Top 5 new Photoshop features

Catch up on some of the latest new and enhanced features for Photoshop. Great if you’re a visualizer, retoucher, or photo-editor…

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The October 2018 release of Photoshop (version 20.0) rolls out a number of new and enhanced features for designers, digital photographers, and illustrators. Read on for our top five most interesting, exciting, and useful features including content-aware fill reimagined, live blend mode preview, frame tool for easy masking, and others.

Content-aware fill re-imagined

If you’ve used a photo editor like Photoshop for any number of years then you’ll be very familiar with cloning parts of your image to cover up other unwanted parts of the image. I know I’ve spent countless hours trying to remove objects or blemishes to make my images just perfect. With the previous release of Content-Aware Fill those days became a distant history. Photoshop have gone a step further and reimagined these tools in this release.

There is now a new, dedicated Content-Aware Fill workspace providing an interactive editing experience to achieve seamless fill results. You can now choose which source pixels to use and rotate, scale, and mirror the source pixels thanks to Adobe Sensei technology. You also get a live full-resolution preview of the changes and an option to save the result to a new layer.

Replace parts of your image quickly and easily with the new and incredibly easy to use Content-Aware Fill tool. The adjustments to the workspace make this a must-use tool

Live blend mode preview

This is another feature which has done away with a mind-bogglingly difficult task! Before this new release changing blend modes would require the click of the mouse. This meant that moving between different options was slow and laborious. The latest update allows you to now scroll over different blend mode options to see how they look on your image. Photoshop displays a live preview of blend modes on the canvas when you scroll over different blend mode options in the Layers panel and the Layer Style dialog.

See what different blend modes look like in your image before committing to one

Frame Tool for easy masking

Working with masks has never been easier than with the new frame tool. Use the Frame Tool (K) to quickly create rectangular or elliptical placeholder frames. Then drag an Adobe Stock asset or a libraries asset from the Libraries panel or from your local disk into a frame object. The image automatically scales to fit the frame. Content placed in frames is always placed as Smart Objects so that it can be scaled non-destructively. You can also convert any shape or text into frames and fill it with images.

Mask out your layers quicker than ever before with the new masking capabilities of the frame tool

Symmetry mode

If you’re into painting on top of your images then the symmetry mode will come in handy for anything repetitive and symmetrical. Using the brush or pencil tools you can now click the butterfly icon in the Options bar and paint your desired symmetrical pattern. The great thing is that this also works on the Eraser tools so you can get rid of your pattern as quickly as you made them. You can choose from the several available types of symmetry: Vertical, Horizontal, Dual Axis, Diagonal, Wavy, Circle, Spiral, Parallel Lines, Radial, and Mandala.

Draw symmetrical patterns like never before with the new symmetry mode

Distribute spacing

The last feature allows you to distribute the spacing between the objects. Photoshop could already distribute objects by evenly spacing their center points but if your objects are different sizes, you now get an even spacing between them. If you’re used to using Adobe Illustrator then you’ll be familiar with these tools already. Adding these Illustrator style tools into Photoshop really adds weight and depth to what can be achieved within Photoshop.

Draw objects and distribute them with advanced spacing tools. Adobe Illustrator experts will love
this new feature

Closing thoughts

Unfortunately there is not a huge abundance of new features in this release of Photoshop but they have made a number of other usability improvements which is most welcome. These include being able to double click to edit text rather than needing to change tools, efficiently cropping, transforming, and placing or entering text with auto-commit as well as transforming proportionally by default. Hopefully you find these new and enhanced features helpful for your workflow. Let us know in the comments.

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