Adobe Premiere Elements 12 review

Price when reviewed

Premiere Elements took a big leap forward in version 11, with a coherent, efficient interface that – at long last – unlocked the potential of its powerful features. Version 12 is more of an evolutionary upgrade, but the new features are well judged and bring tangible benefits.

Adjustment layers

Adobe Premiere Elements 12

The most exciting development is the introduction of adjustment layers, a feature that was among the highlights of Premiere Pro CS6. The concept will be familiar to Photoshop Elements users, and it works in a similar way here. An adjustment layer appears as an object on the timeline, and its effects settings are applied to all the video, image and text objects that sit below it on the timeline. This makes it easy to apply effects to a group of clips, whether they’re stacked vertically, arranged in a sequence or a combination of both.

It’s a big time-saver, but it also unlocks various creative techniques. Complex treatments comprising multiple effects now have overall strength control in the shape of the adjustment layer’s Opacity control. It’s also possible to apply effects to a limited area of the frame by resizing the adjustment layer, a neater technique than the old mask function.

Adobe Premiere Elements 12

Adjustment layers make the FilmLooks effects presets much easier to manage. This group of effects are designed to give video various film-like appearances, with names such as News Reel, Horror and Vintage. They’re easy to add – simply by dropping them onto a clip – but not so easy to remove, since the treatments are created by various discrete effects and colour correction settings. Applying them as an adjustment layer makes it easier to adjust settings, apply effects to multiple clips, move them around on the timeline and, if necessary, delete them.

Our only reservation with adjustment layers is that it isn’t obvious how to create one. It’s done by dragging an effect onto the preview window, at which point an object appears on the timeline. We wonder how many users will stumble across this feature.


Software subcategoryVideo editing software

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported?yes
Operating system Windows XP supported?yes
Operating system Mac OS X supported?yes

Disclaimer: Some pages on this site may include an affiliate link. This does not effect our editorial in any way.

Todays Highlights
How to See Google Search History
how to download photos from google photos