CS6 is the biggest Web/screen design upgrade in 12 years

If you design apps, Web pages, or anything else for the screen, you need to check out this terrific overview of Photoshop CS6 improvements from UI design expert Marc Edwards.  A few of my favorites:

  • Real strokes (including dashes) on vectors, with a faster (Options Bar) way to edit them
  • Type styles (both character & paragraph)
  • Better font anti-aliasing
  • Path snapping & anti-aliasing improvements (critical for exacting work)
  • Layer search/filtering (e.g. show me just the type layers in this doc)
  • Multiple strokes per layer (you can apply a new vector stroke + a traditional layer effect stroke, and by applying layer effects at the group level, you can effectively put multiple sets of layer effects on each layer)

…and that’s a truncated list. Check out Marc’s article for more.

We had so many of these improvements in mind for many years, but other work like the Cocoa & 64-bit transitions kept getting in the way. (Type styles & layer searching almost made the cut for CS5.)  It’s not since Photoshop 6.0, which introduced shape layers & which was released back in 2000, that the team has made this much progress for Web/UI folks in one rev. We hope you like it.

[By the way, if you’re stuck on CS4 or earlier, you can also check out all the Web/screen enhancements we made in CS5, too.]

34 thoughts on “CS6 is the biggest Web/screen design upgrade in 12 years

  1. How come I cannot change the size of type preview in fonts pull-down menu anymore? I loved that in Photoshop!

      1. can you tell me how? The setting is gone from my edit>preferences>type window… It used to sit there in CS5…

  2. Checking the beta out this morning. Looks great! I’m digging everything so far although noticed that the Masks panel got cut. Any substitute for that?
    [I’m told it’s in the Properties Panel with Adjustments. –J.]

  3. I wonder if its enough to eliminate Fireworks form my workflow. Maybe Fireworks will get some CS6 love too. I guess we’ll to wait to find out. I wish we could get all of the great web design features in one app.

  4. I am very pumped for the new web help (especially snapping to pixels [without having to make a custom grid]). Any word on editable radius/corners on vector squares (without having to download someone’s custom extension)?
    [I’m afraid that feature didn’t make the cut. It’s my personal #1 request, and the team is well aware of the need. –J.]
    And did the Glyph panel make it in?
    [Sorry, no. You can set glyphs in Illustrator and copy/paste, but obviously that’s not as convenient. –J.]

    1. Fireworks has done your first two requests for years.
      It also has pages, symbols, rich styles, copy/paste attributes, proper alignment tools, non-destructive blurs on anything, stackable and re-orderable layer effects
      [Yep, Fireworks is great, and more people should use it, and they don’t, and the overwhelming majority keep using Photoshop. So, we can either keep telling people they’re wrong, or we can improve the tool they keep choosing. –J.]

      1. “So, we can either keep telling people they’re wrong, or we can improve the tool they keep choosing. –J.”
        With all respect, John, Adobe never told people they were wrong to use Photoshop over Fireworks, and the message to use Fireworks at all was never there. That’s why people stick with Photoshop.
        I’m glad Photoshop is being improved, I just wish Fireworks could be improved, too. When release after release of Fireworks seems to be just scraping by with barely enough resources to survive, bug-ridden and without hardly any new features since CS3, meanwhile age-old Fireworks features are being ported to Photoshop and Illustrator in almost every release along with 3D engines and crazy stuff, nobody interprets that as Adobe saying “use Fireworks” — they hear “Fireworks is a dead end, we aren’t committed to it, you’ll have to guess again if there’s even going to be another version.”
        At any rate, as far as Photoshop goes this does look like a big improvement and a lot of good work, I’ll keep it inm mind if/when I need to start using Photoshop for UI design. Cheers.

      2. [Yep, Fireworks is great, and more people should use it, and they don’t, and the overwhelming majority keep using Photoshop. So, we can either keep telling people they’re wrong, or we can improve the tool they keep choosing. –J.]
        And I’ll have to agree with Aaron and others… And I have to disagree with you!
        Adobe never told its users to use Fireworks for screen/UI design, and Photoshop for bitmap editing, print, and photography tasks.
        So people continued to try to work with Photoshop for screen/web design, and Adobe continued to cram even more web/UI design features into Photoshop. It’s now a sort-of a web tool, UI/screen design too, tool for photographers, 3D tool, print tool, and more. And you keep on adding more features!
        Also, do you realize Fireworks has the smallest team of developers and engineers, while Photoshop’s and Illustrator’s continues to grow?
        So, no more “the right tool for the task” in the Adobe Suite of apps? Instead, “use Photoshop for everything”?… We got the message, thanks… 🙁
        How disappointing…

        1. i echo michael’s thoughts…I’ve been evangelizing FW for years in the midst of a bunch of PS happy managers. But they aren’t doing the work….
          Slowly, others have seen the light. But FW doesnt get any love from Adobe. I dont know how many times i’ve repeated the “right tool for the right task” line. The learning curve for FW is not steep–esp in comparison to Photoshop. PS6 features new web features are kinda lame because FW can already do or should be developed to handle these. Fireworks for the win.

  5. Awesome, very good post from Marc. Spot on for Web/App development.
    Now, we just need “Right click on Group of shape layer >> HTML5 Canvas” and we will be all set.

  6. Seems adobe is having its own lil’ renaissance.
    Great stuff indeed.
    So are the adobe illustrator taking it easy or running behind?
    To be fair they got their work cut out as illustrator needs a lot of under the bonnet work.
    How come we not seen a sneak peek of the amazing new features that are coming to Ai???;)

    1. Let’s be honest, the entire CS paradigm is growing severely long in the tooth. I’m also surprised as to how slow and inept Adobe has become at adaptation. Times are changing, fast, yet they seem to be committed to the same BS they sold out to in the latt half od the 90’s, the Windows desktop. Maybe they’re biding their time on the hopes that Windows 8 is their knight in shining armor? I don’t know. Regardless, the sun will come up tomorrow. If nothing else at love to try and push Nack’s buttons. He’s already aware of this, and a commendable sport. Keep up the great work. As always, I tip my hat 🙂

  7. I remember “type styles”, were available in one of CS5 beta “top secret” version. Good to have it back. It’s a tiny, helpful feature especially for web designers.

  8. And Chinese eagerly waiting too.
    New candy to crack & sell to pirates.
    You do realize 96% of soft in China & neighbors is STOLEN?
    Hey Windows is harmless.
    But Cadence, Audodesk Inventor, Solidworks, AWR MicrowaveOffice, AgilentADS, MATLAB, etc. are used to design WEAPONS, e.g.:
    J29 StealthBomber, anti-aircraftcarrier missile (Tomahawk clone), bullet trains stolen from Germany.
    Adobe is there too.
    Helping Chinese pirates kill American jobs.
    When will you learn to hit pirates hard, LETHALLY?
    I pay enormous money for software in part b/c some F*** in china steals it.

  9. Very nice. Yet all the while perpetuating Narayen’s snub that the hottest platform on the planet will soon be overtaken by “Ad-droid”. Are any of you allowed to speak up over there or is it basically a Lannister regime?

  10. The beta release has made my (otherwise awful) day. I always thought the odd version numbers were major, turns out the even CS6 is the best release since 6.0.
    Thanks Adobe for finally hearing us!

  11. Wonderful, every features I (and thousands of screen designer) was waiting for from years is there (except editable rounded corners, but given all the hark work has been done on this version it seems a minor omission). No need to continue to ask for a new app for webdesign finally (also thanks to the menu editor that with a bit of work help simplify the interface) or to continue to insult adobe. Give us rounded corners and symbols/symbols manager(the one in balsamiq mockups is the one you should look at) in cs6.5 or 7 and we could even worship you 🙂

    1. You had all that in your suite for years. Sorry but I can only think of lazy designers not wanting to use/learn another tool no matter if it is much better for web or too numb as to think for yourselves.
      Fireworks can do this for years and years in a much more appropriated and direct way and the fact that you use PS is only telling how lazy you are.

  12. only thing why i would upgrade is ACR7 and it´s a shame that the current CS5 will not be supported anymore.
    people who have bought LR4 now have to buy PS6 too if they want ACR 7.. WHILE PS CS5 is still the actual product!!!
    adobe is screwing theie customers once again!!

  13. brain said> “Give us rounded corners and symbols/symbols manager(the one in balsamiq mockups is the one you should look at adobe..”
    editable rounded corners is a good idea.
    It is not too late mate it is still in Beta..
    If John reads that he may even pass it on to the team..

  14. As long as there is no Masterpage and Pages, no Status, no Styles, no Linking, and many many more, which Fireworks supports since many versions, Photoshop is not interesting for screen- / webdesign. Only a floated monster tool which is too much time consuming.
    Photoshop needs to be specialized for what it is ment to be. Also Adobe can put in more and more print design features in Photoshop so you don’t need InDesign anymore.
    Software needs to be specialized!!!
    Using Photoshop for web instead of Fireworks is like using Photoshop for print instead of InDesign.

  15. “User interface brightness”
    if we talk about nitpicking and the small changes: why only four brightness schemes if we could have a slider like for example Bridge and After Effects does have?
    Lazyness or concept?
    [Yes, laziness… That’s always it… It’s a self-reflexive epithet. –J.]
    Get those applications mor unified, dammit!

  16. Ditto those who would prefer love for Fireworks. Maybe it will get it, but I’m not holding my breath. I only use PS for advanced image editing, not for web layouts, for which FW is far better suited.

  17. PS will never replace FW. I think Photoshop todays is JackOfAllTradesShop. 3D, Video, … Really? WTF was that great photoshop. Who is going to open photoshop to edit a video. Not to mention that those features were long time ago on iMovie. Please let photoshop edit photos. Let FW design Web, and the other tools do other jobs. If I want to Edit a video I will do it in Premiere, but Premiere is professional solution to Editing, and I have to buy it.
    So is Photoshop. If I have photoshop I don’t care about Video. If I have to edit something quick there are plenty of tools that do this for free, just google it.
    Adobe should create new app, Adobe JOAT, and add everything there, Please don’t experiment with photoshop. Don’t add features just because you can.
    John, its not in your hands, but advocate to save great apps.

  18. I hope you get a competitor who cares more for the customer and start thinking on the user instead of your vision and money making and nothing else. You really deserve it. Hopefully time will put you in your place. Hopefully.
    And please stop boasting about yourselves like that. Nothing to be that much happy about. After all you are a monopoly.

  19. People would have chosen the RIGHT TOOL if Adobe would have made a minimum effort to tell them what it was all about.
    Instead we have a horrible tool for UI design. For me CS suite can R.I.P when Fireworks is dropped.
    We are stating to see reactions to Adobe’s stupidity. And sorry, but it is our job tools you play with. Cannot be very much softer.

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