Best photo editing software for Mac

If you want some of the features of Adobe Photoshop without the monthly subscription outlay one option to consider is Adobe Photoshop Elements. It isn’t the cheapest photo editor available for the Mac, but it’s good value for money thanks to the inclusion of professional Photoshop features and powerful editing tools. Plus, the user-friendly interface makes it easy for amateur photographers to achieve impressive results.

The latest edition is Photoshop Elements 2024. Photoshop Elements 2024 proves to be one of the biggest updates the program has received in quite a few years. There are a number of new AI features, but the program’s interface and layout have also been redesigned too. Like the full version of Photoshop, Elements now has both Light and Dark modes, as many experienced photographers prefer working in Dark mode, while other people simply find it easier on the eyes. The various fonts and icons used in the main interface have also been updated to improve visibility too. These interface changes are more than just cosmetic, though, with other useful features such as the new Quick Actions panel, which is now available within the program’s Quick editing mode. The Quick Actions panel gathers together a number of existing editing tools, but also gains new AI features, such as the ability to quickly select or change the background or sky in an image, or to smooth out fuzzy artefacts in compressed JPG files.

One of the headline features in Photoshop Elements 2024 is Match Color, which is available within the FX panel in both Quick mode and Advanced mode for experienced users. In Quick mode you can simply choose a number of presets that allow you to quickly change the colors and tonal balance within a photo, while Advanced mode also allows you to import your own photos and copy the color settings from one photo to another. When you’re working in Advanced mode, you can use a new Search tool to browse through Adobe’s library of free stock photography to find images that you can use in your own work.

The 2024 update also gains a new Guided Edit called Add Text, which makes it easier to use the program’s text tools and effects. You can quickly add horizontal or vertical text, apply text to a selection, or make text follow a path that you draw with a freehand pen. You can add drop shadows, graduated colors and other effects with a quick click of your mouse, and even change the angle of lighting that you apply to the text. And, for social media mavens, there’s a new Photo Reels tool, which is similar to an old-fashioned slide-show that flicks through a series of photos, but is very much focused on social media and provides a series of templates for use on Instagram, Tiktok and other services. When you create a Photo Reel you see a simple timeline view that allows you to arrange photos in sequence, adjust the size and aspect ratio of each photo. You can also adjust the playback speed of the photo reel, and add text, graphics and filter effects.

These updates extend Adobe’s collection of Sensei artificial intelligence tools added in the 2022 edition. The Sensei tools help users automatically perform editing tasks that might normally require hours of work. New edit options added in Elements 2023 mean that as well as applying animated overlays to a photo (such as falling snowflakes, autumn leaves, or flickering flames to your photos), you can create moving elements that animate a specific section within a photo and then save the result as a video clip. The 2022 Photoshop Elements update added artistic effects that mimic a variety of artistic styles, such as cubist and post-impressionist. You can, for example, apply the artistic effect to the entire photo, or just to the subject or background.

Photoshop Elements also includes Guided Edits to help use some of the powerful tools and a new Search tool introduced in the 2023 edition helps you to quickly locate the Guided Edits you need by searching for keywords such as crop or sky. A guided edit introduced in the 2022 version was the ability to alter the aspect ratio of a photo by extending the background of a photo–so you could turn a square photo into a wider landscape shot, for example. There’s also a guided edit for refining photos of animals–including removing glare from their eyes.

Some of our favorite guided edits introduced in earlier versions include the Perfect Landscapes guided edit that helps you change the sky or background on a landscape photo for greater dramatic effect. We also like the one that can be used for a group shot with one person standing off to the side – you can select that person and bring them closer to the rest of the group. You can even adjust the angle and tilt of their face.

There are also mobile apps for iOS (and Android) and a web app. The mobile apps allow you to upload photos and videos from your smartphone or tablet, and provide you with 2GB of free online storage.

You can buy Photoshop Elements from the Mac App Store, but it’s worth noting that if you buy directly from Adobe ( Adobe UK / Adobe US) you can save a few pounds and also get a two-pack that includes both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements (for video-editing) for $149.99/£130.36. These are one-time purchases, no subscription options here.

Source : Macworld