Photoshop Elements 12 adds useful editing tools, without the subscription

Photoshop Elements 12, which was released alongside its video-centric Premiere Elements, is the latest version of Adobe’s consumer-friendly photo editing software. The hallmark feature is Elements Mobile Albums, which takes advantage of Adobe’s Revel technology, which uses cloud storage to allow you to access and edit photos on both computers and mobile devices. Any changes you make on your other devices are put back in the cloud.

Albums can be put onto Adobe’s Revel cloud service, which allows you to edit and share photos on mobile devices. Any edits are put back into Revel, so everything is always up-to-date.

Another interesting feature is ‘Content-Aware Move’, which does just as it sounds. You can move an object in a photo, and the camera will attempt to correctly fill in the background. While we haven’t had a chance to try this ourselves, here’s Adobe’s example:

… and after.  Zoom in for a closer look.

The straigthen tool has also been enhanced, and is also content-sensitive. When you straighten a photo (such as to level a horizon), Elements will fill in the now-empty edges of the frame.

A final notable feature is ‘Auto Smart Tone’, which not only allows for one-click color adjustment – it also learns your preferences over time.

Each of the images in the corner are variations on the original photo. As time goes by, the software will learn your preferences, and make more accurate recommendations.

Other additions to Photoshop Elements include pet-eye correction, guided edits, and the usual assortment of special effects. Mac users will be pleased to hear that Elements is now 64-bit, which improves performance and allows you to work with larger images.

More advanced users will be pleased to know that Elements continues to include Adobe Camera Raw, though it’s not as full-featured as the one in Photoshop. Elements 12 supports ACR 8.x, and updates will be released at the same time as they are for Photoshop. Those who don’t need the full suite of Photoshop and ACR tools may find Elements enticing, as it doesn’t require a Creative Cloud subscription.

Elements 12 is now available for $79 for current Elements owners, or $99 for those new to the software. That’s right: no monthly subscription required.

Press release:

New Versions of Adobe’s No 1. Consumer Photo and Video Editing Tools Now Available

Powerful Mobile Capabilities Make Photos and Videos Accessible Anywhere, Any Time, on Multiple Devices 

SAN JOSE, Calif. —Sept. 24, 2013 — Adobe  (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced the availability of Adobe® Photoshop® Elements 12 and Adobe® Premiere® Elements 12, new versions of the No. 1 selling consumer photo and video-editing software*. Customers will enjoy powerful mobile capabilities, and reap the benefits of professional-grade editing technology delivered in an intuitive experience that makes it easy to create stunning results.

Exceptional Mobility

 “Our customers have a lot of photos and videos, and they love to use their home computers to organize them and be creative, but they also want the freedom and flexibility to view, edit and share on their mobile devices,” said Lea Hickman, vice president products, Creative Consumer Business, Adobe. “Photoshop Elements 12 and Premiere Elements 12 will provide customers with the best of both worlds, quickly, easily and at their discretion.” 

Easily Create and Share Sensational Photos with Photoshop Elements 12 with new features and tools that include:  

  • Mobile Access – With Elements Mobile Albums, customers always have access to their precious memories.  Powered by Adobe® Revel™, people can view, edit and share their photos and videos seamlessly on their smartphones, tablets and desktop devices whether at home or on-the-go.
  • Content-Aware Move – This exclusive Adobe technology lets customers easily move objects within a photo and automatically fills in resulting empty spaces.
  • Pet Eye Correction – Added in response to customer requests, Pet Eye provides an easy solution to the problem of flash reflection in animals’ eyes, which is not addressed by Red Eye correction technology.
  • Auto Smart Tone – Exclusive intelligent software that learns a customer’s editing preferences, resulting in one-click adjustments based on their choices, which gets better the more you use it.
  • Quick Frames, Effects and Textures – One-click photo frames, effects and textures, inspired by the most popular looks customers have been creating in Expert mode.
  • Guided Edits – Step-by-step instructions to create Zoom Burst and Photo Puzzle effects, as well as Restore Old Photo, which enable users to restore damaged or old photos.
  • Straighten Tool – Now fills in missing edges through the use of exclusive Content-Aware technology.
  • Share to Twitter – Share a photo with a tweet on Twitter.
  • 64-bit support for Mac – Allows for more efficient use of your computers’ built in memory, maximizing performance and enabling larger image files and videos to be edited quickly.

Create Unforgettable Movies with ease with Premiere Elements 12. New features and tools include:  

  • Guided Edits – Step-by-step navigation on how to get started, trim frames, add scores, transitions, titles and narrations, as well as animating graphics and creating pictures within pictures.
  • Scores  – More than 50 soundtracks that automatically regenerate to fit the duration of a clip, making it easy to create home movies with perfectly timed intros, outros and background music.
  • Sound Effects – More than 250 effects that add excitement and dimension to audio tracks.
  • Auto Smart Tone – The same exclusive technology found in Photoshop Elements 12, for video.
  • Film Looks – Four new filters to add stylized Hollywood flare to home movies including Comic, Trinity, Yesteryear and Cross Process.
  • Motion tracking – Spotlight your subject by adding graphics, text and effects that move with the object.

Pricing and Availability

Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 and Adobe Premiere Elements 12 (Mac and Windows) are immediately available for purchase at for US$99.99, with upgrade pricing of US$79.99.  The Photoshop Elements 12 & Premiere Elements 12 bundle is available now for US$149.99, with upgrade pricing of US$119.99. They will soon be available at retail stores such as Adorama Camera, Inc,, B & H Photo and Video, Best Buy, Best Buy Canada, New Egg, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Staples and Staples Canada. 

Adobe Revel is an app available for iOS and Windows devices. The app is free for up to 50 photo or video uploads per month. 

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There are much better programs out there for editing photographs than PS Elements for the same price or less. Frankly the GIMP and Rawtherapee combination is far more capable for $149.99 USD less. If one would want a current commercial package the latest versions of Corel’s products are quite a bit more comprehensive.


Rawtherapee isn’t anything compared to this version of ACR, or the full version or C1.


Paintshop Pro. Better bang for the buck. Forget about Adobe, they just want to put everybody and his brother behind their Cloud.


And Paintshop Pro doesn’t do raw extraction as well as even this limited version of ACR.


Adobe? I said goodbye to them a while ago. I am having trust issues.


I downloaded the trail of PSE 12 today. On my machine the product is snappy and my computer is about 6 years old with only dual processor 1.8 gz and 4 gb ram. Running windows 8.1/ 64 bit.
However I noticed that I am missing the magic extractor on my copy. Has anyone else encountered this. Not really concerned about it as I use Topaz Labs Remask plugin for cutting out backgrounds anyway.
However am highly disappointed that no native PSE 64 bit program for PCs.
Did Adobe suddenly become biased to Macs?
May have to rely on my PSP X6 for 64 bit editing.


If the devil suddenly started selling ice cream in hell would you buy? The smart one says “No” because he knows you don’t make deals with the devil even if you are already in hell. If Saint Peter came down offering you spumoni you would say “Hell yeah!” even if you did not like spumoni because you know you could trust him knowing no strings attached.

Say no to the devil and convert to spumoni or being catholic I guess is the moral of the story. Stay out of the never ending subscription hell and you can try other flavors.


No 64 bit for PC users. Adobe knows 64 bit support is needed by some of us because they give the reason when they say the MAC version has it:

64-bit support for Mac – Allows for more efficient use of your computers’ built in memory, maximizing performance and enabling larger image files and videos to be edited quickly.

I see no reason to upgrade from my elements 9. I do large panoramas and without 64 bit support I often run out of RAM. So I guess to get 64 bit I have to either subscribe to Photoshop or try the competition (Paintshop Pro). What a huge marketing risk by adobe because I, and others, may try and really like the 64 bit Paintshop Pro. If so, it is goodby Adobe. The Paintshop Pro folks must be celebrating this, in my opinion, marketing mistake, this embrace of MAC users, and this slap in the face for PC users. Am I wrong?


I’d like a 64-bit PC version (and so would the 16GB of RAM on my desktop) but I ain’t losing any sleep over it nor am I overly concerned with trying any alternatives, Elements just works fine for my purposes… As it is, I only upgrade Elements every other version and I often wait until one of those Premier Elem + PSE deals for $100. Now if the Elements products or LR ever go to the cloud service model, you can bet I’ll bail.

Gene J. Paull

Very briefly – Does Photoshop Elements 12 have (1.) the photomerge for HDR (2.) the backgrund blur filter, and (3.) shadows/highlights of PS6? I need all three.



There’s no monthly subscription fee? LOL! That’s like saying “My new restaurant offers fresh pizza and great pies, and best of all, my waiters won’t beat you up!”


I’ve been very pleased with the Elements 11 bundle. I picked it up on a holiday special last year and it’s definitely been worth the money. I think I’ll wait for a special on the upgrade.


I already see the potential for content aware move. And not just for making it seem the little girl has a bridge tower growing out of her head. This feature could be used to “fix” all kinds of photos; movie stars, news events, you name it.


Aaaannnnd…relocating her where her shadow isn’t. Maybe they should call it the “Shadown Unaware for People in Daylight” tool, SHUPD. Has a nice ring to it.

Jerry 39

Does anyone know if the Fuji X-E1 is supported?

Jeff Keller

Yes. It’s running ACR 8.2, so it supports the same cameras as regular Photoshop. ACR on Elements is stripped down a bit, though.


is the stripe down feature important for most people?


Hey – it’s the same price as Paintshop Pro with only half the features!


Paintshop Pro 9 was the most intuitive, easiest, most customizable image editor ever. Simply wonderful to use. By version 11 the new owners screwed everything up. Not sure what it’s morphed into now, but I doubt it’s anything like it used to be.


You should download PSP X6 trial. This is a great program. No more bloat. Lots of good features. Very fast with 64 bit.


Don’t forget that PaintShop X5 has NIK ColorEfex included in the bundle – Photo$hop Elements therefore only has 1/4 of the features of PSX5.


“Photoshop Elements 12 adds useful editing tools, without the subscription”

Drug dealer standing around outside an elementary school.

Tord S Eriksson

I’ve even got rid of the earlier version, as Aperture and LR fills my needs better, plus having Phocus, Hasselblad’s excellent free photo editing program.

Stu 5

Just downloaded Phocus. As you say it’s free. Does not replace PS but still very nice to have.


Still no 16 bit layer support.

Would reduce their costs if they just used the same code in both programmes.


Apparently, they do share a lot of code. There is a plugin called elements+ that unlocks a lot of suppressed PS functionality in Elements.


There is also ElementsXXL, which adds a lot of Photoshop functionality to Photoshop Elements for Windows. See


Does anyone run this on a Mac yet? I would like to know if it now supports the Retina display – which would be a reason for me to buy it.
A “Chat” with Adobe did not get an answer except for “Just subscribe to Photoshop CC”…
(apart from the Retina display support: Happy user of PSE-6 🙂 )


I’m outraged that it’s not available by subscription. 🙂


Psst – tell the photographer using “Content Aware Move” tool above to also move the girl’s shadow too 😉

Jude McDowell

Whilst fixing the shadow they should have a look at the grass behind where she was originally standing; those straight edges look a bit odd.


A 79$ upgrade price is most unfortunate considering what you actually get and that Adobe never patches the bugs in PE they just release a new version for 79$….. I normally wait a few iterations and get it on special. An upgrade from 9 or 10 should be much cheaper ….. and a lot of the time the new stuff doesn’t work well.


Yea Elements is a better value on sale, and it’s not hard to catch it on sale a few times a year (just subscribe to Newegg/Adobe’s/etc deals emails)… The Premier Elements + PSE deal pack for like $100 is hard to beat if you need a decent video editor too.


“We’ve reached out to Adobe”. FFS, can’t you just say “asked” ??? Or do you prefer to leverage new paradigms rather than use English?

Tim McClanahan

Paid by the word. 🙂


what does leverage new paradigms mean?


It is Newspeak for “regurgitate clichés”.


Same meaning but different tone. I can’t believe I have to explain this. It’s a feature of every language, not just English.


Why can’t they simply synergistically pivot in their swim lane? That would be a spot on action item for continuous improvement. Once down the learning curve, they can harvest the low hanging fruit within their core competency rather than disengage for a meeting in the war room with their tiger team…net net, to reach out. (Ping me if you want to right-size this reply.)


Nothing listed here makes me want to upgrade from Elements 10. Though I use LR4 for most of my editing.


ditto on PSE 10, and Lr5 now has an improved healing brush which is ‘Content-Awaresque’ so I use PSE even less now.


Now, if only Adobe could work out some way to make you pay them money even if you don’t want to upgrade…


“Now, if only Adobe could work out some way to make you pay them money even if you don’t want to upgrade…”

You’re on Adobe’s board of directors, right?


>Now, if only Adobe could work out some way to make you pay them money even if you don’t want to upgrade…

Isn’t that what Creative Cloud is all about? 😎

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