Finding the right professional photo editing software can be tricky because there are so many factors to consider. The available editing tools will obviously be the biggest thing to look at, but it's also important to think about how easy the software is to use. A customizable interface can make working within the software much more enjoyable. For many, the industry standard for professional photo editing software is Adobe Photoshop CS6, but it's also very expensive, and if you have your budget to think about, it might be necessary to consider some other options. Another factor worth looking at is what kinds of resources the company provides to help you learn how to use the software. There will always be a considerable learning curve when working with professional photo editing software, so the more resources the company offers, the sooner you should be able to get up and running.
Adobe Photoshop CS6 is the premier professional photo editing software on the market today. Its extensive array of photo editing tools are unmatched by any other photo editing software in the industry, and its customizable interface will make it easy to find exactly what you are looking for whenever you need it. Adobe Photoshop CS6 also comes with basic video editing features and some excellent content-aware tools, which should help speed the editing process up considerably. All of these features may be a little overwhelming at times, and that's why Photoshop also has user guides, video tutorials, and a knowledge base available to help walk you through all of the different functions. The one thing that might prevent people from choosing Adobe Photoshop CS6 is the price tag. It is the one of the most expensive photo editing software on the market. If price isn't a big concern, however, you won't find a better value than Adobe Photoshop CS6.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 also earns a place among the best professional photo editing software because it offers many of the same features as Photoshop CS6, but at a fraction of the cost. It doesn't have video editing capabilities, but almost all of the advanced photo editing tools found in Photoshop CS6 can also be found in Elements 12. The user-friendly interface and excellent online learning materials should help ease the initial learning curve and get you going even faster. Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 also has a nice collection of file management and image organization tools, which will be very useful if you have a large volume of photos that you are working with. Missing professional editing tools, like content-aware tools, could be a problem for some, and if you need these tools for your work, it's probably best to choose Photoshop CS6 over Elements 12.
ACDSee Pro 7 is another nice photo editing software for professionals. It's priced about the same as Adobe Photoshop Elements 12 and has a strong array of both standard and advanced editing tools. The reason it ends up in third place on this list is because it is missing some tools that professionals might require in their day-to-day work, such as the ability to create layers in your images. That being said, there are still a lot of things to appreciate about ACDSee Pro 7, including its strong image organization and management capabilities, which will be invaluable if you have a large number of photos that you are working with. You will also get 10 GB of free cloud space when you sign up for ACDSee Pro 7, so that you are able to store your photos online and access them from anywhere whenever you need them. ACDSee Pro 7 also comes with a 30-day free trial, allowing you to test out the software before committing to making a purchase.
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