Adobe announced the release of Photoshop Elements 9 today. They’ve taken the number 1 choice of software for digital scrappers and turned it into an even better product. I’m creating a series of videos on what’s new in Photoshop Elements 9, but first, let’s take a quick look at the new features:
If you were to ask me what’s my top-of-the-list-all-time-favorite feature of Photoshop Elements 9, I would say, hands down, it’s the new layer mask function on the Layers panel! I didn’t think Adobe would EVER give Elements a real layer mask. Of course, we’ve been using work-arounds for years, but it’s SO much more convenient to simply click a button to get a layer mask.
My next favorite new feature is that Adobe finally added the Organizer to the Mac version, which is just really cool, in my opinion, though some Mac users may not like the fact that the Organizer replaces the Bridge.
Here are some more of my favorite features:
The Spot Healing Brush now has Content Aware capabilities, which makes getting rid of unwanted areas in your photo a lot easier.
Guided Edits (one of the tabs in the Editor) has gotten some great new tutorials. Under Photomerge there’s a new choice called Style Match, which allows you to take the style of one photo and apply it to another photo. Here’s a before and after image where I used Style Match:
By the way, I have a video on this feature at the end of this post.
There’s a whole new category called Fun Edits which you’ll find in the Guided tab:
- Lomo Camera Effect creates a vintage look with a vignette effect.
- Out of Bounds makes it easy to place part of a photo outside the photo edge.
- Perfect Portrait guides you through the process of enhancing a portrait.
- Create Pop Art changes your photo to a Threshold image and converts it to four colors.
- Reflection will add a mirror reflection to your image.
Here’s an example of an Out of Bounds photo. I have a video coming out on this feature very soon!
Creation Tab Workflows
Many of the items in the Creation tab have been improved, and some are new, such as the ability to create photo calendars, greeting cards, and photo collages right inside Photoshop Elements 9. You can print your creations either on your home printer or at one of Adobe’s partner sites, Shutterfly or Kodak.
Small Items, some good, some so-so:
- The Type menu is easier to read, and the interface is much easier to see now. You can actually see the icon for the flyout menu on the panels, but the fx icon, which shows that a layer has a style, is still dark and hard to read, so they didn’t catch everything. Maybe next time around!
- The print dialog box has been improved, though it’s not back to its hey-day of glory that it had during Photoshop Elements 7.
- As soon as you make a change to a photo, an icon appears on the thumbnail in the Project Bin to indicate that there are unsaved changes. That’s all it’s for—just to tell you the file hasn’t been saved. In my opinion, this is more confusing than helpful—makes you wonder what in the world is happening to your photo … so now you know!
Here’s one video to watch today, and I’ll be adding more in the coming days. Click on the photo to launch the video. Enjoy!