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Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 3.0: A New Version!

Adobe® Systems

imageThe long awaited upgrade to Adobe® Photoshop® Elements is finally here with the release of version 3.0! One of the big changes is the fact that for the first time Adobe® has released separate versions of Photoshop® Elements for Mac and Windows users. This is because they have decided to combine the organizing power of Adobe® Photoshop® Album 2.0 with Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 3.0 to give a powerful and tightly integrated solution to photo organizing and editing. Since there was no mac version of the Photoshop® Album software, only Windows users will see this combination of features.

Since the Mac version of the software does not include the Organizer, it includes the full version of the File Browser from Adobe® Photoshop® CS with features not available in the Windows version, such as the ability to flag images. The Mac version also contains more web gallery templates than it's Windows counterpart.

Whether you use a Mac or a PC, this version of Elements is full of new tools, filters, and features, and even sports a new look. Rather than one workspace fits all, you have several: the Editor, the Quick Fix Workspace which contains the new and improved Quick Fix tools as well as new Auto Smart Fix (and it is smart, as you will see shortly!) and an Organizer workspace in windows. Also, some old tricks are back, like the cmd/ctrl + J copy selection to a new layer shortcut! (Cmd/ctrl + shift + J will cut the selection, the same as in Elements 1 or full Photoshop®.)

Sleek new interface

With this version, Elements has moved farther away from it's big brother Photoshop®. In Elements 1 and 2 the interface was nearly identical to that of Photoshop® 6 and 7 respectively, on which Elements 1 and 2 were based. The differences in interface between Elements 3.0 and Photoshop® CS, on which Elements 3.0 is based, are very striking. The colors are muted and soft, and the workspace uncluttered, with a single line toolbox down the left side of the window, if it is docked, and your monitor resolution is at or above the minimum requirements. Otherwise you will see a double line of tools. The toolbox can still be dragged away from the side of the program window and floated anywhere on screen.

I do miss the Tab shortcut key in Windows , at least the way it behaved in previous versions of Elements and still does in Photoshop®. The palette and photo bins are not affected by the Tab key, only palettes you have dragged out of the bin and dropped on your work area, like the Layers Palette I keep open at all times. So if I have the layers palette out of the bin and in the work area, the tab key closes it, but only it. It also no longer affects the tool bar (unless you have it floating) which is a loss as well. This is not the case with the Mac, and Tab is a toggle that hides and shows everything but the menu bar and the images you're working on.

The options bar and shortcut bar no longer float. They're there, permanently anchored across the top of the window, whether you want them there or not.

In Windows, there are several specialized workspaces for different tasks, and you can choose from the Welcome screen when you first open Elements (in Windows) or you can also make your choice from within Elements.

Mac users will see a different Welcome screen that allows them to choose from aquiring images from a digital camera or scanner, opening a file, starting a new file, or choosing from a list of recently opened files.

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