Essential Tips and Tricks for Adobe Photoshop Elements 14

The latest version of Photoshop Elements includes some great new features, so here are our top tips for making your photos look better than ever.

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  • step 1 Buying Photoshop Elements 14
  • step 2 Organising Photoshop Elements
  • step 3 Starting Photoshop Elements
  • step 4 Modes in Photoshop Elements
  • step 5 Guided Modes in Photoshop Elements
  • step 6 Guided Edit tasks in Photoshop Elements
  • step 7 Resize Your Photo
  • step 8 Fix Shaky Selfies
  • step 9 Haze Removal
  • step 10 Quick Selection tool in Photoshop Elements
  • More stories
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Buying Photoshop Elements 14

If Apple's Photos app isn't doing it for you in terms of photo editing capabilities, you might want to take a look at Adobe's Photoshop Elements.

You can’t buy Photoshop Elements 14 from the Mac App Store at the moment. For some reason, the App Store is still selling version 13 of both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements – and it’s only selling them together as a bundle too.

Quite a few high-street stores and online retailers are still stocking version 13 too, although we’d expect them to get the new version 14 in before Christmas.

For the time being the only place to buy Photoshop Elements 14 is directly from Adobe’s own web site. Photoshop Elements 14 costs £79.10 on its own, or you can buy it together with Premiere Elements 14 for £119.14.

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If Apple's Photos app isn't doing it for you in terms of photo editing capabilities, you might want to take a look at Adobe's Photoshop Elements.

You can’t buy Photoshop Elements 14 from the Mac App Store at the moment. For some reason, the App Store is still selling version 13 of both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements – and it’s only selling them together as a bundle too.

Quite a few high-street stores and online retailers are still stocking version 13 too, although we’d expect them to get the new version 14 in before Christmas.

For the time being the only place to buy Photoshop Elements 14 is directly from Adobe’s own web site. Photoshop Elements 14 costs £79.10 on its own, or you can buy it together with Premiere Elements 14 for £119.14.

 

Organising Photoshop Elements

Photoshop Elements comes with a second program called Adobe Organizer. This is a bit like Apple’s Photos app, as it concentrates on organising your photo library rather than editing and retouching. The Organizer has also been updated alongside Photoshop Elements - its face-recognition features are a lot faster now, and it automatically scans your photos to spot faces as soon as you import them. 

The Events tab gets a handy split-screen mode that shows your photos alongside a map of the locations where they were taken. And, unlike Photos, you can use Adobe Organizer to store and sort other types of files too, such as audio and PDF files.

 

Starting Photoshop Elements

Like its predecessors, Photoshop Elements 14 offers four different modes that you can work in, and you can switch from one mode to the other at any time simply by clicking on the tabs at the top of the main editing window.

The program initially launches into the eLive page, which gains quite a bit of new content in this update. This is a good place for beginners to start as it’s packed with useful hints and tips, including general advice on photography, such as how to shoot wildlife or landscape photos, as well as introducing many of the program’s main editing tools.

 

Modes in Photoshop Elements

The Quick mode in Photoshop Elements provides a number of automatic tools that can smarten up your photos without you having to do too much work.

There’s a new Smart Looks option here that analyses each photo and automatically suggests five different colour or lighting effects that should work well with that photo.

The program also shows previews of each effect and you can view Before and After versions of your photos in the main editing window.

A number of existing effects gain improved preview options too, such as the Seasons effect, which can adjust lighting and colour to match different times of year.

 

Guided Modes in Photoshop Elements

Guided mode is one of the best features in Photoshop Elements, as its ‘Guided Edit’ options give you step-by-step help with using many of the program’s most powerful editing tools and photographic techniques.

The main interface for Guided mode has been redesigned, and the various Guided Edits are divided into categories, such as Basics, Colour, and Fun, which are indicated by tabs running along the top of the screen.

Within each category you now get a more detailed explanation of each editing effect, as well as a ‘live’ preview that shows you how each effect will look before you get started.

 

Guided Edit tasks in Photoshop Elements

There are a couple of new Guided Edit tasks included in Photoshop Elements 14. The Speed Effect is fairly self-explanatory, allowing you to quickly add a motion-blur effect to your photos. Like all the Guided Edits in Photoshop Elements, the Speed Effect guides you through the editing process, indicating the tools you need and showing how you to increase or decrease the effect in order to achieve the results you need.

If you want to dig a bit deeper you can click the ‘?’ button in the top-right corner to get more detailed information on the tools and techniques used in each Guided Edit.

 

Resize Your Photo

The other new Guided Edit is called Resize Your Photo. You can still use the standard Resize command (in the Image menu) whenever you want, but this option simplifies things by including predefined settings that are suitable for both web and print.

If you select the Web option you can adjust the image size in pixels, or shrink the photo file down to a specific size in megabytes.

The Print options will resize the photo to fit formats such as a 4x6 postcard, or switch between portrait and landscape orientation.

Once you’ve finished you can print out your photo or upload it to sites such as Facebook or Flickr.

 

Fix Shaky Selfies

Like it or not, we live in the age of the selfie. Many selfies can be a bit blurry, as your arm may shake while you’re holding the camera out in front of you, so Photoshop Elements now includes a Shake reduction option to sharpen up blurry images.

If you click on the Enhance menu and select Auto Shake Reduction then Photoshop Elements will automatically sharpen the image for you.

If you want a little more control you can scroll further down the menu and select Shake Reduction. That opens an editing window where you can adjust the effect and select specific areas within a photo that you want to enhance.

 

Haze Removal

Another new enhancement tool is the Haze Removal option, which can be used to reduce fog and haze caused by water particles in the air when you’re taking photos.

Like Shake Reduction, this tool can be applied automatically simply by selecting Auto Haze Removal from the Enhance menu, or you can apply more precise control by scrolling down the menu and selecting Haze Removal.

That opens a new editing window where you can adjust the sensitivity of the haze removal and quickly switch between Before and After views of your photo.

 

Quick Selection tool in Photoshop Elements

Selecting fine details such as hair or fur in a photo is always difficult, but Photoshop Elements 14 refines its selection tools to give you a bit more help.

You can use the standard Quick Selection tool to quickly draw around the edge of your subject in a photo. If you need to increase the amount of detail in your selection then you can click Tool Options in the lower-left corner of the editing window, and then select the Refine Selection Brush.

This allows you to trace over the edges of your subject once more and ‘paint’ in some of the lost detail.

Read next: Essential Tips and Tricks for Adobe Premiere Elements 14

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