What is the Difference Between Photoshop and Photoshop Elements?

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By Maria B

There are many photo editing tools. At the moment, photographers are widely using either Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. While some prefer one over the other, there is still something left to be resolved. What is the difference between these two? This question is very common in the world of photography.

Many Photoshop professionals advise their novice colleagues to start by using Photoshop Elements, since it has less features and it’s generally easier to learn. Only after becoming advanced users should they switch to Photoshop. Keep in mind that Adobe is targeting two completely different markets with these two products.

Let’s see what are the differences between these two so that you can make the right pick.

Photoshop Elements

This software pack is designed to meet the needs of users with an intermediate level of photo editing experience. A majority of frequently used features in Photoshop for digital image editing are reworked in Photoshop Elements to something more user friendly and easy to use. Anyhow, with Photoshop Elements, a person can edit or create images without the need to become an editing expert first.

Within a significantly shorter time frame, when compared to using Photoshop, users of Photoshop Elements will be able to create effects, correct and retouch their photos.

This software pack comes with some features that are not available in Photoshop. And some of them are pretty handy:

Style match – this is one of the most interesting features. Once you have found the photo with specific characteristics (color, texture, etc.), Elements determines its style and you can apply it to any of your photos;
Built in organizer and viewer;
Support for multiple canvas files;
Templates for invitations and calendars;
Group shot photomerge;
Facebook and Flickr sharing;
Quick Edit for fast image tuning (color, sharpen, and exposure) and Expert Edit with more advanced options for image adjustments;
Guided Edit – guides you through the process of digital image editing (regular adjustments, perceived depth of field, old photo restoration, etc.)



Full Photoshop is more complicated to use than Elements. Its features have more sub options and they require more knowledge about digital image editing in order to get the wanted results. This is why average digital camera users, businesses, and photographers with an increased workload prefer using Photoshop services instead of learning Photoshop or hiring a full-time Photoshop expert.

There are some features that are exclusive to full Photoshop:

Custom Actions Recorder;
Channel Mixer;
Color Balance and CMYK coloring;
Web design features – rollovers and slicing;
Puppet Warp;
Access to variety third party plugins;
Smart Objects and Smart Guides;
Adjustment layers (vibrance, curves, selective color, etc.);
Advanced fine tuning and ultimate control;
Camera raw image adjustments – HSL/Grayscale, Lens Corrections, Presets, Snapshots, Split Toning and Tone Curve.

Photoshop has become a software standard in the graphic design industry. The features and options it packs allow experienced and knowledgeable graphic designers to do heavy-duty image editing and pull-off amazing things.
Photoshop also excels in another field. It supports merging multiple and bracketed photo exposures into an HDR image, where Elements only covers Basic, Camera Calibration, Detail and Effects adjustments.

At first, Photoshop Elements may seem like the lighter version of Photoshop. Let us assure you that it is not. It is an advanced digital image editing software that can meet the needs of novice and intermediate image editors. But, when it comes to an all-in-one powerful image editing software solution, Photoshop still remains the king.

In the end, Photoshop CC can be acquired through Adobe Cloud Subscription for $10 per month, while Photoshop Elements is still not available on Adobe Cloud and you will have to pay $99.99 for its licence.
Authored By Isabella Foreman
Isabella Foreman is a content writer by profession and enjoys writing on Wedding, Travel, Photography, Photo Editing Services, Career Improvement, and cooking. She spends her off-work time with family and travel to explore new places! . She intends to educate and keep audience abreast of the latest trends in the world of Photography and Photo editing. Presently, she is associated with Smart Photo Editors – a services company that is engaged in Photo editing and wedding photo editing.
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