Photoshop Elements workspace basics
Learn more about the workspace in Adobe Photoshop Elements.

The Adobe Photoshop Elements workspace presents an easy-to-use interface that helps you enhance your images--the way you want. Based on your level of expertise with Photoshop Elements, you can choose to work in Quick, Guided, or Expert modes.


If you are using Photoshop Elements 2018 or earlier versions, you will also see the eLive tab. The eLive tab helps access a stream of resources right from your workspace to get creative ideas for your images and become more proficient with Adobe Photoshop Elements. For more information, see eLive.

Home screen

When you launch Adobe Photoshop Elements, the first screen that you receive is the Home screen. On this screen, you can open your desired application, view several feature tutorials, access resources for latest features, view Auto Creations, and more. For more information about the Home screen, see Get to know the Elements Home screen.  


If you are using Photoshop Elements 2018 or earlier versions, you will see the Welcome screen.

The Welcome screen - 2018 and earlier releases

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 (next to the Close button) to choose what application is started when you start.
Start screen
Photoshop Elements 2018 Welcome Screen

Photoshop Elements window

eLive (in 2018 and earlier releases)

Elements Live (eLive) view makes content and resources available to you right from within Photoshop Elements Editor and Organizer. The eLive view displays articles, videos, tutorials, and more - categorized into channels such as Learn, Inspire, and News. You can search for tutorials, Help pages, and troubleshooting articles within this window by simply clicking the search icon and typing your query.  

eLive - a view to access content and resources
eLive - a view to access content and resources

  • By default, all the articles are shown.
  • You can filter the articles for channels available: Learn, Inspire, News


Enables you to edit photos in the Quick mode. Use this mode to make quick and simple edits to your photo such as fix the exposure, color, sharpness, and other aspects of an image.

For more information, see Enhanced Quick mode.

Quick mode


Enables you to edit photos in the Guided mode.

The Guided mode is a wizard-like interface that allows you to accomplish certain predefined effects. Each guided edit has an associated image that displays the applied effect when you hover the mouse pointer on it. For more information, see Guided mode.

Guided 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 have worked with image-editing applications before, you can 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

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.

Customize workspace

You can hide or show different parts of the workspace to suit your needs.

To hide or show the photo bin or the Tool Options, toggle the respective icons at the bottom of the screen.

To work split-screen with the original photo on one side, and the edited photo on the other, use Quick mode, and then select one of the different View options.

Viewing the original photo and the edited photo at the same time


The ability to work split-screen with the original photo and the edited photo in view is available only in Quick mode.

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.

Use 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.

For a list of keyboard shortcuts categorized by modes and tools, see Keys for selecting tools.

Save photos and include in Elements Organizer

To save any changes in an image, and have it show up in Elements Organizer, simply save the image. 

In the Save dialog box that opens, select the Include in the Elements Organizer checkbox. You can then see the image in Elements Organizer.

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 (Ctrl + Q). In Mac, choose Photoshop Elements > Quit Photoshop Elements (Cmd + Q) .
    • 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 that you have modified.