​Photoshop to work with MacBook Pro Touch Bar this year

The multitouch display on Apple's laptop adds new editing abilities to the photography software. Microsoft Office will support it too.

Stephen Shankland Former Principal Writer
Stephen Shankland worked at CNET from 1998 to 2024 and wrote about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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MacBook Pro's Touch Bar with Photoshop
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MacBook Pro's Touch Bar with Photoshop

The MacBook Pro's Touch Bar can be used to control paintbrush size on Photoshop with one hand while the other paints with the trackpad.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple's new Touch Bar adapts to show custom controls for any app, and Adobe Photoshop will take advantage of the technology by the end of the year.

The new MacBook Pro's Touch Bar can be used for things like controlling paintbrush size or color, Bradee Evans, Adobe's experience design manager, said during Apple's press event to announce its new laptops .

She demonstrated how she could move a paintbrush with the MacBook Pro's new larger trackpad while changing its size with her other hand on the Touch Bar. And she could do this while Photoshop was in a full-screen view unimpeded by other controls.

Watch this: Apple's new Touch Bar works with Photoshop

"Thanks to Touch Bar I can get a lot more done in this view mode," Evans said. Adobe plans to ship the software this year, she said.

Apple is betting its Touch bar will help keep creative pros hooked on Macs even as Microsoft pushes its high-end Surface line to the same customers.

The Touch Bar has plenty of fans, though -- including Microsoft, which will use it for Word, Excel and other Office apps, Apple said. Other third-party apps that'll use it will include Skype, Djay, Affinity Designer, Pixelmator and DaVinci Resolve.

"So many great professional applications are going to take advantage of this unique experience," said Phil Schiller, head of Apple marketing.

See all of today's Apple news.