photoshop creative

Photoshop Elements 11: New Expert mode

Posted in:
General, by Mark White
October 4, 2012

This is probably going to be the part of Photoshop Elements 11 that takes you by surprise the most

There have been many changes made to the whole program. The Expert mode is designed to give complete control over images and artwork, revealing all the palettes and tools that we know and love.

The palettes have been removed from their usual stacking down the right-hand side. The Layers palette, for example, dominates the whole column, and additional palettes are actually kept tucked inside the More icon. When opened they’re unable to be anchored to the interface, as could have done in earlier versions. Clicking on the More icon again, however, hides these extra palettes instantly.

Another big difference to the interface in Expert mode is the amount of space given to the open image. The Options bar has been removed from the top and has been relocated to join the number of various icons at the bottom, under Tool Options, sandwiched between Photo Bin and Undo.

We like how these large icons help to keep the whole interface free of clutter. In fact, all the palettes can be hidden away just by clicking on the icons (see below image).

Photoshop Elements 11 Expert mode

Lastly, the Toolbar looks very different as well. Each tool falls under a category depending on the function such as Modify or Draw. The tool icons are larger too, and when selected the Tool Options bar pops open from the bottom. Tools that are coupled together show up in the Options bar, rather than in the quick drop-down list that Photoshop used to do, which we’re not entirely convinced is an improvement.

Let us know what you think about the new Photoshop Elements 11 below.

  • Al

    If I had an option to hide both the mode bar and the taskbar, move the tool option panel to the stack on the right, and have undo/redo buttons on the toolbar, I’d get like 33% more workspace height (at 1366×768 screen size) in Expert mode. As of now, the space if just wasted by large empty useless areas on various panels, and by buttons that I don’t need at hand most of the time.

  • pbass wil

    I completely agree with Al above.

    Modern screens are wide but not so tall. So why waste so much precious vertical display space with these non-moveable control ribbons?

    At least make them toggle away along with the side panels when you hit Tab; the side panels are much less objectionable on today’s wide displays.

    Elements is crying out for a quick way to let your image use the entire height of the screen.

  • Completely agree as well. I discovered this blog when searching for a way to switch the taskbar off, and try and remove the mode bar.

    As someone who’s used the full version of Photoshop for nearly 20 years I’m very impressed with how many features you get with Elements for the price, but I don’t use either of these panels at all and they’re taking up masses of space, as well as looking ugly.

    Can’t really complain considering the price, but an update which included an option to hide these would make it perfect for me.

  • Nancy of Porch Days

    Very unhappy with 11. I like PSE 6 better because it gives me more workspace. The single line of icons in the tool bar is better than the double row in 11 which is a waste of space. The tool options taking so much space at the bottom in 11 is terrible as it is large and comes up behind the picture I am working on. I can’t find a way to make the options bar smaller when open or change the tool bar to a singe row or to compress it. Not enough new useful features (no new brushes) to have made the expenditure worth it. My son bought 11 for me I and I don’t want to tell him I still use 6 instead.

  • Alex

    I was somehow able to make my tool bar smaller, the thing is I did not want this at all. I made the mistake somehow when I was trying to get the gradient the way I wanted it and it suddenly went smaller like this. But as you can see, I can’t get to the colors. I’ve tried so many times to fix it and get it back to normal but it won’t even go down so I can change the color. I really need help on how to change it back or at least for someone to tell me your screwed and I can’t fix it. If anyone knows how to get it back please help.

  • Alex

    The image is not showing up but I tried to explain it so people would understand.