The Welcome screen

When you start Photoshop Elements, the Welcome screen opens by default. The Welcome screen is a convenient starting place, or hub, for major tasks.

On the Welcome screen, click:

  • Photo Editor, to enhance your images or add special effects.
    • Click the Photo Editor icon to open the editor in default mode.
    • Click the Photo Editor drop-down icon to open the editor along with one of the recently opened files, a new file, or choose a file to open.
  • Organizer, to import, tag, or organize your photos.
  • Video Editor, to creatively edit and create fun movies with your videos.


In the Windows Application Store version of Photoshop Elements, Video Editor is not available..

  • Close button (X) in the upper-right corner of the Welcome screen to close the Welcome screen. It’s not necessary to return to the Welcome screen to open other workspaces—you can open different workspaces from within any other workspace.
  • Settings icon (adjacent to the Close button) to choose what application is started when you start.
Photoshop Elements 15 Welcome Screen
Photoshop Elements welcome screen

Photoshop Elements window

The Photoshop Elements window provides modes to create and edit images. Select one of the following options:


Enables you to edit photos in the Quick mode.


Enables you to edit photos in the Guided Edit mode.


Enables you to edit photos in the Expert mode.

The Expert mode has tools to correct color problems, create special effects, and enhance photos. The Quick mode contains simple tools for correcting color and lighting, and commands to quickly fix common problems, such as red eye. The Guided mode contains tools for basic photo edits, guided activities, and photographic effects. If you are new to digital imaging, Quick or Guided modes are a good place to start fixing photos.

If you’ve worked with image-editing applications before, you’ll find that the Expert mode provides a flexible and powerful image-correction environment. It has lighting and color-correction commands, along with tools for fixing image defects, making selections, adding text, and painting on your images. You can rearrange the Expert workspace to best suit your needs. You can move, hide, and show panels, and arrange panels in the Panel Bin. You can also zoom in or out of the photo, scroll to a different area of the document window, and create multiple windows and views.

Photoshop Elements in Expert mode
Photoshop Elements in Expert mode

A. Active tab B. Inactive tab C. Active image area D. Options bar E. Toolbox F. Tool Options bar / Photo bin G. Taskbar H. Panel bar 

Menu bar

Contains menus for performing tasks. The menus are organized by topic. For example, the Enhance menu contains commands for applying adjustments to an image.

Mode selector

Contains buttons to enter the three available editing modes. Also, contains the Open (recently used files) drop-down and the Create (photo projects) drop-down.


Holds tools for editing images.

Panel bin

Logically grouped features, actions, or controls.

Photo Bin / Tools Options

Toggles between Photo Bin (display and manage thumbnails of currently used photos) and Tools Options (displays and sets options for the currently selected tool)


Displays the most frequently used actions as buttons, for quick and easy access.

Use context menus

You can use context menus in both the Photo Editor and Organizer workspaces. Context-sensitive menus display commands that are relevant to the active tool, selection, or panel. These menus are often another way to access the commands in the main menus.

  1. Position the pointer over an image or panel item.


    Not all panels offer context menus.

  2. Right-click and choose a command from the menu.

Using keyboard commands and modifier keys

You can use keyboard shortcuts in both the Photo Editor and Organizer workspaces. Keyboard commands let you quickly execute commands without using a menu; modifier keys let you alter how a tool operates. When available, the keyboard command appears to the right of the command name in the menu.

Exit Photoshop Elements

To exit Photoshop Elements, close both the Photo Editor and Organizer workspaces—closing one does not automatically close the other.

  1. From any workspace, do one of the following:
    • In Windows, choose File > Exit. In Mac, choose Photoshop Elements > Quit Photoshop Elements.
    • Click the Close button (X) in the upper-right corner of the workspace.
  2. When closing Photoshop Elements, choose whether to save any open files.

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