Every release of Adobe Photoshop Elements raises the bar a bit more and brings the feature set closer to its big brother, Photoshop CS2. Elements 5.0 is no exception, with a number of enhancements that will appeal to both casual and serious photographers, as well as a new group of users who have avoided traditional digital-imaging software in the past. The latest release (currently Windows only) makes organizing and editing images easier and gives you more control over advanced image corrections than in previous versions.
The Organizer component has been updated to make image sorting and browsing easier. A new feature to group images is Stacks. Similar to a traditional light table and slides, Stacks let you group related images into a single thumbnail that can be expanded or collapsed as needed. Stacked images display with a special icon in the upper-right corner of the thumbnail, along with a darker border and button to expand and collapse the stack. You can set Organizer to stack images automatically based on capture time and similarity, or you can select images for stacking at any time. Unlike Version Sets, which have been in Organizer, Stacks are the actual images rather than different versions of the same image.
Map View allows you to drag and drop images onto a Yahoo! map panel, which creates a pushpin to indicate where you took the shots. You can search based on location and even share images (along with the map), which are created as a web gallery, at your own website or online at the new photoshopshowcase.com, a free service.
The Organizer also makes it easier to access the Creations features of Elements, with all Creations now available directly from a drop-down menu rather than having to launch the Elements Editor.