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on September 29, 2010
I upgraded from Photoshop Elements (PSE) 6 for Windows to PSE9 for Mac and was glad to see that the Mac and Windows versions were essentially the same. Since I use iPhoto for organizing, I can't say anything about PSE's Organizer, but I gave the Editor a workout.

Elements is at the high end of what I'll spend for a photo editor, and I buy roughly every third version to keep the price reasonable over the years, so it's time, and I'm happy to say that 9.0 fits my needs . . . and then some.

Like PSE6, PSE9 it is a great overall photo editor. It does a good job of enhancing photos, either with a click of a button or just a few clicks if I happen to disagree with the Auto Smart Fix. It can process batches of photos that all need the same work done to them. And it has enough manual controls (histograms, contrast, brightness, shadows/highlights, red eye, color correction, layers, etc.) to do just about anything to a photo you can imagine.

Pros:
* It works smoothly with iPhoto; I could switch back and forth easily and quickly and open multiple photos at once for editing.
* It's fast on my MacBook Pro.
* The editor hasn't crashed yet, and I'm running through thousands of photos.
* All of the features that I'm familiar with from previous versions still work well, and some, like the magic lasso, work even better than before.
* Content-aware healing can perform minor miracles in my hands. In the hands of an expert, or someone with more patience, it can probably perform major miracles.
* The Guided Edits helped me visualize the steps involved for some of the more complicated features, which helped me make better use of the Full Edit.
* PhotoMerge Group Shot is incredibly easy to use. I had two photos shot at different distances, and PSE had no trouble making the necessary adjustments.
* Removing clutter from photographs is simple.
* Oh happy day, Elements now has layer masks, a feature that used to be the domain of its pricier sibling. Now you can make parts of a layer more or less opaque, allowing for some really neat effects. I won't use this often, but a few of my photos are just crying out for it.

Cons:
* The Welcome Screen is still annoying. Fortunately, you can set it up to go straight to the Organizer or Editor.
* It still can't batch process the Save for Web feature. Sigh.
* My camera has a panorama assistant but doesn't stitch them together, so I was interested in PSE9's enhanced panorama stitching. For the most part, it's very easy. PSE does most of the work. Unfortunately, it created an enormous file--117mg--out of my five 5mg photos and ran out of RAM before it could finish everything--even after I maxed out the RAM in Preferences. I ended up with a very nice panorama but had to reduce the file size before doing some of the final touches myself. Then the final jpeg size turned out to be smaller than any of the individual photos.
* Yeah, I would have liked a manual.

If you are currently using PSE 8, there may not be enough new features to warrant an upgrade yet, though the content-aware healing might make it worth it. From version 6? Definitely.

If you have never used Elements, this is a great application with a bit of a learning curve. Get the free one-month trial, and borrow a book on it from the library. That's where I'll be headed once the manuals for version 9 show up.
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on November 17, 2010
I've been using Photoshop Elements for over 5 years and have always thought it was a tremendous value. I've also used the full version of Photoshop, and if you can afford it - it's worth the money. I'm a professional photographer and marketer. I use Photoshop Elements almost every day and it does 99.5% of the things that I would use Photoshop to do (off the top of my head I can't think of anything I want to do in Photoshop that I can't do in Photoshop Elements).

I was thinking of updating to the full version of Photoshop for it's new content aware healing features. Photoshop Elements 9 adds this functionality to Photoshop Elements (and some other great additions too). If you're looking for a photo editing software application Photoshop Elements is the best value on the market. Period!
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on January 15, 2011
I think the software itself is powerful and very useful. However, I am new to photo editing and this is my first Adobe product. Virtually impossible to learn on my own without books, tutorials, or long voyages into the help sections. I am analytical by both nature and profession and work regularly with many software applications but this is a whole new approach for me. I am hoping that once I master some of the basics some of the usefulness will become more readily available. In the meantime, it looks like a pretty steep hill to climb. Three weeks into the learning curve and still pretty frustrating. Powerful, but not readily accessible to this new user.

As a side note, I am running the software on an MS XP Pro machine with 3GB memory that has very few other applications installed on the computer, and is dedicated to this use. However, trying to use any of the Quick Fix tools in the Elements Organizer crashes the software completely and you must start over. Probably not a big deal as I know I should be making editing changes in the editor (and not the Organizer part), but still a glitch somewhere in the software that may annoy others if it is inherent to this particular combination.
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on August 9, 2012
I've had the program for about 2 years. But I've had ongoing issues with photos going "Missing" in the Organizer for no reason at all. I've read everything I can find to try to figure out what's going on. Nothing has addressed the problem to the point of fixing it. So basically, I'm losing some of my edited photos. I tried to contact Adobe for help today, and the rep said that they couldn't help me as I don't have the latest version (Elements 10). Thanks! What a big help.

When I'd try to reconnect to missing photos, frequently they are never found, and when I try to do it manually, that doesn't work either. I've been testing it a little, and the other day I saw 2 missing photos and tried to reconnect to them. Somehow, those 2 were found, but photos between them and on either side of them then went missing! So I know it's a bug. That just shouldn't have happened.

If anyone can recommend another photo editing software I'd really appreciate it. This has driven me crazy. And Adobe's "help", if you can call it that, just makes you madder. They apparently just don't care that you spent good money on something you can't get to work, or is full of bugs.
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on January 8, 2011
I have been using Elements 7 for quite a while now and resisted the temptation to upgrade to version 8. However, the new features in version 8 PLUS the new features in version 9 have made this a worthwhile upgrade for me. I particularly like the new way that adjustment layers work so that the adjustments themselves are always "live" (this was added in 8) and I have found the content-aware fill feature (new in 9) to be very useful, although it does take some experimenting in some cases to get the desired results with it. Versions 8 and 9 each added some new photomerge features that are not something I will use every day, but I think will be handy to have.

Perhaps one of the best reasons to upgrade is that version 9 supports version 6.3 of Adobe Camera RAW, which seems to produce better output than version 5.6 (the last version supported by Elements 7), particularly with regard to noise reduction.

Finally, version 9 does automatic updates, including automatic updates of Adobe Camera RAW. I don't know if version 8 did this or now, but from my experience with version 7, updates (especially updates to ACR) had to be done manually.
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on July 19, 2011
I have been eyeing this photo editing software for a while. I read some of the reviews and decided to give it a try. I have been taking pictures for a few years now and have moderate experience with photo editing software so I wasn't to worried about this. Well I have to tell you it is a little difficult even for me. I like the different editing features but figuring them out was a pain. The book that comes with it is a joke. It is real basic and does not go into detail about how to use some of these features. I have started to figure out some of it but I warn if you are someone that has no photo editing experience and/or get frustrated with this kind of software then I would recommend you try a different photo editing program. I found myself getting real annoyed with this software. I'm still learning it and hopefully I will have it down soon but I kinda wish I had bought something easier and less expensive. I am also a little ticked off that to get some of the features you have to buy an upgrade, I mean really? I just spent $80 bucks on this and I still have to pay more for some of the features? Stupid if you ask me. I'm not real crazy about this program so I hope I can figure it out and get it down or I just wasted $80.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on February 8, 2011
I've used PE5 for years but it did not seem to work well on a new computer with Windows 7 64 bit, so I purchased the latest version thinking I would be in for a treat with all the improvements since my earlier version.
Although the software installed without a glitch, and I was able to use the tags I had assigned in PE 5, when I clicked on the "print" in the Organizer program, it caused the program to crash. Also, the thumbnails never finished loading no matter how long I waited. I have about 30,000 photos so I expected a delay but not more than a few hours!
The Editor program worked well, and I could print, however the print options in the Editor program are too limited compared to what would have been available in the Organizer program.

I did install all the updates & created a new catalog plus searched in vain on the Adobe support website (Which is a very poor support system)

I downloaded the Adobe Lightroom 3 program, trial offer and was amazed at how well it handled all my needs, so I returned PE 9 for a refund and would advise caution to anyone running Windows 7 with a large number of photos.
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on February 20, 2012
I've been using PSE verion 9 for over a year. I had no trouble installing it. The one time I needed to contact Customer Support I got very good service and a prompt resolution. The product has actually far more functionality than I can use, and though some of it is marginally useful (like a large number of special effects), that which I know how to use usually enable me to take my raw shots and use good sense and basic photography to improve their presentability.

I have avoided using the Organizer as nowhere have I found anything that makes me want to give up simple MS drive/folder/file format to store my work. Therefore 4 instead of 5 stars.

Note on version 10: I just downloaded a new copy of version 9 (I lost my original CD) though version 10 is available. The rather evenly distributed review spread of version 10 in Amazon was the deciding factor. The stories of problems with installation and sometimes seemingly poor customer support do not coincide with my experience with Adobe/PSE at all, but the percentage of them are hard to discount if you are in a hurry and want no problems. I can sympathize with the users, Adobe, and Amazon (which has to mediate discussions like these). I guess "let the readers beware" as well as "let the buyers beware"; we are still feeling our way through this type of discussion, and they are prey to many factors.
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on May 4, 2011
I'm an amateur photographer and I frequently need help improving my photos. In Elements 9, I have found the tools that make my good photos better, and improves my poor photos significantly, at least to the point of being acceptable. There is a ton of information that the user needs to learn, but the tools in this software are incredible once you have learned how to use them. Every time I use it, I learn something new Elements 9 can do.

I prefer manuals that I can hold in my hands to the manual included in the software. That would be my only suggestion for making this incredible product better. I bought a manual at the bookstore after I received the software. But I'm beginning to understand how powerful this software is and not having a manual I can hold would not be enough to keep me from buying this product again. I only wish I had bought it sooner!!
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on January 22, 2011
A good up grade for Elements, but it is disappointing that the PC and Mac versions are still not exactly the same...the Mac versions are always short changed in some regards, and this version is no exception. I was very disappointed upon first use to discover that the ability to scan images directly into the program had been removed from this Mac "update". With a sizable amount of digging around I was able to find that the scanning function for the Mac was still included with the program, but had to activated and placed in the proper folder by the user. The scanning import now works on my Mac just as it did on the previous version. This function is "not recommended" by Adobe, but it works fine for my system. Elements is an amazing program, but as you would expect with all of it's abilities there is a learning curve that is a little steep. Well worth the money and the effort, but not for everyone.
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