Photoshop CC features

Photoshop creative cloud
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Adobe's $50-per-month Creative Cloud (CC) subscription program and its $10-per-month Photography Plan help small businesses keep up with the latest artistic tools, techniques and inspirational themes for their companies to thrive. Photoshop, Adobe's flagship creative app, which facilitates the creation of great marketing and instructional materials and social media content, has splashed with a new slate of upgrades for 2019 that advance usability and intuitiveness for both existing and new users.

Here are some of the new features Photoshop CC 2019 has in store and how you can leverage them.

Frame tool

Photoshop CC Frame tool
Credit: Adobe
The frame tool creates a placeholder for images in a layout that allows you to quickly clip an image into a rectangle, square or circle shape. Using the tool couldn't be easier: You just create a frame with the new tool and then drag and drop any image directly into it. Sure, you could continue to use Photoshop's other masking tools for this task, but the new tool is friendlier to newcomers. It automatically scales images to best fit the frame no matter what the original image size or shape and allows you to quickly swap out content.

Once images are inside the frame, you can transform or move them around. Be sure to first check the Use Graphics Processor option in the Performance Preferences, and then restart the program, or you will not be able to use the feature. Just leave that option checked.

Content Aware Fill

Photoshop CC Content Aware Fill
Credit: Adobe
One of Photoshop's most beloved features is Content Aware Fill, which uses an algorithm to "see behind" unwanted objects, allowing you to remove pesky, distracting content from your picture. The new Content Aware Fill update gives you more flexible options and shows you a dynamically generated preview as you work. The updated feature opens a new panel workspace with a green screen that lets you manually select which parts of the image you don't want the image to sample as it chooses pixels to fill the background. As you remove parts of the image from the sample area, the preview automatically updates to show you the result. No more surprises and time-consuming redos. You can then output the results to the same layer, a duplicate layer (nondestructively) or a new layer.

Color wheel

Photoshop CC Color wheel
Credit: Adobe
You would think a photo-editing and graphic design tool such as Photoshop would always have had something as basic as a color wheel, but you would be wrong. The color wheel is a familiar sight in painting tools like Corel Painter, but Photoshop never had a native one until now. Photoshop CC 2019 debuts a new color wheel, something many artists prefer for choosing colors. You can choose and adjust colors at the same time and pick complementary colors directly from the wheel.

UI size preference

Photoshop CC UI size preference
Credit: Adobe
Users with very high-resolution monitors know that Photoshop lets you adjust the app interface's font size and elements like buttons and icons. In the 2019 version, you can adjust the entire interface to match. One click within the preferences and the toolbars, icons, buttons, labels and panels scale according to the size of the type – tiny, small, medium and large – so it's easier on the eyes and keeps the interface looking consistent. Anytime you change those settings, you'll have to restart the program.

Lock workspace

Photoshop CC Lock workspace
Credit: Adobe
Sometimes, in the thrall of creativity, your Photoshop app interface can come a little unglued, with panels pulled out and scattered unintentionally. With Photoshop CC 2019, a new setting lets you lock the workspace, so no matter how much you move around the canvas or how many operations you perform, your panel layout stays put.

Paint symmetry

Photoshop CC Paint symmetry
Credit: Adobe
Symmetrical painting is a specialty that can be used to infuse various commercial communications with an artistic flair. Photoshop has featured symmetrical painting with the paintbrush, mixer brush, pencil and eraser tools as a technology preview in the past and has finalized the feature in the 2019 version. It adds two new symmetry painting modes, Radial and Mandala, available from the butterfly icon in the Options bar. You can set any path as a symmetry path by right-clicking it in the Paths panel and selecting Make Symmetry Path or modify it with the Transform Symmetry command.

Home screen

Photoshop CC Home screen
Credit: Adobe
Adobe has tweaked its home screen and settled on a formula that uses the opener screen as a central location for everything you need from the program, with quick access to files, photos, tutorials, inspirational content and more.

Preview blend modes

Photoshop CC Preview blend modes
Credit: Adobe
Photoshop hosts various blend modes such as Normal, Dissolve, Darken, Multiply, Color and Burn – with 26 major ones in all that can swiftly and dramatically change the look of your photo. Now, instead of clicking on each one to see how it will affect your image, you can just hover the mouse as you quickly work your way down the list to preview possible results before making the decision of which to apply.

Undo

Photoshop CC Undo
Credit: Adobe
Unlike most apps that use Command or Control Z to undo, Photoshop lets you do that only once per operation, so if you did a series of moves and changed your mind, you could not repeatedly undo, but step backward through history states. No more. With Photoshop CC 2019, you can now do what almost every other program does – just undo however many times you want.

subscription: It's available in a Photography Plan alongside Lightroom CC, Lightroom Classic CC and 20GB of cloud storage for $9.99 per month, or via the full Creative Cloud, which gives you some 20 major Adobe apps in addition to 100GB of cloud storage, Adobe Portfolio, Adobe Fonts and Adobe Spark with premium features for $49.99 per month (prepaid).