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Introduction > Elements Versus Photoshop

Elements Versus Photoshop

It’s very easy to get confused about the differences between Elements and the full version of Adobe Photoshop. Because Elements is so much less expensive, and because many of the program’s more advanced controls are tucked away, a lot of Photoshop aficionados tend to view Elements as some kind of toy version of their program.

They could not be more wrong. Elements is Photoshop, but it’s Photoshop adapted for use with your home computer printer and for the Web. The most important difference between Elements and Photoshop is that Elements does not let you work or save in CMYK mode, which is the format used for commercial color printing. (CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and blacK).

Elements also lacks several tools that are basic staples in any commercial art department, like Actions or scripting (to help automate repetitive tasks), the extra color control you can get from Curves, and the Pen tool’s special talent for creating vector paths. (Chapter 17 will show you lots of ways to add some of these features to Elements). Also, for some special effects, like creating drop shadows or bevels, the tool you’d use—Layer Styles—doesn’t have as many settings in Elements as it does in Photoshop. The same holds true for a handful of other Elements tools.


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