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Sue Chastain

Adobe Releases Photoshop Elements 12

By September 24, 2013

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Today Adobe announced the release of Photoshop Elements 12 with a new Mobile Photos feature and a host of other enhancements. Here's a look at the most notable new features added to Photoshop Elements 12.

Photoshop Elements 12
Photoshop Elements 12 Adobe

With Mobile Albums, you now can access the photos and video clips from your smartphone or tablet right in the Elements Organizer, and also send your desktop photos and videos to your Adobe Revel account to make them accessible on your mobile devices. (Previously, this was done though Photoshop.com, but that service has been changed over to AdobeRevel.com which is now integrated into Photoshop Elements 12 Organizer.) When you choose photos and videos to add to a mobile album, they will be available on all your devices, no matter where you are. Adding items to your mobile albums is a simple drag and drop operation, and any edits you make will automatically propagate to all your devices where you are signed in to Adobe Revel. (An Adobe Revel account is free for up to 50 photos and videos per month. For unlimited uploads, Revel costs US$5.99 per month.)

Mobile Albums in Photoshop Elements 12  Adobe
Mobile Albums in Photoshop Elements 12 Adobe

One-Touch Effects, Textures, and Frames are a new feature in the Quick mode of the Elements Editor. This gives you a quick preview of ten different popular Instagram-like effects, textures, and frames to choose from. So in a few clicks you can easily give your photo a vintage or grunge look, or make it stand out with a fun frame.

One Touch Effects in PSE12 Quick Edit  Adobe
One Touch Effects in PSE12 Quick Edit Adobe

Pet eye correction has finally made it to Photoshop Elements as an extra checkbox in the options for the red-eye tool. From what I can tell, this option paints over the white or green area of the pet eye, and adds a glint. I don't expect this to work in every pet eye situation, but it is definitely preferable to the demon-eye pet photos we're all so familiar with.

Pet Eye Fix in PSE12  Adobe
Pet Eye Fix in PSE12 Adobe

Photoshop Elements 12 now boasts more than 25 Guided Edits, with three new ones added to the line-up: Zoom Burst, Photo Puzzle, and Restore Old Photo. Zoom Burst adds action to a photo by emulating a tricky in-camera effect where you would zoom in during a long exposure. It's a fun and kind of cool effect, but it can also be a bit nauseating. The Photo Puzzle guided edit breaks your photo up into puzzle pieces, which can be separated into layers and moved around. The Restore Old Photo guided edit should be very useful to people without a lot of editing experience as it walks you through the most common photo repairs in the proper order. As with previous versions, all these guided edits keep their layers and adjustment layers intact so experienced users can use them as a starting point and switch into Expert editing mode for further tweaking.

Zoom Burst Guided Edit in PSE12  Adobe
Zoom Burst Guided Edit in PSE12 Adobe

The Editor has a new Content Aware Move tool which allows you to select and move objects while Photoshop Elements automatically and intelligently fills the holes left behind from the moved object, and blends the moved object into the surroundings of its new location. This rarely turns out as seamless as Adobe would like you to believe, but there is no doubt it is a welcome time-saving tool.

The Straighten tool in Photoshop Elements 12 has a new content aware fill option, so it will intelligently fill in the blank corners after your photo is straightened. This means you don't have to crop out the edges of your photo when rotating it to straighten a crooked horizon.

Another way that Photoshop Elements uses intelligent algorithms is with the new Auto Smart Tone adjustment, which learns your preferences the more you use it. Each time you adjust a photo with Auto Smart Tome, you are presented with four extremes for color, tone, and contrast, with a joystick controller in the middle of the image. As you move the controller, you can see how it will change your photo in relation to the four extremes. The next time you use Auto Smart Tone it will start out closer to the adjustment you made previously, and the more you use it, the better it gets because it learns what you like based on the type of photo and other context.

Auto Smart Tone Correction in PSE12  Adobe
Auto Smart Tone Correction in PSE12 Adobe

A new Share menu in the Editor lets you share directly to Private Web Albums, Flickr, Twitter, SmugMug Gallery, or Facebook without going back to the organizer.

Pricing and Availability
Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 and Adobe Premiere Elements 12 (Mac and Windows) are immediately available for purchase at www.adobe.com for US$99.99, with upgrade pricing of US$79.99. The Photoshop Elements 12 & Premiere Elements 12 bundle is available now for US$149.99, with upgrade pricing of US$119.99. They will soon be available at retail stores.

We'll be taking a deeper look at these new features and updating our review in the coming weeks. For now, I feel that this is not a groundbreaking upgrade for customers already using Photoshop Elements 11. If you're using an older version, it might be time to think about moving to Elements 12. The links below will help you acquaint yourself with what has been added in those older versions.
Photoshop Elements 11 Review
Photoshop Elements 11 Photo Tour
New in Photoshop Elements 10
New in Photoshop Elements 9
New in Photoshop Elements 8
New in Photoshop Elements 7

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