Editor's Note: Adobe recently released Photoshop Elements 2019. The buy button will take you to the most recent version of the software for purchase. We will test and review this newer version when we next update the Photo Editing Software site. For now, enjoy our review for Photoshop Elements 2018.
With an extensive set of editing tools and capabilities, Adobe Photoshop Elements 2018 can help you touch up your photos or completely transform them. Elements has the organizing and editing tools you’ll see in the most sophisticated photo editing software but with the price and usability of an entry-level product.
Adobe sells Photoshop Elements for $99.99, being one of the only Adobe products that doesn't have a subscription. At the time of this review, we also found Elements selling on Amazon for $59.00. If you want to try the software out before you buy, check out the 30-day free trial.
Adobe is a standard in the photo editing software industry. Elements meets that standard with its vast number of basic and advanced editing tools. It is not a watered-down version of Photoshop but a focused image editor with tools specifically designed to fix and enhance photos.
The photo editor has three editing modes: Quick Edit, Guided and Expert. Each mode has its own specialty tools and presets. Quick Edit houses several of the basic editing tools such as zoom, crop and color correction. Guided mode is where beginning editors will spend most of their time. It includes common adjustments editors make alongside a step-by-step tutorial that takes you through the entire process. Guided mode is a good resource for both beginners and experienced photo editors. If you are trying something new, the software can help you edit your photo successfully. Guided edits help you apply a set of changes that can create the overall effect you’re going for. For example, you can add a sense of motion to action shots.
With Expert mode, all of the tools are laid out. You can use the tools to apply advanced edits and take creative control of your images. Within this mode, you can choose from over 90 creative filters to add texture and color to your images. You can also use the clone tool to fix blemishes. There are also tools to help you remove haze from photos. The latest version also makes photo editing suggestions for you, if you allow it. Elements will analyze your photo and suggest five effects. You decide which ones – if any – you want to apply.
The latest version of Elements features the Open Closed Eyes quick fix, which helps you merge the faces from two photos to make sure everyone has their eyes open. Adobe has also added a Replace Background Guided Edit which, as its name implies, lets you quickly and easily replace the background of an image.
One standout feature is the Content Aware Move Tool. This feature allows you to select a person or object and move it somewhere else. The Content Aware function then fills in the hole where the person used to be. This is probably the best object removal tool on the market, but it can sometimes take a few attempts to work properly. This program doesn't have an easy HDR tool, but you can create HDR images by merging photos with various amounts of exposure.
This software also has an Auto Tone Tool that corrects the lighting and color tones of a picture. When you use this tool, the program remembers your preferred output settings and adjusts the auto corrections according to your edit.
Photoshop Elements comes with Elements 2018 Organizer, a photo organizing software. This program helps you import, sort and rate your photos. You can create your own albums and sort photos based on ranking, name, location, date and time. In the latest edition, you can even find photos based on who is in them, where you took them and what you were doing.
The program is compatible with other Adobe products, making it ideal software if you use Adobe's other programs. While the program helps you organize your photos, it becomes tedious switching back and forth between Elements 2018 Organizer and Elements. If you're interested in finding a photo editor with built-in photo organizing abilities, you might want to consider Corel PaintShop Pro.
The software supports common image file types such as RAW, JPG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, PSD and PDF. When you are editing photos, you can resize the image and file size to optimize it for online content. Smaller file sizes help your webpage load quickly.
Adobe offers plenty of helpful guides to help you get acquainted with the software. You'll find an extensive FAQs page and many video tutorials on the website. Since Adobe is such a popular photo editing software, it is easy to find thousands of user-made video tutorials on YouTube as well. You'll also get answer to questions on the user forum, which is lively and active. If you need further assistance, you can contact a representative via live chat or phone.
Photoshop Elements has some of the most powerful editing tools on the market. This program not only grows with your skill set but also prepares you to be an experienced photo editor. You will have to jump between the photo editor and the photo organizer, which is inconvenient, but this program is a great choice for anyone wanting to learn photo editing skills.