Impressions on Photoshop CS6

Now that the Adobe Creative Suite 6 and the Creative Cloud have been announced it’s time to talk about the cool new features found in all the creative suite apps and new possibilities with the Creative Cloud. There are quite a few new features in each product so posting about them individually sounds like a good way to go. Otherwise, I’d be writing forever!

On today’s plate is Photoshop CS6. 

The most noticeable and significant “new feature” for me is performance. It is noticeably faster than previous versions of Photoshop, especially on my Macbook Pro. Most of this is due to the new “Mercury Graphic Engine” that’s part of CS6. It offloads some of the processing to your graphics card (GPU) to speed up functions. I’ve been working on high resolution 350MB panorama files and have noticed a big boost in performance compared to pervious version. Nicely done Adobe!

Some of the other new features I really like and use often are:

New Darker Interface

The new dark interface has been somewhat of a hot topic. Some people like it, others don’t. I really like a darker interface. It allows me to focus more on the photo instead of the interface. I don’t think my eyes get as tired. Of course, you should always test your photos with the colors they will be actually displayed with if your creating a physical gallery. Fortunately there’s an interface preference panel where you can change the interface colors.


 Content-Aware Move

This new feature generally saves a step or two from the previous magical feature of Content Aware Fill. I enjoy moving objects around in a photo and have the space where it was moved from automagically fill in. Nice!

Content-Aware Patch

I like this new feature because you get to choose an area in your photo to be used to patch an area in your photo you want to replace. This is very handy when you need to fill the edge of a photo where sometimes the normal Content Aware Fill doesn’t work so well. Again, another continuation of all-magical Content-Aware Fill.

Non-Destructive Cropping

The crop tool is a complete overhaul. There are many formatting presets of different sizes and aspect ratios. I really like being able to back out of a crop at any time, even after saving the file. The new workflow is different, but it’s easy to get used to.


Layer Search

If you have PSD files with tons of layers, you are going LOVE the layer search and filter tool! This is such a great feature saving me a lot of time working with multiple layers. Kudos!

Photoshop CS6 Layer Search

Adaptive Wide Angle

I shoot frequently with a fisheye lens and so the new Adaptive Wide Angle feature has been useful for me. It allows you to de-warp a photo shot with these ultra-wide angle lenses so they aren’t so distorted. All you have to do is draw lines along straight lines in the photo and Photoshop does its magic. It’s like having a new distortion-free lens in your bag. I love it.

Blur Gallery

The Blur Gallery has three real-time blur effects with a really interesting interface to adjust the settings. The new blur options include Field blur, and Iris blur and a Tilt-shift blur that makes objects in a photo look like miniatures. I enjoy the new on-screen controls to easily dial-in the look you want with no sliders to tweak (the sliders are still there if you want to use them). This tool is really a lot of fun to work with.

These are just some of the features I’ve enjoyed the most about Photoshop CS6. There are quite more enhancements I didn’t cover that you can find on this Photoshop features page, including integrated video, 3D support and more.