Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 and Premiere Elements 13 arrive, focus on more automatic features

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Adobe has released Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 and Adobe Premiere Elements 13, brand new versions of its consumer-level photo-editing and video-editing suites.

Version 13 remain standalone tools -- allowing users to purchase them outright -- and come with a number of new and improved features to build on previous updates.

Photoshop Elements 13 introduces a number of new features. It opens with what Adobe describes as offering "a cool twist on your Facebook page" by making it easy to create two images that blend into each other when used as profile picture and cover photo.

Another new tool is Photomerge Compose, which allows users to create "mashups" of different photos by pulling elements from one and dropping them into another. Photoshop Elements then attempts to blend both color and lighting to create a realistic-looking scene.

Users also gain the ability to nudge selection boundaries to fine-tune object selections, while the program also now offers a choice of suggested compositions when cropping images, as well as displaying five different ways of applying an effect to give users a head-start on choosing their personal favorite.

Photoshop Elements 13’s slideshow feature also gains support for displaying multiple photos on each slide.

The program’s Guided Edit options have also been extended, with new features designed to create hybrid color and black-and-white photos, including one that allows the user to leave a single color in place.

Meanwhile, Adobe Premiere Elements 13 adds more video automation tools to its roster. Chief among these is Video Story, a tool that automatically generates movies -- including trims, transitions and music -- from user-selected clips. All the user needs to do is choose a story type and organize the clips into chapters.

Another automated addition allows users to pick favorite moments from a video clip and then Elements will automatically turn them into a movie.

New Guided Edit tools have also been added to Premiere Elements 13, making it easy to add motion effects inside movie titles as well as other effects and blurs designed to draw attention to a specific part of a scene.

The new build also promises improvements to its Shake Stabilizer tool, which is designed to help correct the effects of motion shake.

Adobe Photoshop Elements 13 and Adobe Premiere Elements 13 are both available now as free trial downloads for Windows and Mac -- an Adobe account is required to road-test either product. Both products have a MSRP of $99.99, with upgrade pricing at $79.99 each. Users can also purchase both products in a discounted bundle for $149.99, or $119.99 as an upgrade. See adobe.com for more details.

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