Photoshop Elements 9 has entered the Photoshop arena just months after Photoshop CS5. Each time a new version of Photoshop Elements comes on the scene, more and more parts of Photoshop are included. I will discuss the new and enhanced features and give examples of the different major components of Photoshop Elements 9 - ORGANIZE, EDIT, CREATE, and SHARE.

Before we start on the review, a look at the Photoshop family of products is useful. There are a number of products with the Photoshop name as part of their title. Each one is different. If you are just starting out or like to edit photos and create special effects, Photoshop Elements 9 would be my recommendation. Many of the components of Photoshop CS5 are contained in Photoshop Elements 9, just not in as much depth. In addition, Photoshop Elements has different levels of working from automatic to full manual editing. It is an excellent purchase. I have often wondered why it is so inexpensive for what it has to offer.

Photoshop CS5 Extended Photoshop CS5 Lightroom 3 Photoshop Elements 9 Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 &
Adobe Premiere® Elements 9
Video professionals
Web designers
Interactive designers
in architecture,
engineering, science,
and medicine
Photo enthusiasts Photo and video enthusiasts
Adobe® Photoshop CS5 Extended
US$999 full / $349 upgrade1
Adobe Photoshop CS5
US$699 full / US$199 upgrade2
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom® 3
US$299 full / US$99 upgrade3
$99.99 $149.99

Below are a list of the enhanced and new features for Photoshop Elements 9.



Let's start looking at Photoshop Elements 9 by seeing how easy it is to take your image from a digital camera to the computer. I put my memory card from my camera into my slot in the computer (I have slots for different size memory cards) and was asked whether I wanted to download the images using Photoshop Elements 9. I clicked on yes, and the first screen appeared. Initially the standard screen is present.

But you can choose to use the advanced screen instead.

You can, also, download from the top toolbar under file. There are always more than one way to accomplish a task in Photoshop Elements 9.

Once my images are downloaded, I can open the ORGANIZER and see them. I can arrange the ORGANIZER in many ways.

I can do a quick fix or go into EDIT mode.

If you just opened Photoshop Elements 9 without having activated the ORGANIZER after downloading from a camera, this is the screen you would see. Now you can choose to EDIT an image without using the ORGANIZER first.

The particular image I opened was a raw image, so that screen opened first. Photoshop Elements 9 has a good camera raw engine. With it I can make global changes if necessary to the image and, then, save it in another format. I always use PSD.

As stated earlier, there are different ways to edit images from full editing, which is the most similar to Photoshop to guided editing which can be relatively automatic.

There are new and enhanced features in the EDIT component. The most obvious changes have been made to the Guided Edit menu. A whole new section called Fun Edits has been added and Style Match has been added to the Photomerge section. I have to admit I was leery about Style Match working to my satisfaction. I was amazed! I chose a moody photo I had created and using it as my style, applied it to another image. The screenshot is of the default. I could have tweaked it if I had wanted to.

As I stated there is a new Fun Edits section. The Guided Edit walks you through the process. The number of clicks determines the amount of effect.

Lomo Camera Effect

Pop Art


Portrait Tools

Out of Bounds

Creating Layer Masks is an exciting new feature in Photoshop Elements 9. This has been a much needed feature, in my opinion, and I am very excited to see it. If you are unfamiliar with it, I urge you to work with it. I have used it a lot for years in various Photoshop CS versions and was really glad to see it included in Photoshop Elements 9. Notice the gradual lightening of the blue background.

These are just a few of the new or enhanced editing features.

Once you have edited your image, you can do many other things with it. Many of these are new to Photoshop Elements 9. Both the CREATE and SHARE modes have been enhanced and customized. Now in the CREATE mode, you can print almost everything on your home printer. This makes creating greeting cards, calendars, etc. much easier, faster, and less expensive.

Creating and printing a calendar is very easy.

Sharing using the SHARE mode is, also, easier than ever with the ability to upload to so many social networking sites including Facebook.

One cannot forget Whether you use the Basic that comes with Photoshop Elements 9 or decide on the the Plus package, is a very useful online service. If you purchase Photoshop Elements from Adobe, you can get the Plus services for a $10 reduction. You can get the Plus version and Photoshop Elements 9 for $119.99 with a mail in rebate. The program by itself can be purchased for $79.99 instead of $99.99. This includes the $20 mail in rebate. The offer is good from September. 21, 2010 to December 31, 2010.

For more information on Photoshop Elements 9, go to: For information on all Adobe products go to: To try Photoshop Elements 9, click on Try.


This is definitely a worthwhile upgrade. The new features, especially in the EDIT mode, and the ability to print more special projects from your home computer in the CREATE mode are enough on their own. However, there are so many more enhancements and new features that you cannot go wrong in either upgrading or buying it as a new program. I highly recommend it.