Photoshop Elements 12 Review

Many, many requests were made for me to review the new Photoshop Elements 12. I apologize this is coming two months late, but I hope it is beneficial to those still considering upgrading.

This review includes a GIVEAWAY! Two readers who leave a comment will be randomly selected to receive a free copy of PSE 12. Giveaway ends Sunday, December 15th at 11:00 PM EST. See instructions the bottom of the post to see how to enter.

Photoshop Elements 12

Photoshop Elements 12, which was released in September, is the newest version of Elements but it was not a major upgrade like Elements 11 was last year. The interface is identical to PSE 11, which was a drastic change from previous versions.

There was one significant addition, the content aware move tool, which you can sometimes use to move objects or subjects from one spot to another in an image. It works only when your subject is in front of a consistent background.

content aware move tool


I am not nearly as eloquent as I’d like to be when reviewing products, so instead I will send you to a¬†more thorough review at Macworld (PC users don’t be worried, the review applies to both PC and Mac).

One of the most frequently asked questions I get after a new version comes out is “should I upgrade?”¬†

  • If you have PSE 5 through 8 – definitely YES!
  • If you have PSE 9 or 10 – maybe. It really depends on if you would like the text on shape tool (pretty cool one in my book) and the content aware move tool. The new interface may frustrate you though, but you will get the hang of it.
  • If you have PSE 11 – NO! It is not worth upgrading for the few additions that were made between PSE 11 and PSE 12.

Below is a video showing the layout of PSE 12 and the new content aware move tool. After that preview I show how to customize the workspace, if you have PSE 11 and PSE 12.

Now for the GIVEAWAY!

The Giveaway is now closed. The winning comment numbers were 55 and 103, and emails have been sent to those who left the comments. Thank you to all who entered!

To enter to win one of the two copies of PSE 12, leave a comment on this blog post telling me what version of PSE you currently use (or that you don’t yet own PSE).

  • One entry per person
  • Comment must be left on this blog post, not on Facebook
  • Giveaway ends Sunday, December 15th at 11:00 PM EST
  • Winners will be chosen via
  • Winners will be notified via email and have seven days to respond, after which an alternate winner will be selected

About Amanda

I am passionate about helping others learn how to use their DSLR cameras and editing programs. More information about me can be found at my About page, or by visiting my personal blog.


  1. I use PSE9 but have been wanting to upgrade for the book making features in the newer versions

  2. Cheryl Kinlaw says:

    I have PSE 10 but would love to upgrade to PSE 12.

  3. I don’t own PSE, but would very much love a copy as its out of my budget right now.

  4. I have PSE 10 and have been considering an upgrade. Thanks for all your helpful webinars on how to master PSE. You have helped me immensely.

  5. I currently have PSE9, been looking at upgrading but I haven’t yet. Thank You for this review & everything else you do for us! Merry Christmas!

  6. says:

    I have PSE 11 but would love 12 for the move tool. I could really use it!!

  7. Currently using PSE10 but have been thinking about an upgrade.

  8. Linda Hendrix says:

    I have PSE 11 and I’m still trying to learn how to use it.

  9. i’m still working several versions down – it takes so long to learn and feel comfortable with a particular release. But i know im kissing features – time for an upgrade! – J.

  10. I have version 10 and was wondering if I should upgrade to 11 – seems I procrastinated too long seeing as they are up to 12 now!

  11. I have PSE 11 and learn new and better ways to use it all the time.

  12. I’m at PSE 7 and hadn’t really considered upgrading until now. I’d love to have the enhanced text capabilities, though I’m a little sad that 12 apparently eliminates the color variations tool, which I use a lot for editing my old crappy photos. Thanks for the chance!

  13. Dorothy W. says:

    I’d like to purchase PSE 12, but funds are low. It would be awesome to win it!!

  14. says:

    I recently upgraded from 9 to 12. At times I still go back and open 9 just because I know how to do something quickly, but I love, love the content-aware move tool in 12! I will keep plugging away along with the help that Amanda provides on PSE in general to get better! I think I’ll make that an official New Year’s Resolution!

  15. I have PSE 9. I would love to upgrade someday.

  16. I have 11. Thanks for the chance to win and your review!!

  17. I use PSE 10 now and love it. Photography has turned out to be great therapy for the stressful lives I am sure we all live. Everyday Elements has been very helpful in my learning process.

  18. Anne Hargreaves says:

    I really like the sound of the content aware move tool, but as I’ve got PSE11 (and am very hapy with it!) I’ll just be patient and wait for a bigger revision to come along. (Unless I win, of course!)

  19. Shawna Edwards says:

    I currently use PSE 10, but would love to have some new tools!

  20. Thank you for the giveaway! I have PSE 10 and I finally understand how to use the tools. But it would not have been possible with your blog. =)

  21. Is the content-aware tool similar to the patch tool in CS? I use PSE10, though I have taken some workshops that show the usefulness of the patch and liquify tools used in CS and was wondering if new PSE versions incorporate these tools as well.

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