What is Photoshop CS/CC (PSCS/PSCC)?
Photoshop is a professional tool used throughout many industries as the standard for digital image manipulation and painting. It has very rich, and often complex, tools and options. As such, it comes with a professional price tag.
What is Photoshop Elements (PSE)?
Photoshop Elements is a consumer product. It's made for users who don't need as many features and complex options. It has a simpler design, guided workflows, and an organizer to help you manage your files.
What are the some of the specific differences?
Here is a list of some of the major differences between Photoshop Elements and Photoshop:
- Adobe Camera Raw differences between Photoshop and Photoshop Elements
- Photoshop Elements comes with a database driven Digital Asset Management application called Elements Organizer. Photoshop comes with Bridge, a file navigation system that operates much like Windows Explorer or Macintosh Finder. While there are several functions that both Organizer and Bridge use, they are fundamentally different applications and serve different purposes.
- Photoshop Elements does not support the following color modes: Duotone, CMYK, Lab, Multichannel
- There is very little 16-bit support in Photshop Elements. You cannot create or convert an image to 16-bit, only open images that are already 16-bit. While working with a 16-bit image you cannot work with layers. The following tools do not work: Magic Wand, Selection Brush, the family of Type tools, Recompose, Cookie Cutter, Straighten, the brush based tools (Paint Brush, Eraser, Dodge, Blur, etc), or the shape based tools (Rectangle, Ellipse, Custom Shape, etc). Many filters do not work, mainly those featured in the Filter Gallery.
- Photoshop Elements does not fully support Smart Objects. While you can open files that already have Smart Object layers, you cannot create Smart Objects nor open the files embedded as Smart Objects.
- Photoshop Elements does not have a Channels panel. Nor does it have the Channel Mixer Adjustment/Enhancement.
- Photoshop Elements cannot merge multiple/bracketed photo exposures into an HDR image. There is no support for 32-bit images. However, Photoshop Elements does offer Photomerge Exposure as a similar function.
- Photoshop Elements does not use the same range of Content-Aware functions. While the Spot Healing Brush includes the Content-Aware option in both applications, Photoshop Elements does not have Conent-Aware as an option in the Edit > Fill Layer command (known simply as Edit > Fill in Photoshop). However, Photoshop Elements does use a Content-Aware Fill option when creating a Photomerge Panorama, this is not an option in Photoshop. Photoshop CS6 introduced the Content-Aware Extend and Move tools, which are not available in Photoshop Elements.
- Photoshop Elements has fewer vector based tools. The Pen family of tools are not available. The Shape tools do create a vector shape layer, but the vector points cannot be edited individually. There is no Paths panel.
- The licence from a boxed purchase of Photoshop Elements is multi-platform (as of version 9). This means you can install on either Windows or Macintosh or both without having to purchase a separate version. This was not true with Photoshop. However, with Creative Cloud we no longer sell boxed products and all licenses are multi-platform.
- Photoshop Elements does not have the Subtract or Divide blending modes that were introduced in Photoshop CS5.
- Photoshop and Photoshop Elements can both Transform selected pixels in the following ways: Scale, Rotate, Skew, Distort, and Perspective. Photoshop Elements does not have the Warp Transform option.
- The Photoshop Elements Color Picker does not include the following options available in Photoshop's Color Picker: the Not a web-safe color alert icon, the Add to Swatches and Color Libraries buttons, and the Lab and CMYK models.
- Photoshop Extended CS6 has the following panels that Photoshop Elements 11 does not: 3D*, Brush, Brush Presets, Channels, Character, Character Styles, Clone Source, Color, Layer Comps, Measurement Log*, Notes, Paragraph, Paragraph Styles, Paths, Properties, Styles, Timeline, and Tool Presets.
- Photoshop Elements does not support Extensions such as Mini Bridge and Kuler.
*In some release versions of Photoshop, there Standard and Extended variants. Marked features are only available in Photoshop Extended, where applicable.
[EDITORS NOTE: This is a work in progress, this list is not yet comprehensive]