features

Photoshop CC Favorite Features: Editable Rounded Rectangles by Simon Abrams

Editable Rounded Rectangles in Photoshop CC

This is the first in a series of posts I'm going to be doing about my favorite new features in Photoshop CC. For the uninitiated, CC, or Creative Cloud, is the new designation that Adobe is giving their suite of applications as they move away from the "boxed" retail model of the Creative Suite to delivering their software via digital download.

Today, I'm focusing on a new feature that I, and many, many others, have been begging for for ages: editable rounded rectangles.

It might sound like a small thing, but it really is a big time-saver. In previous versions of Photoshop, you'd create a rounded rectangle Shape layer and whatever settings you used when you created the shape were immediately baked in the second you released the mouse. If you had to replicate that shape elsewhere (either in CSS or maybe as a vector shape in Flash), there was no easy way to figure out what the radius of that shape was without a whole bunch of trial and error, especially if you weren't the original designer that worked on the file. Now in Photoshop CC, you can simply click on the rounded rectangle vector shape and you'll notice that the Properties panel is now populated with all the editable properties of that shape (or Live Shape, as it's labeled in the panel).

The Live Shape Properties Panel in Photoshop CC

Not only do the radii of the rounded rectangle remain editable (or live) after the fact, you can independently edit the radius of each corner, allowing you to create irregular shapes like the ones shown in the screenshot above, without having to edit the shape's vector paths using the pen tool, or by combining shapes with boolean operations, as you would have had to do in previous editions of Photoshop.

I'm thrilled with this new feature - it definitely goes a long way towards solving at least one of the issues that interface and icon designers have had with creating and resizing HiDPI (aka Retina) graphics, and is a big part of Adobe's continuing enhancement of Photoshop's vector graphics capabilities.

Stay tuned for more posts highlighting additional new features in Photoshop CC.

This is a (Re)sampling Sport by Simon Abrams

Bicubic Automatic is a new sampling algorithm added to CS6

One of the new additions to Photoshop CS6 that will likely have slipped by you is a new addition to the way resizing images is handled. In the past, when using the Image Size dialog box to reduce an image’s size, you’d have to specify that you wanted Photoshop to use the Bicubic Sharper algorithm, which applies some sharpening to make images look their best when shrunk down. On top of that, it wasn’t a “sticky setting” - no matter how many times you selected that option, it Photoshop wouldn’t remember it, and you’d have to choose it every single time.

In CS6, although it’s still not sticky, Photoshop defaults to a new option called Bicubic Automatic. As you’d guess from the name, Photoshop intelligently chooses the best resampling algorithm for the job at hand (but you can still go in and override that choice if you like). As a bonus, Adobe has added the resampling options to a pull-down menu in the Options Bar of the Free Transform command.

You can now specify a resampling algorithm while Free Transforming an object

(Kudos to you if you got the Public Enemy reference in the title of this post.)