I am not sure which of the available versions I should choose. Can you help with this?

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  • Updated 10 months ago
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Susana Maurin

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Posted 10 months ago

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Todd Shaner, Champion

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It really depends on what you're trying to do. If you're a photographer and need an application for cataloging, rating, and editing your image files Lightroom is a good choice. We can provide more guidance if you tell us about the work you do now and what requirements aren't being met with your current software applications.
(Edited)
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Cristen Gillespie

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You're asking what is more suited to your needs— Photoshop Elements, Photoshop, or Lightroom? They aren't so much versions of each other as they are relatives. Elements shares many of Photoshop's features in an application that allows for layering, well suited to creating composites from multiple images, while Lightroom shares photo editing features with Photoshop's own Camera Raw—the two are compatible, but Lightroom doesn't allow for using layers. However, Lightroom owners get around that often through 3rd party plug-ins. They work with layers in the plug-in while creating a composite, and the results are flattened into a single layer when the user returns to Lightroom.

Photoshop is the daddy of them all, and while not intrinsically more difficult, it has more features than either Elements or Lightroom, and that can seem intimidating. Both Elements and Lightroom offer more guided help in accomplishing some tasks, but aren't capable of handling as many different editing tasks.

The learning curve for each of these apps is open-ended. They can be used in very simple ways, but to get the most out of them, you'll need to spend a fair bit of time. The money you're willing to spend is also a factor. The Photography Plan isn't expensive for getting both Lightroom and Photoshop, plus all the extras that come with being a member of the Creative Cloud, but buying Lightroom or Elements outside of the Creative Cloud does mean that only when you want to upgrade will you have to pay again for a new version.

Without knowing what you want to do and what your computer is capable of doing, it's impossible to say which app would be the best for you, however. There's enough overlap that any will do for starters if you're editing your photos and not creating composites for photo art, scrap art, art journaling, etc. But since there is a learning curve, it's better if you can match your needs to the right app from the beginning.
 
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Glenbo

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Once you choose if you go for Photoshop, bare in mind that the Masking tools in CC 2017 leave a lot to be desired, so if you need to cut things out make sure you try CC 2015 as well
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Cristen Gillespie

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I just read a thread where the OP was actually asking what version of Photoshop Elements she needed after some kind of crash or drive error. I think perhaps she needs to post a good deal more for anyone to be able to answer her question, and it will probably have to be an Adobe employee.  If they can't find her registered, she may need to buy a new version.
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Todd Shaner, Champion

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Cristen, good catch. The OP's post you are referring to is here:

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/help-i-can-t-run-my-business-with-out-this?to...

I suggest continuing the conversation at the above link. It looks like she has a very old version of PSE that came bundled with a Wacom tablet.