Adobe Photoshop Elements beta

The latest version of Photoshop, which is renowned as the industry leading software for still images, is priced at a hefty $1500 or more. Elements incorporates many of its capabilities but is designed for ease of use and greater affordabilityAs the successor to Photoshop LE, Elements drops some of the sophisticated print publishing features of the high-end version, while retaining powerful effects and scripts, and adding a few features of its own. A new Hints Palette will display a detailed help topic whenever you move your mouse over a control, rather than the one or two words provided by most software. Better yet, you can turn off the help hints if you're already an expert.

In place of Photoshop's Colour Channels, which may be difficult for newcomers to grasp, Elements uses a suite of simplified tools which consist of menu-driven subsets of the more powerful suite's functions. Fill Flash, for instance, automatically selects and adjusts the brightness of darker areas while leaving lighter ones alone, rather than requiring you to define their values manually. Another powerful tool called Photomerge will stitch together automatically a number of panoramic pictures, even adjusting them to correct for perspective distortion, with impressive results. Many more common photographic tasks can be automated from the Recipes palette, which contains instructions and preset controls for various tasks.

Aimed at hobbyists, and in particular digital camera owners, who can't afford the professional package, Photoshop Elements is expected to be priced at around $200, and should be hitting the shelves as you read this.

Adobe Photoshop Elements beta

Price: $TBA

Supplier: Adobe

Phone: 1300 550 305

URL: www.adobe.com.au

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