PROS / This software contains many of the tools found in its professional counterpart, Adobe Premiere Pro.
CONS / It takes a good deal of effort to learn and use this software.
VERDICT / This is a good application and gets the job done, just not as quickly or efficiently as other products in our review.
If Adobe Premiere Pro is the industry standard for professional video editing software, then Adobe Premiere Elements 14 offers many of the same tools as the pro version, albeit in a much less sophisticated form.
The workspace in Premiere Elements 14 continues the extra-large canvas motif introduced in Elements 12 and enhanced in version 13. The preview window takes up most of the workspace, with the timeline/storyboard immediately below. This helps focus your attention on what will end up on the screen.
This video editing software has modes available for three different skill levels: Quick, Guided and Expert. Quick mode helps you complete a video project in mere minutes without having to fiddle with too much fine-tuning. Guided mode teaches you how to perform tasks within the application while the project is underway. Expert mode allows you to take off the proverbial floatation device so you can swim into the deep end of the editing pool.
While these modes offer useful editing tools, the application as a whole is cumbersome and unintuitive. In our tests, it took half an hour to build our one-minute test project and another half hour to export it. Additionally, despite Adobe’s best efforts to make this a user-friendly application for beginners, it earned one of the lowest usability scores in our review of the best consumer video editing software.
However, once you know your way around the application, you'll find that not only can you trim footage and place it on the timeline, but you can employ the chroma key (green screen), utilize advanced keyframing tools, stabilize shaky video and do much more. Granted these tools are not as robust and powerful as those found in Premiere Pro, but they don't really need to be. For the purposes most people use Elements for – home videos, amateur filmmaking, YouTube videos, etc. – these editing tools can satisfy all but the most advanced user.
The whole point of creating a video is so an audience can enjoy it. These days, the primary way people find and consume video content is online. Adobe understands this and has made it quite simple for you to upload your creations to popular sharing sites like Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo. It also has the ability to create video files and burn optical discs. All of these functions are easy to understand and yield high-quality results. Adobe knows its stuff in this area, and you're extremely unlikely to be disappointed with the final results.
Adobe Premiere Elements is a fine application. It has all the tools and features you'll need to splice, trim and arrange your videos into a finished product you can be proud of. Where it falls down is in how long it takes to get to that point.