Adobe’s New Photoshop Elements 2018 – The Photo Editor

Adobe has released their latest version of Photoshop Elements. They have changed the official name to Photoshop Elements 2018. Previously this version would have been named Photoshop Elements 16, since the latest commercial version in stores is Photoshop Elements 15.

Welcome Screen


CLICK HERE to view their announcement. Announcing the next version of Elements in Fall has become a ritual with Adobe. I have been using the beta version for the past several months, and PSE 2018 has several new features that I am sure will be popular with new and old users alike.

In the coming weeks and months, I will be posting tutorials on several of the new features, but for now, here is quick rundown.

If you are familiar with earlier versions, you know that PSE 2018 includes both the Organizer and the Photo Editor modules. In my PREVIOUS POST, I did a quick overview of what is new in the Organizer. In this article I will do the same for the PSE 2018 Photo Editor module.

Photo Editor

As you can see from the figure below, the Photo Editor workspace has remained the same. For those of you who are using PSE 11 or later versions, you will find yourself right at home.

photo ed expert

As is generally the case with these annual updates, PSE 2018 is an incremental upgrade to PSE 15. Most of the work in the Photo Editor has been adding new Guided Edits. A couple of new and exciting tools have also been added.

The new tools are the Automatic Selection Tool, and the Open Closed Eyes Tool. The new Guided Edits include Water Color, Double Exposure, Shape Overlay, and Background Changer.

Automatic Selection Tool

This tool is has been added to the other selection tools previously a part of the Photo Editor. It can be accessed from both the Quick and Expert editing workspaces.

Auto Select Tool

Basically, how you use it is to draw a rectangle or oval around the object you want to select. Once you let go of the mouse, PSE 2018 makes the selection. Depending upon the background, the initial selection will need some fine tuning, which you can do with the other Selection Tools available.

In the example below, there is a somewhat complicated background, so the selection is going need fine tuning. For more solid backgrounds, the new Auto Selection Tool can get quite close to the final selection.

Auto select sq

Auto sel applied

Open Closed Eyes

We have all been in a position where we are taking a group photo and we have a great photo, except one person has their eyes shut. That is where the new tool, Open Closed Eyes comes in. The figures below outline the process. The tool is quite flexible as to where you obtain the source photo.

eye shut tool

eye open panel

before after eyes

PSE 2018 Photo Editor includes four new Guided Edits. Guided Edits essentially lead you step-by-step through the process of creating the final effect. Some of the Guided Edits are relatively simple and others can be several steps. Pretty much all of them can be further tweaked from within the Expert mode of the Photo Editor.


The Watercolor effect is found in the Special Edits group of the Guided workspace.

watercolor effect

It’s an example of a multi-step Guided Edit..

watercolor panel

watercolor before after

Double Exposure

This effect is found in the Fun group of the Guided Edits workspace. Again, this edit includes several steps to guide you through the process.

Double Exposure Panel

Given the right picture and your creativity, very interesting photo interpretations are possible. As you can see from the figure below, my creativity needs some (ok, a lot of) improvement.

Again, this Guided Edit includes several steps giving you plenty of opportunity to personalize your final photo.

The figure below displays just how many layers and operations are employed. It also illustrates how the Expert Edit mode is available to further edit the photo to reach the desired result.

Double Expose example

Shape Overlay

The Shape Overlay is another Fun Edit within the Guided Edit workspace.

shape overlay panel

The figure below shows the various things you can do with the result of the Shape Overlay Guided Edit. In fact, this screen is typical for other Guided Edits, including sharing the resulting photo.

shape share

Replace Background

The final new Guided Edit introduced in PSE 2018 is the Replace Background. This one is found in the Special Edits group.

replace background panel

Notice in the figure below, in addition to selecting a preset, as I did here, you can also select one of your own photos for the background.

replace bkgrd example

This particular Guided Edit is one that you may use quite often, in contrast to others in the Guided Edit workspace that you may use only infrequently.

Well there you have it. This new version of PSE 2018, although an incremental upgrade, probably has something for everyone.

Over the coming weeks and months, I will be posting tutorials, both written and videos, on the new PSE 2018, as well as Premiere Elements 2018 (PRE 2018). Stay tuned.

Until next time.


Adobe Announces Photoshop Elements 2018

Adobe has released their latest version of Photoshop Elements, named Photoshop Elements 2018.

Welcome Screen


CLICK HERE to view their announcement. Announcing the next version of Elements in late September has become a ritual with Adobe. I have been using the beta version for the past several months, and PSE 2018 has several new features that I am sure will be popular with new and old users alike.

In the coming weeks and months, I will be posting tutorials on several of the new features, but for now, here is quick rundown. I will cover the Organizer, in this post. I will briefly describe the Photo Editor module in a second post shortly.

The Organizer

Main Org Grid

One of the primary goals of the development team was to improve the performance of the Organizer. They have accomplished this in several areas. These improvements are under the hood, and the  improvement you will see will depend upon your computer system and what Organizer features you use.

As you can see from the figures in this post, the look of the Organizer has not changed much from recent versions. So coming up to speed and getting right into the new features will be quick for current PSE users.

Auto Curate

A new feature that Organizer users will like is the new Auto Curate. Using it gives you a jump on screening your images. As shown above, it is accessed by checking the small box in the upper right corner of the Grid.

Face Rec

The accuracy and performance of Face Recognition continues to be improved with each new version. To be honest, I still do not use it regularly. The number of people I am interested in tagging are only few. Also, the program cannot identify someone from their profile, which other programs suffer from as well.

4th Lev Places

In this edition of PSE 2018, when geo-tagging photos using Places, a fourth level of detail has been added to the description of the location. Many users have been requesting this expansion.

SS Editor

My favorite new feature is the significant improvement to the Slide Show Editor, which is accessed from the Organizer. For those of you who have used PSE prior to PSE 11, will remember that the Slide Show Editor in those early versions was quite flexible and full-featured.

For PSE 11, Adobe replaced the original Slide Show Editor, because its legacy code was very difficult to maintain. They replaced it with a simple and very limited tool. In PSE 2018, the Slide Show Editor is significantly improved. These improvements made using it for me adequate, if not ideal, for short simple slide shows.

It still lacks many of the features that the original (pre-PSE 11) Slide Show Editor provided, such as a fully controllable pan and zoom (Ken Burns) effect, the ability to add text to a slide while controlling its font, size, and position, controlling the duration of each slide, and adding audio captions. The new Slide Show Editor allows short videos to be used. However, they can only be a maximum of 10 seconds long, which I feel is too short.

But, Adobe has done a good job of including several themes that mitigate some of the Slide Show Editor’s shortcomings. In the end, I found that enough features were included to allow me to once again use it for my simple slide show presentations. I still have Premiere 2018, Adobe’s consumer level video editing program for producing more complex presentations.

PSE 2018 is an incremental update to PSE 15. If you are a current user of the PSE 15’s Organizer, you may find these improvements to the Organizer are not sufficient to update to PSE 2018. However, for me the improved Slide Show Editor itself makes upgrading worthwhile.

And remember, PSE 2018 also includes the Photo Editor, which has its own set of new features. I’ll cover it next time.

Until next time…