Adobe tonight announced the availability of a beta version of Photoshop CS6. You can download it at Adobe Labs .

I have been very focused on Lightroom 4 lately, so I have not spent a lot of time on this yet to understand and evaluate every new feature.  In this related post, I show you a few features that have most peaked my interest, enough so that when the final version comes out, I would most likely upgrade even if I didn’t need to upgrade to teach the product.   Most of my work is and will continue to be done in Lightroom, but Adobe keeps adding enough to Photoshop to make me continue to want to use it as a supplemental tool — for when the going gets tough in Lightroom, or for more creative effects, such as for applying filters.

As soon as I have had a chance to review other sites’ offerings, I will post links to more resources on the new features.

Here is a Summary of What’s New:

In general, you will see a darker, more modern and consistent interface, and much snappier performance with many tools.

Amongst the highlights for photographers are:

  • Adobe Camera Raw 7, with the same new Basic panel, adjustment brush, graduated filter, and tone curve new controls as Lightroom 4
  • Content aware patch tool, for better patch repair/replacement
  • Content aware move and extend tool, to move, extend and copy objects
  • New blur filters with dynamic on-screen controls and preview
  • Adaptive wide-angle lens correction
  • Color Range selection enhancements to easily select skin tones
  • More intelligent auto-correction in curves and levels

More changes:

  • Background save, auto-save and auto-recover
  • A new Properties panel that encompasses the old Adjustments and Masks (and 3D)
  • New Lighting Effects filter with dynamic on-screen controls and preview
  • Redesigned crop tool (works as Lightroom’s crop tool does)
  • New oil paint filter (from Pixel Bender)
  • MUCH better performance with Liquify, Puppet Warp, Warp, artistic filters, lighting effects, blur, and adaptive wide-angle filters, due to leveraging of the GPU.

Targeted to Designers:

  • The ability to search and filter your layers
  • Introduction of type styles, and application to groups
  • Type menu
  • New vector layers
  • New dictionaries
  • Improved font rendering
  • The ability to snap to pixels

For Painters:

  • Erodible Tips
  • Airbrush Tips
  • Brush Rotation for static Tips
  • Pixel Bender: Oil Painting Filter
  • New presets
  • Painting performance CPU and GPU
  • Default tablet pose parameters for mouse

Printing (for those of you not yet printing through Lightroom!):

  • Resizable print preview, redesigned dialog
  • Print selected area is back, selection can be adjusted in the print dialog.
  • When using Photoshop Manages Colors, the list of profiles is now filtered to hide profiles that are inappropriate for your currently selected printer
  • The user can change the preview background color in the print dialog for to better suit their soft-proofing needs.


  • There are many enhancements to 3D in Photoshop Extended — I will link to a list as soon as it is available.

And more:

  • Ability to migrate presets as you upgrade, and to easily export and import
  • Scripted Patterns (Fill/Pattern)
  • Contact Sheet II plugin back
  • PDF Presentation back
  • File Import Image from Device now supports ImageKit scanning and camera acquisition support
  • Minibridge UI tweaks filmstrip mode
  • MENA support (Middle-East and North African text support)
  • Rich Cursor information throughout the app (i.e. Crop, Transform, Move, Vectors, etc.)


And a ton of “JDI’s — Just Do It “small” changes:


  • Show the sample size popup for the various eyedropper tools (black point, white point, etc.)
  • Add ignore adjustment layers options bar item for the eyedropper
  • New mode for eyedropper to select layers current and below


  • Add a contextual menu item that deletes a layer effect not just disables it
  • Add dither options to Layer Styles for Gradient Overlay and Gradient Stroke
  • Allow 00 or Shift 00 to work when setting layer/fill opacity (previously no way to get 0%)
  • Add bicubic sharper & bicubic smoother options when free transforming layers
  • Allow changing of blend modes for multiple layers at once
  • Allow locking of multiple layers
  • CMD+J to duplicate layers and layer group
  • Allow changing color labels to multiple layers at once
  • Layer tooltips to include layer name (if defined)
  • Opt+click on toggle arrows (groups and effects)in layer panel should close all targets
  • Show blend if/Blending Effects badge on layer
  • Show correct opacity and blend mode values for hidden layers
  • Tab goes to next layer on inline layer rename, SHIFT + TAB goes to previous
  • New command to raster layer effect into layer, merging the selected layers into themselves
  • Reorder effects in the layers palette to match the Z-order style/blend mode (bottom most effects in terms of blending order, drop shadow is below the other effects)


  • Resize Liquify brush with shortcuts
  • Increase maximum Liquify brush size
  • Add option to load last mesh


  • Add new document presets for common devices (e.g. iPhone, iPad, etc.)
  • Add new Gradient Map presets for toning and split-toning
  • Sticky reorganization of tool presets (changes persist after relaunch)
  • Add Contact Sheet II as an Automation option


  • HUD brush resize and hardness can now change opacity
  • Increase maximum brush size to 5000px
  • Change color dynamics to per stroke instead of per tip
  • Brightness/contrast slider for textures when painting
  • Brush projection for static tips
  • Brush cursor reflects brush dynamics for round and captured tips
  • Add ability to record brush strokes in actions with “Allow Tool Recording” option


  • Make the marquee, lasso, and mask panel feather values support decimal places like the feather dialog
  • Remember feather radius when showing dialog for selection from a path


  • Improve dragging of vector curves
  • Don’t hide smart object icon when transforming a layer
  • Rotate 90 with even x odd pixel dimension to be smooth (
  • Undo or disable auto-rotate on open


  • Remove the app bar and reduce the drag/app bar over 30%
  • [Windows] New/open document to context click on a document tab (has always been on Mac, now Windows too)
  • Add “Don’t show again” checkbox to Purge warnings


  • Enable Split Channels for documents with layers
  • Select Hex field by default and allow clipboard pastes with # in contents (i.e. #fffffff)
  • Increased GPU stability by prequalifying GPUs on the fly before use
  • Auto-select the best resample method based on the type of resize
  • Enable Invert and Threshold adjustments for masks in 32-bit
  • Hold SHIFT during startup to disable 3rd party plugins
  • Add warning message that 16-bit images cannot display their file size in the Save as JPEG dialog
  • Add command to insert “lorem ipsum” for type


  • Add the ability to return an array of guides in a document from the scripting SDK
  • Add ability to access tool name associated with the tool preset name via scripting

File formats

  • Read common stereo image pair formats (JPS, PNS)
  • Allow for more bit depths in TIFF files
  • Read BIGTIFF format
  • Give the user choices regarding how they want transparency treated in OpenEXR on file open


  • Grammar policed throughout app
  • Use consistent grammar style in the title of dialog windows (no commands such as “Choose a color:”)