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Review: Adobe Photoshop Elements 9 + Organizer

updated 08:00 pm EDT, Mon May 23, 2011

Replaces Bridge for photo management

Adobe Photoshop Elements is the budget-priced alternative to full-blown Photoshop, saving hundreds of dollars while retaining many of the same features wrapped in a more consumer-friendly interface. The latest version responds to customer criticism of Adobe Bridge by replacing it with a port of the Windows version's Organizer, and adds features borrowed from the recently-released Photoshop CS5 such as the context-aware tool. Will these moves prove a winning combination for non-expert users? Can complex effects really be made easy? These questions and more will be answered in our full review.

by MacNN Staff



  1. The Vicar

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Thanks for the heads-up

    Your review answered my questions, albeit indirectly:

    1. Is Adobe still doing horrible things to the Mac GUI? Yes.

    2. Does Photoshop Elements still have the !@#$^& "palette drawer", and still try to take over the whole screen without using a window? Apparently.

    3. Does Photoshop Elements try even harder than before to railroad you into a dumbed-down interface instead of letting you actually use the tools? Looks that way.

    I may still buy it -- the alternatives are either the way-too-pricey-for-my-purposes Photoshop, or else a bunch of not-ready-for-prime-time alternatives like Pixelmator and Acorn. But I can tell it won't be an improvement, in the ways which the old versions infuriated me -- quite the contrary.

  1. elroth

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Not much to see here. Can you install Elements without installing Organizer? I've never wanted or used Bridge for my photos, but you have to have it installed to use previous Elements versions.

    And how is the help system? It's horrible under the old versions - it takes you out of Elements and into Bridge, using a crappy browser that adds Opera preference files to my hard drive.

  1. ileneh

    Joined: Dec 1969


    RE: Organizer install to ugh

    I actually can't remember whether you can customize the Elements install to avoid installing Organizer. On the bright side, it installs as a separate app and you can toss it easily. There is also an uninstaller that comes with Elements 9.
    ilene hoffman, reviews editor

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