What’s New in Photoshop 2019? (updated January 2019)

Frames

Frames work like placeholders. If you know you need to insert a photo that is a specific size, but you are not sure which one you are going to use, simply insert a frame. Then you can drag and drop your photo into the frame. Photoshop will do the masking for you.

Dedicated Content Aware Fill Workspace

This is a minor addition that allows you to make specific selections to use when using the CAF option. Have you ever tried using this tool but an object near the selection gets duplicated in the Content Aware? Now you can remove the objects that Photoshop will use when it detects the area to fill from.

Symmetry Paint

Now you can use the paint using a symmetry option. Several other web-based applications use this, and students love it. Locate the new Butterfly icon on the Options bar when you have the Brush tool selected.

The BEST change?

Multiple Undo Options!!! Yes, that’s right! You no longer have to explain the difference between undo and step backward. Now the Ctrl/Cmd Z key combination can be used multiple times just like it is used in almost any other software application. BTW, if you need to Redo your last step simply use Ctrl/Cmd + Shift + Z.

Better Transformations–You no longer have to hold the Shift key to keep transformations proportional. Just drag a corner handle and your images will resize proportionally with ease. In fact, now if you want to resize without keeping the image in the original ratio you hold shift. Auto-Commit. You no longer need to press Enter/Return to commit a bounding box. In older versions of Photoshop you had to use a key command or click on the checkmark to commit a bounding box. If you forgot to commit and tried moving to another tool, you would get a bounding box asking if you wanted to commit the change. Now when you are in a bounding box and select another tool the change is automatically accepted.

When working with the Type Tool you no longer need to switch back to the tool to make an edit. You can double-click with the Move tool to quickly begin editing text within the document.

Small Changes That You May Never Notice Or Need

You can preview your image if you flipped it horizontally without actually making changes to any of your layers. View > Flip Horizontal

The Color panel has a new Color Wheel that you can quickly access. This helps users identify complementary colors quickly.

Now you can do math in Photoshop! Need to raise the opacity by ten? Just type +10 inside the box and let Photoshop do the math for you. (Yes, I know that 10 is easy math, but Adobe must have seen this as a needed feature. Think about those tricky percentages.)

Lock Workspace. If you tend to accidentally close out of panels and have a hard time remembering how to get them back on the screen, then the lock workspace option is a must. When you set up your workspace in a layout that you like, go to Window > Workspace > Lock Workspace. This will keep your panels available to use as needed.

Home Screen Changes. This is a simple change that you might not ever need. In Photoshop CC2018, Adobe introduced the Home screen. This addition allowed the user to see previews of the projects that were recently used. This saves the user time of having to go to File > Open and then finding the image. Now, in CC2019, you can click on the Home icon in the upper left of the screen to reopen the Home Preview screen. This allows you to open one image and then go back and open another image from a preview.

The Select Subject feature was introduced in CC2018. This was a total game changer for selecting people in images. When you are on a selection tool you can choose the Select Subject and let Photoshop do the work. Adobe saw the value in this tool and has increased the speed in which the selection is made.

Match Fonts

Did you know there is a Match Font feature?  Type > Match Font. Select the text in an image, and Photoshop will try to find a similar match to it. (Although this is not a new feature, it is certainly one worth noting in case you missed it previously.) The new update seems to identify fonts a little more accurately.

Do you need to change the size of your User Interface? Now you can alter your preferences so that when you select a larger font the UI will also increase to match.

Need additional training? Adobe has provided an In-App learning option from the Learn panel. After you complete a tutorial, you can use your own image to get the looks you want in less time.

Similar to Illustrator

Photoshop shares more options from Illustrator. You asked, and Adobe listened. Now Photoshop has Distribute spacing options similar to the ones used in Illustrator. When you select the Type tool and click on the canvas, Photoshop will insert placeholder text immediately so you can see what the text will look like. Artboards were introduced in CC2015, and the new version adds a few more capabilities. Now you can create multiple artboards and copy layers onto multiple artboards. From here you can go to File>Export and save each artboard as a separate file. You can hold the Ctrl/Cmd key and select multiple artboards to preview.

Layers with long names?

We all know the importance of naming layers. At some point, we have all learned this lesson the hard way when working on a detailed job with layer 1, layer 2, layer 3, etc. My students tend to name layers with a lot of detail. This is great, but sometimes it is difficult to see the entire layer name. Until now, the only solution was to stretch/enlarge the Layers panel, but this wasn’t an ideal option. Now, when you hover over a layer you can set the full name as a pop-up.

 

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