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This week is Adobe’s big conference – Adobe Max. It’s always full of product announcements and news, and one of those happened to be some new features added to Photoshop CC.

Note: To Update, you can go to the top menu Help > Updates in Photoshop or check your Creative Cloud updater app. 

Anyway, I thought I’d give you a quick run-down (from a photographer’s perspective) on what’s new, changed, and just some things you should know. I’m covering them in the order I find them useful below, rather than the order you’d probably find them in on most of the websites I find listing the new features. Here goes:

Select and Mask Enhancements

Adobe totally overhauled the selection experience in the last Photoshop update with the Select and Mask area. If you’re not familiar with it, just to to the top menu to Select > Select and Mask. In the latest release they’ve updated a few things.

  1. You can now access the Polygonal lasso tool in Select and Mask. While the masking features are great at auto detecting edges, sometimes we want a hard edge along something and it was difficult to get before. Having the Polygonal lasso tool in there definitely helps.
  2. You can also get higher quality previews of your masking and selections.
  3. Some things are more closely aligned with how they used to be in the old Refine Edge dialog.

Face-Aware Liquify Changes

In the last Photoshop update they introduced Face-Aware Liquify that auto-detected facial features (like the eyes and mouth) and let you move a few sliders to make changes. One of the things people asked for was the ability to change one eye and not both. For example, some people have a lazy eye or just an eye that squints a little more than the other (which sometimes becomes even more apparent when they smile). Well, you have a little link icon between eye adjustments that lets you adjust each one separately.

Camera Raw Updates

There’s not much here. Mostly camera support and lens profile updates. But, there is one cool thing. Adobe Camera Raw (ACR) now supports pressure sensitive devices like Wacom and Surface Pro tablets. Lightroom has had this for a while, so it’s great that it’s finally in ACR too.

The pressure support basically controls the Flow slider when you’re using the Brush. So the best way to use it is to set Flow to 100, and then use the pressure sensitive brush to press lighter or harder to adjust the flow.

It also supports erase mode. For example, in Photoshop, when I flipped my Wacom pen upside down, it would switch to the Eraser tool and erase away anything I’d brushed. Now that works in ACR too with the Adjustment Brush. Flipping the pen over to the erase side turns on erase mode which is the same thing as holding down the Option/Alt key to remove the effect.

New Photoshop Search Feature

I didn’t think this feature would make it this high up on the list. Partially because it’s putting me out of a job, but also because I didn’t think “search” could be that great at first. But it’s actually worth checking out. When you press Cmd/Ctrl-F in Photoshop it goes in to Search mode.

So what’s it searching? Everything. Everything from stock, to names/labels in the Photoshop interface, documents, all the way to help & learning content.

And if you’re wondering why it’s putting me out of a job, well, if you type in Crop, it shows you the various tools and places that you would use to crop a photo. Pretty soon you won’t need me anymore 😉

But, thankfully the ultra-confusing Lightroom “Catalog” concept isn’t going anywhere any time soon, so I guess I’m okay for now.

The Properties Panel

The Properties Panel in Photoshop got a few updates. It’s really a hub in Photoshop since every tool you select show’s it “properties” in that panel. Nothing too major, but it’s got some extra options if you add type.

OpenType SVG Fonts

For photographers this is kind of a “snore” feature, but if you do any design work with your photos it’s pretty cool. My favorite part of the update is that now there’s support of the EmojiOne fonts. Who doesn’t love Emojis?

Anyway, to use the new OpenType fonts do this:

To use OpenType SVG fonts follow these steps:

  1. Create either a paragraph or point-text type layer.
  2. Set the font to an OpenType SVG font. You’ll see a little “SVG” icon next to them.
  3. Enter your text like normal. Or select specific glyphs using the Glyphs Panel (you can find the panel under Window > Glyphs).

The Name – Photoshop CC 2017

Yes! They named it CC 2017. Rather than release updates in November, at the end of 2016, and call it Photoshop CC 2016 for the next year (even though we’re in 2017, they named Photoshop CC 2017. It’s the little things that get me excited 😃

Adobe Stock Templates and Creative Cloud Libraries

Adobe Stock also includes Templates. Now, instead of beginning with a blank canvas all the time, you can some templates from Adobe Stock. Could be cool if you’re in to compositing because it’ll open all of the elements and layers, and let you deconstruct some of the templates as well as add your own images to ‘em.

A Few Photoshop CC 2017 Tips You’ll Want to Know

  1. You can now simply click outside a text box to commit text.
  2. In earlier releases of Photoshop, Cmd/Ctrl+F used to be the keyboard shortcut for reapplying the last-used filter you used. Beginning with this release, Cmd/Ctrl+F brings you to the new Search feature. If you find you don’t use the Search and you’d rather have the keyboard shortcut back to normal, you can use Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts to change it.
  3. Auto-Select is now the default setting for the layer Move tool. Personally, I hate it. Luckily, you can get back to the default setting: in the Options bar, deselect Auto-Select and choose Group from the pop-up menu.
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