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Photoshop Elements (PSE) 10 --like its predecessor versions-- has enough features to rapidly surpass the skills --and time available to tinker-- of most amateur digital photographers...even highly skilled ones. The overall interface will be familiar to user of PSE versions as far back as PSE 6 or 7. It incorporates most of the multiple image merge functions that have been around since PSE 7. As with previous versions, PSE 10 offers this for a fraction of the cost of its professional (and professionally priced!). big brother, Photoshop CS5. Most amateur photographers --and even some frugal professionals-- can perform all but the most advanced digital editing with PSE 10 (and then use the money saved for some nice new hardware!).

Note: This review assumes some familiarity with digital photography and digital image concepts, and previous exposure to earlier PSE versions.

-No issues with installation on a machine with a fresh (less than two weeks old) install of Windows 7, a dual-core 3 GHZ processor and 4 GB of RAM.

-Unlike PSE 8, PSE 10 does not require users to decide whether to continue using an earlier version or use the new version exclusively. You have the option to use --or remove-- both version 10 and an earlier version (but you can't do so at the same time: I tried!).

-The license for this product permits installation on one primary and one "mobile" computer, with the restriction not to use on both computers at the same time.

-Total installation time (including entering the registration code and skimming the EULA) took less than 10 minutes. This was followed by PSE 10's "Organizer" peforming its own indexing of the digital images on my computer. Cataloging nearly 50,000 digital images took slightly less than an hour. If you're a Windows user and store your images in a non-default "My Pictures" location under your user name: you'll have to tell PSE where to browse for this indexing.

Function and features:
-The interface, function and features of PSE 10 will be familiar to users of recent PSE versions. The .psd files are still manipulated using layers and selection tools. The complete range of image effects ("filters"), image enhancement and editing tools are essentially unchanged since version 6. Still present are options to open, edit and save in wide range of file formats.

-PSE 10 recognized the scanner on my system, and immediately allowed imports of scanned images using both the scanner's proprietary interface (Epson software) and the generic WIA Windows Image Acquisition (the successor to TWAIN) options.

-Output to the printers on my system was trouble-free. Accepting the default printing options yielded fine results, but advanced options for those who like to tweak are readily available. PSE 10 successfully offered options to print to the two physical (laserjet, inkjet) and two virtual (Acrobat and Microsoft Document Writer) printers attached to my desktop.

-PSE 10 and Adobe continue to assume plenty about user connectivity. All of the help files for PSE 10 are online. Select "Help" in the menu bar (or press the "F1" key), and you are not taken to local help are taken to This is fine if you are connected to the Internet, but less fine if you are not (and some people are NOT connected at all times). You can optionally download a 27 MB .pdf user guide. This is an option you'll want to exercise if you anticipate needing help while not online or if you have bandwidth constraints where you work.

-Adobe also continues to also push its online services hard. At install, and *every* time you launch PSE 10, you will be invited to enter your "Adobe Online ID". If you register (and you'll probably want to just for update notifications), you'll get some free services (2 GB of storage and some sharing functions). This seems to be aimed at two things:
(1) tracking use habits of users (my opinion only; but read the EULA carefully!)
(2) enticing you into the $49.99 per year "PSE 10 Plus" services (20 GB of online storage and some sharing and effects services). While I suppose the integration with PSE is nice, you can register your own domain --with unlimited storage-- from hundreds of providers for much less than this. Resist!

As long as you download the .pdf file so you have access to help files when offline, and remain aware of what *any* software company may be doing when they solicit you to use the online extensions of their products: these are not serious shortcomings. But my suspicions about how Adobe might track user behavior and over-reliance on online help files are what move this from a 5-star to a 4-star review.

-PSE 10, like all of its predecessors is feature dense. Even powerful users will benefit from additional help. In addition to widely available online forums (hosted by Adobe and elsewhere on the web; search popular video sites for step-by-steps on even the most advanced functions), a reference book will improve your user experience. Remember: technology is complicated, and you're not a dummy! Rather than something in yellow and black that calls you names, consider the Photoshop Elements 10 "Missing Manual" instead.

PSE 10 is a powerful image editing tool priced modestly for consumers, with many of the version 8 issues resolved, but without a dramatic change to the user interface. Is it worth upgrading from version 8 or 9? Probably not. But if you're ready to do take on some powerful editing of your digital images, PSE 10 is a good choice if you don't already run one of these recent earlier version.

Finally, a note for the frugal:
if you can do without the instant gratification of installing from a download: the
DVD version of the same application is (as of this writing) selling for a considerably lower price (twenty dollars lower). This can is always change, but is worth checking before you buy.
66 comments90 of 90 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 13, 2011
I was really angry when my version of Photoshop 6.2 quit working on windows ME or Vista not sure it was years back, I really loved that software and though I did try a few versions of inexpensive Adobe products in the past, none has come close to what I had in that software that MS took away by not allowing older software to migrate to their new OS I think I was running XP at the time but wasn't too happy that a pretty expensive bit of software was gone because of MS decided to make their not make their OS backward compatible.

Anyway It took a few years and a few sub-par products to finally find something that works as well or nearly as well as that old software did, but there are allot of are inexpensive replacements these days. In fact shareware and freeware products have gone comercial and are charging as much or more than this version of Adobe imaging software, and honest I find that hard to beliieve.

I bought the download becuase I needed something fast to import and fix some old photo's ( for safety reasones I saved it to my external hard drive just incase something happens to this machine or I buy a new PC ), but after a few hours playing with this software and I'm pretty happy, it made the correction in faded yellow photo's I wanted it to do, and for the money... forget it. Compared to the other two imaging software packages I've purchased recently this is like going from a decent shareware product to a solid photo imaging platform again.

I know we have our own favorites, and there's allot of opinion concerning these products, but in this case I've been expecting to spend allot of money and found this package to do just about everything my old ful version of Photoshop did, plus it has some features that the old Photoshop didn't have ( primarily concerning digital imagery ) so I'm very happy, and would recommend this product to anyone I know with no hesitation or concerns that they might find it lacking perticularly for the money.
0Comment19 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 19, 2012
I just bought a new Canon T3i camera as I am starting Photography as a hobby and hopefully more in the future. I installed the software that came with the camera and just felt like I needed something a little better and user friendly. After looking around the internet at different photo editing software, I decided to go with Photoshop Elements. I have used regular Photoshop years ago very briefly and thought this should be pretty similar, it is! The best thing about it is the guided tours that Adobe has implemented into the program, they help so much and really help you master the look your going for. If your someone who is just starting out like me, this is really a great deal! not to mention Amazon has a great price on it at the time of this review, actually looking at it now, I made the purchase 5/17/12 @ around 60$, its now in the 45$ range on 5/18/12. Bah, oh well. Give it a shot, I think you'll enjoy it.
0Comment10 of 11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 23, 2012
I've been using PSE ever since it was introduced. Typically upgrading has been worthwhile every 2-3 versions, but this time I decided to step up from version 9 based on some of the new enhancement tools announced.

First of all, PSE remains by far the best photo editor for anyone not wanting or needing the pro Photoshop software. For years I have had it loaded on two home desktops and one laptop. When I tried to install version 10 onto the third machine, I was unpleasantly surprised to find that Adobe has restricted the license to no more than two machines. That's just greedy.

Anyhow, version 9 has remained on the third computer and now, after using both versions for several months, I have concluded that the upgrade was not worth it.

So, five star product minus one star for a wimpy upgrade and another star for stingy licensing.
0Comment8 of 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 25, 2012
The software was cheaper than purchasing it directly from Adobe. I downloaded the software and have had no problems using the program. I will check Amazon first before making purchases directly from Adobe in the future.
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on April 2, 2012
After downloading the free trial version from Adobe and playing with it for a while, I came very close to paying twice this much for the permanent version. When I stumbled upon this Amazon version, the price seemed too good to be true. I was pleased to discover that it is exactly the same product. The one possible difference is that the more expensive version is good for both PC and Mac, while you must choose one or the other with this option. Since I only have PCs, that is fine by me. A great deal!
Update, 4-6-12: As of this date, Amazon was no longer offering it at half price. I suspect that I benefited from a pricing error. Still an excellent program and a convenient way to buy.
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on February 27, 2012
I have had every Elements version and they never fail to provide a smooth transition. I can always use the old version like the new and just keep adding in the new parts as I go along. Adobe does a wonderful job - again!
0Comment6 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 26, 2012
Best price for an amazing product. Download was easy and I was able to start using it immediately. Amazon makes shopping a fun experience. The site is easy to navigate and I always find what I am looking for.
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on March 20, 2012
I do like everything about this photoshop program. Although it is confusing. Word of advice to just keep messing with it. I don't have very much patience but as I kept trying different things I'm starting to get the hang of it more!
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on December 7, 2011
Don't waste your money on the pro version that Adobe offers unless you are actually getting paid for doing graphic design.
0Comment5 of 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

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