Switching To Photoshop CS6? 27 New Features and Changes You Need to Know

Switching To Photoshop CS6? 27 New Features and Changes You Need to Know

Cropping in CS6 The new crop tool shows you a preview of your background if you extend the crop area beyond your image boundaries.

There are several views that you can use instead of the Rule of Thirds. To cycle through them quickly, just press O on your keyboard.

New crop views The new crop views

Also note that Photoshop by default will crop your images non-destructively so that you can expand your crop at a later time. If you want to disable this feature, checkmark the “Delete Cropped Pixels” in the option bar.
Delete Cropped Pixels
Switch to the Perspective Crop tool to fix the perspective of photos. Think of it as the old Crop tool with the Perspective option checked but better. This tool only works when you have no text/shape layers.

Photoshop CS6 Crop tools The Perspective Crop tool

8. Eyedropper tool enhancements

The new sample modes for the Eyedropper tool lets you ignore adjustment layers and sample from the current layer and below. Also changed is the sample size option – it doesn’t affect the Magic Wand tool anymore.

Photoshop CS6 vs CS5 Sampling Modes The new sampling modes

9. Using the Patch Tool on Content-Aware mode

The Patch tool isn’t new but what is is a new Content-Aware mode for the Patch tool. Content-Aware fill worked great for removing objects and selecting areas to copy the background from. With the Patch tool on Content-Aware mode, you can specify where Photoshop should sample the background from so that you get better object removals.

Content-Aware Patch tool You can change the patch mode in the options bar

Changing Content-Aware adaptation Not getting the results you like? Try changing the adaptation setting.

Content-Aware Fill vs Content-Aware Patch The Content-Aware Patch tool can get results closer to perfect

10. Using the new Content-Aware Move tool to move and extend objects

The Content-Aware Move tool lets you move objects easily using content-aware technology. It works wonderfully when moving objects with a simple background but not perfectly for more complicated scenes like the one below.

Content-Aware Move tool The Content-Aware Move tool

Using the Content-Aware Move tool

Results of the Content-Aware move Photoshop did most of the work but more clone/heal work needs to be done for this image.

Changing adaptation settings Not getting good results? Try adjusting the Adaptation level.

Change the mode from Move to Extend and now you can extend objects. To use, simply create a selection then drag to extend the object.
Switching to Extend mode
Extending trees using the Content-Aware Move tool on Extend mode

11. Using the updated Brush tool

Digital painters will love the new Brush tool. Photoshop CS6 introduces two new brush features: erodible tip and airbrush tip. Erodible brush settings let you draw lines with a tip that erodes like a crayon (from thin to thick lines). This lets you create paintings that look more realistic. Airbrush tips should be used with a pen tablet instead of a mouse and it lets you use your pen just like an airbrush – press harder to create a thinner line or lighter for a thicker line with more splatter. It can also detect the angle of your pen to control the direction of the spray - you'll need a tablet with tilt-sensitivity for this feature to work (ex. Wacom Intuos5). The brush tool itself has been improved with a max brush size of 5000 px (compared to 2500 px) and rich cursor support. The rich cursor support lets you change your brush size and hardness dynamically simply by dragging your mouse (Alt+Right drag or Ctrl+Opt+Drag on Mac).

5000 px brush setting The max brush size has been increased from 2500 to 5000 pixels.

Erodible tip Erodible tip dulls the tip of your brush for realistic painting results

Erodible tip settings in the Brushes palette The new erodible brush settings can be found in the Brush palette (Window > Brush).

Comparison of erodible tip settings Comparison of the 5 erodible brush tips

Setting a keyboard shortcut for the Sharpen Erodible Tips command If you use Erodible brushes, you should set a hotkey to sharpen the tip. You can access this window by going to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts. The tool is located at the very bottom of the Tools list.

Airbrush settings in the Brushes palette The airbrush settings

Live brush preview Hold down the Alt/Option key then right-drag anywhere in your document to bring up the live brush settings. You can also hold the Ctrl + Option key and left-drag on a Mac. Drag horizontally to adjust the brush size and vertically to adjust the hardness.

12. Using the improved Gradient fills

Whether you’re doing it via the Gradient tool, layer styles, or Gradient Fill layers, you will like the new scale option that lets you scale up to 1000% (up from 150%).

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