Why Did Adobe Ruin Photoshop Elements?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by ArtandStructure, Sep 1, 2009.

  1. ArtandStructure macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Klamath Falls, Oregon
    I wasn't sure whether to post this in Design & Graphics or Digital Photography as it applies to both...frankly Web Design and anything else using Photoshop but here goes...

    Why did Adobe ruin Photoshop Elements?

    I have used Elements for years as it satisfied my needs personally and professionally and I have heartily recommended it to most users because of its relative completeness and excellence compared to its big brother and the associated price difference. However, I can no longer recommend it for anyone but the most casual or budget conscious user.

    The interface changes in v6.x versus v2.x I had used previously are atrocious. Moreover these changes seem like a concerted effort to cripple the product to push more users to the full version...and by cripple I don't mean the usual developer's cripple of removing or limiting features, but rather a more sinister, deliberate defacing of the program to cause it harm, being that these changes are not present in the full version i.e. it isn't a change in the overall Photoshop design/development philosophy but something specifically slated to Elements.

    Off the top of my head:

    1. Dark text on a nearly as dark background for the entire interface. The full version remains dark text on a light background. Why? Don't give me the Elements has been revamped for the consumer argument. How is this any easier or more readable for the consumer? Apple can do a readable dark text on dark background interface, why can't the creators of PostScript and PDF?

    2. Permanently "docked" interface. There is some sort of useless image browser at the bottom of the screen which permanently takes up space even if minimized. I never use it. I can minimize images to the OS X dock and have something more useful to me. In fact this causes problems when "expanding" windows (see below). Similarly, when the tool palette is docked it automatically takes up the remainder of the edge of the screen below the tools for nothing but filling in space..layer palettes et al do the same if I recall. How is this useful to anyone on OS X? Especially the "consumer" who likely isn't using a 24" screen as I am?

    3. Using the green OS X window button to enlarge no longer enlarges to the contents of the image but fills the screen completely whether the image does or not. This is not only non-conforming OS X behavior if I remember correctly (aren't all of these contrary to OS X principles really?) but makes quickly expanding and comparing multiple images far more tedious than it used to be. Further it seems expanding one expands all open images (including those "minimized" to the dock...or at least something does this) which is senseless and surely counterintuitive. Again, how is this any way easier? The full version behaves correctly in this regard. Bonus degenerate behavior: I swear there is some circumstance I regularly come across where Elements resizes a window to fill the ENTIRE screen, hiding the title bar behind the Elements interface and making it completely inaccessible.

    4. One of my personal favorite screw-ups, Command+z undoes or "steps-back" as it should. Shift+Command+z no longer "steps forward". Now it's Command+Y? I am told these are essentially the PC equivalents for undo/redo. If so this is another reason I use a Mac. I can undo/redo without looking at the keyboard or contorting my hand. They had it right before. Why change it to something non-standard and inefficient? The pro version has a slightly different combination of keys involving Shift, Option and z, but at least the combinations make some sense and he keys are right by each other (aside from being able to reasign key commands in the pro version), so this is a deliberate design decision for Elements only. Again and again, how is this "easier" for the consumer who is used to Command+z/Shift+Command+z on a Mac?

    I am sure there are others I am not recalling at the moment but in all this makes Elements severely crippled, inefficient and difficult to use IMHO compared to what it once was.

    I was sent an offer from Adobe to upgrade from Elements to CS4 for $299 and I am probably going to do it. I hate the idea of being coerced to shell out hundreds of dollars for what used to be available in Elements years ago, but there are some features of CS4 I can use (mostly automation which will pay for itself) and I will consider the 50% discount Adobe's concession for the idiotic work Elements has now apparently turned out to be.

    What a shame. My opinion of Adobe has now been relegated to that of any other massive Windows developer. I'm glad I use Aperture for most of what I used to do in Photoshop these days.

    All the best and thank you for reading my rant,

    Jesse Widener
    Art and Structure
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I don't use Elements, but some of the recent Adobe products are getting sort of annoying, because they copied some of Microsoft poor user interface.

    The main thing is the fricken banners. Takes extra clicks to do the things you want to do.

    There are some free options if you don't need Photoshop.
  3. ArtandStructure thread starter macrumors member

    Jan 14, 2008
    Klamath Falls, Oregon
    I am aware there are some free options, but Photoshop is a "standard" for good or bad with regard to plug-ins, tutorials on the web, automation, etc. For my uses, using an alternative package would be about as sensible as using Linux instead of Windows. The deal Adobe is offering is actually quite reasonable. The automation alone would pay for itself eventually.

    Having played with CS4 in trial mode I am just about to buy it except for one major issue regarding Exposé which I am about to post a new thread on.

    Many thanks,

    Jesse Widener
    Art and Structure
  4. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Sep 22, 2006
    Actually Y is the standard for redo, Adobe is breaking the standard doing shift+z. Shift+z is better but pretty much every other application on the planet that has a redo function uses Y. Painter is a huge pain in the ass because when you do shift+z it does some crazy process that freezes up your machine until its finished.

    Its clear Adobe wants Elements to be less like Photoshop and be more like some stupid iPhoto or other photo editing application rather than an art creation application. They are steering it to another market, they arent trying to make it a ****** Photoshop.
  5. Eric5h5 macrumors 68020

    Dec 9, 2004
    It's possible that's true for Windows, but definitely NOT the case on OS X, which uses shift+z for redo on every app. Cross-platform apps like Blender use shift+z. In fact I've never once seen y used for redo; it's a really stupid idea.

    In any case, you should be able to use keyboard preferences in OS X to remap Redo to something sensible.

  6. Muncher macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2007
    GIMP (free) is fairly similar, and I would recommend it for beginners over Photoshop for its greater simplicity. However, having played with both GIMP and elements, I would have to say Elements is still quite a bit faster (especially for blurs on large images).

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