Adobe has already stopped giving its image editing program, Photoshop, new version numbers. But that doesn’t mean it’s no longer getting significant upgrades. In fact, the last major release provides a wealth of massive improvements that would be useful to any business. Is it worth upgrading even if you already have an old version of the software? Read on to find out.
Right off the bat, you should expect to shell out a little bit of money. The latest version of Photoshop requires a Creative Cloud subscription, but you do get more than just the image editing software, as Creative Cloud comes with a host of programs, such as Lightroom.
Additionally, it serves as the central management app for Adobe’s programs, being responsible for updates and online file syncing. It also gives you access to the Behance creative social community and stock images, which is a great boon as it means your business no longer needs to buy stock photos from third parties or hire a photographer.
If your business is upgrading to Photoshop CC 2015 from an old version that still has a version number, or if this is your first time to install Photoshop, be forewarned that CC requires a hefty PC, especially if you ever plan on doing 3D editing. In fact, unlike old Photoshop version, CC requires a beefy video card for 3D editing (the function won’t be available if you don’t meet this requirement). For normal image and photo editing, you can get away with a relatively weak desktop PC, but don’t expect a smooth experience.
The latest Photoshop CC introduces a new start experience, which presents you with thumbnails of your recent files as well as access to libraries and presets. Thankfully for people who dislike change, the new startup experience is completely optional and the old behavior can be enabled later.
On the more functional aspect of the UI, Photoshop CC now allows users to customize the toolbar button rail, and also features newly redesigned icons that blend well with the metro UI designs that were introduced with Windows 8 and refined in Windows 10. For tablet users, there are also a number of new touch input options that could make life easier, such as new gestures and swipe controls and larger tabs that make it easier to navigate when using a touchscreen.
One useful area that you won’t find on old numbered versions, as well as one that will be useful to any business, is the new Adobe Preview CC mobile app, which helps facilitate mobile and web design with a wealth of new tools and functionalities, including an option to preview your project and see what it looks like on a mobile device.
This is the feature that will be very useful for businesses. It’s basically the result of Adobe’s acquisition of stock photo repository Fotolia, giving them ownership of over 40 million images, illustrations, vectors, and video clips. Even if you’re not a member of Creative Cloud, you can still buy assets from Adobe Stock. But if you are a member, you also have the option of selling your assets through Stock and get a 33 percent cut of all the sales. It may seem small at first glance, but it’s actually higher than the industry standard of 25 percent.
If you only want to play around with stock photos, Stock also comes through because you can use it without buying a license. The only catch is that the images will have a watermark until you license it. You don’t have to worry about changing your mind later on because the watermark will be gone upon buying a license and any edits you made will be retained.
New Photography-Oriented Improvements
Last but not the least, Adobe Photoshop CC does not forget that it started its life as a mere photo editing program and that its name retains this brand. The new update comes with a whole slew of features targeted towards photographers, such as camera shake reduction, which automatically aligns shifted pixels in order to minimize the blurring that comes from a shaky shot or new RAW capabilities such as the geometry correction tool named Upright.
Basically, if your company ever needs to make its mark online, Adobe Photoshop CC will be a great boon as it provides a wealth of functionalities related to image and photo editing, web development, video and 3D design. It’s also fine for casual users who just want to edit a photo here and there, though you’d have to make sure that the somewhat hefty price tag is within your budget.