Can’t Beat the CS6 Beta: Adobe Photoshop Leads the Way

Adobe has done it again. Always at the cutting edge of innovation, they don’t disappoint with this latest advance in digital image editing software. From the reworked interface to the 65 new features, an incredible amount of thought has gone into the Adobe Photoshop CS6. And for the first time, Adobe has released a public beta of the software, meaning everyone can try it out until the official launch later this year.

What strikes you first is the refined, darker-grey UI, looking smart and modern, and making the colours in your photos really stand out. The handling of panels and tools is also extremely logical, with common features more accessible in the foreground and many of the controls moveable straight onto the canvas. The updated Mini Bridge panel now sits horizontally across the bottom of the screen, which, coupled with the darker interface, makes Photoshop not dissimilar to Adobe Lightroom, though both features can be customised to your preferences.

One thing Adobe boasts of with the CS6 is the increased speed of the software, which they hope will have a transformational effect on professional workflows. It looks pretty likely. Powered by the new Mercury Graphics Engine, delivering editing results virtually in real-time via common tools such as Liquify and Transform, and with the additional search tool in the layers panel, the CS6 will save users hours of work. The capacity of the CS6 to save files in the background also means no more sitting waiting for Photoshop to save extra-large files.

Noteworthy new features include additions to the Content Aware tools. Content-Aware Patch allows the user to select an area from an image and then let the computer fill in another image with the chosen section. Content-Aware Move enables users to select an object in a picture and move it to a new position, like magic!

A long-awaited highlight comes in the form of the built-in Lorem Ipsum dummy text generator, which allows the user to add dotted or dashed lines to shapes easily. New type styles provide consistent formatting and let designers apply type treatments speedily to their designs.

One of the major differences with the CS6 is that it includes some video editing tools. The tools are basic, and simple to apply – it’s just a case of pressing the Create Video Timeline button on the new Timeline tab, and off you go. Critics might argue that mobile phone apps can now provide the same tools without the need for shifting images from device to device, but in reality many people don’t use their mobile apps, or want to use a basic form of Adobe Premiere without having to sign up as a Permiere Pro user.

The Photoshop CS6 beta includes all of the features of Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended, and is simple to download. As is common with betas, there are bugs, but it’s worth ignoring these to sample the enhanced design tools, incredible performance and fantastic new features of this industry-beating beta.

Download Photoshop CS6 Beta for Windows | Download Photoshop CS6 Beta for Mac

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