Editor's Note: Photoshop Elements 2019 is now available. Clicking the Buy button will take you to this version for purchase. We will evaluate, rank and review the new version when we next update the Mac Photo Editing Software reviews. Meanwhile, enjoy our review below about Photoshop Elements 2018.
With Adobe serving as an industry leader in photo editing software, it is no surprise that Photoshop Elements 2018 is the best Mac photo editing software. This easy-to-use program has a variety of standard and professional tools, as well as access to a quality photo manager. With its editing tools, sharing capabilities and support options, this is the best photo editing software for Mac users.
Adobe sells this software for $99.99, but we were also able to find it selling cheaper on Amazon. It is one of the most expensive programs in our review, but considering it is an Adobe product that doesn’t require a subscription, it's pretty well priced. If you're not sure if this program will fit your needs, check out the 30-day free trial.
Elements 2018’s editing tools are scattered between its three editing modes: Guided, Quick and Expert. You can switch from one mode to another at any time without having to close your project. Each mode has preset options and specialty tools.
The Guided mode is ideal for beginners, as it teaches you how to complete common editing tasks using step-by-step tutorials. For example, this mode contains instructions on how to remove an object, as well as a tutorial that teaches you to adjust settings to create desired effects. In addition to being a great resource for beginners, advanced editors can use the Guided mode to refresh their understanding and learn skills they may not know.
This mode houses several of the standard editing tools, including red eye removal, crop and selection tools. It also contains unique tools like one that removes red eye on pets. This tool is specially calibrated for animals and is used like the normal red eye tool.
The Quick Edit mode has a dropdown menu with common corrections for lighting and color. This mode allows you to make quick edits to your photos such as adjusting the contrast and brightness.
In the Expert mode, you have unrestricted access to all of the program’s tools, creative filters and effects. The software has over 90 filters you can apply to your photos, changing the texture and color of your images. The program has a variety of basic and advanced features, including background removal and lens distortion corrections.
It also has a selection of tools not found in other Mac photo editing software. The Content Aware Fill tool allows you to select an object in your photo and move it somewhere else. The content-aware function then fills in the hole where the object was. This tool is handy when you want to reposition the people or objects in your picture.
Elements 2018 also has several automatic edit options, including Auto Tone. This tool automatically corrects the lighting and color tones in your picture. It also remembers your preferred output settings and adjusts the auto corrections according to your most common edits.
Photoshop Elements does not come with a built-in photo organizer. Instead, it comes packaged with Adobe Elements Organizer 2018, a separate photo organizing software. While this program makes it easy to manage, sort and rate photos, switching back and forth from one program to another becomes cumbersome. If you'd prefer a program that has an organizer built into it, you might be interested in CyberLink PhotoDirector Ultra.
Using Elements Organizer 2018, you can create custom groups and albums to sort your photos in. You can then categorize your photos by criteria like ranking, name, date and time. The program comes equipped with an advanced image search, so you can find your photos later on.
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This photo editor for Mac is compatible with most image files. You can open and edit RAW images, as well as JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, PSD and PDF files. The software is compatible with 10 image file formats and helps you optimize your images for the web.
You can choose from a variety of sharing options when using this Mac photo editor. If you want to share your edited pictures directly to social media sites from the software, you can use it to post to Flickr, Twitter and Facebook. There are even more sharing options in Elements Organizer 2018, which gives you the option of emailing your photos or creating slideshows and posting them directly to YouTube. With Elements Organizer 2018, you can also store pictures and albums in the cloud. This allows you to access your photos anywhere you have internet access.
Photoshop Elements 2018 is powerful Mac photo editing software. This full-featured program guides you as you are first learning how to edit photos and grows with you as your skills develop. If you are looking for a program that maintains its usability and offers plenty of support, Elements 2018 is worth consideration.