Photoshop Elements licensing on PC and Mac

As you might know, if you are a developer who needs to do graphics – you don’t need full-blown Adobe Photoshop, you can just get Photoshop Elements. It typically costs between $50-75 for the latest version. I’ve been using some version of Elements since it came out, and there has only be one thing that I found is “lacking” – and that is kerning. As far as I can tell, with Elements, you can’t specify the spacing between the letters – which is sometimes important.

Aside from that, the other 99% of what you’d need to do, you can do with this product.

With that said, absolutely every other part of dealing with Adobe, the software, the licensing, activation, and finding information has been a complete train wreck, like always! In my professional opinion, I have not run across a company that “does it all wrong”, more than Adobe – with everything they touch!

In fact, they even REQUIRE my birthday now, to use Photoshop Elements – it’s REQUIRED!! What legal, ethical, moral, physical, or spiritual reason does a corporation need to have my birthday, in order for me to use my legally-acquired software!?

2014-10-28 23_18_53-MiniMac (113 217 120) - TeamViewer - Free license (non-commercial use only)

Man alive, is this company doing it all wrong! OK, moving on. How bad can it get, right?

Trying to stay positive, here! 🙂 OK, you might not know that if you buy a license for Photoshop Elements, you can have the software installed on a 2nd computer. It has to be the same end-user, and you can’t use the software at the same time on both machines.

(laughing aloud) Even finding this, was complicated. I first had to find the licensing details on the site (which wasn’t easy) – and then wanted to find the wording of this, and I found it, just on principle. It took a little but, but it is on page 115 of a 475 page PDF. Yes, the document starts in Arabic, and the English part starts on page 113. That is the one place this is written down, in one enormous PDF document where the English-language version is buried 100 pages in! I don’t even know where to start with how stupid that is.

Anyhow, here is the legal text:

2.1.3 Portable or Home Computer Use. Subject to the restrictions set forth in Section 2.1.4, the primary user of the Computer on which the Software is installed under Section 2.1 (“Primary User”) may install a second copy of the Software for his or her exclusive use on either a portable Computer or a Computer located at his or her home, provided that the Software on the portable or home Computer is not used at the same time as the Software on the primary Computer.

I found that PDF from this page:

Installing Photoshop Elements 12 on a Mac:
In my case, I picked up Photoshop Elements 12 a few months ago from Amazon. Despite me buying the PC/Mac version, the downloader on the Amazon site only has the PC version.

OK, no problem, I’ll just go to the Adobe site. They’ve switched to a “lease”, or “subscription” model – so they are really pushing that, and only give you access to “try” or “buy” version 13, but I need version 12. After scouring the Adobe site, and then the Internet for a while, I found out that I can log into the Adobe site and see my serial numbers and downloads from there. Makes sense, let’s try that!

Sure enough, I see my product and serial number, but there is no mention of download. Yes, Adobe why should there be a download link on the “My Subscriptions” and “My products” page which lists the specific software I own, with serial numbers?!! (takes a deep breath)  Anyhow….  🙂

So, finally, I figured I’d open a ticket with them and ask them why I’ve spent almost an hour now trying to simply download some software which I supposedly, legally own!!  …but I digress.

Anyhow, on the screen where you contact them – one of the last options is “Download previous version” on this page:


and then finally, a download page!!


And that download page is here:

the URL seems simple enough, but it was incredibly difficult to find. Again, I can’t stress how wrong Adobe is doing it. Another example is the “Downloads” link at the bottom of every page on their site (why is it at the bottom of the page?) only lets you view product information for the latest products. You can’t even “download” them anyway, all you can do is sign up for a subscription!

But aside from that, there is no mention to this “other downloads” page that I could find – so I had to take the very long route to find it. And that, friends, is why Adobe has earned it’s very own blog post tonight. First, to remind me in the future where to find this God-forsaken software in case I re-install the OS. And second, because if a big company is doing it this wrong – they’ve earned some mocking! We, as an industry “know better”. If you are a software company, “downloads” should be in your primary navigation. That download page should link to everything that is downloadable from you. Licensing should be per-product and per language. Etc, etc, etc…

Anyhow, once downloaded – the actual installation was uneventful. I put in my serial number and it’s now all set!

Bottom line:
I now have Photoshop Elements installed on the Mac for when I’m doing Android and iOS work, and on my Windows machine for when I’m working with Visual Studio apps.

If you need to download old versions of Adobe software, use the link above. Meanwhile, if you have a comparable image editing product, I would love to stop using this and never have to deal with Adobe again! And no, Paint.NET won’t cut it – the bar needs to be a little higher. Any other alternatives?

Posted in Apple Stuff, Computers and Internet, General, Uncategorized

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