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Photoshop Elements?

Discussion in 'The Watering Hole' started by Richard, Apr 10, 2018.

  1. Richard

    Richard Top Veteran

    855
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    My laptop expired on me over the weekend, taking with it an old, pre-installed version of Photoshop Elements which had served me well for six years plus.

    Before I meekly purchase the current version as a replacement, I thought I'd ask the group if this is my best bet, or whether I should look elsewhere. I can pick up Elements for about £70 ($100 US) so that's roughly my budget.

    The primary purpose of the software will be to edit jpg images I create myself (I don't currently work with raw images, but I suppose I might one day) and that means basic stuff like cropping, rotating, converting to monochrome, saving in different formats etc. as well as more subtle image manipulation when needed. I use layers to add my copyright notice.

    I don't need any catalogue / DAM functionality.

    I think Elements is probably still my best bet, but I'm open to alternative suggestions.

    The new laptop runs Windows 10 Home 64-bit and has 8 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD (which I'm filling at an alarming rate). Core i5 processor, 8th generation.

    -R
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018
  2. Bobby Tingle

    Bobby Tingle Super Moderator Moderators Team

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Take a look at Affinity Photo. $50US. I've found it to be a very good Photoshop alternative.
     
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  3. Steep learning curve though, coming from Adobe.

    @Richard@Richard, why not try The Gimp? Its free and will get you through a period of indecision. Elements is fine though if its what you are used to.
     
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  4. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Moderators Team

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Elements works for me. Stick it in Expert mode and it does what you want without getting in the way. I've tried LR and Gimp but Elements is just fine for your use case.
     
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  5. Richard

    Richard Top Veteran

    855
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    Thank you for your replies, much appreciated.

    Being familiar with the Adobe interface is an important consideration I should have mentioned earlier. Already this week I've had the pleasure of a forced conversion from Win7 to Win 10 and from Internet Explorer to Firefox so I'm not exactly in the mood for more changes right now.

    Today's exciting tasks include getting Outlook working again (or not), setting up the printer again, re-establishing sync with the phone and suchlike. As a break from all that fun I will take a look at Affinity and The Gimp. But I have to say that I'm leaning heavily towards Elements.

    -R
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
    • Like Like x 2
  6. rayvonn

    rayvonn All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2015
    I can't believe you have to go through that palaver going from one Win system to another, what a pain.
     
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  7. Richard

    Richard Top Veteran

    855
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    The fundamental issue was that the computer hardware failed, in a sudden and terminal way. Like a cowboy in an old western, I was cantering across the prairie without a care in the world when a shot rang out, my faithful old horse collapsed underneath me and I was thrown face-first into the dirt with only a rattlesnake for company.

    With my faithful old horse a goner (and moving away from the western metaphor now) I had to get a new laptop, and that means Windows 10 these days. Change of Windows means new browser, which means trying to import my bookmarks from where I'd carefully backed them up. Would Microsoft Edge do that properly? No, it would not. Firefox worked much better in that respect and the interface is more familiar than Edge, so that's my new browser.

    New laptop means re-installing Microsoft Office to get Word and Excel back, together with Outlook for email and calendars etc. Word and Excel were straightforward, but now I'm struggling to get Outlook set up how I like and to import all my old data.

    Photo editing can wait for a bit, which gives me a chance to consider options.

    Summary: If you want to lose a week of your life, get a new computer.

    -R
     
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  8. rayvonn

    rayvonn All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2015
    The one word that springs straight to my mind there is "backup", thankfully it sounds like you did.
     
  9. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    468
    Apr 18, 2014
    David
  10. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Moderators Team

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    I'm glad I saved my old Elements disc. I also went through the total pain in the rear of getting a new computer lately....I need to re-install Elements, in the event that I ever get back into photography.
     
  11. Richard

    Richard Top Veteran

    855
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    To my mind, changing computers is pretty much fourth on the list of nasty things that can happen to you, right after death, divorce and moving house. Actually, losing your job is probably number four and changing your computer is number five.

    I'm about to plunge into today's struggle with Outlook and connectivity with my phone. I'm hoping that by the summer, with hard work, ingenuity and patience I will have the same functionality on my computer I had on Sunday morning prior to the crash. And all for less than £1,000.

    -R
     
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  12. Is there a huge difference between old Elements and 2018? I have 2013, but find the UI clunky to say the least. It feels really dumbed down after Photoshop (even older Photoshop versions). Has it improved for 2018 or is it still the same clunky UI?
     
  13. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    468
    Apr 18, 2014
    David
    It use to be overly simplified and process guided for how I worked and what I was looking for, maybe still is? I haven't really looked at it a good 10 years. But it's really more a question for @Richard@Richard, if he's been using it and it works for him then why change? If it's not meeting his needs than it makes more sense to take the opportunity to look at other options.
     
  14. Richard

    Richard Top Veteran

    855
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    I'm going to experience changes whichever way I go as the the version of Elements I was using until recently was pretty old (something like version 8 or 9 from memory) and I imagine that the interface and tools have changed quite a bit in that time. I would change editor if I felt that something better had come along in the meanwhile, but I'm not really hearing that here.

    -R
     
  15. davidzvi

    davidzvi Veteran

    468
    Apr 18, 2014
    David
    There are plenty of options for editors, Affinity Photo would be my first prick for a Photoshop like editor. I have an old version of Photoshop (CS5) and I have considered dumping it for Affinity. DxO PhotoLab and Skylum Luminar for a RAW editor / Lightroom Development Modual replacement look really interesting. The question I'm trying to solve is the replacement for the DAM / Organizer / Browser functions in Lightroom.

    That's really what I figure might be easier if you stay with Elements.
     
  16. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Moderators Team

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    I'm on PSE 15 and I came from an ancient version of PS. It works really well for me. This is what my UI looks like:
    upload_2018-4-12_7-13-10.png
     
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  17. Richard

    Richard Top Veteran

    855
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    I've been looking at Affinity and GIMP this morning as a result of the recommendations I've received here (for which many thanks). I can see that GIMP is not for me - I took an immediate dislike to the interface and I suspect that it would always feel like a poor relation of Adobe in use.

    The same is not true of Affinity, which looks like a very credible alternative to Elements. It seems to have the tools I require, the interface looks smart and familiar and it comes in a bit cheaper than Elements at £48.

    I believe that either product (Elements or Affinity) would be fine for me. But there may be some important differences between the two that I haven't noticed yet, so I'll keep pondering for a bit as I'm not in any great hurry to commit. Done enough software loading and configuring this week already.

    -R
     
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Bobby Tingle

    Bobby Tingle Super Moderator Moderators Team

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    The biggest thing I had to get used to doing in Affinity was using export instead of save to get the final image out of Affinity in the form I want to use it as. Jpg, tiff, etc. Save seems to save the file for further editing. On the opposite end for me. Affinity has automated frequency separation layers which is much easier than photoshop. I have found Affinity faster/easier for my needs. But that may not be the case for everyone.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Richard

    Richard Top Veteran

    855
    Feb 1, 2013
    Marlow, UK
    My old version of Elements was the same I think. If I'd edited an image and then pressed 'Save' that would result in a native .psd file. To get a jpg again required a 'Save As'. It made sense to me as Elements wasn't to know if I'd finished editing or wanted to carry on again with working the image.

    -R
     
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    • Agree Agree x 1

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