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VINE VOICEon 8 January 2014
I bought this as it was on special offer and I thought it was time to upgrade from PSE8 which I've been using very happily for the past few years. First impressions however are disappointing. There may be things I have yet to discover which will improve my experience, but as a reasonably advanced user I still prefer the older version and have gone back to using that for now.

This new version has various different interfaces depending on whether you classify yourself as beginner, intermediate or expert. The 'beginner' interface as it suggests just has basic editing functionality and a number of wizards to help you do creative stuff with your photos. Probably fine for basic home users. As you go into the more advanced interfaces, you get more functions and more control over the editing as you would expect. I went straight for the 'advanced' user interface which seems much more cluttered than the PSE8 workspace I'm used to. The control palette icons are big and colourful, more like a children's software program than a professional bit of software and take up far too much space on the desktop. The adjustment palette is not stacked with the layers palette as before and can either be free floating (which gets in the way) or docked by the side of the layers palette, which takes up more space and further reduces the available size of the editing window.

Overall impression is that while this incorporates new features, the program has been' dumbed down' to appeal to the less advanced users, leaving the more advanced users with the choice of either putting up with the lack of editing space or buying the full version of Photoshop CS-whatever, which is out of the price range of many people.

I may play around with this further in due course to see if I can find ways of making it more user-friendly, but first impressions have left me a bit disappointed. Sorry Adobe.
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on 19 June 2014
To say I've become a little obsessed with PSE would be an understatement. I've never used Photoshop before and bought this because all the reviews I read both on Amazon and elsewhere seemed to be very favourable. It's a lot cheaper that Photoshop but seems to do everything you need it for. At least for me it does. I didn't buy this for touching up photos so much but more for digital manipulation of images and digital scrapbooking and it's superb. Takes a bit of understanding but once you get to grips with layers, clipping masks, brushes and the like then you can really achieve so much. A little tip, there are some great videos on the internet that help you learn how to use PSE.

I'm delighted with the product, still learning but wouldn't hesitate to recommend it, certainly for digital artwork. Maybe if you were a professional photographer you might need Photoshop, but I'd say even for the competent amateur, this is probably more than enough.
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on 2 January 2014
Adobe Photoshop Elements (PSE) is, in my opinion, still the best option for anyone wishing a photo editor. It may not be the cheapest; it may not even be the most feature-laden but it wins over all the rest for the following reasons.

1. Even if it isn't the cheapest it is not that much more expensive than the competition. I only paid £32.99 for my copy (during a one-day sale) on Amazon and at that price it was an absolute steal.
2. The range of features it offers is already superb but it is being expanded all the time - witness the latest list of additions to PSE12 over version 11.
3. The Adobe range of photo editors is still the industry standard. As a result, the array of 3rd party help and support available is immense. All of the photo' magazines on the market today tell you how to make adjustments using PS/PSE. I don't know of any magazines that tell you how to do the same things using competing products. Add to that the range of PS/PSE dedicated magazines and books; the huge number of on-line forums and tutorial sites and finally, more plug-in sites than you can shake a stick at and you can see that there is a lot of support out there. If you are new to photo editing and think you will need help with your software then you may struggle to access it if you go down a non-Adobe route.
4. If you get seriously into your photography and want to go down the Adobe Lightroom (LR) route then you will find seamless integration between the two products. Some people have suggested that nowadays all you need is LR. Well it depends what you want to do with your images and whether you shoot in raw. If you want to be able to edit right down to individual pixel level then you will need PSE. If you want to use layers you will need PSE. If you want to do dynamic re-composition then you need PSE. And, if you buy PSE 12 then you get the latest version of Adobe Camera Raw as part of the package and so have huge amounts of control over your raw files anyway.

So in summary; PSE is a pixel editor and can do things which LR (a metadata editor) cannot. PSE is wonderful at what it does and is relatively easy to pick up and learn. But, if you are struggling there is a huge amount of help available.

The ideal solution:- Buy PSE12 AND LR5. This seems to be a favoured solution for most of the serious amateurs I know.
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on 14 January 2014
I have never been a lover of Elements, I have to say; CS is far better, more ergonomic and overall a rather nicer program from a user poiint of view. But having bought CS4 in the past (when it was obsolete), and subsequently discovered it to be a counterfeit, I couldn't afford 'the full works'. Elements works well, but to get the best from it, it is essential to buy Lightroom too - they work together, and some features of one are not in the other; without those features, a program such as Paint Shop Pro is preferable, in my view. I get by with Elements. But I also have PSP, and often prefer to use it rather than Elements; it has some excellent features that really should be in Elements too. PSP even has raw file processing built in; if you don't need all the power of Lightroom, PSP is probably a very good value alternative to Elements and Lightroom together.
The new feature in Elements that allows you to select and more an element of a photo and fill in its background does not, in my view, work at all well, and has little value. I have my own method and file structure for saving images, so the image organiser section is of no value to me. There are much more valuable features that could be included in Elements but are only available in CS. Overall, I can only rate it as Competent, and, indeed, compared with PSP, I think it is over priced.
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on 23 December 2013
I have been using PSE 9 for a couple of years and had heard good things about PSE 12. With a combination of PSE and Lightroom now becoming the norm for amateurs (and some professionals) because of the dubious decision by Adobe to stop selling PS this item makes a very economical and sensible purchase. This new version has an entirely different look and I have found that a little bit of trial and error is necessary to achieve the same results that I used to. I like the way that the tools are now grouped into 'families' - this makes them easier to locate once you are used to it. The new tool everyone is talking about is the context-sensitive move tool which means in a lot of circumstances you are able to select an object and drag it to a different part of the picture and the background is filled in for you (requiring perhaps a little clone tool use afterwards). I have only been using it for a short time but so far I am enjoying it. Well worth the £33.99 I spent on it at Amazon.
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on 21 December 2013
I would describe myself as an enthusiastic amateur, who has just returned to photography at the start of 2013. I had been hesitating as to whether to upgrade from PSE9, which came free with a photo scanner I had purchased. When I saw that the Amazon price dropped to £32.99, it looked too good to resist so I took the plunge. (It went up to £44.99 the very next day).

Product arrived within 48 hours using the free delivery option - and during peak Christmas shopping period. I had seem some reviewers referring to their frustrations at receiving OEM disks, however this was exactly as advertised, comprising two disks, one each for Widows and Mac users, in the advertised Adobe packaging. The application loaded onto my Windows 7 machine with no issue at all. A tip from a previous reviewer is to ensure that you include the dashes between each set of numbers when entering the serial number, i.e. type it exactly as shown on the packaging. The only minor niggle I had was that when I first edited a Raw file in Camera Raw and the tried to switch into PSE for further editing, using the 'Open Image' option at the bottom right of the Camera Raw screen, it came back with a software error message. Turned out that all I need to do was go an initialise the 'Organiser' part of PSE as a one-off and then the option worked fine thereafter. (I never use the organiser in PSE and prefer to organise my image files in structured directories).

What I like about PSE12
- ability to use Camera Raw direct from PSE and then switch back to editing the file in PSE itself. (And it recognises the Canon CR2 file versions that my 650D produces)
- the RAW editor itself is excellent for recovering shots that weren't quite a expected in the camera; I have even managed to recover some JPEGs in camera RAW where the dynamic range was too great but adjustment of the highlights and shadows has been excellent
- the PSE guided mode is helpful for many fixes; I'm not a constant user of PSE and so often have to re-acquaint myself with the product when I do want to adjust an image
- I found the photo effects and photo play guided options more valuable than I expected. For example, the Pop Art images give an excellent 'sketched' version of portrait photos of kids

Overall, I am really pleased with PSE12 and it has fired up my enthusiasm for shooting RAW and for looking back over my old images to see which I can recover or improve.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 1 January 2014
Version 12 of this very popular photo editing software comes with two disks, one for windows based pc's the other for mac pc's. This update has a user interface which is slightly different to the previous version and the controls and feature effects now have a much quicker way of previewing the effects on screen before you apply them. The program interface at first looks very dumbed down and aimed at very new users to photo editing but regular users will quickly be back to finding that you can use the program with the short cuts of previous versions. If you are purchasing for the first time it probably makes sense to get this version, whether the new interface adds any extra functionality for version 11 users is really a matter of personal choice. It would be wise to use the features compare option on the Adobe website to make your final choice.
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on 16 September 2014
After transferring loads of photos from my Dell laptop to my new Mac, it took me a while to re-organize everything.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 has become indispensable for downloading, editing and organizing all my photos. Great!
I take lots of photos and the 2 parts (Photoshop Elements 12 Editor and Adobe Elements 12 Organizer) are in constant use!
I tried other systems but for me, this is the most convenient and the best one.
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on 21 May 2014
Excellent, although probably too technical for my needs. I think I was being too ambitious! Very easy to install and use on my Macbook Pro, sticking to the basics. The only reservation I have is that I copied my iPhoto albums onto Elements, which drastically reduced my remaining hard drive space. I have been advised to delete and reinstall the program without downloading my photos this time, which will lose any work I've done up until now. I'm going to try and save the photos I have work with back to iPhoto first. Other than that, no complaints!
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on 23 May 2014
I have used Elements in the past and found it to a very useful photo editing tool. Elements 12 has surpassed all previous versions. The way into the package is more efficient than before and the edit process is a lot easier with a large number of the processes having short cuts. being able to remove, or move unwanted item in a photo is great and is completed quite quickly with little evidence of what was there before, a big improvement on previous versions and other packages.
For those who do not want or cannot afford to purchase the full version of CS, then you could do a lot worse than go for this package and at the price is a very good buy.
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