Ten Things I Love about Adobe Photoshop CS5

I just recently upgraded from Adobe Photoshop CS to Photoshop CS5. As you might imagine, a lot has changed in four major releases over the last seven years. I know I should have upgraded sooner . . . blah blah blah.

After installing CS5 over the weekend, I gave it a quick go and was immediately pleased. Tonight I used it a bit more, and now I’m even happier. Who knows how many of these are new to CS5? Not me. Anyway, here are ten things I really like:

Screenshot #1 of Adobe Photoshop CS5
Click for larger.

Screenshot #2 of Adobe Photoshop CS5
Click for larger.

  1. The “Adjustments” panel — I can work on multiple layers without being locked into editing one layer at a time. This makes me sooooo happy.
  2. Photo filters — Yeah, so they’re not real photo filters, since they don’t work on color spectra. But who cares? It’s 2010, not 2020. At least now I can easily make a warming filter.
  3. Adjustment presets — A lot of the curve shapes and levels adjustments are now precooked. Just select the right one from the drop-down list.
  4. Nicer panels — The way to move around and resize panels/palettes is just like I’d expect.
  5. More adjustments shiz — Okay, I guess I really like the adjustment layer improvements, because I honestly can’t remember what I was going to say here. I think it might have had something to do with being able to browse the precooked adjustments. Maybe? I don’t know.
  6. New adjustment layers — Easy to get to, right there next to the adjustments I want to make.
  7. Tabs — Tabs for files . . . Up there on the top, right where they belong.
  8. Action menus — The context menus appear on each panel, and the Photoshop engineers have located most of the common actions in the action menus, making them easier to find.
  9. Workspace browser — I like very much that Adobe is customizing the Photoshop experience for various communities via workspace. Click a button and you’ve changed your Photoshop experience. The panels move around, and (perhaps controversially) the menus change. I’ve saved my panel configuration as my own workspace.
  10. Mini Bridge — Do I like this or don’t I? I’ve never used Bridge effectively before. I used the Mini Bridge tonight to find and load a file; it seemed alright.

And of course there’s stuff you can’t see here, stuff buried in the menus. Some of them are brand new features to CS5, and some — like many of the items listed above — are only new to me.

I can’t wait to see what else is new and how it will continue to improve my retouching and editing workflow.

* — A couple years ago I was part of the Photoshop CS4 beta. As part of that, I used the Photomerge feature to create some panoramas from multiple photographs. I loved it then, and I’m excited to try it out with some photos from Australia. Stay tuned.

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