to photography, learning Photoshop Elements, and inspiration, among other things. And it’s available right inside Photoshop Elements 13. Simply click on one of the display cards to open your regular browser and go to that particular website. New content will be added continually.

Next to the social media symbols on the right is the word HELP. This takes you directly to the page on where you can get help for Photoshop Elements—no need to search through Adobe’s website to find help.

Content Aware Fill

My second favorite feature is Content Aware Fill. “What?” you say. “What is Content Aware Fill?” Photoshop has had it for awhile, and I’m thrilled to see it in Photoshop Elements because it’s great for automatically replacing items you don’t want with other content from your photo.

Here’s an example of a photo problem. The extra leg in the upper right corner doesn’t do this photo any favors!


• Get the Lasso tool and click and drag around the object you want to remove.

• In the Menu Bar, choose Edit > Fill Selection. Note: Fill Selection will be grayed out if your image is a smart object or a vector file. (PSE 13 turns photos into smart objects if you drag them from the Photo Bin onto another document.) To fix this, in the Menu Bar choose Layer > Simplify Layer, and then Fill Selection will be available.

• When the Fill dialog box comes up, choose Content Aware from the menu. Make sure the Mode is Normal and the Opacity is 100%, and click OK.

• You might need to make some minor adjustments with the Clone Stamp tool—especially if you see a repeating pattern, but this does a really nice job of filling in your selection with similar content.

Here’s the result after using Content Aware Fill:


Inside Stroke Outline

The next feature that made my Top 3 was Inside Stroke Outline! So what’s the big deal about that, you say? Well, if you want to put a stroke outline around a photo, if all you have is an Outside stroke outline, you get rounded corners. Not pretty. With an Inside stroke, you get sharp pointed photo corners that look great! Scrapbookers often use strokes on their photos when they create a scrapbook page, so an option to choose Inside Stroke will be very welcome!


Just FYI—There is currently no preview thumbnail for Inside Stroke in the Styles panel, so you’ll need to access strokes in the Menu Bar by choosing Layer > Layer Style > Stroke, and then you’ll be able to choose Inside Stroke from the menu.

So those are my top three new features, but there are some other really nifty features in Photoshop Elements 13 as well.

Crop Suggestions

Crop Suggestions is a new feature of the Crop tool. It will suggest possible crops, which you can see by simply mousing over the thumbnails. You can also open the crop menu and choose a different aspect ratio for your photo, and Photoshop Elements will give you suggestions within those parameters.


Fix: Photo Bin Resizing Problem

There’s also a fix in Photoshop Elements 13. It fixes a problem in Photoshop Elements 12 where moving a file from the Photo Bin onto another document caused it to resize to the boundary of the destination document, e.g. a half inch button became a 12 inch button when moving it onto a 12×12 inch scrapbook page. Not so good!

So that problem has been fixed, but moving files from the Photo Bin onto another document now changes the files into smart objects. We’ve seen Adobe go back and forth on this issue. In some versions they’ve implemented smart objects, and in other versions they haven’t. In Photoshop Elements 13, we’re back to smart objects.


Some scrapbookers don’t like smart objects because there are many things you can’t do to smart objects unless you simplify them. Other people love them because they can resize papers, elements, and photos to their heart’s content during the design phase of scrapbooking without any loss of quality due to resizing.

If you’re in the “don’t like them” camp, there are plenty of other ways to move files onto another document, and you can also simplify a smart object by choosing Layer > Simplify Layer.

Other Features

Here are a few more nifty features in Photoshop Elements 13:

Facebook Custom Cover Photo

You can now easily create a custom cover photo for Facebook. You’ll find this option in the Create menu. As of this posting, there are only two themes available, but I’ve been told there will be more themes when Photoshop Elements 13 ships.


Photomerge Compose

This feature, found in the Enhance menu under Photomerge, simplifies the process of cutting an object or person from one photo and placing it into another photo. You’re told step-by-step what to do, making it much simpler for beginners, but more experienced scrapbookers will also enjoy it. There’s even a feature that helps you select soft edges, like hair.

Watch my video on how to use Photomerge Compose.

Photomerge Compose

Refine Selection Brush

It’s always exciting when there’s a new tool in the Tool Bar! The  new tool for this version is the Refine Selection Brush, which is nested with the Quick Selection Brush. Create a selection with another tool first, and then refine it with the Refine Selection Brush. The brush automatically changes to plus or minus based on your location to the selection outline, and it allows you to click and “push” the selection outline toward your desired edge.


My personal opinion is that it’s easier to simply adjust a selection edge with the Lasso tool, but a beginner might find it helpful to use the push method with the Refine Selection Brush.

Guided Edits: 3 Black & White Effects

Photoshop Elements 13 has three new Guided Edits in the Photo Effects category, and they all have to do with black and white effects.

• B&W Color Pop makes it very easy to select a color from a photo and gives you tools to refine your selection.


• B&W Selection is similar to B&W Color Pop, but use this one for more control over the selection process.

• Black and White has some very nice black and white presets and gives you the option to add a Diffuse glow and/or increase the Contrast.

More Photo Effect Choices

Adobe has added more Effects in the Quick section of Photoshop Elements 13. They’ve kept the original effects but made five variations of each effect. Some of them are quite nice, so check them out. Below is a before and after using one of the photo effects—Autumn.



Last but not least, Adobe has added support for high DPI on Windows and Retina display on Macs, and the Organizer has a new photo display and enhanced slideshow.

Should You Upgrade?

The question on everyone’s mind is always, “Should I upgrade?” For me it’s a no brainer. “Yes, of course! It’s a great version!” But you will have to weigh your pocket book and decide whether these are must-have features for you.

I recommend that you download a trial version of Photoshop Elements 13 and play with it for awhile. That will be the best way to make an informed decision!

Related Post: Transferring Files to a New Organizer


Linda SattgastAuthor: Linda Sattgast |
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120 Responses to “ Photoshop Elements 13 New Features ”

  1. Denise on September 3, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Could you recommend an easy to understand and thorough photoshop elements book. The one I have leaves me baffled and confused.

    • Linda Sattgast on September 3, 2016 at 6:38 pm

      Hi Denise—since I teach how to use Photoshop Elements I don’t keep up with other teaching books on that topic, but I do know that project-based learning is the best! So, if you find a book that has projects, you’ll learn better. That’s been my approach in my class, Learn Digital Scrapbooking. Each section of the online classroom has a series of short lessons followed by a project where you use the skills you just learned. (These lessons are pre-recorded so you can access them at any time in any time zone.)

      In each chapter of the class you’ll learn a new set of skills in logical order. As you progress, each project uses past skills along with your newly learned skills. Even if your focus isn’t digital scrapbooking, the skills you learn can be applied to any other kind of project.

      If you want to find out more about the class, you can check it out here. If you decide to take this class, you’ll have direct access to me to ask questions via an email contact button in the classroom, and I’m always happy to help out!

      We have a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, so if it doesn’t suit your learning style we’ll refund the cost of the class.

  2. Anil on January 30, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for really good article here!

    1. Do Photoshop Elements 13 (PSE13) and/or Photoshop Elements 14 (PSE14) have Smart Object Layer and Perspective Transform Object features? In PSE14, I do not see Smart Object Layer listed under Layer menu. I can see a Smart Object Layer in a PSD file provided to me, though.

    2. In PSE14, Create menu, I do not see any option for Facebook cover. Am I looking at the wrong place?

    Thanks again,

    • Linda Sattgast on January 30, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      Hi Anil,
      PSE 13 and 14 have smart objects but not like Photoshop where you can actually do something useful with them. Items dragged from the Photo Bin onto another document turn into smart objects, but their only use is to keep people from accidentally losing quality when they resize one file multiple times. Which I’m not so sure is something the average person is actually going to do. You can resize these smart objects but not edit them, e.g. apply a filter, paint on them, delete part of them, etc. They tend to confuse newbies.

      To answer your question about Perspective Transform, you can use the perspective feature with the Transform tool on smart objects, if that’s what you mean. Just about any other function can’t be done unless you simplify the layer first.

      Regarding the Facebook cover, click on the Quick option at the top of the program and click on Create. I see the Facebook header option there.

  3. Kim on September 19, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    Hi Linda, you sound like a pro so hopefully you can help me. I’m new to PSE 13 but learn fairly quickly. I’m using it for digital scrapbooking. I want to create photo books and print at Shutterfly or Apple. When I go to The Create drop down for Photobooks it only gives me the option to Print Locally and size of 11 x 8.5. How do I add in 12 x 12 and export to Shutterfly? I can create a work around, save to a file and drag & drop but it looks like PSE should mesh with Shutterfly and make it simpler.

    Thank you for your help!

    • Linda Sattgast on September 21, 2015 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Kim—Photoshop Elements used to sync with Shutterfly from within the program, but that has been dropped in the PSE13 version. Here’s what I recommend—I don’t personally like the built in Photo book option at all. It’s cumbersome and clunky to use and takes a long time each time you save it because it’s saving all the pages, not just the one you’re working on.

      If you create your own pages individually, you can upload them to Shutterfly, and you have more autonomy to work with your pages. I just filmed a set of videos on how to upload your pages to Shutterfly and create your book. I’ll be putting these videos in the Free Video section of our website soon, and I’ll also have a set of videos on how to work with templates to create your own pages. I expect this to be live by the middle of October 2015.

      That may not be the answer you were looking for, but even as an experienced instructor, I get frustrated every time I try to use the Photo Book option in Photoshop Elements. My best advice is to learn how to make your own pages. If you need more help with that, check out my Learn Digital Scrapbooking class.

  4. Maria Leal on July 29, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Hi Linda,
    I have been trying to permanently save free brushes into Photoshop Elements 13 but there is no preset folder to save it in?
    Thanks Maria

    • Jen White on July 29, 2015 at 9:18 pm

      Hi Maria. I’m not sure if you are working in Windows or Mac. But for Mac, the path to PSE13 Brushes is:

      Macintosh HD > Applications > Adobe > Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 > Support Files > Presets > brushes

      Windows will probably be something similar, but I can get the info for you if you cannot figure it out. 😀
      Hope this helps.

    • Linda Sattgast on July 30, 2015 at 12:42 am

      Here’s a link from our forum on installing 3rd party files in Photoshop Elements:

  5. Janet Jarzynski on July 3, 2015 at 9:43 am

    Hi Linda,

    Would there be a problem buying the Costco version if I don’t have a Costco nearby? Not sure why they have their own version except to have photos printed directly to their store.

    Thanks in advance…..Jan

    • Linda Sattgast on July 3, 2015 at 3:54 pm

      Costco products usually have something that sets them apart from other stores. Each year they feature some kind of “extra” with Photoshop Elements. For example, Digital Scrapper has had a training CD in the Photoshop Elements box 4 different times. I don’t remember their current freebie, but it could be free photo printing, as you mentioned, to get you acquainted with their services.

      You can order Photoshop Elements on the website and have it shipped if you don’t have a Costco nearby. I believe you can do this even if you’re not a member, but you might have to pay a slightly higher price. You might also try Amazon. They often have a competitive price.

    • Linda Sattgast on July 3, 2015 at 8:16 pm

      If you don’t have a Costco nearby, you can order Photoshop Elements from Costco’s website. If you’re not a member I think you can still purchase from there, but you might have to pay a little bit more. You might also check out Amazon.

      Costco usually does something special with their products to set them apart. We had a scrapbooking CD in the PSE box several times, and other times Costco features their own services, like their photo printing service.

  6. LeeAnn on May 21, 2015 at 4:52 pm

    I have PSE 13. I am new to Digital Scrapbooking. I think I may have done something wrong. When I first started using it the text spacing in all uses was normal. Now it is very wide spaced. I can’t find any answer, could you refer me to some help. It seems no one else has had this problem. Thank you. I am enjoying your Class on Enhancing Photos Fast.

  7. Lillian Cavanaugh on May 8, 2015 at 10:01 pm

    When I load actions, it appears as a drop down box but in PSE11, they were in icons on the right panel. Is there anyway to make them appear that way?

    • Linda Sattgast on May 10, 2015 at 1:42 am

      I’m not sure I understand your question. I take it you used to have PSE11 but you now are using PSE13. Is that correct? PSE11 and PSE13 load and use actions in exactly the same way, so I’m not sure what you’re referring to when you say icons. If you can give me a little more information, perhaps I can help you.

      PSE10 and earlier had thumbnails. PSE11 and later load actions as folders. Click on the triangle next to the folder to expand or collapse the folder to see the actions inside. Click on an individual action name (not the triangle next to the name) to select the action you want to run. Click the play button (triangle icon) at the top of the panel to run the action. I hope that helps. If it doesn’t, I’ll need a bit more info.

  8. Maggie on May 1, 2015 at 10:22 am

    I had CS3 and loved it, but lost the serial numbers in a move, and need to do a project ASAP. I bought the CD version of PSE13, and installed it, but it tells me I have to register my version (which I already did, and it shows in my Adobe acct), and tries to go to the site, and tells me that I don’t have the internet. We’ve tried every fix, including chatting with an Adobe rep. He took control of our computer, messed it up, and we were disconnected, and now our internet won’t even work. We had just de-fragged the hard drive to start with a clean slate. I’m so frustrated that I could cry. Can you help?

    • Linda Sattgast on May 1, 2015 at 1:47 pm

      I’m so sorry about your frustrating problem! While you’re trying to figure out what to do, can you simply use PSE 13 in Trial mode? That way you have 30 days to work things out with Adobe.

      I would also ask your Internet provider to help get your internet fixed and then try uninstalling and reinstalling PSE 13 using the serial number on the box.

  9. Mary on April 3, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Hi Linda,

    I have PSE13. In the previous version, when I viewed my pictures in the organizer, it allowed me to see on each picture who was tagged in the picture and what album the picture is in. With PSE13, the pictures are scrunched together and I can’t find any information on the picture itself. Only if I click on it and view singularly does it tell me who is tagged in the picture, but not which album. Is this feature available still and do I need to change a setting to get it back?


    • Tricia Roush on April 6, 2015 at 9:16 pm


      When you open PSE 13, make sure you click on the “Media” tab in the top center.

      Next, you’ll want to click on the menu View->Details. This will turn on the file details. If you want to see the file name, and tags, and such, then on the far right you will see “Tags” and “Information” (at the top, just underneath the options bar). Click on “Information” and you can see the file information as you click on each picture.

      Also with View->Details turned on, you will see a little green icon underneath the pictures that are in an album. If you hover your mouse over that icon, it will tell you what album that image is in.

      You may also want to turn on View->Filename and View->Gridlines to keep your images from being bunched together.

      To see albums, you can look at the left under the options bar and click on “Albums.”

      Does any of that help?

      -Tricia Roush
      Forum Director

  10. michael kilday on February 5, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    does Abode Photoshop Elements 13 have drag and drop features in photo editing?

    • Linda Sattgast on February 6, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      I’m not quite sure what you’re looking for with drag and drop features. In PSE 13 you have a choice of editing venues—Expert, Guided, and Quick. In the Expert mode there is automation in some of the tools, e.g. Red Eye and Smart Brush, and there’s automation in the Enhance menu where you select an option, and it does a really nice job applying an effect. In the Expert mode there’s also a lot more you can do if you know how.

      In the Quick Mode most of it is one-click automated with some option to make adjustments. In the Guided mode you have recipes of different effects, and you’re guided through each process. Most of the recipes are very simple and easy to achieve.

      If you were looking for something else, do let me know!

  11. Ivey on January 22, 2015 at 8:51 pm

    In 12, Clone Tool circle was 100% effective. In Elements 13, only the middle 25% of the Clone Tool Circle is effective? Any way to make whole Circle effective?

    • Linda Sattgast on January 23, 2015 at 12:37 pm

      Hi Ivey—check your brush. If it is 100% soft, the edges will not show the clone very well. If your brush is 100% hard, the clone will show all the way to the edge of the brush. However, a hard edge is usually only good for certain kinds of clones where you want to see a hard edge.

      Try setting your brush hardness in the middle to get more of the clone to show. To change the hardness of the brush, press Shift Right Bracket key to make it harder or Shift Left Bracket key to make it softer.

  12. ann on January 12, 2015 at 6:16 am

    this is possibly the wrong place to ask this but I cant import photos to PSE 13 anymore. Keeps telling me to do a back up even tho my system shows 6.1g free space. When I open PSE up follow the promt to do a back up but all I get is an error. I am so lost as to what to do any help would be appreciated. Thanks

    • Linda Sattgast on January 23, 2015 at 12:52 pm

      Hi Ann—are you referring to the Organizer? If so, have you tried backing up to an external drive (which is better for safekeeping anyway)? What does the error message say?

  13. Michelle on December 9, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Is there a way to organize most used actions? I hate scrolling thru all my actions when there are ones I use on most every photo. PSE11 had a way. When I upgraded to 12 I cant figure it out. So I am curious if 13 allows you to organize actions.

    • Linda Sattgast on December 9, 2014 at 6:48 pm

      Here are a couple of suggestions for organizing your actions:

      Method 1: Delete all current actions and load your actions by the most used to the least used because these actions are displayed in the order in which they were loaded—not alphabetically. I would use this for your absolute favorite sets.

      Method 2: For your favorite actions AND other actions, I would load them into the Preset folder inside Photoshop Elements where they will show up in the flyout menu of the actions panel and can be quickly loaded. Here is the navigation path:

      Windows: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Photoshop Elements (your version)\Presets\Actions

      Mac: Applications\Adobe Photoshop Elements (your version)\Presets\Actions

      NOTE: There is no Actions folder in the Preset folder, so simply make a folder and call it Actions. Any actions put in this folder will show up in alphabetical order in the Actions panel flyout menu once you close and restart Photoshop Elements.

      Optional: Add a number to the beginning of the action name to indicate its status in your hierarchy of favorites, e.g. for my Custom Shadow action, which I use frequently, I might rename it 01-Custom Shadows. (The number of digits should be determined by how many actions you plan to load here. Two digits will get you to 99 actions, which is probably more than you would want to load if you want your program to open in a speedy manner.) The next action would be 02-Fix Photos FAST, etc.

      OR you could add only the number 1 at the beginning of the names of all your most used actions, and let them fall in alphabetical order otherwise. Lesser used actions would start with the number 2, etc.

      Once your most used actions are in the Actions folder inside the Preset folder of Photoshop Elements, close and restart Photoshop Elements. Now they will show up in the Actions panel flyout menu where you can simply click on the name of an action to load it in the Actions panel.

      Interestingly, the original action name is what will show up—the number will not show up.

      Between these two methods—loading actions in order of most used and installing actions inside Photoshop Elements with altered names to indicate ranking, you should be able to get pretty organized with your actions.

      • Lynne on June 30, 2015 at 2:11 pm

        A question about the methods of organizing actions in PSE13. For Method 2, do you have to have first deleted all the actions from the action panel? when you put the actions in the Action folder you create in Presets, do you put the whole folder? or do you just put the .atn? I did try doing what you suggested, but the actions I put into the newly created Action folder are not showing up.

        • Linda Sattgast on July 1, 2015 at 6:38 pm

          You don’t need to delete anything from the Actions panel before using Method 2. When you put a folder called Actions in the proper location (see my instructions) the actions will appear in the Actions panel flyout menu—not in the Actions panel itself. To quickly load an action set, click on the icon in the upper right corner of the Actions panel and scroll down until you see the action set you want to load. Click once on it and presto! It loads instantly. This allows you to get rid of action sets you aren’t using to give yourself more space but then load them instantly when you need them.
          In case you’re interested, in my Enhance Photos Fast class I supplied so many action sets that I did some video tutorials on organizing them using these methods.

        • Linda Sattgast on July 1, 2015 at 8:12 pm

          Put just the actions in the Actions folder. Don’t put another folder of actions in the Actions folder.

  14. Nancy M Olson on November 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm

    I purchased and installed PSE13. I love all the new features, however, my tool options bar does not function. I can’t select a tool and the only items that show in the Tool Options Bin are the photos. I’ve been to the Adobe website to find a solution, but
    have been unsuccessful. Consequently I’m back to using my PSE 11 program. I’m wondering if I should uninstall and reinstall the program.

    • Linda Sattgast on November 16, 2014 at 1:06 am

      Hi Nancy—Do you mean that clicking on Tool Options only brings up the Photo Bin? Are you able to select a tool by using shortcuts, e.g. L for Lasso, V for Move, etc.

      Before reinstalling the program I would try resetting Preferences. Close Photoshop Elements. Press and hold Ctrl Alt Shift (Mac: Cmd Opt Shift) and click to open Photoshop Elements. Do not let go of the keys until you get a dialog box that asks you if you want to do something. Click Yes. That often fixes wonky problems, so see if that works.

      • Nancy M Olson on November 16, 2014 at 10:19 am

        Yes, Linda, that’s exactly what I mean. Clicking on Tool Options only brings up the photo bin. I’m not able to select a tool by its shortcut either. I tried that also.

        I’ll reset the Preferences and try your “wonky problems” suggestion! I’m mystified that the tools won’t open. I’m in the middle of a project life layout and I want to use the type tool. Nothing happens. Will probably finish it in PSE 11 until I can get it corrected.
        Thank you so much for answering me and I’ll let you know what happens.

        • Nancy M Olson on November 16, 2014 at 10:24 am

          I just tried resetting Preferences as you suggested AND it worked! the Tool Options is open and my font is there! Amazing! I never would have known to do that! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

          • Linda Sattgast on November 17, 2014 at 11:51 am

            Yay!!! So glad to hear that it worked for you! Keep that shortcut in your bag of tricks for future use. You don’t need it very often, but when you do, it can save the ranch. 😀

      • Anne Hargreaves on August 11, 2015 at 12:17 pm

        Thank you so much for this tip, Linda. I had the very same problem and your solution worked a treat

        • Linda Sattgast on August 12, 2015 at 5:09 pm

          You’re welcome, Anne! Glad it worked for you. 😀

  15. Sue Peart on November 8, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    Hi Linda,

    I have been using PhotoShop version 7 for all my digital scrapbooking. I love the features of Elements 13. Do you think I would benefit from purchasing Elements 13 and do I use it as well as Photoshop 7?

    • Linda Sattgast on November 9, 2014 at 2:18 am

      Hi Sue—I think you will LOVE upgrading to Photoshop Elements 13! SO much functionality has been added since version 7. Wait—I just realized you mean you have Photoshop 7, not Photoshop Elements 7. That’s a bit of a different matter, but I still think you will get a lot from PSE 13. It will take a week or two to get used to the new desktop, but once you do, you’ll be good to go. The majority of the functionality is the same, so you’ll be able to do the same things you’re doing now, only more. If you upgrade and have a question about how something works, don’t hesitate to post in the Forum for a quick reply.

      FYI: One of the small annoyances people run into with the new desktop is the Tool Bin at the bottom popping up every time you get a new tool. To stop that, open the menu in the upper right corner of the Tool Bin and deselect the Auto Show option, and it will stop doing that.

  16. Charlene on October 27, 2014 at 11:07 pm

    Linda will you have copies to sell of 13? If so when? If not why?

    • Linda Sattgast on October 28, 2014 at 8:27 am

      Hi Charlene—we looked into selling Photoshop Elements at one point but decided we’d rather focus on the training, since Photoshop Elements is available at better price points from the larger stores who buy in bulk.

  17. Karen Stevens on October 16, 2014 at 9:35 am

    Thank for all your great help. I just have one question. I’ve noticed this problem in PSE 12 and 13. Is there a way to keep the photo bin active and showing at all times? Thanks so much.

    • Jen White on October 16, 2014 at 1:38 pm

      Hi Karen.
      Click on the Tool Options icon, open the drop down menu, and uncheck Auto Show Tool Options.
      It has been my experience that the Tool Options / Photo Bin will then stay open unless you manually close then.
      To my knowledge, there is no way to have both the Tool Options and the Photo Bin open at the same time – since they occupy the same space.
      Let us know if this helps. 😀

      • Linda Sattgast on October 16, 2014 at 3:03 pm

        The Tool Options drop down menu is in the upper right corner of Tool Options.

      • Peajaye on September 24, 2015 at 1:47 am

        Just a note to say I found your page through a google search this worked for me, so thanks! (I was being driven crazy by the opposite – every time I clicked on the pencil or the eraser, the Tool Option box would open up again and take away real estate from my image. Ugh! – But now – Yay!)

  18. Carol Henderson on October 6, 2014 at 10:33 am

    I have a few of questions for you. The bounding box in PSE13 is so light that I can hardly see it. I’ve looked for a way to fix it to what it looked like in PSE12, but no luck. I notice that when you go to resize an item on your page, it shows the size along side the item. Is there anyway to get rid of that. I find it very annoying, as I judge the sizes by eyeballing them and so this is useless to me. Lastly, in Content Aware, after I use the lasso tool, the edit>tool selection option is grayed out and therefore is not useable.

    Thanks for your help.

    • Carol Henderson on October 6, 2014 at 10:42 am

      I figured out the answer to Content Aware. One item was left out in the tutorial: Simplify the layer first. Since Adobe uses Smart Objects, the item has to be simplified or else no changes can be made.


      • Linda Sattgast on October 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm

        You’re right. Content Aware doesn’t work on smart objects or vector images. I added a note about that above, so thanks for pointing that out.

        I don’t know of a way to change anything about the Transform tool. I think it’s pretty much the way it’s going to be! Here’s a link at Adpbe to find solutions to problems as well as to report issues:

  19. Cindy Allison on September 25, 2014 at 9:41 pm

    Thanks for the review, Linda. You always do a great job. I recently did your Fix Photos Fast class and I love using the actions! Will they work with PSE 13?

    • Linda Sattgast on September 26, 2014 at 4:40 pm

      Yes—actions work great in PSE13—the same as in versions 11 and 12.

  20. Kay Toby on September 25, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    How is the Organizer? I really like how the Organizer is for PSE8 is able to display by folder view. I know it changed with PSE9.

    • Linda Sattgast on September 26, 2014 at 4:39 pm

      The Organizer for version 13 has a great folder view. Click on the link at the end of the above post to see my other post about the Organizer. It explains how to access the folder view.

  21. Laurie Bodo on September 25, 2014 at 8:05 pm

    I love Bridge CS5.1 and have been using it with PSE 9. I’m not sure which version of PSE I got it with. I think it was PSE 6. I never use PSE 6. Now I use PSE 9 now and still use Bridge CS5.1.
    SO… if I get PSE 13 will I still be able to keep my Bridge CS5.1 ? Can I delete PSE 6 and 9 and still keep Bridge?
    Thank you for taking the time to answer.

    • Linda Sattgast on September 26, 2014 at 4:36 pm

      Yes, you should be able to use Bridge with PSE13—99.5% sure! The Bridge probably came with version 6 before Adobe gave Macs the Organizer. I would keep that version, but you could get rid of PSE9. I would install the new version and test it out to be sure, though!

      Do you set the Bridge to open files in the newer version or do you drag and drop the files from Bridge? I open most of my Bridge photos by dragging and dropping.

  22. Kyrie Drake on September 25, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    Great preview of the PSE13! I’m using PSE12 and have a couple quick questions.

    How is the Content Aware Fill much different from the Content Aware Spot Healing Brush? I’ve been using that to great effect.

    Is the Inside Stroke Outline the same as you get by going to Edit>Stroke (outline) Selection? It makes more sense to have it in the Style Settings finally, but I’m weighing the convenience vs. the cost.

    The photo bin resizing fix is excellent, and so are some of the other new effects, so I’m torn on getting this one! I started with PSE6 and have bought just the even numbered ones so far but I may download the trial version to check it out! 🙂

    Thanks for the superb look at the new edition!

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      Hi Kyrie—yes, the Content Aware is the same technology used with the Content Aware option of the Spot Healing Brush. It just gives you more options for using content aware from your own selections.

      The Inside stroke option looks exactly the same as the Edit > Stroke (Outline Selection) option in the Menu Bar, but it behaves like a layer style, so if you resize your photo, the stroke stays with it on the same layer, and it can be easily adjusted. It’s just a lot more convenient!

      That’s a good idea to download the free trial and give it a whirl. I recommend that with any new upgrade. 🙂

      • Kyrie Drake on September 26, 2014 at 11:12 am

        Thanks so much Linda, I always love your insights on the new editions!

  23. Arkiegma on September 25, 2014 at 10:44 am

    Hi Linda,
    I am trying out the PSE 13 and am liking the Editor portion of it. I have imported my Organizer files from PSE 10. That is where I work from when building scrap pages. Is there an easy way to have everything in the same folders in PSE 13’s Organizer? Will I have to spend hours refiling everything?

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 2:43 pm

      Yes—there’s a very easy way to do it. I will create a blog post about it, since so many people have had a question about this.

      • Arkiegma on September 25, 2014 at 5:51 pm

        Thanks Linda! I’ll be looking for it.

        • Linda Sattgast on October 6, 2014 at 7:30 pm

          The link to the Organizer blog post is at the end of the post above.

  24. Henrik on September 25, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Hi, many thanks for review. I was happy with PSE10, then lost my PC and re-started with PSE12 and suddenly I was not able to have my own folder structure visible with the possibility to assign albums at the same time. Oldtimers like me requiring a solid folder structure year-date etc. seems to be ignored, now it’s all dump it here and we sort it for you….What does it look like in PSE13? BR/Henrik

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 2:42 pm

      Hi Henrik—the Folder Tree view is there! See my comment just below this one for how to access it.

      • Henrik on September 25, 2014 at 5:11 pm

        Hi Linda, thanks for your time and attention. Yes, the folder tree view is there, however with that little button chosen, the possibility to assign an album disappears. With PSE10 I had folder tree view on left, tags and albums on right, with PSE12 album choice is gone with folder tree view. So it’s either look for old CD of PSE10 or Lightroom if PSE13 is not better.

        Regards from Sweden

        • Linda Sattgast on September 26, 2014 at 5:30 pm

          When you create a new album in PSE13, the album appears in the panel on the right. By default the folder you had open will be in the Media pane, but you can click on the folder view, select a different folder, and choose other photos to click and drag into your album. The album stays open on the right panel letting you add media from folders until you click OK or Cancel.

          Once you’ve created an album, it no longer appears on the right. From then on you add more photos by finding them in the Folder view, then clicking on Albums, and clicking and dragging the image(s) onto the album folder icon.

          To view the photos in your album, click on the album folder.

          This way of working with albums does’t bother me, but you will have to decide whether that will work for you or not.

          Here’s a link to some good information about the album feature:

  25. Kay Toby on September 25, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Hi Linda,

    How is the Organizer for PSE 13? I really liked how it was in PSE 8, showing all the files organized by folders. I have >50K files for scrapbooking and I have it organized by folder and by tags. For me, it’s easier to look by folder than by tag with this many files. PSE 9 and above took away the ability to see all elements in all the folders at the same time. Is PSE 13 Organizer the same as PSE 12?


    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 2:40 pm

      Hi Kay—PSE13 Organizer is similar to 12 with the big addition of eLive. It also has a new view that is kind of cool, but if you want to see the details under your photo thumbnails, then go to the Menu Bar and choose View > Details. Adobe also made improvements to the Slideshow in PSE13.

      The folder view in PSE13 is great—on the left panel, click on folders. The folders are listed alphabetically by default, but you can open the menu in the upper right corner of the Folders panel and choose to see the Folder Tree, like you would see on your computer. I prefer that view.

      You can click on a keyword and see all the files from various folders in the main Organizer window.

      I just helped someone who was having trouble figuring out how to access her keywords in this new version. (She was moving from PSE6.) I will plan to put this info in a blog post.

  26. Carol Henderson on September 25, 2014 at 9:19 am

    I’m trying to figure out how to change the text size in the Menu Bar. It is so tiny in PSE13 and my eyesight is not what it used to be. I was able to change it in PSE12, but can’t figure it out in PSE13.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      Press Ctrl K (Mac: Cmd K) to get Preferences.
      In the list on the left, click on Type
      The last Type Option listed is Font Preview Size. I always change it to Huge! 😀

      • Carol Henderson on September 26, 2014 at 1:45 am

        I’ve tried this several times and I don’t see any difference in the size. Maybe I’m calling it the wrong thing. Along the top of the work page there is the menu bar that lists ‘File’, ‘Edit’, etc. across the top. When I click on one of them to view the list the list is very tiny. That is what I would like to make larger. In PSE 12, it was larger than in 13. Is there a way to change that so the list appears larger?
        Thanks for your help.

        • Linda Sattgast on September 26, 2014 at 4:48 pm

          The only way I know of to change that is to change the resolution of your computer monitor or to wear reading glasses when using the computer. Changing to a slightly lower resolution for the monitor will make all your software appear slightly larger.

          For my slightly-older-than-they-used-to-be eyes it seems like everything is just a little too small! Lol! My solution was to purchase an inexpensive set of reading glasses. I tested them in the store by reading something small at about the same distance I usually sit from my computer. The glasses work great. Problem solved!

          • Carol Henderson on September 27, 2014 at 7:11 am

            Hi Linda,

            Thanks for your help. I changed the resolution and that’s helped somewhat in PSE. Of course, now my desktop icons are huge. I guess I’ll just change the resolution when I use PSE, which is just about all the time. I already wear glasses, and I’ve tried those reading glasses before and they don’t seem to help me. I’ll try them again.


          • Linda Sattgast on September 27, 2014 at 11:10 am

            I also wear regular glasses, but I wear different glasses when I work on the computer. If you get the right magnification, reading glasses work really well. My optometrist gave me a prescription for computer glasses, but they were more expensive to purchase.

            You can always try a pair of reading glasses and return them for a different magnification number if they don’t work for you.

      • Shirley Ferguson on October 30, 2014 at 11:09 am


  27. Glorie on September 24, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    I have a very important question! 😉 I believe you mentioned that in PSE 12 the magic wand tool was removed. I don’t recall if you said that it was replaced with something else but it was a big reason I was not going to upgrade. So, my question is, did they bring it back in PSE 13 or not?

    Thank you, loved your videos and found a few things PSE 13 has that look great!

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 1:13 am

      The Magic Wand was never removed. It was the shortcut for the Magic Wand that was changed from W to A, so you’re good—it’s there in PSE 12 and 13!

      • Glorie on September 27, 2014 at 9:10 am

        Oh thank you for that info!!! Was there a tool that was removed in PSE 12?

        Thank you Linda, for all you do to help us!!

        • Linda Sattgast on October 1, 2014 at 12:23 am

          No tool was removed in PSE13, but a tool was added—the Refine Selection Brush tool.

  28. Cheryl M on September 24, 2014 at 6:40 pm

    Love your review Linda. I’ve been using PS CC but I do have PSE 11. I’m always on the fence as to whether it’s best to continue the $10/month for CC or just upgrade PSE every year. The upgrade is cheaper but not by much, decisions, decisions.

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 1:16 am

      I know what you mean, Cheryl. Photoshop Elements has some nifty features. I still use Photoshop myself, though, for scrapbooking, so I guess it depends on what you do with the program.

      I’ve been using the Shake Reduction filter in CC a lot, and I can’t do without the Bridge, so there you are! Of course, I have both… 😀

  29. Mary Kuhn on September 24, 2014 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Linda,
    Your videos on PSE13 were true to form always clear and slow. You do such a great job teaching us Digital Scrapping. My question is – I have PSE11 and I don’t pay the monthly fees for storage, cloud and or??? And I only own a flip phone.
    I like what you showed on the video so 13 intrigues me. I went to Adobe and they just say Buy $79. They do not mention fees. Do you know if they will charge any of the fees they tacked on to PSE12. Thanks

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 1:17 am

      There are no monthly fees for Photoshop Elements. What fees were tacked on for PSE12?

      • Mary Kuhn on September 25, 2014 at 4:47 pm

        Hi! Linda,
        Thank you for answering my letter. I had received a notification from Adobe it informed me they were going to move my photo’s, introduce cloud, and I would be charged for the service. I thought I could not afford the monthly service. The cheapest was $10 a month, this would not have bothered me if I had known how to use it (PSE9). They also talked about you could pay monthly, every 3 months or twice a year and it was different packages depending on what services you chose,and the amount of storage. It took the price up to I am going to say more than I wanted to pay. I thought purchasing a new PSE every year was more than enough. I purchased PSE11 and have been using it ever since, without fee’s.

        • Linda Sattgast on September 26, 2014 at 4:53 pm

          The cloud service is optional to use with the Organizer. In the past, they had a program where you had so much free space to back up your photos, and above that you paid for the storage. They changed to a new online system awhile back, so I’m thinking that’s what they wrote you about.

          But Photoshop Elements itself has no subscription, and you can back up photos in the Organizer other ways—like with an external hard drive.

          • Mary Kuhn on September 28, 2014 at 6:19 am

            Thank you so much for that info! That is very helpful to me. I will certainly entertain the idea of purchasing PSE13. All new things keeps the interest alive. I am enjoying your videos so much and learning a tremendous amount from them. Thanks

  30. na on September 24, 2014 at 5:44 pm

    Hi Linda,

    Please tell me where I would find Bridge and the Shake Reduction filter in Photoshop Elements. (or is Bridge the outside organizing system) I would also like to hear about the photobin change that you mentioned in the video.

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 1:22 am

      Bridge and Shake Reduction are in the full version of Photoshop Creative Cloud (CC for short).

      The Photo Bin change has to do with Smart Objects. If you move a photo or element from the Photo Bin onto another document on the desktop, such as a scrapbook paper, the file you move will become a “smart object” that can be resized but not edited in any other way. This is to keep the file from degrading should you resize it several times.

      It’s not a problem unless you want to edit the element or photo. You can’t edit a smart object unless you simplify it by choosing Layer > Simplify Layer. That’s all. For me it seems a little inconvenient, but other scrappers love the flexibility of being able to change their minds and try different arrangements on their pages without worrying about loss of quality.

  31. Vicki Spencer on September 24, 2014 at 5:06 pm

    I also wondered if we would have to download the actions and DS effects if we get PSE13?

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 1:24 am

      The actions and DS effects will work the same in PSE13 as they have in PSE11 and 12, but you will need to load them into the PSE13, which is very easy to do!

  32. Joyce on September 24, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Where is the photo bin in version 13? You mentioned it had been changed.

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 1:25 am

      The Photo Bin is in the same place. It hasn’t moved. It just turns a file into a smart object when you drag from the Photo Bin onto another document on your desktop. See a couple comments above for an explanation of smart objects. 🙂

  33. Patricia Vandivort on September 24, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    I skipped PS 12 so am excited about 13! Will be watching anxiously for it to come out at CostCo, and be sure to put it on my Christmas List! I learned digi-scrapping and PSE with your videos and kits since 2005, and can honestly say that there’s no one to compare with the quality of your products! Thank you, Linda!

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 1:26 am

      Thank you, Patricia! I know you’ll enjoy PSE13!

  34. Ami Pilon on September 24, 2014 at 1:37 pm

    I still have PSE 11. If I get 13 will I have to upload all of my action files again?
    Thanks, Ami

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 1:28 am

      Yes, Ami, you will need to install them again in PSE13, but with the Action panel so easy to use, that should only take a few minutes—especially if you have saved your actions in a folder for safe keeping!

  35. Carla Peterson on September 24, 2014 at 1:13 pm

    When I upgraded to PS11, Amazon was offering it at the same price as Costco. It made a great Christmas gift from my children! Without a Costco connection, I’ll be checking Amazon out again in November when I upgrade to PS13.

  36. Teresa M on September 24, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    HiLinda…I am new to the world of digital use. I know you have videos teaching the use of the various photoshop products. I am considering buying PS 13 and wonder what you would recommend as a teaching aid for me..
    thank you,
    Teresa M

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 1:32 am

      Hi Teresa—welcome to the world of digital! I know you’ll love it!

      I would recommend my class Learn Digital Scrapbooking, which you can find here:

      I walk you through all the steps to becoming a confident digital scrapbooker (or whatever else you want to do digitally). It will save you a lot of frustration. 😀

  37. ruth brightman on September 24, 2014 at 10:59 am

    Nice review! Is PSE 13 able to be edited from iPhoto? PSE 12 does not. it’s a pain to go from iPhoto to PSE11, save the file, then edit in 12.

    • Linda Sattgast on September 25, 2014 at 1:36 am

      I don’t use iPhoto, so I wasn’t aware of that. PSE13 is going to be similar to PSE12, so I imagine they would be the same in that regard.

      Can’t you select which program you want iPhoto to open for editing? I thought the issue was more about control over where the edited photo ends up for organization purposes.

  38. Victoria on September 24, 2014 at 10:40 am

    For me the question is given the cost of PE13 and the subscription for Photoshop itself “why wouldn’t I just get the subscription for photoshop itself?” I will get automatic updates.

    I currently have PE12 so while I don’t mind upgrading I wonder if I would be better to upgrade to the subscription photoshop or PE13.

    Any thoughts?

    • Linda Sattgast on September 24, 2014 at 12:03 pm

      That is a very good question, Victoria! Adobe has really made their photography subscription pretty reasonable and within reach for a lot of people.

      Photoshop Elements is getting more and more equal to Photoshop where scrapbooking is concerned, making the decision even harder. I’ve always told people to upgrade to Photoshop if you can afford it. I still feel that way, but it’s less of an issue now than it ever has been.

      My advice? Download a trial version. I love that you can do that! For me, Bridge and the Shake Reduction filter are two features I would miss very much in Photoshop Elements.

  39. Melissa Shanhun on September 24, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Great review Linda – you have gorgeous example photos too!

  40. Cristi Dropka on September 24, 2014 at 9:49 am

    PE 13 sounds fabulous and I plan on upgrading from 11. It would be nice if Adobe could add spell check to elements. I find that an invaluable resource when you have to journal or title.

    Thanks for the showing us the many new features to look forward to.

  41. Doris on September 24, 2014 at 9:38 am

    Great video of the new features! Content aware fill alone is worth the upgrade! Thank you.

  42. Pixie on September 24, 2014 at 9:08 am

    Wow! Thanks for going over the highlights. This looks like a fantastic release!

  43. Susann Brody on September 24, 2014 at 8:45 am

    Linda, great news and lovely tutorial on the new features.

    How’s their catalog? Did they change anything? I stopped using Elements because I was frustrated with it. I liked Bridge far better. It was faster and doesn’t have the same problems if you delete a file outside of the program. Love Bridge! So if they made advancements in that part, I would certainly consider using it again.

    • Linda Sattgast on September 24, 2014 at 11:53 am

      There are some improvements in the Organizer, but the issues you mentioned will always be there because of the way the program is set up where you must import photos. You would have the same issue with Lightroom.

      I love Bridge, too. There are some features in the Organizer that I would enjoy, but it takes a little more effort to manage files, in my opinion!

  44. Frank Meijer on September 24, 2014 at 7:57 am

    Very interesting. Thank you!

  45. Nancy Peralta on September 24, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Linda will you have freebies in the Costco version?

  46. PatriciaD on September 24, 2014 at 2:42 am

    Wow, pretty amazing changes. PS Elements is getting closer and closer to the full version of PS CC or whatever version. I still love my PS CC but have to admit that Elements is getting pretty awesome now days. Thanks for such a great overview Linda. As always your videos are super.

    • Linda Sattgast on September 24, 2014 at 11:46 am

      You’re welcome, Patricia. I have to agree that Photoshop Elements is much closer to Photoshop now than it ever has been.

  47. dede on September 24, 2014 at 12:47 am

    Hi Linda,
    Do you know if PSE13 will be available at Costco like the PSE12 was?
    Dede Wurl

    • Linda Sattgast on September 24, 2014 at 11:45 am

      Dede—I can only go by what has happened in past years, and it’s always been available at Costco. AND Costco has always had a swinging sale on it sometime in the fall around Thanksgiving. It’s usually $49. I would be surprised if they don’t do the same this year.

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