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News & Insight

Adobe Photoshop Updated | New Look, New Features, & More Customizable

By Kishore Sawh on December 2nd 2015

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You’ve got to sort of tip your hat to Adobe for creating Creative Cloud, a shift that many were skeptical about, I think largely because there was concern that Adobe was doing this strictly to add some weight to their P&L statements with little intention of giving more worth. But it’s hard to deny the continuous slew of updates that, while they may not always be perfect, clearly show they are listening to their users.

I’m sure there will be those photographers and retouchers out there who will shake their heads because Adobe hasn’t tailored the app they want precisely how they want it, but it’s at this point that many would be served well to remember that Adobe’s programs aren’t there strictly for photographers.

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According to Adobe, half of their Photoshop customers are designers, so it makes sense that they’ve been adding Artboards, Linked Assets, guides, and a glyph panel to name a few. And once again a new update has been issued with a lot of good stuff and new capabilities for Illustrator, Premier Pro, After Effects, Dreamweaver, and Fuse.

The most pertinent updates for most of us, however, are with Photoshop. We see Adobe is making an effort to make Photoshop more customizable, and that’s a good thing. We had a sneak peek at it before, but now a customizable toolbar is finally here and for that, many will rejoice. You can populate your toolbar with precisely the tools you want, rid it of the ones you don’t, and do it all through drag and drop.

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There’s also a continuation and further development of the overall look of the UI, which continues with the relatively new ‘dark’ look. Now it’s higher contrast making it easier to read and generally more pleasing. The new UI also should look more consistent across both PC and Apple platforms. Did we mention it’s also now a Touch-enabled interface? It is, and probably due to the spread of Surface and iPad pros. It does make one wonder if it will at all help with using an app like Astropad given that you can switch to make tabs and targets and presets buttons larger, and swipe to undo and redo, and scroll with two fingers, and tap five fingers for full screen.

[REWIND: PHOTOSHOP ON-THE-GO | ADOBE TO DROP NEW MOBILE PHOTOSHOP & ASTROPAD GETS EVEN SMALLER]

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From what I can see so far, the whole user experience of Photoshop has changed, and for the better. Even from the simple new opening screen that allows you to quickly find recently used files, and then the ability to glimpse inside various libraries to see what’s in them will be appreciated by many, but I think just as many will take a little while to get used to it all. In fact, take a look at the videos linked below to see how to navigate and begin using the new Photoshop.

You can see the full list of updates to all the CC apps in Adobe’s blog post.

About

Kishore is, among other things, the Editor-In-Chief at SLR Lounge. A photographer and writer based in Miami, he can often be found at dog parks, and airports in London and Toronto. He is also a tremendous fan of flossing and the happiest guy around when the company’s good.

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Mark Colangelo

    Worth a visit to check “some” problems with this Photoshop release:

    http://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/products/photoshop_family_photoshop

    Bad Adobe… very bad.

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  2. Robert Anderson

    Congrats Adobe…before update, was 100% happy, and things working perfectly. Immediately after, crash, and the program has slowed down by nearly 70%…well done.

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  3. Justin Haugen

    I’m going to say this here because I said it over on FStoppers, and I’d love for it to gain some traction.

    Lightroom needs customizable palettes! I’m sick and tired of that giant endless column!!!! I work on 3 monitors, I need to be able to access every panel of the develop module without scrolling my mouse wheel. This is asinine!

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    • Kishore Sawh

      Haha. Justin, I actually mentioned that a while back in conversation with Lightroom’s Product Manager. I don’t think it fell on deaf ears, but clearly not a priority. I don’t work on 3 monitors like you, but i feel the pain.

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    • Justin Haugen

      I just don’t understand how the most useful UI aspect about the rest of the product line doesn’t carry over to Lightroom.

      Even on one monitor it could be useful as I could float palettes over parts of the image area where I’m less likely to be directly editing.

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  4. Mark Romine

    More of the small little cosmetic UI things that are not worth the upgrade to CC. Would it be nice to be able to put the tools that I want on a tool pallet, sure but CS6 does everything that I will ever need in my life time and thus no need to upgrade.

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    • Joseph Ford

      I must agree, only a few features i ever used on the 2014/2015 versions. I still wish they would adopt an hybrid plan as many other software companies have. Subscribe or buy would be very nice.

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    • CJ Jacobs

      Adobe lost me as well with its switch to CC. I’d rather pay for a program and use it until I’m ready to upgrade to another version. This paying monthly for something I’ll never own and lose access to using if I stop paying is not something I can condone.

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