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Photoshop CS6 – Spotlight

Adobe is currently previewing the next incarnation of Photoshop, CS6.


We are struggling to come to terms with how far Photoshop has come in such little time. It seems only yesterday we were using Photoshop 6 (pre CS) and it took around 5 minutes to rotate an object 90 degrees (computer memory has also improved beyond compare)!


Here we’re going to take a sneak peak at the new features you can expect if you choose to upgrade to CS6.


Photoshop CS6 1


The interface itself has had a major facelift. You can now switch colour styles for the interface itself, ranging from the current light grey to black (similar in look to after effects).


So the first major improvement is the ability to auto save at specified intervals.

We all know a Photoshop crash is a frustrating event so this looks to put that issue to bed, though the ability to rescue crashed files in the same way InDesign does has not be introduced.


Another big improvement is the way photoshop handles video content. There are now a range of simple video editing tools. Now this isn’t going to rip you way from final cut, but it has enough for simple cuts and edits, which should keep amateur photographers more than happy.


You can now search for layers if you so wish. This is a blessing in disguise when dealing with a PSD that houses over 100 layers (HGC design culprits will remain nameless!).


For those that design for the web, there’s now a lore ipsum generator so no need to constantly copy and paste from a lore ipsum website.


There are also a raft of minor changes to brushes, eyedropper, transform etc.


Photoshop CS6 2


New Features



- HUD brush resize and hardness can now change opacity

- Increase brush size to 5000px

- Change colour dynamics to per stroke instead of per tip (user option for old behaviour)

- Brightness/contrast slider for textures when painting

- Brush projection for static tips

- Brush cursor reflects brush dynamics for round and captured tips



- Show the sample size popup for the various eyedropper tools (black point, white point, etc.)

- Add ignore adjustment layer 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 colour 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



- Add new document presets for common devices (e.g. iPhone, iPad, etc.)

- Add new Gradient Map presets for toning and split-­­toning

- Sticky reorganisation of tool presets (changes persist after re-launch) Add Contact Sheet II as an Automation option



- 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 pre-qualifying 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


So the ultimate questions is,…. is it worth upgrading?


Well in a professional capacity it’s always worth keeping up to speed with the tools of the trade.


Goodness knows how quickly Adobe will succeed this version so our tip for those on tight budgets would be to download the beta version currently available here:  and see how you get on with it.


Do the new features have a bearing on how you use the programme and your efficiency?


If yes, then potentially this upgrade is for you. If no, potentially it’s worth waiting for the next full CS upgrade.


If we know Adobe it won’t be too far anyway.


Happy photoshopping!




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