Top 15 New and enhanced features of Photoshop CC 2019 (Version 20)

Every iteration of Photoshop comes with a set of new and enhanced features. Some iteration may bring minor changes or bug fixes and some iteration may roll out exciting new features and major changes. As a continuation, last year in October 2018 adobe released the latest version of their Photoshop line up. This new version (Photoshop CC 2019 v20) brings a lot of new changes and enhancement over the last version (Photoshop CC 2018 v19). This version also include many UI and usability improvements, some of which are based on community requests.

However, we have created a list of 15 most notable updates in Photoshop CC 2019. In the later section we will discuss these new features in details. For more information about all the updates and improvements, we highly recommend check out their official release notes from Adobe.

All new Content-Aware Fill

Content aware fill - medium

If you are a year old user of Photoshop, you might probably hear about this feature. In the previous version of Photoshop, a similar feature was introduced under the fill option. But the new Content-Aware Fill option has couple of new tricks on its sleeve.

With the help of Adobe’s AI technology called “Adobe Sensei”, this newly created option features a wide range of options and customizability. Although it’s not as fast as the previous content aware option but it is more accurate and can do a whole lot more with ease.

To see what is new in this feature, go to Edit > Content-Aware Fill. You will see a whole new workspace dedicated to this feature. Here are what is in the work space:

Live preview: As you make changes, they will be displayed at full resolution in the preview screen, at the right side of your image.

Lasso and Polygonal Lasso tools, to modify your selection.

Sampling zone and sampling brush. You can select the parts of your image to be excluded from the IA sampling. This way, you will avoid any wrong element to be considered for filling the selection.

Four adaptation settings: color adaptation, rotation adaptation, scale, and mirror. They help the IA adapting to color or texture gradients, perspectives, and curved patterns. The mirror setting creates a flipped image.

This is not perfect though. If you play with it for a while, you will notice that it has errors. AI can’t always cope with the complexity of the subject. However, removing or adding subject in the image is just as simple and fast as playing with the sampling zone and the adoption settings.

Symmetry mode

This feature was introduced in the earlier version of the Photoshop but as a technology preview. Now it’s been implemented permanently as a regular feature in this 2019 version. Simply select the brush tool and you will see a butterfly icon on the upper toolbar whereas in the earlier version of the Photoshop you had to go to the preferences and turn it on. Now it is already here on the toolbar.

If you click on it you will see built in presets that you can choose from (Vertical, Horizontal, Dual Axis, Diagonal, Wavy, Circle, Spiral, Parallel Lines, Radial, Mandala). Choose any of the preset and paint on it. You will see, it will paint a symmetrical pattern according to the preset. Not only paint brush, you can also activate this feature while using Mixer Brush, Pencil, or Eraser tools by clicking the butterfly icon in the option bar.

Or you can also create your own path. To do that, go to the path tab on the right side bar. Then create a new path by clicking on the crate layer icon on the lower right side of the panel. Now draw your own custom path with the help of pen tool and you are all set. Draw something and it will automatically create a perfectly symmetrical shape for you.

New Multiple Undo Mode

Before this new version, all the previous version of Photoshop have this issue. Previously, in Photoshop, if you were to undo multiple times, you had to press Control + Alt + Z (Win) / Command + Option + Z (Mac). Whereas pressing Control + Z (Win) / Command + Z (Mac) toggled the last state. Well, now with this version of Photoshop, this actions are now swapped.

With the new multiple undo mode, the Edit menu displays the following commands:

  • Undo: Moves one step back in the undo chain. Use the shortcut keys: Control + Z (Win) / Command + Z (Mac).
  • Redo: Moves one step forward. Use the shortcut keys: Shift + Control + Z (Win) / Shift + Command + Z (Mac).
  • Toggle Last State: works the same as in the legacy undo mode. Use the shortcut keys: Control + Alt + Z (Win) / Command + Option + Z (Mac).

This new multiple undo mode is enabled by default.

Auto-commit

This feature is introduced under the usability improvement. In the earlier version of Photoshop, in order to commit, you had to press the commit key (enter) to perform any action. For example, after using the transform tool, you can’t just pick another tool and start working with it. You have to commit first. This is same for cropping and text tool also. It’s tiring and to be honest frustrating at the very least. With this new version of Photoshop 2019 you will no longer be needed to click the commit key every time you use crop, transform or text tool.

After cropping, for example, you don’t need to hit enter. Just go ahead and use another tool or perform another task. Action will be applied automatically.

Framing Tool

This 2019 version of Photoshop introduces a brand new tool called Frame Tool. This tool allows you to easily mask any image by placing them into the frame. If you are a graphic designer and design broachers, pamphlet, cards or something of that nature, you are going to love this one. For easy access press (K) to select the Frame Tool. You can create rectangular or elliptical placeholder for your photos. Not only that, you can convert any shape or text into frames and fill it with images.

To fill the frame with an image, simply drag and drop any image on the frame and you are done. The image will automatically scale to fit the frame. Content placed in frames is always placed as Smart Objects so that it can be scaled non-destructively.

Reference Point Hidden by Default

Unlike its previous version, transform tool does not feature the reference point by default. Now you can easily move the items on the canvas. You have to check the Toggle Reference Point check box on the option bar in order to show it on the canvas.

Transform Proportionally by Default

Now you can transform most layer types (such as pixel layers, type layers, bitmaps, Placed Smart Objects) proportionally by default with the exception of shapes and paths. You no longer need to hold the shift key to maintain the proportion whereas holding the shift key now, will do the opposite.

Shapes and paths, still transform non-proportionally by default.

Double-click to edit text

With this new version of Photoshop 2019, you can now double click the text field to edit the text with the Move tool. You don’t need to switch the tool anymore.

Lock Workspace

Prevent accidental panel moves with this feature. It’s very common specially if you are a beginner or using tablet/stylus. To activate this option, choose Window > Workspace > Lock Workspace.

Live Blend Mode Preview

Photoshop now lets you preview every blend mode as you hover over them using mouse, stylus or keyboard. This makes it easier and faster to choose the right blend mode for your project before you actually apply it.

Math in number fields

You can now perform simple math in the number field. This works in any input box that accepts numeric values. For example, you can now type in simple math operation like 200/2, which gets you 100 and inputs that into the field. This is particularly handy when using crop tool. If you want to crop an image by 1/3 of its width, simply divide the width by 3.

Color Wheel to choose colors

Whether you are into graphic design or photography this feature is really helpful in easily picking up the complementary color. In this 2019 version of Photoshop, it features a color wheel so that you can easily pick up complementary color. This allows you to visualize the color spectrum easily choose colors based on harmonies. From the Color panel fly-out menu, choose Color Wheel.

Home screen

Home screen was introduced in the last version of Photoshop. It allows you to see your ongoing project, recent project visually and it also allows you to open light room photos. But once you are in a project, you can’t really go back to the home screen without closing the current project. Now with the new version, you can access your home screen straight from anywhere. Just click the home icon at the left top corner of the menu bar and you will land on the home screen.

Multiple Artboards Preview

With the ‘Export as’ feature of course you can export multiple artboard at once. But now you can also preview your multiple arboard at once simultaneously. Just go to export as window and select multiple artboards of your choice and you will see all of the artboards in the preview window.

New Distributed Spacing Option

You can now evenly distribute the spacing between the objects in Photoshop. This is a very handy feature, if you are into illustrations, designing or that kind of stuffs. Suppose you are working with different sized objects and want to distribute the space between them evenly, you can now do that with just a click. Make sure to select the move tool and you will see two new tools in the option bar. One is for distribute horizontally and another one is for distributing vertically. Choose tool of action according to your need.

Apart from these major changes, there are also many minor enhancements. If we are to cover all the features this article will be unnecessarily long and kinda boring and nobody wants to get bored. So if you want to dive deep and nerd yourself out, head over to Adobe’s Official Website.

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:  Photoshop