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A powerful image can instantly communicate your
organization's message on your website or blog. A collection of inspiring images
can make a great presentation even better.
If you're going to work more
effectively with images and don't already have an image-editing tool, you might
Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements 11. This newly updated image- and
video-editing bundle runs on Windows machines or Macs, and is now available to
eligible nonprofits, charities, and public libraries through TechSoup.
TechSoup also offers professional-level image-editing
software from Adobe: Photoshop Extended CS6.
Over the past few years, Adobe's added a number of features to the Elements
line that bring its capabilities even closer to the full version of Photoshop.
Certainly, organizations can use either of these products to create
professional-looking images. So which one is right for your organization?
Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11 includes what most organizations
need in an image-editing program. Users can remove red-eye; adjust colors,
lighting, contrast, shadowing, and highlights; create composites from multiple
photographs; and perform most other standard image-editing tasks.
The Elements interface now includes three editing modes
called Quick, Guided, and Expert that provide a step-by-step process for
beginners or allow advanced image editors to get right down to work.
The Elements products also include a common Organizer that
allows you to easily tag and find photos (similar in function to the Bridge
application used in the Creative Suite programs).
All of these features should be enough to create
great-looking photos for a website, online photo library, or even basic printed
outreach materials like pamphlets and flyers.
Elements lacks support for CMYK coloring (the type of
coloring used for professional printing), so you won't be able to create images
for truly professionally printed outreach materials. It also lacks 16-bit
support, for the most part (something that probably only professional
photographers would care about).
In contrast, Photoshop CS6 includes
advanced Photoshop features such as:
Photoshop CS6 is significantly more complex and thus more
difficult to learn – it doesn't have the guided edits that make Photoshop
Elements easy to use. Plus, it requires a fairly robust computer with at least
1 GB of RAM and a decent video card.
If your organization doesn't need truly professional
image-editing functionality, you probably don't need Photoshop CS6. Further,
the Extended version we offer on TechSoup features really advanced tools for
mapping 2D images in 3D space, editing 3D and motion-based images, and
analyzing images with measurement and counting tools.
That said, you won't be able to use Elements for designing logos, digitally painting, or doing the professional graphic design work you might see from the Photoshop wizards on the
Elements 11 and Premiere Elements 11 is available for a $22 admin fee from
TechSoup versus a $90 admin fee for Photoshop CS5 Extended, most organizations
are able to save a considerable amount by requesting a donation of Elements.
Plus, the Elements bundle includes Premiere Elements video editing software,
which is a useful program on its own for telling your organization's story with
moving images. Maybe you can use the software to take home the grand prize in this year's TechSoup Digital Storytelling Challenge!
that non-bundled, standalone versions of Photoshop Elements or Premiere
Elements aren't available through TechSoup.
If you need granular
details on which features are included in Photoshop Elements vs. Photoshop CS6
before making your decision:
If you want to learn more about either version of Photoshop,
you can request a one-month
subscription to Atomic Training through TechSoup. This donation provides
access to online video courses for over 150 software applications, including
Photoshop Elements 11, Photoshop CS6, Premiere Elements 11, and many other
Since Photoshop is such a widely used application, there are
a variety of free tutorials, training, and help resources available online if
you decide you need the full version and have time to learn the software. You
can start at Adobe's own Learn
Photoshop CS6 tutorials on Adobe TV.
You can also discuss these two products in our forums: Photoshop vs.
Photoshop Elements. Have you used either or both? Share your thoughts on
how you've used either product as well as any tips or tricks for getting the
most out of image-editing software.
Carlos Bergfeld Product Content Manager, TechSoup Global
Too bad Elements is "out of stock"