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Elements 3 Q & A  |   Elements 4 Q & A  |  Elements 5 Q & A
Elements 4 Upgrade Guide  |  Elements 5 Upgrade Guide


NEWS! Elements 5 for Windows has been released! The Q&A page for PSE 5 is here, and the PSE 5 Upgrade Guide is here.


Adobe Photoshop Elements 4.0: You've got questions?


Here's some answers!


updated!Is there a Mac version?
How much does Elements 4 cost?
Can I get it bundled with Premiere Elements 2?
How do I keep Elements 4 Organizer from downloading my photos from my camera or card reader automatically?
What are some of the new features?
updated! Will I be teaching a class for Elements 4? (Yes, three of them and they are enrolling now!)
First Notes: Installation
Where is my Help file?
Want to learn more?

updated!Upgrade Guide: Is Elements 4 for you? This link opens in a separate window.


updated!Is there a Mac version?

Yes. It doesn't have the Organizer, but it Adobe Bridge from the Creative Suite 2. Other than that, it has the same new tools as the Windows version.

How much does it cost?

That depends on what version you choose. Prices are reprinted from Photoshop Elements User Adobe Photoshop Elements and Premiere Pricing Guide and are subject to change.

Photoshop Elements 4.0

$99.99 USD with a $20 Competitive / Upgrade Mail-in Rebate. The products that qualify for the rebate are - previous versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements, Adobe Photoshop Album, Adobe Photoshop LE and Adobe PhotoDeluxe; Microsoft Digital Image Pro or Suite; Microsoft Picture It!; Jasc Paint Shop Pro, Studio, or Photo Album; Ulead Photo Imapct; Roxio PhotoSuite; Magix Digital Photo Maker or PhotoStory.

Premiere Elements 2

$99.99 with a $30 Open Mail-in Rebate (meaning the offer is open to everyone – no special pricing for upgrades, as there is currently a small installed base).

Photoshop Elements 4.0 plus Premiere Elements 2.0 Bundle

$149.99 with a $30 Open Mail-in Rebate


How do I keep Elements 4 Organizer from downloading my photos from my camera or card reader automatically?

This is one of the most-asked questions since Elements got the Organizer. If you do not want the Adobe downloader to open to grab your images from a camera or card reader, then you must change the preferences.

1. Open Organizer and choose Edit > Preferences > Camera and Card Reader.

2. In the right pane, untick the box for "Use Adobe Photo Downloader to get photos from Camera or Card Reader".

3. Click OK.


Are there new features?

You bet! Here are a few to whet your appetite. To see even more and to decide if an upgrade is right for you, read my Elements 4 Upgrade Guide.

There's a new tool called the Magic Selection Brush. Brush it across what you want to select, and it selects it for you.

Automatic red eye correction, either as the photos are being downloaded from the camera or with a keyboard shortcut in the Organizer (control + R).

Full screen preview! At last!

A Straighten Tool straightens crooked photos automatically.

A Set as Desktop Wallpaper command to instantly set your photo as your wallpaper.

The Resample check box in Image Resize is turned OFF by default rather than ON so users don't accidentally resample and destroy image data.

There are lots of new templates for the Create features.

The default JPG quality for JPG export has been raied from 6 to 10.

You can now preview your fonts with the new Font Menu before adding them to the type letting you make faster choices rather than trial and error.

There are two new choices for viewing brush cursors: Full Size preview that show the true size of a brush, even softedged brushes so you don't get too close when using brushes in your editing; and Show Crosshair in Brush Tip that puts a small crosshair at the center of the brush preview so you always know where the center is.

One of my personal favorites is the Defringe command that comes from Photoshop automatcally removing the white or black edges we so often see on selected objects, resulting in smoother, cleaner edges on your selections.

The Magic Extractor makes it easier to get those selections in the first place.

The cancel and accept buttons appear at the bottom of the crop area when using the crop tool.

REAL text boxes! Click and drag to set a text box area and the text flows into the text box without pressing Enter or Return.

The File Browser is gone. We have the Organizer and just the Organizer to make things simpler.

You will now be able to export your tags to share with others. If you have created tags for all your family members, you can share the tags with all your family members. Import them and drop them on the photos you want to tag.

Face Tagging: the Organizer will search your photos and present you with the faces. If a photo has five people in it, there will be 5 photos. Drag and drop your people tags to quickly organize your photos.

Photomerge has improved. You can now keep the photos on separate layers, even after merging into a seamless panorama.


updated!Will I be teaching a class for Elements 4?

Yes! I have several classes for PSE 4 for Mac and Windows at Eclectic Academy, and all are now enrolling at

For more information about the class along with a the syllabus of each course, check this page.

First Notes: Installation

The install of PSE 4 went very smoothly!

First hurdle: the system requirements say Windows XP SP2. I have Windows XP SP1. It didn't seem to matter as it installed fine.

First I was told that I had Elements 1, 2, and 3 on my system. The message said "You do NOT have to uninstall them, but you will only be able to use one version of Photoshop Elements at a time." It did not mention Photoshop 5, 6, 7, and CS which are also installed.

For those of you running Photoshop and Elements, I was able to open PS CS and Elements 4 at the same time.

Upon opening the Editor I see no real interface changes.

When you open the Photo Organizer for the first time you are told that your catalog was created in an earlier version of Elements, and Elements offers to convert it for you. This took about 10 minutes, but your mileage will vary according to processor speed and the amount of images and tags in your catalog.

My images are there, my categories are there, and my tags are there, and I am a happy camper.
Find > Faces for Tagging is a fabulous feature. I recommend you try it when you are ready to work in the Organizer. It will give you a message that Face Tagging supports photos only and offers toskip the other items. (Music files I assume but have not investigated that further.) However do not do this unless you have beaucoup time because it takes a while and so that's all I have to report right now!

Where is my Help File?

If you open Adobe help center and there is no help listed for Elements 4, read this page. Download the package from the Adobe website at

Want to learn more?

Take my Elements classes at Eclectic Academy!

For more information see these links:

Pricing and Upgrade Information
PSE 4 Learning Center from Photoshop Elements User
10 of the Coolest New Features in Elements 4 by Scott Kelby
PSE 4 Announcement from Adobe


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Page updated on July 26, 2012