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What's new in Photoshop Elements 2020?

Watch video: New features in Photoshop Elements 2020

Photoshop Elements is the budget version of the Adobe’s Photoshop CC (opens in new tab) image editor. It shares many of the features of its bigger sibling aimed, but importantly it can be bought outright – currently available for a $74.99 / £86.56 (opens in new tab) – so could be the better option if you don’t want a monthly subscription. 

Adobe releases a new version each year, with numerous new and improved features, so we’ll be looking at what’s changed in Photoshop Elements 2020 (opens in new tab) so that you can use it to its full potential.

Many of the additions harness Adobe Photoshop’s Sensei Artificial Intelligence technology, facilitating powerful new features such as skin smoothing, selecting a subject automatically or colorizing an old black-and-white photo with a single click. 

When you import your images into the Elements Organiser, Adobe’s Sensei AI will also scan through your pictures and apply some quick edits to them automatically. These are called Auto Creations (see step 5), and they make it even quicker to get started and see great results. Watch the video to see the new features in action!

• Read more: Everything photographers need to work from home

01 Object removal guided edit

In the original image we can see a person walking through the frame (Image credit: Future)
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Using the Object Removal Guided edit the person is removed

Using the Object Removal Guided edit the person is removed (Image credit: Future)

Open your shot in Elements 2020 and go to the Guided mode, then in the Basics tab click on Object Removal to start. Then Brush or Lasso over the offending item and use the Add and Subtract buttons to fine-tune your selection and hit Remove Object.

02 Smooth skin easily

Use the new Smooth Skin feature to give skin a soft glow

Use the new Smooth Skin feature to give skin a soft glow (Image credit: Future)

Here you can see the original image on the left and our edit with smoothed skin on the right

Here you can see the original image on the left and our edit with smoothed skin on the right (Image credit: Future)

While working on a portrait, click on Enhance>Smooth Skin for a fast way to retouch. You’ll see the face selected with a blue circle, then just drag the Smoothness slider to the right until the skin is smoothed to your liking and press OK to apply.

03 Select subjects the easy way

Let Photoshop automatically select your subjects (Image credit: Future)
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For an easy way to select a subject, go to Select> Subject and it will automatically select it! Though you may want to tidy it up with the Polygonal Lasso Tool, using the Shift and Alt keys to add and subtract from your selection.

05 Automatically colorize old photos

(Image credit: Future)
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To restore old black-and-white images to color, go to Enhance>Colorize Photo. For best results go into Manual mode and select the areas you want to work on, then click on them with the Droplet Tool and add the color you want to see in that area. 

05 Use Auto Creations

(Image credit: Future)

Photoshop Elements will automatically apply and suggest edits to pictures that you’ve imported into the Organizer. You’re presented with these when you open the Home screen; click Open to bring it into Elements so you can continue to work on it.

06 New Pattern Brush guided edit

(Image credit: Future)

Go to Guided Mode>Fun Edits>Pattern Brush, then choose one of the patterns you like the look of on the right and start to paint over your shot and use the [ and ] keys to resize. To remove a pattern hit Ctrl/Cmd+Z or use the Pattern Eraser Tool.

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Dan Mold
Technique Editor

The Technique Editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, Dan also brings his technical wizardry and editing skills to Digital Camera World. He has been writing about all aspects of photography for over 8 years, having previously served as technical writer and technical editor on Practical Photography magazine, as well as Photoshop editor on Digital Photo


Indeed, Dan is an Adobe-certified Photoshop guru, making him officially a beast at post-processing – so he’s the perfect person to share tips and tricks both in-camera and in post. Able to shoot all genres, Dan provides news, techniques and tutorials on everything from portraits and landscapes to macro and wildlife, helping photographers get the most out of their cameras, lenses, filters, lighting, tripods and, of course, editing software.