I switched to Photoshop Elements 7 from Corel Paint Shop Pro X, mainly because most of the digital photography textbooks that I have been reading (and their attached tutorial DVDs) seem to use Photoshop Elements as their photo manipulation programme of choice. I was also looking for a programme a little more advanced than Corel Paint Shop Pro. Photoshop Elements is not for the faint hearted. It is a big, powerful aid to photo manipulation that contains lots of hidden depths, and ideally you need some training to get the best out of it.
That said, for most elementary tasks the software is straightforward enough, and it makes a doddle of jobs such as red-eye correction, image rotation, cropping, and sharpening. Side-by-side "before and after" images greatly simplify the task of applying changes in lighting and colour. Entering text on the image is remarkably easy in comparison with Paint Shop Pro, and the clone stamp tool seems a lot more effective in Photoshop Elements than in other photo manipulation programmes that I have tried. Photoshop Elements allows the user to quickly magnify the image almost to individual pixel level, and this allows images to be altered with as much subtlety as the user desires. There is a huge Adobe user's guide available as a downloadable PDF file, and there are plenty of tutorials available free of charge on the Internet.
I found Photoshop Elements easy to install on my very basic Asus Barebones desktop computer. It opens up quickly, runs smoothly, and doesn't seem to have had the slightest effect on the computer's speed or efficiency. One is frequently aware of the programme's very considerable hidden potential, lying just below the surface. With the assistance of tutorials, I have already enjoyed exploring some of this potential, and I look forward, when time permits, to further experimentation. In short, amazingly good value for the price, and highly recommended.