Adobe hasn’t released a new version of Photoshop Elements for Mac since version 4 at the end of 2005. I never tried that version, considering I have only owned my Mac since last summer, and Elements 4 wasn’t written as a universal binary app for Intel machines at the time. Adobe passed on making version 5 of Elements on the Mac.
Now, Photoshop Elements is back on the Mac with the new version 6.0, released March 24, 2008. The Windows version has been out since October 2007, and has received excellent reviews. So, when Adobe announced a pending new release for the Mac, I went online and pre-ordered my copy. Prior to this release, I’d always borrowed a software disc from friends to install myself a copy, or used less scrupulous methods. Now, I have given Adobe a sale, which they have certainly earned for such a fantastic product as Photoshop. I opted for a physical boxed copy of Elements 6, instead of the option to download the program online. I received my copy in the mail last Friday.
Installation from the software DVD took a long time. Also installed by default were apps for Adobe Bridge CS3 and Stock Photos CS3. After the lengthy install, the program loaded quickly, and with ease.
I love the new look of Elements 6. Its dark interface helps make your photos appear vibrant and alive. The new layout is just as wonderful, with the toolbar running along the left side of the screen. The palette bin on the right side provides easy access to filters, layers, and more. The palette bin does consume a bit of screen space, but it is easily collapsible.
The main functions of the program are divided into three colorful tabs: Edit, Create, and Share. I will likely spend all of my time in the Edit mode. Within the Edit mode, you can choose three editing methods: Full, Quick, or Guided. Users can use whichever they prefer based on their amount of experience with Photoshop. The Full mode is what most users will want, which is now more feature-rich than any old version of Elements ever was.
One complaint I have is that when I’m using Elements and switch to a new Space in Leopard, the program is mysteriously gone when I switch back to the Space it was running in. I have to click its Dock icon, or use alt-tab, to get the program to show itself after I come back from working in another Space. That is odd.
I haven’t yet had a chance to experiment with some of the new features of Elements 6, such as PhotoMerge. I may find a use for that when the time comes. For now, I am happy using the traditional Photoshop tools available in the Full Edit mode. I am already very satisfied with this application. Cheers to Adobe for bring Photoshop Elements back to the Mac!