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photoshopexpress.jpgThe Adobe Photoshop program is revered as the best photo editing program on the market today. Now, amazingly, you can get some of its best features for FREE!!

 photoshopexpress.jpgAdobe's highly-priced Photoshop program is the cat's meow when it comes to photo editing software. Adobe has taken many of us by surprise in offering a free program called Photoshop Express. With some of Photoshop's nice features and none of the cost, it will have many digital photographers purring with delight.

Photoshop Express is a new concept in photo editing software. It is an online program that takes advantage of Flash, a browser add-on to create a nifty new interface. You will need to have the Flash Player installed on your computer to use Photoshop Express, but most of you will find that you already have this, since it is a popular browser add on. If you don't yet have it you will be prompted to install it. It is a free and easy download.

Since Express is an online program, once you have the Flash Player, there is nothing to install for the program to run. You will need a broadband connection. If you have one, you simply surf over to the Photoshop Express website and sign up for an account. As I write this in April of 2008, the program is available for U. S. residents only, but it is promised to be available for others soon.

Photoshop Express has simple photo editing tools. It syncs with Facebook, Picassa, and Photobucket, popular online photo programs. It works with all major browsers, including Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Safari. After you create your account, you upload your photos and then use the online software to edit the pictures. Photoshop Express has 17 editing tools from the full version of Photoshop. These include all of the basics like tools for cropping, touching up blemishes, removing red eye, adjusting color and lighting, and sharpening blurry edges. There are also creativespecial effects tools for fun manipulations like converting to black and white, changing the color of certain items in the photo, and blurring parts of the image.

Express is intuitive enough for most people to try without any special training, but if you are a first time photo editor, this will be a good program for you. Adobe provides 28 mini videos that show you how to do everything from setting up an account to creating a slideshow. These videos are by Scott Kelby, a Photoshop expert, who explains many of the features. He makes it easy to learn how to work with white balance, soften the focus, adjust the highlights, and perform many other photographic editing tasks.

After you edit your photos, you can also share them with others right from the program either by email or online photo album. You get up to two gigabytes of free photo storage with your account.

Currently Photoshop Express works only with JPEGs, but that is the most common format used by almost every digital camera. Adobe promised to add new features like printing in the near future. But you don't have to wait for the additional features. There's plenty to like right now.....especially the price.