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Does ElementsXXL turn Photoshop Elements into Photoshop?

ElementsXXL adds many features to Photoshop Elements that are only available in Photoshop, e.g. running actions and scripts, several adjustment layers and filters, smart objects, smart filtering, layer groups, layer masks, channels, 16-bit/channel conversion, quick mask mode, soft proofing. So ElementsXXL actually bridges a large part of the gap between Photoshop Elements and Photoshop.

But there are a few limitations in Photoshop Elements that ElementsXXL cannot overcome (at least not in the latest version), e.g. layers in 16-bit/channel mode, CMYK mode, video editing and 3D functionality. If you do not need them, you should be quite happy with Photoshop Elements and ElementsXXL.


What is the difference between ElementsXXL and other products that extend Photoshop Elements?

The big thing about ElementsXXL is that it fully integrates into the user interface of Photoshop Elements by adding new menu items, key shortcuts, icons and various dialogs. ElementsXXL starts up together with Photoshop Elements, so it does not need to be run manually. ElementsXXL feels like an upgrade to Photoshop Elements and not like a plugin or external tool.

Other products that try to extend the functionality of Photoshop Elements have to be executed by clicking a button or menu item. They are limited to a single dialog that blocks the user interface or consist of simple actions. So they are not as intuitively and easy to use as ElementsXXL. They do not provide the rich features of ElementsXXL.

There is no other product that adds new Layers panels features, lets you run Photoshop actions and scripts directly, lets you apply smart filters from the Filter menu, offers so many smart filters, adds key shortcuts, enables masking 16-bit images and lets you edit its adjustment layers. ElementsXXL supports all available versions of Photoshop Elements and does not need to be purchased separately for each version.


How do I know which features are added by ElementsXXL and which are part of Photoshop Elements?

ElementsXXL uses a blue text color for its menu items. To remove this colorization, please go to File > Automation Tools > ElementsXXL and deactivate the "Colorize Icons & Menu Items" check box.

ElementsXXL also provides various new key shortcuts. You can see a list of its key shortcuts under File > Automation Tools > ElementsXXL > Key Shortcuts. Additionally you can check out the manual on the menu under Help > ElementsXXL Help. All features of ElementsXXL are mentioned and explained there in detail.


I have a non-English version of Photoshop Elements. Can I use ElementsXXL with it?

Yes, definitely. 95% of the features of ElementsXXL are automatically translated to the language of Photoshop Elements. For example, if you use a Spanish version of Photoshop Elements, all menu items and almost all dialogs of ElementsXXL are in Spanish. Only the Preferences dialog and a few messages are only available in English and German.

There is only an English manual for ElementsXXL, but you can read about most ElementsXXL features in the manual of Photoshop or on the Photoshop Help page - both of which are available for various languages. You can simply search for a certain term, e.g. the name of a menu item, in the Photoshop PDF manual or on the Photoshop Help page. Here are the Photoshop Help pages (where you can also find the Photoshop manual) in all languages that Photoshop Elements supports: Czech, German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, Dutch, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Turkish, Chinese, Taiwanese.

Alternatively you can enter the term together with "Photoshop" in Google, e.g. "Photoshop Auto-Align Layers". Then you will find a lot of information and tutorials about it.


Sometimes the Auto-Blend Layers feature of ElementsXXL does not work. What can I do about it?

In some cases the Auto-Blend Layers feature may not have enough memory to perform its task. Here are some measures to make it work anyway:

1. Exit all other applications.
2. Close all other documents in Photoshop Elements.
3. Choose Edit > Clear > All to free more memory in Photoshop Elements.
4. Go to Edit > Preferences > Performance and increase the Memory Usage to 90 or 95%.
5. Reduce the number of layers that are processed with Auto-Blend Layers.
6. Reduce the image size of the document that contains the layers.
7. If you run Windows 32-bit, upgrade to Windows 64-bit. This will double the amount of memory that Photoshop Elements can use (from 1.6 GB to 3.2 GB RAM). In Photoshop Elements 13 (and higher) you can even use almost all of your RAM under Windows 64-bit. If you use Photoshop Elements 11 for MacOS X, update to a newer version in order to be able to use more RAM.



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