Premiere Elements has been one of the leading video editors for PCs for years, but Adobe didn’t release a Mac version as Apple’s iMovie was already included with Macs for free. However, recent versions of iMovie have focused on quick and easy editing, omitting some of the more advanced tools of previous versions. That opened the door for Premiere Elements to make its debut on the Mac.

Admittedly, Premiere Elements is more complex than iMovie and also requires a fairly powerful machine in order to run smoothly. However, its multi-track editing capabilities and its range of special effects tools are far more extensive than those of iMovie. In the first of a series of Masterclasses on Premiere Elements, we provide an overview of some of the program’s most powerful features.

1. Get organised  The video features on Apple’s iPhoto are relatively limited; the Organizer program supplied with Premiere Elements is a better choice for arranging a large collection of video files. The first time you run the Organizer it asks if you want to import your existing iPhoto events.

2. Create albums  iPhoto Events are converted into albums within Organizer, ensuring that related files are still grouped together for easy access. The new albums are listed in the Organize panel on the right-hand side of the screen. Beneath that panel is the Tags panel, which provides additional tools for sorting media files.

3. Playing tag  Like iPhoto, Organizer can add tags such as family or holiday to your files, making it easy to find what you’re looking for. Both programs also offer face recognition technology that can be used to locate photos of specific people. However, the Organizer goes beyond iPhoto in a number of ways.

4. Smart tagging  The Organizer also includes a series of Smart Tags that allow it to analyse the content of photo and video files in great detail. As well as recognising individual faces, you can use Smart Tags to locate photos with groups of people, and detect settings such as focus and contrast.