Category: Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop topics

The evil Adobe empire

Evil Adobe Empire

I came across this article the other day and paused for a few moments to think about the Adobe empire. The discussion in the article is all-too-familiar, and becoming a real trend. Even I have a difficult time defending Adobe.

I’ve spent years defending Adobe’s business model and applications. I still feel they’re the best tools on the market for content creators. And I don’t feel like $50 per month is the outrageous amount people make it out to be.

But I’m done defending Adobe. Because I can’t anymore.

Without going into a whole lot of detail, the logos and images for the last three freelance jobs I’ve worked on, and the graphics for this site’s last several posts were edited with an app not named Photoshop or Illustrator.

I guess what I’m saying is, the little things I mentioned a few days ago are piling up. And there are finally real options out there. By the end of this year, they’ll be a competitive alternative to Adobe’s print-related suite of apps. All of them. And I’m going to give them a serious consideration.

Are you using Adobe Creative Cloud Libraries?

Creative Cloud Libraries

Adobe Creative Cloud’s Libraries feature allows you to access, organize and share assets between your desktop and mobile apps, as well as other Creative Cloud users.

Libraries allows you to collect Character Styles, Color Swatches, Brushes, Graphics, Text, and other objects in one or multiple libraries (see the Illustrator Libraries panel in the image above). The Panel is accessed under the Window menu in Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator. The assets you collect are synced via the cloud, and made available not only to your other apps, but you can share them with other members of your creative team, or make them publicly available via a link.

That alone would be really handy, but Adobe went a step further by offering the option of placing graphics in your Library as a linked file. That means when you update the original graphic, it gets updated in your Library, as well as any document you’ve placed the graphic in via the Libraries panel.

For the most part, you simply drag items into and out of the Libraries panel. Some icons across the bottom of the panel also allow you to add items.

Using the Libraries feature can save you a lot of time, especially if you use the same graphics, text styles and colors in most of your design work. In particular, publication designers will find Libraries to be a real game changer, especially if you share the design duties with other graphic artists on the staff.

Photoshop CC to add Artboards (pages) feature

Check it out. Illustrator users will be familiar with Artboards, for those who aren’t – think of them simply as pages. I’m not sure why Photoshop Artboards are necessary with Layer Comps already available, but it looks cool!

Adobe discontinues Photoshop Touch

Adobe is getting to be a bit like Google in the way they introduce and subsequently kill new products. Photoshop Touch for iOS and Android will cease to receive any support as of May 28th, and is the latest of a handful of mobile apps Adobe killed off after a short life. Of all their mobile attempts, Photoshop Touch was probably the most useful.

The good news is Adobe is planning on releasing a new app to replace Photoshop Touch codenamed Project Rigel later this year.

Create color themes for use in all your Adobe CC apps

Adobe Color Themes

The Adobe Creative Cloud apps have a (fairly) new panel called Adobe Color Themes, which allows you to browse, create, save and use color themes in all your Adobe apps. Formerly known as Kuler, Color Themes allows you to browse a wide selection of pre-made color themes, or create your own using the Panel’s color mixer. Once you’re happy with your color theme, you can save it to your Creative Cloud account so the theme is available in InDesign, Illustrator or Photoshop.

You can find the Adobe Color Themes Panel under the Window menu. It’s fairly easy to figure out how to use just by playing around with it, so I won’t bother going into details here. It’s much more fun to just play around with it, but if you feel the need you can view a video tutorial here.

I don’t know how I missed this feature when it was introduced, but I’ve been using it for a while now and it’s a real time saver, and a great color inspiration tool.

Photoshop Smart Objects: linked vs. embedded

Using Photoshop Smart Objects is a great way to work non-destructively. You can embed a Smart Object directly in a Photoshop file or link to a separate file and update it and reuse it in multiple projects.

I recently had a co-worker ask what they were and why I use them. I had a difficult time explaining it, so when I came across this video tutorial, I quickly fired-off a link. It’s a great walk-through for those who’ve never used them.

Feathering the edges of a selection along the edge of a document in Photoshop CC

In previous versions of Photoshop, if you selected an area of an image that included an edge area and then chose Select>Modify>Feather, the Feather would be added to the entire selection. While this might be desirable in some instances, in the majority of cases, it would be ideal if the feather was only applied within the image (and not to the edges). As a result, in the current version, the engineering team has changed the default behavior so that they feather is not applied at the edge (the canvas bounds) of an image.

Julieanne Kost enlightens us about this feature that I’m sure most people don’t even notice is there. Be sure to check out all her other awesome posts while you’re there, she has a lot of great information and tutorials.

Create text columns on a single Photoshop layer with this uber-cool extension

UberColumns for Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop’s text capabilities are adequate for most users, but one area that is sorely lacking is the ability to set text in columns. It’s a royal pain when you’re mocking up a website to have to set two separate text layers and align them when you want multiple columns of text.

UberColumns to the rescue! uberColumns is a simple add-on that allows you to convert a single block of text on a layer to a specified column layout, including the ability to customize the gutter width.

  1. Simply use your text tool to drag a text box out and enter your text as you normally would.

  2. After committing the text, click the layer icon for your text so the layer is active.
  3. Open the Columns panel from Window>Extensions>Columns. Type the number of columns in the box on the left, and the amount of gutter space in the box on the right, and hit OK.

Your text should now be converted to columns. You will likely have to adjust the overall width by using your text tool to adjust the width of the text box. And that’s the beauty of UberColumns, you can adjust the columns simply by adjusting the text box as you normally would.

UberColumns is 100% free, and works with Adobe Photoshop CC, and CC2014. I absolutely LOVE this extension!