We’re closing in on the end of September, and as it has done for the past few years, Adobe announced the new version of Photoshop Elements, PSE 9. I’ve been part of the beta test team the last three years, so I have had a preview of what the new version would include. Now I can share the information. Adobe also announced the new version of their consumer video editing program, Premiere Elements 9 (PRE 9).
The big news is for those using Macs. The Mac version of PSE 9 now includes the Organizer, rather than Bridge in previous recent versions. Also, a Mac version of PRE 9 is also available for the first time. However, a few of the features of the Windows version of PRE 9 are not currently available for the Mac.
For those who are using recent versions of PSE, the question of whether or not to upgrade is a personal choice. As usual, some new features have been added. You need to decide whether or not the new features in PSE 9 are of value to you. There is one new feature that for many will justify the upgrade all by itself. That is the addition of the Layer Mask, which can be added to any layer with one click. Those of you who have taken my Photo Editing class remember the multiple steps we had to take to make a layer mask when we were doing the photo collage exercise. The built in Layer Mask opens up a whole new set of techniques that can now be easily implemented.
Another improvement that is worth noting is the improved readability. Since PSE went to a dark background in PSE 6, many have found it hard it hard to see the various items on the screen. Adobe has been working on the readability since then. They are not there yet, but I think that the subtle changes made in PSE 9 improve its readability over Version 8.
I’ll have more to say about the new version as time goes on. The link below is to a comparison chart I have updated the last couple of years. It compares PSE 6 through PSE 9. It may help you decide whether or not it’s time to upgrade. The print is small, so use the zoom feature of Adobe Reader to see it clearly.