Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 Review: Photo-Editing at the Tips of Your Fingers

Adobe Photoshop is a staple in the graphic design and photo-editing world. Made and published for Windows and macOS, it’s been around since 1988 when digital art was first on the rise. Since it’s beginning, people all over the world have used Photoshop to edit and compose images in Photoshop’s own PSD and PSB file formats.

A lot has changed in the world of photo-editing since the rise of Photoshop. Several competitors like Affinity Photo, Sketch, GIMP, and Pixlr serve as an alternative to Photoshop’s software. With all the new options available, how can you be sure which photo-editing software is best for you?

One of the newest versions of the photo-editing software, Photoshop Elements 15, was made available in 2019. Today we’re going to be discussing Photoshop Elements 15 in depth and helping you to figure out if this is the best photo-editing tool for you. Without further ado, let’s get started on our Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 review.

What’s New?

Now in its fifteen versions, Photoshop Elements has been around for quite some time and experienced a lot of changes throughout the years. But what makes Photoshop Elements 15 any more spectacular or worth investing in than the previous fourteen versions? We’re going to explain some of the features that separate the newest version of Photoshop Elements from the rest.

Touched-based Editing

One of the things we enjoyed most about this version is the ability to edit with the touch of your finger or stylus. We thought it was about time Adobe came out with the ability to touch-edit given the number of photo-editing tools on the market that are easily used with an iPad or tablet. 

With the newest version, you’ll be able to edit, sort, and find your photos with just the touch of your finger when using the Organized and Quick Edit mode in the software.

Guided Photo Editing

This feature of Photoshop Elements 15 is especially exciting to Photoshop novices. Now there are multiple guided edits available to help you edit photos like a pro without needing to learn all the ins and outs of photo editing. 

Here we’ve listed some of the new guided edits Photoshop Elements 15 offers users:

  • Photo Text: Make fun, stand-out word art using your photo as the background of the words. The photo text tool makes it simple to choose different backgrounds, outlines, and effects for your text. This feature is perfect for creating logos, banners, cards, collages, and more.
  • Speed Pan: For easy editing of action shots, there’s no better way to get the perfect motion blur than with the simple speed pan effects of Photoshop Elements 15. In seconds, you can blur the entire background and make your subject look as if they’re darting off at lightning speed.
  • Effects Collage: The guides effects menu in Photoshop Elements 15 also gives you the option to add different effects to different areas of your photo, like a collage. For the novice photo editor, many templates and themes are available to make your edits easier or spark inspiration.
  • Perspective Altering Crop Tool: In addition to the basic crop feature, Photoshop Elements 15 now gives you the ability to crop your image while changing the perspective. You can distort the image to appear as if you’re looking up, down, or to the side of the subject.

There are still many more guided photo edits; these are just some of the ones we found the most spectacular. Make sure to check out the full list of guides photo edits in Photoshop Elements 15.

Adjust Facial Features

One of the most useful features for photographers we found with Adobe Photoshop 15 is the ability to adjust facial features. We’ve all had that photo where everyone looks perfect except for the one person not smiling. Now you can easily adjust faces, so every picture features a smile.

Advanced Retouching Tools

Like a photo editor, you’re probably all too familiar with the struggles of getting facial retouching to look natural. Photoshop Elements 15 now comes with a more advanced version of The Healing Brush and Spot Healing Brush tools. 

With the improved tools, you’re able to change the scale of the subject you’re moving or the area that you’re extending.

Disabling Automatic Smart Object Changes

It’s always irritating when Photoshop Elements auto-changes something of yours using Smart Objects. While Smart Objects might be helpful in some cases, sometimes you don’t need them auto-populating on your creation. With Adobe Photoshop Elements 15, you can disable the creation of Smart Objects in the settings. This can save you from a lot of headaches and going back and forth during photo-editing.

Group Layers and Color-Coded Layers

Layering is an essential part of making sure you get a perfect photo edit. With Photoshop Elements 15, you’ll notice improvements in photo layering and color-coding layers. Layer grouping feature helps you keep track of particular elements of your photo and keeps everything organized.

We found that Photoshop Elements 15 simplifies the process of organizing and editing your images with all these new tech specs and editing features. If you’ve been using an old version of Photoshop Elements or a different photo editor, it may be worth the switch to take advantage of these new features.


Photoshop Elements 15 Software Training

Image source: Amazon

Adobe Photoshop Elements is one of the only Adobe products that does not require a subscription when you purchase it. Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 is available for purchase at $99.99. However, you’re also able to purchase Photoshop Elements on Amazon for $59.00. 

If you’re just starting out, the software is also available to try out with a 30-day trial. After the initial trial, you can decide to buy the product, or test out other photo-editing software to find the one that best matches your needs. 

Adobe does offer some deal to the software as well. For those who already are using Photoshop Elements but hoping to update to the newest version, an upgrade is available for $79.99. Additionally, if you purchase Photoshop Elements alongside Adobe Premiere Elements, you’ll pay only $119.99 for the bundle.

How it Compares

Man wearing an eyeglasses is holding a printed photo and in front of his is a computer desktop where he edit all photos using the adobe photoshop elements 15

Image by rawp??ixel from Pixabay

As far as photo-editing software goes, there are only small details which distinguish software from their competitors. We found that among its competitors, Photoshop Elements remained the most usable and easiest to use photo-editor on the market. 

One of Adobe Photoshop’s rising competitors is GIMP. GIMP is a free photo-editing software that allows for photo retouching, image composition altering, and image authoring. While it doesn’t allow for all the advanced features that Photoshop Elements does, it is a tempting alternative at no cost. We found that something like GIMP is best for beginning photo editors. Professionals will want to stick to Photoshop Elements to get the most out of their photo-editing software. 


Beginning Pixlr Editor
  • Easily access Pixlr Editor from any computer with a high speed Internet connection
  • Create an new image, or open an image from your computer, a URL, or the Pixlr library
  • Save your images on to your computer or the Pixlr library
  • Navigate the the Pixlr interface
  • Use the Tools, Layers, image Adjustments, History, and much more
  • Pixlr is another major competitor of Photoshop Elements. This low-cost editor makes it very easy to get quality photos and image layering. Unfortunately, it is true that you get what you pay for and by going for this low-cost option, you are missing out on several features that Photoshop Elements offers. 

    We found when comparing the competition, the biggest letdown with Adobe Photoshop Elements was the price. This photo-editing software comes at a much higher price tag than many others on the market. However, Adobe Photoshop Elements offers you some of the most advanced features that the competition can’t. For the professional who wants the most powerful photo, Adobe Photoshop Elements is a must-have in your toolkit.

    Pros and Cons

    Thankfully, while doing this Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 review, we found more good than bad. To begin, this version of Photoshop Elements is super user-friendly and intuitive to the novice user. With a whole menu of different guided edits, this software makes photo-editing a breeze.

    In addition to the guided edits, Photoshop Elements 15 also features a new home screen which makes accessing essential features a breeze. It works great with both Macs and PCs. You can even easily edit with the touch of your finger with the new touch edit feature.

    Like every product, there were a few downsides. We found that this update of Photoshop Elements featured fewer updates than what is typical in an update. It’s also not possible to resize the home screen which can be a bit irritating.

    The Verdict

    laptop focusing on adobe photoshop application

    Image by StockSnap from Pixabay

    Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 doesn’t have a ton of new features. If you already have a current version of Photoshop Elements, it might not be worth the $79.99 to upgrade unless you’re trying to take advantage of guided edits and use updated templates. If that’s not the case, you’re probably fine staying with your current version until a new Photoshop Elements version comes out.

    However, if you’re someone looking to purchase Photoshop Elements for the first time, now is a great time to enter the game. With features that make navigating the software easier than ever and advancements that make your images superior quality, there’s arguably not a better option on the market. During our Adobe Photoshop Elements 15 review, we found this software to be a great option for both beginners and veteran photographers.

    Featured Image by Joshua_Willson from Pixabay

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