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Adobe Unveils Photoshop Elements 13, Bakes in Simple-Yet-Powerful Editing Tools

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As Photoshop CC continues to get more and more complex — seriously, have you seen THE SIZE of some of the Photoshop books out there!? — thanks to the myriad of new features Adobe continues to add, the company is moving its beginner-focused Elements offerings the other direction.

Released officially last night, Photoshop (and Premier for you video folks) Elements 13 is even easier-to-use, more intuitive, and yet more powerful than any of the previous iterations.

Photoshop Elements 13 might actually end up being one of the best gifts you can get for a first-time photographer just getting into editing thanks to the many guided, educational features baked in.

The new “Elements Live” portal compiles many online tips, tricks, tutorials and inspiration in one easy-to-browse place, ‘Intelligent Crop Suggestions’ will automatically analyze an image and give you three cropping options based on rules of composition, and new ‘guided edits’ for black-and-white photographs let you fine tune or *cringe* use selective color.

Adding to this are new ‘Effects Variations’ that will automatically edit your photos and, once it has, Expert Mode will reveal all of the layers and effects that were applied to get there so you can deconstruct the process for yourself.

And the Facebook users out there will love the new feature that lets you create Profile and Cover photos that blend creatively together.

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Finally, one of the headlining features of Photoshop Elements 13 is a new Photomerge Compose feature that makes inserting a piece of one photo into another extremely simple and intuitive.

Users simply use the Refine Selection Brush to accurately cut out the person or object they want to insert somewhere else, and Adobe’s Match Color Tone automatically takes care of blending tones, light and colors so the final composite looks as natural as possible.

Refine Selection Brush

Obviously, Photoshop Elements isn’t for the advanced or even intermediate user, but if you’re just getting into photo editing or you know a beginner who is, the guided edits, expert mode and other fun features are a great way to achieve quality results while learning about the editing process all the while. When they start to bump into the limits of Elements, they can always step up to the big leagues.

Photoshop Elements 13 for Windows and Mac is available right away, and will cost you $100 to buy new or $80 if you’re upgrading.

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