Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac


$89; $69 upgrade. Educational price $69.

Upgrade requires a previous licensed version of Adobe Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Album, Photoshop LE, or Adobe PhotoDeluxe software.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac began shipping at the end of March, 2008, seven months after the Windows version of Elements 6 was released and two years after the release of Photoshop Elements 4 for Mac (no, you didn’t miss a version – there was no Photoshop Elements 5 for the Mac).

This latest version of Adobe’s popular and affordable photo manipulation software offers a a streamlined and easier-to-use work environment, new features and, of particular note for owners of newer Macs, native support for Intel as well as PowerPC processors.

Upgraders will immediately notice the changed work environment design, with its solid grey background and vivid orange, green and mauve tabs for the three workspaces – Edit, Create and Share. Also new are separate buttons for Import from Camera and Import from Scanner on the Welcome screen, a small but useful change.

The Edit workspace has buttons for three different modes – Full, Quick, and the new Guided Edit, each of which provides a different set of tools and options for more automation vs. more control.

Guided Edit gives options for basic photo edits, lighting and exposure, color correction and Photomerge, as well as guided activities for touching up scratches and a general guide to photo editing. Once you select an option you are presented with the specific, often simplified tools that you need to perform the task at hand, along with descriptions of how to use each tool.

One exciting new Edit function is the Photomerge group shot function (lifted from Photoshop), which lets you combine the best facial expressions and body postures from multiple similarly-composed group shots.

Another is the Quick Selection tool, which automatically selects an area of a photo with related colors or textures when you click or click-drag with the tool, which appears in the left tool pane in the Full or Quick edit workspaces. It looks like a magic wand with a selection circle at the tip. Edits can be batch processed – that is, applied to several images at once. This is a real time-saver, especially when you need to correct a group of photos that are incorrectly exposed or have a color cast.

The Create workspace two modes, Projects and Artwork. Project mode has buttons for creating photo books, photo collages (think scrapbooking), web photo galleries and PDF slide shows. More options include greeting cards (finally!), CD jacket, DVD jacket and CD/DVD label. Each project displays task-specific tools and step by step instructions, similar to Guided Edit mode.

Artwork mode offers an array of high-quality backgrounds, frames, graphics and shapes, as well as text effects and themes, which combine related elements. This content can be sorted by type, activity, color, event, mood, object, seasons, style or keyword. Freehand drawing tools and filters can be accessed by toggling to the Full Edit workspace.

The Share workspace has buttons for creating a web photo gallery, emailing attachments, ordering prints, and creating a CD/DVD or PDF slide show. The email attachments function was smart enough to open my preferred application, Apple Mail, without prompting.

In the box is a slim 17 page booklet that gives a quick overview of installation, new features and help options. The software installation adds a 314 page printable PDF user guide in the Elements 6 folder. Within the application, the Help menu has links to Photoshop Elements Help and Glossary of Terms (both best if you don’t have an online connection), and to Adobe’s Online Support, Photoshop Elements Online and Online Learning Resource.

To get more information about Photoshop Elements 6, order online or download a free 30 day trial, go to
Photoshop Elements 6 is a significant upgrade both in interface and features, and is highly recommended for users whose Macs meet the system requirements.

–Elsa Travisano

Adobe Photoshop Elements 6
System Requirements: PowerPC G4 or G5 or multicore Intel processor, Mac OS X v.10.4.8 through 10.5.2, 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended), 64MB of video RAM, 1GB of available hard disk space (additional free space required during installation), 1024x768 display resolution, DVD-ROM drive, QuickTime 7 software required for multimedia features, internet connection required for internet-based services.

Copyright ©2008 by Elsa Travisano. This review appeared in the June 2008 issue of Newsbreak, the newsletter of MUG ONE - Macintosh User Group of Oneonta, NY.