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
The beta version of Photoshop CS6 is out and there are numerous new features waiting for you to try. Explore the new filters and tools, video editing capabilities, performance boosts, and more! Read this extensive guide and see why CS6 is the best upgrade in Photoshop’s history.

Quick Overview

Watch this video to get a quick overview of all the new features in Adobe Photoshop CS6.


1. Changing Photoshop’s interface color

There’s an entirely new dark color theme for Photoshop and it matches other Adobe products such as Lightroom, After Effects, etc. If you want to change the color theme you can press Shift+F1 to darken or Shift+F2 to lighten.

Photoshop Color Themes The four new color themes in Photoshop CS6

Changing Color Themes in the Preferences You can also set the color theme in the preferences by going to Edit > Preferences > Interface (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > Interface (Mac).


2. How Background Save and Auto Save Works

Have you ever had Photoshop crash on you? You’ll be happy to hear about Photoshop’s new auto save feature which saves a backup copy every 5-60 minutes.

Photoshop CS6 Crash Photoshop crashed? Run it again and you’ll find your recovered documents.

Changing Auto Save settings in the Preferences You can set the auto save setting by going to Edit > Preferences > File Handling (Windows) or Photoshop > Preferences > File Handling (Mac)

Also new is background save. Saving large Photoshop files can take several minutes and now Photoshop can do it in the background so that you can continue working.

Background saving progress bar A new save progress bar appears when saving large files.


3. Searching for layers in your 100-layers PSD

A lot of time can be wasted trying to find the right layer to edit. In Photoshop CS6, the Layers palette has been revamped with a new filter menu. Now you can sort and find your layers using different layer properties. To turn filtering off, just press the near the top-right of the palette.

Filtering options in the Layers palette Working on a PSD with 100 layers is less of a headache now thanks to Photoshop CS6’s new layer filtering tool


4. Editing multiple layers at a time

Photoshop CS6 fixes some bugs and adds some enhancements with editing multiple layers. First of all, the Ctrl/Cmd+J hotkey to duplicate layers now work with multiple layers. You can also change blending modes, locking modes, opacity, and apply color labels to multiple layers at a time.

Applying color labels Applying color labels to multiple layers at a time


5. Fix for the Magic Wand Tool

Before, many Photoshop users could not figure out why their Magic Wand tool wasn’t working properly. There was a bug where if you changed the sample size setting in your Eyedropper tool, it would change it for the Magic Wand tool too – and you can’t change it back with the Magic Wand tool. This has been fixed in CS6 by introducing the sample size menu into the Magic Wand options bar.
Sample size drop down menu

6. Making Selections Better in Photoshop CS6

Want to retouch skin? The improved Color Range selection tool (Select > Color Range) lets you do this easier with skin tone and face detection! Just set the mode to Skin Tones and enable Detect Faces and Photoshop will create a pretty good selection of the skin.
Selecting skin tones with the color range tool

7. Using the new Crop tools

The Crop tool in CS6 can be a little confusing when you first use it. Adobe took the Crop tool from Lightroom and put it in Photoshop. First of all, it’ll automatically create a crop selection of the entire image when you select the Crop tool. To move the crop area, pan the image instead of the crop selection (as if you were moving a piece of paper).

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