Everyone wants to use Photoshop as it is considered as the best photo editor. Unfortunately, not everyone can afford it. But, if you really want to use Photoshop yet objected to spending money on a monthly basis, Photoshop Express might is the answer.
Photoshop Express is the lite version of Photoshop, which basically is designed for mobile devices. However, Adobe also made Photoshop Express available for Windows 10 devices, which you can install via Microsoft Store.
Since Photoshop Express is designed to be the lite version of Photoshop, never expect to have all features you usually find on the regular version of Photoshop. Photoshop Express doesn’t support layer and you won’t also see the toolbox that hosts tools like Brush, Eraser, Stump, Lasso and so on. The use of Photoshop Express itself tends to similar to Adobe Lightroom in which you can retouch a photo to get a better tone. Photoshop Express offers plenty of image filters. If you often upload photos to Instagram, you won’t meet any serious problems to use Photoshop Express.
One of the interesting things about Photoshop Express is that it is capable of handling RAW files although limited to NEF (Nikon) and CR2 (Canon).
How to install Photoshop Express on Windows 10
As mentioned, Photoshop Express is basically designed for mobile devices (Android and iOS). This app is competing with apps like Google’s Snapseed and VSCO. The desktop version of Photoshop Express is only available for Windows 10 and Windows 8. This app is distributed via Microsoft Store. To install the app, launch Microsoft Store on your Windows 10 and search for Photoshop Express on the search box.
Click Photoshop Express on the search results to open its detail page and click the Install button to install it on your Windows 10 machine.
Start editing the photos
Once Photoshop Express is installed on your Windows 10 device, you can launch the app to figure out what its interface looks like. On the beginning use of Photoshop Express, you might be asked to login with your Adobe account. Simply create an Adobe account in case you haven’t had one.
The Photoshop Express desktop allows you to edit the existing images on your computer or take a new one with your webcam. To edit an existing image, click the Pictures Library option and select an image you want to edit.
Once your image is loaded, you will be taken to the main editor window of the app. There is a left panel that hosts lots of menu items. Photoshop Express comes with an Auto Enhance feature. Clicking this feature will automatically correct your image. For instance, if you have an underexposed photo, this feature will automatically set the required settings to fix the image exposure. You can find the Auto Enhance button on the top bar, along with the Undo and the Redo buttons.
- Applying filters
As mentioned in the opening paragraph, the use of Photoshop Express tends to similar to Lightroom in which you can use it as a photo retouching tool. Photoshop Express offers lots of filters which are placed into 7 categories: Basic, Charm, B&W, Portrait, Nature, Pop Color, and Duo Tone. You can select a filter category according to your image type. For instance, if you want to retouch a portrait image, you might find a suited filter on the Portrait category.
By default, each filter is set to 100. You can lower or increase the default value by sliding the slider to the left or right.
- Cropping image
To crop an image, you can click the Crop menu on the left panel. There are several predefined aspect ratio options you can choose from. You can also set the aspect ratio manually by selecting the Free Size option.
Aspect ratio itself will be applied once you save your image. So, if you want to crop your image, you can finish your editing first. You can also rotate or flip your image on the Crop menu.
- Setting the exposure, contrast, temperature and saturation
Although Photoshop Express offers filters and has an Auto Enhance feature to instantly correct your photo, you can also set the adjustments yourself. You can make the adjustments like exposure, temperature, saturation, contrast, and so on. To make a certain adjustment, you can to the Corrections menu and select the adjustment you want to make. There are 6 adjustment categories under the Corrections menu. Exposure, contrast, and highlights lie on the Light category while temperature, saturation, and tint lie on the Color category.
You can also slide the slider to change the default value of each adjustment you are making.
- Other editing options
In addition to the things we have just covered above, there are several other things you can do with Photoshop Express. On the left panel, there are three more menu items:
- Spot Heal: to remove image flaws like blemishes and lens flare.
- Fix Red Eye: to correct red-eye.
- Borders: to add frame and vignette.
The Spot Heal and Fix Red Eye allow you to fix the minor image flaws in a single click. However, we still recommend you to use a more capable tool like the regular version of Photoshop or GIMP to remove complex image flaws.
How to resize the image
On the desktop version Photoshop Express, your photos will be saved in the original size by default, unless you cropped it. To save your image in a different dimension, you can go to the Preferences menu by clicking the gear icon on the bottom-left corner.
There are 6 predefined image dimension options you can choose from. You can also set a custom image dimension by selecting the Custom option and slide the slider. You can also set the image quality on the JPEG Quality section.
You can click the arrow button on the top-left corner to return to the editing window.
Photoshop Express doesn’t allow you to resize an image individually like the regular version of Photoshop. If you go to the Preferences menu to change the image dimension, the last applied dimension will apply to all images you will edit next. In other words, if you want to use a different image dimension for every single of the photo you will edit, you need to be back and forth to the Preferences menu.
How to save an edited image and open a new one
Once you are done editing an image, you can click the Save/Share button on the upper-right corner.
While to open a new image to edit, you can click the arrow button on the top-left corner. You will be taken to the front window of the Photoshop Express app.
As a free app, what Photoshop Express offers are great enough. This app is particularly great if you are new to photography and need a free tool to make a final touch to your shots before sharing them to Unsplash, Pexels, Pixabay or even Instagram. Photoshop Express is also a great tool if you want to shoot in RAW yet can’t afford Lightroom (as long your camera is either Canon or Nikon). The following are 3 examples of the photos edited with Photoshop Express.