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Adobe Photoshop CS6: New Features, Price, Release Date

It is the world’s premier image-editing software. Adobe’s Photoshop is used by everyone from Hollywood visual effects artists to moms who want to remove red-eye from their family vacation photos. The latest version, Adobe Photoshop CS6, releases on May 7, 2012.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 offers many improvements and new features. Photoshop CS6 will retail for $699, but current users can upgrade for $199. An enhanced version of Photoshop CS6 (Photoshop CS6 Extended) will sell for $999, although for existing users to upgrade, it’s only $399.

The latest version of Photoshop has been vastly improved and both artists and photographers will be impressed with the upgraded CS6. And to add to the wow factor, CS6 will also have a noticeable performance boost due to the faster processing power of the new Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine.

Eleven Great Adobe Photoshop CS6 Improvements
Not only are there lots of new features in CS6, but existing features have also been improved. Grab your favorite photo and let’s take Photoshop CS6 for a spin!

1. “Vector-y!”
If you’ve used Adobe Illustrator, you know how you can add a stroke or gradient to vector shapes. Photoshop CS6 now lets you do the same thing (and as with Illustrator, you don’t have to add layer styles in order to do it). Working with complex shapes just got a whole lot easier.

2. Moving Pictures
New tools for video editing, including controls for adjusting color and exposure levels and working with layers. And when a piece of video has been edited to your satisfaction, Photoshop CS6 provides a range of options for exporting that clip.

3. Layer Slayer
Anyone who’s spent any time editing images in Photoshop understands how quickly an image can require multiple layers, and how difficult it can be keeping track of all of them. Photoshop CS6 addresses this problem with a new Layer Search feature. Now you can search through stacks of layers and locate just what you’re looking for. Filtering can be performed according to Kind, Name, Effect, Mode, Attribute and Color.

4. Straighten Up!
One of the niftiest aspects of Photoshop CS6 is the new Straighten tool. Here’s how it works: You draw a line anywhere on the image you’re working with and Straighten will shift the canvas accordingly so that your new line becomes completely horizontal. (This tool was implemented so you can create perspectives based on reoriented images.)

5. Special Effects
Photoshop already contains plenty of effects to give your images extra zing, but now there are even more effects to choose from. New effects include a very cool Field Blur, Iris Blur, Bokeh Effects, Tilt T-Shift and Image Deblurring.

6. Background Check
Here’s a real time-saver. With Photoshop CS6’s new background-saving feature, you can save an image at the same time you’re editing one. No more waiting for the program to compile and archive one project before you get busy on another.

7. Get Your Share
With Photoshop CS6’s Preset Sharing, you can export your presets, brushes and patterns between computers. Even more impressive, the Preset Sharing lets you share these items between different versions of Photoshop.

8. Holy Crop!
Cropping is an essential part of image editing. New and better cropping options offer better image manipulation, as well as various grid views (which will help you get a better look at the cropping you’re performing).

9. New Look
With each new version of Photoshop, Adobe always receives a fair amount of input from graphic designers. In response to recent suggestions, Photoshop CS6 features a redesigned User Interface.

10. Are You (Content) Aware?
Photoshop’s Content-Aware tool has long been a mainstay of the program. For Photoshop CS6, the Content-Aware tool has been augmented with new capabilities, such as Content-Aware Move and Content-Aware Patch. The patch allows you to select the image area which Content Aware will utilize in order to create your patch.

11. No More “Oops!” Moments
Ever spent a good chunk of time editing an image, only to lose all that productivity because you forgot to save your work, or your system crashed? With Photoshop CS6, you’ll be able to customize the auto-save feature (Auto Recovery) according to your preferences and work style.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 offers a convenient new Tilt T-Shift filter, which works in conjunction with the program’s new blur effects.

Photoshop CS6 vs. CS5: What’s New 
Still not convinced this is the greatest version of Photoshop ever? A free download of beta version of Adobe Photoshop CS6 is currently available for both the Mac OS X and Windows platforms. And if you’re still looking for a feature that wasn’t listed above, don’t worry. We’ve also included a comprehensive list of features and the main differences between CS5 below:

  • A much-requested darker and modern user interface, with 4 different shades of presets
  • Redesigned icons, buttons, dialogs – plus rich cursors
  • New Content-Aware Move, Extend, and Patch tools
  • DSLR video editing in both Standard and Extended versions
  • Skin-Aware Masking with Face Detection, which includes auto-generation of skin-tone masks
  • One tool now does the work of 14: completely overhauled 3D (available in Photoshop CS6 Extended)
  • New, realistic brushes, including Erodible Tips and Airbrush Tips, ability to increase the brush size to 5,000 pixels
  • Brand new Camera Raw 7 technology
  • White Balance and Noise Reduction as a selective brush
  • Text/Character Type Styles and Paragraph Styles
  • Adaptive Wide-Angle Lens Correction (to fix distortion and straighten lines)
  • PixelBender now built in (for oil painting filter)
  • Enhanced and more flexible Brush Pose, Brush Projection and Color Dynamics
  • Rewritten vector engine, real vector strokes with dashed and dotted lines
  • Mercury Graphics Engine gives 10-100X faster Liquify, Transform, Warp & more
  • Big gains in performance throughout, due to much greater usage of the GPU
  • Blur Gallery for creating shallow depth of field, tilt-shift blur and graduated blur
  • Much smarter “Auto” for better starting points and one-click corrections
  • Lighting Effects are vastly improved, with better controls and 3D
  • Completely reengineered Crop Tool works much better
  • Background Save, including tunable Auto-Save and Crash Recovery
  • Integrated Layer Search/Filtering – by name, effect, style, mode, or attribute
  • Easy migration tool imports/exports custom presets and settings
  • New “Bicubic Automatic” default for Image Size automatically does the right thing
  • Path snapping & anti-aliasing improvements – critical for exacting work
  • Easy insert of “dummy text” (Lorem Ipsum, etc.) from the Type Menu
  • The return of Contact Sheet II and PDF Presentations in Photoshop
  • A completely redesigned and enhanced Print dialog


Making adjustments to color and other image variables is more simple and straightforward in Adobe Photoshop CS6.

Mastering Photoshop
Adobe continues to revolutionize the way photographers and designers manipulate images. The program has become increasingly intuitive, but that doesn’t make mastering it any easier – especially if you spend hundreds of dollars for the software. In short, you want to get the most out of it.

The best and least painful way to learn how to use Photoshop is to take a course that provides hands-on instruction. In fact, there is a great technology summer camp called Digital Media Academy that can help you advance your Photoshop skills and make you a master in no time. Get the picture?


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