Adobe Releases Photoshop CS6 Beta

Just 5 days after we wrote about the fact that Adobe was putting the finishing touches on Creative Suite 6, which promised to be their biggest update to the software package yet, Adobe has released the public beta of Photoshop CS6, the first of the new programs to hit consumers. The beta, which can be downloaded for free from Adobe’s website (you’ll have to have an Adobe ID, though, to download and register the demo), clocks in at just under 1 GB and runs on all multi-core Intel-based Macs with 1 GB or more of RAM installed (click on the image below to be linked).

Adobe Labs Photoshop CS6

The download page for Photoshop CS6 Beta on the Adobe Labs page

Winston Hendrickson, the vice president of products at Adobe Creative Media Solutions called Photoshop CS6, ”a milestone release that pushes the boundaries of imaging innovation with incredible speed and performance” and judging by the beta, there are plenty of new and improved features worth shouting about.

Let’s take a look at a few in a bit more detail.

An All-New Interface

One of the most striking features about Photoshop CS6 is the all-new, pro-looking black interface which has been completely redesigned for a ”more immersive experience”. If you still long after the old light grey interface from previous Photoshop releases, you can alter this in the Interface section of the Preferences panel). The tool icons have also been touted up slightly, giving them a more professional air.

Photoshop CS6 Interface

The new, dark-look interface in Photoshop CS6

Photoshop CS6 still keeps the same tabbed design like in previous releases such as CS5, which is useful if you want a quick overview of all the images you are currently working on but can be a hassle if you are trying to look at two or more images at the same time.

A New Rendering Engine: Adobe Mercury Graphics

Adobe has beefed up its rendering engine for this new version of Photoshop, allowing for near-instant results from editing tools such as Liquify, Transform and Lighting Effects. Gone are the days where you were staring at that grey and white checkerboard waiting for your images to pop up on the screen – with the new engine your images will render noticeably faster (if not instantly in some cases).

Content-Aware Technology

The all-new Content-Aware technology in Photoshop CS6 means that you can get your images exactly the way you want them to without too much additional hassle and fuss. The Content-Aware Move feature (which is a new feature in CS6) allows you to move an item from one part of the image to other without any trace of it being there in the first place – no empty gaps or white spaces. And if you’ve got any empty spaces in your image, the Content-Aware Patch tool will know exactly how to fill up that gap cleanly and professionally. This is a real advantage to any amateur photographers who haven’t mastered Photoshop as it means you can edit your images like the pros without giving too much away!

ContentAware Technology

The new Content-Aware Technology under demonstration in Photoshop CS6

Mini Bridge & Built-In Video Editor

Adobe have also included a version of their file explorer, Mini Bridge, in this release making it a lot easier to find media on your hard disk drive. Another little feature of Photoshop CS6 is the inclusion of a mini video editor, allowing you to process short bits of video. It’s no Final Cut or Premier, but if you just want to touch up and edit a bit of video, it’s pretty good for that (and means you don’t have to drop a few hundred extra dollars on separate video editing software).

Mini Bridge

The Mini Bridge file explorer running in Photoshop CS6

I Want More!

As someone who uses Photoshop quite a lot, I am really excited about this update and although there’s no official comment from Adobe, we can expect the final version of CS6 to hit our shelves sometime this summer. Even if you aren’t a big Photoshop user (or haven’t even tried it yet), it is worth grabbing the beta for yourself and having a play around with it. This news piece really just is the tip of the iceberg and you’ll soon discover that there are plenty of other surprises in Photoshop CS6. Be aware, though, that beta software is never fully tested and some bugs may prevail, so don’t go uninstalling CS5 in high hopes just yet.

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts about this new release. Was it everything you were expecting? Or was just another mundane update? Share your opinion in the comments section below!


  • http://papermail.me Jacob Penderworth

    That icon — oh, that icon.

    • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescull James Cull

      Nasty isn’t it?

      • Libby Studios

        Ya… I’m actually going to change the icon, maybe make a colour adjustment to the CS 5 one, then replace it… To replace it just go

        Right click > show pkg contents > contents > Resources

        Then find the .icns – that is the icon… Remember THE EXACT NAME of the .icns – delete the old one and drop the new .icns into the resources folder, with the same name as the one that you deleted. Done! Hope that works, if it doesn’t, just put the old .icns from the trash into the resources folder, you’ll be good to go! Hope I helped!

  • Torosnegros

    I’ve been fiddling with it, and I have to admit, I really do like the new interface. Just a warning though, I wouldn’t be using this beta for anything other than curiosity, because it keeps randomly crashing on me. Looking forward for the official release though :)

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  • Chris

    I think they’re kidding about the „all-new interface“. Well, it now has four different color schemes, but in facts it’s pretty much the same as in CS4. Innovation is something different…

  • Thomas Fahey

    Can anyone on the website (appstorm) make an in depth photoshop tutorial becaue I want to get into graphic design and your site is always so informative.

  • Cs6 icon hater

    Man, if they ship it with that horrible god awful icon, I will not be using it.

    My dock is a happy place.

    Perhaps I can photoshop the border off of it, it may look ok then.

  • ghost

    i’ll actually BUY a copy when they stick in the app store…

    • Paul Dunahoo

      And IF Apple let’s them post the full version.

  • Tim

    I have changed the CS suites icons since CS3. Those were the nicest ones. Let’s hope this is just the beta icon and not the final. I also hope they change those horrible splash screens from CS5. Making something a funky shape doesn’t mean it is designed well.
    I also don’t see what the big deal is about the “new interface”? It looks exactly the same as CS5 and 4 and 3. It’s got buttons and flyout menus and pulldown menus. The major difference is the changing of the shade of gray. Am I missing something?

    The BEST thing they’ve added, which I have made a feature request to Adobe for the past 7 YEARS!!!! is text styles. Adobe has touted that all their programs work the same and have the same interface for years now, but really, they do not. The key commands are different in each program (for example Command-D) PS does not have the same type controls as ID or AI, yet it supposedly has the same type engine. Let’s hope Adobe gets it right this time, because there are some seriously good competitive apps coming out for the Mac now that are not bloated like PS.

    • Tim

      The more I look at dark UI’s the less I like them. They strain the eyes after a while because light text on a dark background is harder to read… like the comments section of this website.

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  • https://twitter.com/#!/s0ver_ s0ver

    PS CS6 looks god damn works, and finally they added pixel snapping for vector shapes which for UI designers is awesome since there is no need to waste time making design pixel perfect.

    Also regarding PS icon, on forums one of adobe developer said this is final icon for PS, you can see same icon style is used for Lightroom 4.

    • Tim

      Pixel snapping has been in PS for a while, although it doesn’t really work that well:
      http://paularmstrongdesigns.com/weblog/photoshop-tip-snap-shapes-to-pixels/

      • https://twitter.com/#!/s0ver_ s0ver

        Yes, but it worked only for few shape tools when added, after moving or editing them it was they warn’t snapping while in CS6 works like a charm no matter what shape is.
        I spent most of time making my ui’s pixel perfect when changing resolutions for output for example. While now is peace of cake.
        Only couse of that and some few “fixed” behaviors ill upgrade to CS6.

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