The newest Photoshop Elements Upgrade is available beginning today.

It’s fall. And along with cooler weather and back to school, I’ve come to expect a new version of PSE this time of year.

Smart Tags are the most exciting new Photoshop Elements 15 feature. Smart Tags work in the Organizer module. (I personally use Lightroom rather than the Organizer – I hope Adobe adds this functionality to Lightroom at some point.)

Elements will automatically identify and apply Smart Tags to photos with the following subjects (among others):

  • Sunsets
  • Dogs
  • Cats
  • or Birthdays

Want to find all of your child’s birthday photos from the past 10 years? Simply search for the Birthday Smart Tag to see them all right in front of you.

PSE 15 has a few new editing tricks:

Speed Pan creates a fast motion effect:

Photoshop Elements Upgrade

Photo courtesy of Adobe.

Elements 15 also includes an interesting new feature called Enhance Facial Features. It detects faces in your image and lets you adjust size of elements like the mouth or eyes, the tilt of the eyes, the amount of smile, etc.

You access this feature under the Enhance menu:


Below, you can see the adjustments possible for lips:



And finally, here is my quick edit:



Do you see the difference? Maybe we should say that this tool turns a half-hearted smile into a 3/4 smile. It started to look unnatural on the several photos I tried it on if I used the highest amount of adjustment possible.

PSE 15 also offers a tweaked frame interface. You can create your own graphics and convert them into frames that would be useful for digital scrapbooking, cards, invitations, etc.


This isn’t technically anything new – you could always create your own frames in PSE. However, the Guided Editor automates the process. This is a great feature for those of you interesting in sharing or selling your own digital scrapbooking embellishments.

Adobe Photoshop Elements Upgrade v. 15 Recommendation

And now for my annual “should I upgrade to Photoshop Elements 15” recommendations. In summary, if you use the Organizer, this is a good year to upgrade. For those of you like me who just use the Editor, this is what I suggest:

  • Upgrade Elements 14 to 15: Probably not, unless you use the Organizer.
  • Upgrade Elements 13 to 15: Probably not, especially if you use Lightroom.
  • Upgrade Elements 12 to 15: Maybe. In addition to Dehaze and Refine Selection, you’ll get Content Aware Straight and Move, plus the Pet Eye corrector.
  • Upgrade Elements 11 (or prior) to 15? – YES! You’ll have better quality and speedier edits at your fingertips.

If you purchase at Adobe and have any version of Elements starting with PSE 1, you are eligible for upgrade pricing of $79.99. Purchase of a new license is $99.99. Click here to buy.