More about PSE 9 and the Mac App Store

It’s not only the lack of Organizer that makes the Mac App Store version of Elements 9 different. In order to comply with the App Store rules about installation and updates, the App Store version of Elements 9 has completely different file paths.

The things that Elements normally strews all over your hard drive are all contained within the app itself in this version. So, for instance, say you need to move TWAIN.plugin from the Optional Plug-ins->ImportModules folder into the regular Plug-ins->ImportModules folder so that you can scan into Elements.

You can look around in your Applications folder till your eyes ache and you won’t find anything. Instead, if you right click the PSE 9 Editor itself and choose Show Package Contents->Contents, you’ll find all those folders hiding in there:

The file path for the mac app store version

So far so good. But when you try to move TWAIN.plugin, you’re going to see this unfriendly message:

OS X warns you about moving files within the app.


Don’t let it put you off. Just click Authenticate, and you’ll be asked for your OS X account password and then you can successfully move the file. Oddly, you can delete files in here without authentication.

However, there’s one very serious problem with the App Store version of Elements 9. It doesn’t care bediddly about the file mediaDatabase.db3. If you like to install extra stuff into Elements, like layer styles, actions for the Effects panel, and so on, it just doesn’t work here. Anything that requires forcing Elements to regenerate this file is a complete no-go, since after you delete it, Elements runs just fine without it and sees no need to recreate it. This means the only way to run actions is from the Actions Player in Guided Edit (look in the folder Contents->Application Data for the things you’d normally find in Hard Drive->Library->Application Support). You can’t install anything into the  Effects or Contents panels, so no add-on tools, no layer styles, etc. Brushes aren’t affected by this, but Smart Brush presets you make yourself are.

For that reason, I’d recommend sticking with the other versions of Elements (boxed or Adobe download) until Adobe fixes this, if you haven’t yet bought Elements 9.

Photoshop Elements 6 and Lion

As everyone knows by now, in Lion (Mac OS X 10.7) you can’t run applications written for the old power pc (PPC) architecture anymore, since there’s no more Rosetta. This isn’t a problem for Photoshop Elements 8 and 9, but if you have PSE 6, there’s a big potential gotcha.

As long as you don’t have PSE 6 set to run in Rosetta (so that you can use older plugins) when you upgrade to Lion, life is fine.  But if you do, the first time you try to open it, you’ll see a snarky message that you can’t run PPC applications anymore. What? Elements 6 is an intel-native program, not a PPC application. It doesn’t matter. If you have set  a a program to open in Rosetta when you first install Lion, it doesn’t forget, and that program is marked for the scrap heap. Uninstall and reinstall? Lion’s too smart for that. You’ll still see the message on a fresh install of PSE.

So what to do? Well, if you know ahead of time, it’s as easy as it can be to avoid the whole problem. Before you upgrade to Lion, go to your Applications folder->Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, click once on the actual application’s icon to select it, and press Command+i for the Get Info window. Then just turn off the Open In Rosetta checkbox:


If you do that before upgrading, you shouldn’t have any trouble. But what if you’ve already upgraded and you can’t get past the error message?

Here are two ways to fix it.

The Easy Way

Go to  < your username > ->Library->Preferences and delete com.apple.launchservices.plist. In Lion Apple has hidden your  user Library folder. To get to it, Option-click the Go Menu and you’ll see it appear just below your Home folder:

library menu option

While you’re in that folder, you may as well do a bit of tidying up and delete these files, too, so that you’ll have fresh ones for Lion:


Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 Paths

Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 Settings

Restart the computer  (important!) and Elements should behave itself. If for some reason that fails, here’s an alternative way.

The More Complicated Way

1. Go into the Applications folder and move the entire Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 folder, the one shown here, to the Desktop:

the PSE 6 application folder

Now, you can’t just drag it out of Applications. That only makes an alias, and I’ve found the keystroke combos that should let you do this aren’t very reliable, either. Lion knows that applications belong in the Applications folder and it isn’t willing to let you put them elsewhere.

So what to do? Well, you can still delete an application. So click on the folder, press Command+delete to send it to the trash, and then you can drag it from the trash to your desktop.

2. Go into the folder and double-click the PSE 6 application to launch it.

You’ll see this window:

repair window

It doesn’t matter which button you click. Elements will open, although it may take a minute for all the pieces of the interface to appear. When it’s running create or open a file and do something. You don’t have to save your work. Then quit Elements.

3. Put Elements back into the Applications folder, and launch it there.

Just drop it back in. When you start PSE this time, click Repair Now.

Elements should be fine from now on, but it’s a good idea to go into your username->Library->Preferences and delete the Adobe preferences mentioned above.

Either method should get you up and running, but there’s some risk of damaging Elements by moving it all over the place, as in the second method. So do try the simple way first and save this as a last resort.