Photoshop CS6, 6 New Useful Features
By Neil Blevins
Created On: Oct 14th 2012

Just upgraded to Pshop CS6 and figured I'd write a little on the experience. You know how it is, the "What's new in Software X" guide always has these huge features, none of which are useful at all, and then they say at the bottom: "And many small updates", and that's where you'll find all the useful stuff you've been waiting for forever. So after looking at the big features for Adobe Photoshop CS6, I wasn't really impressed with it, but after looking into the small updates, found a lot of useful stuff there. So figured I'd pass on what I found in case it help you too.

Note, I am upgrading from CS3 to CS6, so a few of these things may in fact be features added in CS4 or 5, but they're new to me in CS6.

Second Note, these are not all of the new features in CS6, these are just the ones I think I'll find useful. So while CS6 has for example some new paint brushes, I gave them a shot and don't think they'll be very useful to me, and so I won't go into them.

Thanks to Ben Beech for some of these tips.

1) Save File In The Background

This is the one big feature that I have found useful, the background save. When you save, you can now immediately continue working while the image is saved in the background. Definitely speeds up workflow. But be careful, if you save twice before the first save is finished, you'll get an error.

2) Layer Filters

The layers palette is of course where you see all your photoshop layers in a document. But now you can filter these layers, so if you have a really large file with hundreds of layers, but you only want to edit say the text layers, you can filter by text, and now instead of hunting through all your layers (many of which may be nested in groups), you'll only see the text layers...





Other useful things to do with layer filters:
3) Clipping Mask Can Be Applied To A Group

Say you have a shape, and you want to apply some texture to it. One way to do this is put your texture on a new layer, set it to Multiply...



And then apply it as a clipping mask to your Shape layer, so the texture only affects your shape, and not the entire image...



But now what do you do if you want to do the same trick, but to multiple shape layers at the same time?



Now you can group your Shape layers, and apply your Texture layer as a clipping mask to a whole group...



This can be done for any layer, so you can also make an Adjustment Layer (Like Levels or Color Balance) and apply that to an entire group instead of a single layer or the entire image. This is really useful for changing the color of say your main character without affecting the background while still keeping the main character on several separate layers in a group.

4) Change Colors On Multiple Layers At The Same Time

To help you find layers, Adobe added the ability to add a color to your layer. This color only appears in the layers dialog, it does not affect your final image, and is simply an organizational tool. Like these layers are colored yellow, blue and red...



But if you wanted to change the color of a bunch of layers at the same time, you had to do it a single layer at a time. Now we have the ability to change the layer color to multiple layers, just select the layers and right click.

5) Set Layer Mode On Multiple Layers At The Same Time

You can also now select multiple layers and change their mode, like all to Multiply, etc, at the same time.

6) Darker Interface

Of course you've probably already noticed the darker interface. I kinda dig it, but if you want to go back to the lighter interface, it's easily available in the preferences...



You can also right click in the area around any image to change the color that's behind the image to a darker or lighter color. You could do this before, but now there are far more presets...



Don't Forget To...



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