Review of Adobe Photoshop CS6

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Photoshop Review

Beautiful upgrade - love this must have program

Photoshop is a MUST have program for my work. I create websites, help my husband with his photography by making edits/enhancements, create print materials for education, create & work on illustrations/logos/graphics and more. Photoshop is a workhorse that I can't live without. (Ok that's an exaggeration, but insert the word WORK in the place of live and that's pretty much on target.) Although Lightroom does a lot of great things for photographs and Elements is good for basic graphics creation or something like digital scrapbooking, if you want to really delve into graphics work or go the next step with your photography, Photoshop can't be beat. It has a steep learning curve for newbies, but is worth the investment. I'm amazed at what I can do & create.

I downloaded the trial for CS6 (and used it heavily over the entire trial period) to see if the improvements over CS5 (which I have) are worth the upgrade. They certainly are!

I've been working with Photoshop for 14 years and CS6 is by far the most beautiful upgrade. Now with a sleek, dark gray / black interface, it's easy on the eyes and finally left that boring light gray behind (although it's still an option for those of you who like it). The interface changes aren't just cosmetic. My workflow was greatly improved by all the little changes.

Of course there are plenty of other improvements that make it worth the upgrade. Some of the things in CS6 I like are:

The ability to search layers by all sorts of attributes including name. Sometimes I create graphics that have tons and tons of layers. It could sometimes be a challenge to find the one I wanted to work on. CS6 makes this a lot easier.

Strokes on paths - something I used to have to jump into Illustrator for can now be done in Photoshop.

Improved content aware fill - this is one of my very fave things. I've needed something like this so many times and while it was introduced in CS5, it's 50x better in CS6. Want to erase a power pole that is messing up your otherwise perfect picture? Now you can and in seconds. It's truly amazing. The improvements CS6 makes to this tool almost make it worth the upgrade alone (for things I find myself frequently working on).

The new crop tool - I love it.

Dummy Latin text - no more having to hop online to grab some text for the website layouts I develop. This is a small and appreciated time saver.

Auto- recovery - It hasn't happened often, but when it does it's a disaster. I've been working for hours and forgot to save and then the power goes out or my compute freezes or whatever...with auto recovery I have the opportunity to set Photoshop to automatically save my work every so many minutes. Phew! I really like having this extra "safety" feature.

Auto-correction is improved. I used it on some photos and it made a big (and successful) difference without me having to go in and tweak things by hand.

Improved speed - CS6 loads quickly and doesn't lag as much as CS5 (on my system at least).

Better blur tools with more control - I like the new things you can accomplish with the blur tool - things I wished I could do before but couldn't without a lot of time invested.

The only negative thing about CS6 (besides the price *cough cough*)is the direction Adobe seems to be trying to go in with the Adobe Creative Cloud nonsense. There are exclusive upgrades to the program that I believe are only available to Creative Cloud members like CSS support (something I'd find very useful when designing websites with Dreamweaver), etc. Perhaps I'm too old fashioned, but I don't want to subscribe to Photoshop, nor do I want my work on the cloud. If you don't keep up with the new Creative Cloud subscription, you will be dead in the water with no software to fall back on and no way to open up your work files. No thanks.

Fortunately the buy it and own it option still exists. I can see how the Creative Cloud option would appeal to some who can't afford a huge initial outlay for Adobe software, those who want the lastest and greatest right away or who work in a lot of different environments and need to access or share created materials more easily. It just doesn't appeal to me and I hope it doesn't become the only option in the future. I highly recommend Photoshop users to GET A COPY OF CS6 while you still can. It is the LAST version of Photoshop you can actually own and use without paying a subscription.

All in all, I can say that CS6 is a treat to work with. I LOVE all the improvements in my workflow and my work. If you can afford it, I highly recommend it.

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