5 Hidden Gems in Photoshop CC 15.5 and more

21 Jul 2016
  • posted by Veerle Pieters

You always know you'll learn something with the videos of Julieanne Kost.

What you'll learn

Discover new features and enhancements made to Artboards including new background color properties and easier duplication of layers and layer groups, Adjustment layer support for Looks and Fill layer support for Patterns created in Capture CC, read-only Library Collaboration, and new export options for embedding color profiles and additional Artboard improvements.

Note: because of the new background color support, Artboard backgrounds export as visualized on the canvas (i.e. if you see a background, you will get that when you export – you must set transparency to export as transparent).

The visual representation of “transparency” as a checkerboard works the same in Artboard documents as it does in regular canvases. Therefore, if you have changed your Preferences > Transparency & Gamut to None, then you will not see the checkerboard representing transparency in an Artboard.

Select and Mask Taskspace

Discover how the new Select and Mask taskspace in Photoshop CC makes creating selections and masks easier, more exact, and more efficient than ever before.

Tool and Properties Shortcuts

Below is additional information for working in the Select and Mask taskspace

  • For the Quick Select (W), Lasso (L), and Brush (B) tools, Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) toggles Add To Selection to Subtract From Selection.
  • For the Quick Select (W), Lasso (L), and Brush (B) tools, Shift toggles Subtract from Selection to Add to Selection.
  • With the Lasso Tool selected, Option + Shift (Mac) | Alt + Shift (Win) toggles both Add To and Subtract From options to Intersect with Selection.
  • For the Refine Edge Brush (R), Option (Mac) | Alt (Win) toggles Expands Detection Area to Restore Original Selection.
  • In Select and Mask, painting with the Brush tool adds to or subtracts from the mask (it will not paint on the image).
  • Control + Option -drag (Mac) | Alt + right click -drag (Win) left/right to decrease/increase brush diameter.
  • Control + Option -drag (Mac) | Alt + right click -drag (Win) up/down to increase/decrease the hardness/softness of the brush.
  • Shift-click to paint a straight line between the first and subsequent clicks.
  • All of the View modes have their own shortcut (listed next to the name of the view). Plus, “F” cycles through the views while “X” temporarily toggles off all views.
  • If you create a selection in Photoshop, choose Select and Mask and then modify the selection, clicking “Clear Selection” removes all masking while clicking the Reset Workspace icon (to the left of the Cancel button) resets the selection to the state when Select and Mask option was chosen.
  • The first time you double-click on a Layer Mask in the Layers panel, Photoshop displays a dialog asking what you would like double clicking on a Layer Mask to do. You can choose between View Properties (in the Properties panel) or Enter Select and Mask. This behavior can be changed later in Preferences >Tools > Double Click Layer Mask Launches Mask and Select Workspace.
  • Select and Mask supports Birds Eye View for faster navigation within an image. When zoomed into an image, press and hold “H” (the image zooms out to fit in the window). Drag the zoom rectangle over the desired location and release the mouse. Release the “H” key – the image zooms to the chosen area and the selected tool remains unchanged. (Note: Birds Eye View requires GPU support.)

Additional advantages of the Select and Mask Taskspace:

  • Select and Mask should be faster than the previous Refine Edge option because Select and Mask takes advantage of GPU.
  • You no longer have to jump in and out of a modal state to refine the initial selection (using the Lasso, Quick Select, or Brush tools).
  • You don’t have to start with a selection, you can choose Select and Mask first and begin the selection process there.
  • After choosing Select > Focus Mask, you can choose to go directly to Select and Mask.
  • Select and Mask supports multiple undo, is actionable, and works with touch interface.

The Content-Aware Crop Tool

When using the Crop tool to straighten a photo, use the new Content Aware option to intelligently fill in transparent areas with computer generated “Content aware” information in Photoshop CC. The video below demonstrates how.

Note: the Content Aware technology has been improved throughout Photoshop including improvement in details, reduction in blur/smudge, improved color adaptation (now on by default), and performance increases of up to 3x faster than before!