Sean Ireton

Former UX / UI Designer

Posted in web

Photoshop. We all know it and we all love it. Some of us more than others; retouching to make yourself look sexier, or to make your website look sexier. With us, it’s the latter.

Today, I want to talk about the latest update to the Creative Cloud Suite: Photoshop CC 2014. Adobe added some cool new features and improvements that are helpful to us web designers, like Smart Guides, more intelligent TypeKit integration, improved Layer Comps, and more.

 

Smart Guides

This is one of the best new features introduced because it’s now easier and more efficient to align headlines, paragraphs, images, and icons to compose my work. Before, I had to zoom in or create new standard guides to make sure everything was lined up properly, which slowed my process.

Now, when moving layers or objects around, dainty (yet very visible) neon pink lines and outlines appear to indicate how it’s all aligning. This new feature even does subtle snapping for proper placement, which is a huge plus. Also when holding down the control/command key, these pink lines appear around objects while hovering over them with the mouse. Presto aligned-o!

 

More Intelligent TypeKit Integration

When we all asked if Adobe could improve their font system, they were like, “Psh, don’t trip guys. We got this.” So when Adobe initially announced TypeKit integration with Creative Cloud, I was super stoked. The ability to sync the fonts with a website and the desktop using current/new/without kits, was (at least for me) revolutionary.

Now in CC 2014, Adobe has integrated TypeKit within Photoshop (not just Creative Cloud), and has improved font browsing overall. No longer do you have to know the exact spelling of a font in order to find it. You can also filter TypeKit and non-TypeKit fonts within the font chooser context menu, so you know your fonts will show up when it goes to web (of course if you’ve only synced fonts that are available for both web and desktop).

Missing fonts. I hated that. But now when there are missing fonts, TypeKit will try to find the missing font on the TypeKit server, or assist you in replacing all the missing fonts with different ones instead. This is all handled with a simple dialog box that appears when first opening a document with missing fonts.

 

Improved Layer Comps

Layer Comps now lets you have full control over what you’re doing in your layers. You can update specific effects, not just all effects, their position, and visibility. So if there was a stroke and gradient effect that you wanted to toggle for one comp, and show a different position for that same object with just the stroke on a different comp, you can do it with the updated Layer Comps panel.

Layer Comps within smart objects is now better than ever, too. All layer comp options are available for that smart object without opening it in a new Photoshop composition tab/window. All you have to do is select the smart object, and via the properties panel you can toggle the different layer comps for that object.

 

Conclusion

So far—like most first releases—it’s a bit buggy. It occasionally crashes when working with multiple shapes at once, or if there are a few larger documents (about 60-100MB) open simultaneously it gets a little dicey. (Before you blame it on my machine, I’m using a 2013 iMac with a 3.4GHz i7 processor and 24GB of RAM).

All in all, Photoshop CC 2014 is a must have for web designers who like to stay current with their software, but it’s totally ok running CC if you don’t need the whole host of other features introduced.

 

A full set of features can be found here.

If you already have CC 2014 and want to check out some of the new features in action, several tutorials can be found here.