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Software Review – Adobe Master Collection CS6 – Photoshop CS6 From Adobe Systems

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This is the first of a series of reviews that will cover what is contained in the Adobe CS6 Master Collection. Adobe releases CS6 with four separate suites of products. They are Design Standard, Design & Web Premium, Production Premium, and Master Collection. Add to that, they a have also have the Creative Cloud – a subscription based suite that gives you access to all of the individual products for a $49.99 per month subscription fee. You can go online to compare what is contained in each version. The goal of this series it to define what each product does and provide information of what the new version brings to the table.

As with the recent releases of Photoshop, this version also comes in two editions; the standard of Photoshop, and Photoshop CS6 Extended edition. The extended version is targeted to professionals in film and television, manufacturing, architecture, engineering, medicine, science, and those doing 3D rendering.

Photoshop CS6

Photoshop CS6 is a raster graphics editor. That is, it is an editor that allows users to manipulate, edit, composite, and paint images on a computer screen and save them in one of many popular raster file formats including JPEG, PNG, GIF and TIFF. This makes Photoshop extremely good for working with photographs

So what is new with Photoshop CS6?

• New Crop Tool – is hardware accelerated and completely new. It now has multiple overlays including ones for working with the Golden Ration, Golden Spiral, Diagonal, Triangle, Grid, as well as the Rule of Thirds. The Crop tool now also works in a non-destructive mode meaning that you can use it and never lose your content. There is also a Perspective Crop tool that uses a flexible marquee to outline and straighten image elements or scenes photographed on an angle. You can now also save your specific crop dimensions as presets giving you the ability to perform consistent crops across a whole series of images.

• Extended Content-Aware family of technologies – has now added two new retouching tools. The first is a Content-Aware mode for the Patch tool. This gives you greater control when repairing images by letting you choose the sample area where you want to create the patch, and then adjusting how the patch is applied. Then it also gives you the ability to specify more precisely how the patch is blended with the image. The second tool is the Content-Aware Move tool. Using this tool you can move or extend an object to another area in the image. The tool then automatically recomposes and blends the object giving you the ability to reposition awkward elements to create better compositions, interactively extend the top of an image to change its format from horizontal to vertical, or increase the size of an object to make it more dominant in a design.

Photoshop CS6

• Sophisticated text formatting – across your designs with type styles. You can use new Paragraph Styles to control the characteristics of everything from groups of sentences to whole pages of type. By using Character Styles you can control the look of individual letters, words, or phrases. You can even define your own custom styles and then apply them to the text in your design, or style the text first and then use it as a basis for a new style entry. These can be used across multiple documents in a project to ensure design uniformity.

• New Vector Layers – give you the ability to create shapes, lines, and objects and then apply custom strokes and fills to style these objects. This provides you the ability to have more control over vector content that you create, and gives you the ability to select, group, unite, or subtract shapes and paths after creating them. You can fill shapes with preset or user-defined gradients, colors, or patterns, and then outline the edges with custom strokes and dashed lines. And when you need crisper images, align vector content to the pixel grid with the new Snap-To-Pixel and Align Edges options. You can even find key layers in complex documents more easily with new filtering options located directly in the Layers panel.

About T. Michael Testi

Photographer, writer, software engineer, educator, and maker of fine images.