Adobe Photoshop CS6 Review

A sleeker interface, group layer edits, video support, and more make this a must-have for creative producers.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 only strengthens the benchmark software's existing position as the unrivaled production suite and an indispensable tool for old and new generation creative minds: graphic designers, web developers, video editors, you name it.

Let's start with the interface: dark is good. Photoshop CS6 brings a darker, more focused default work environment, with menus and toolbars painted in dark grays and blacks. Of course, if you're itching for a brighter look, CS6 gives users lighter-colored interfaces, reminiscent of previous versions. Tools are more streamlined thanks to Adobe's continuing move towards collapsible menus, while leaving the primary tools visible.

There are seriously way too many new features for us to cover in such a short overview: instead, we'll briefly look at some of the more notable improvements. Photoshop CS6 finally empowers users with the ability to search within their layers, a crucial benefit for those who work on projects with many elements and layer groups like UI and Web designers. You can search by layer name, type, attribute, and color. Another major change is the ability to apply layer styles to groups. You can define the layer style for various folders, potentially opening the door to even more complex effects and filter combinations.

Photoshop also brings improved precision to setting colors and custom dimensions for shapes. Creative Suite 6 now accepts the standard 3-6 character HEX codes in their color selectors, which is key for designers who want to call out specific Web colors. You can also generate custom-size shapes by inputting numerical pixel values to add more precise mock-up elements. In addition, Photoshop CS6 also has a dummy "lorem ipsum" body text built into the app so designers can quickly paste sample paragraphs.

We've barely scratched the surface of everything CS6 offers, including video support and auto-save functionality like its suite cousin, Adobe Premiere. But if you're a creative producer serious about producing industry-standard content, Photoshop CS6 is a strong, competitive tool.

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