Adobe tightens integration among Creative Cloud tools, debuts Photoshop Fix app

The company's annual Max conference debuts a host of updates to its design tools.

Lori Grunin Senior Editor / Advice
I've been reviewing hardware and software, devising testing methodology and handed out buying advice for what seems like forever; I'm currently absorbed by computers and gaming hardware, but previously spent many years concentrating on cameras. I've also volunteered with a cat rescue for over 15 years doing adoptions, designing marketing materials, managing volunteers and, of course, photographing cats.
Expertise Photography | PCs and laptops | Gaming and gaming accessories
Lori Grunin
3 min read

As we've come to expect from Adobe, among its fall 2015 updates to its traditional and Web Creative Cloud applications there are a few new completely new features, a bunch of "it didn't do that already?" additions, enhancements to existing features and a reworking of its mobile apps. Plus the continuing sad news that updates to Bridge are not among them.

Adobe didn't share much information in advance, but here's the overview; I'll update with more detail based on the keynote and hands-on commentary of the mobile apps. ( Updates to the video applications and apps were announced in the beginning of September at the IBC conference.) The desktop software updates will start appearing later this year.

In the "completely new" category, the most novel sounding tool is Adobe Fuse CC, a new 3D-compositing application that works in conjunction with Photoshop, plus a new photo-retouching app that I did get early enough to review, Photoshop Fix . There's also the mysterious "Project Comet" slated for early 2016 preview that Adobe will be sneak-peeking at the keynote that kicks off the Adobe Max conference Monday.

Photoshop Fix has some tricks for your pix (pictures)

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It looks like Adobe is rethinking the one-trick-pony approach to mobile apps as well. It's rolled Brush CC, Shape CC, Hue CC and Color CC into a single app, Adobe Capture CC, that will be available on Android, iPhone and iPad.

The company has added a touch workspace to InDesign and Lightroom, continuing its Windows 10 tablet push, and has updated the touch workspace in Illustrator, and the Design Space and art boards in Photoshop. The latter application now has a couple of photo-oriented updates, such as a photo toolbar and a high-contrast interface, and you'll now be able to apply local haze reduction in Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom. And ACR finally gets an image-navigation window.

What's new in Adobe Creative Cloud mobile apps (pictures)

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Adobe is making it easier for Photoshop Elements users to migrate upward to Lightroom, with improved catalog import and help targeted especially at those people. You'll also be able to more easily make videos from Lightroom collections using Premiere Clip.

What's new in Adobe Lightroom CC (pictures)

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Illustrator has a new Shaper tool, a touch-optimized consolidation of multiple tools and panels that takes freehand shape drawings and converts them to paths. It also supports gestures for performing non-destructive pathfinder operations, like merging and subtracting overlapping shapes. There's also dynamic symbols (which I think are just the linked library assets from the spring updates) and gets the it's-about-time Live Shapes. Adobe lists an SVG export option as new, but I think that's just an overhaul of the "Save As" method used previously.

InDesign has an updated method for handling glyphs -- my head will explode if this isn't also in Illustrator -- which is a badly needed fix for the long-outdated, clunky Glyphs palette. The publish online tool also gets enhanced.

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Typekit's localized interface and some of the new faces. Adobe

The glyph-handling update comes in conjunction with news from the Typekit folks of a partnership with the Morisawa type foundry in Asia and the availability of 20 standard CJK (Chinese, Japanese, Korean) faces for web use. (CJK fonts are no small task to work with on the web -- I explain why in Adobe, Google deliver first pan-CJK open-source font.) To overcome the problem that CJK font sets are relatively large, Typekit will use its Dynamic Subsetting technology to serve only the fonts called for by a page, and send new ones as the content changes. It now offers a localized version of the Typekit interface for searching and discovering CJK fonts.

Big news for Web designers: CC Libraries will now work with Flash, Muse and Dreamweaver. All I can say is if it stores Dreamweaver Snippets, keyboard mappings and sites in the library, I may actually be able to upgrade/migrate to new versions without losing my mind. Muse now has "free-form responsive Web design," which I believe is an Edge-like interface for working with multiple screen sizes.

Dreamweaver updates to the latest version of the Bootstrap framework (an open-source HTML/CSS/Javascript component library) and visual aids for working with it, and Flash gets vector brushes and can now export 4K video.

Adobe has streamlined the procedure for using and pooling its Adobe Stock market for teams, and Behance Portfolio is being rebranded as Adobe Portfolio, where you'll be able to post your work on custom domains; it will also be available as part of the Photography plan.