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Photoshop CS6 – what does it have for scientists?

So Adobe has recently released Photoshop CS6. I’ve only recently installed CS5 on my home computer so haven’t really had a chance to get used to that yet but I should be getting CS6 on my work computer towards the end of the month. There has been a lot of buzz in the graphic design world about the updates but as far as I can see so far, few of the changes will be relevant to scientific imaging (being mostly to do with the content-aware tool and other image manipulations that are not relevant to scientific images). There are a few changes I’m looking forward to testing out though:

The new user interface.

Apparently Adobe has modified the user interface to make it easier to keep track of multiple documents and panels. I haven’t quite got used to the CS4/5 interface yet but am looking forward to seeing what CS6 can do as I often have multiple documents open at the same time.

The ability to stroke a path with a dotted line

This is an exciting new feature for me as I very often use a dotted line over an image to highlight a particular region of interest. It really bugged me during my PhD that I couldn’t work out how to do a proper dashed line (as opposed to dots) and I finally figured it out a few weeks after submitting my thesis! Looks like this new feature will make it much easier though. For those who aren’t upgrading to CS6 I’ll do a tutorial about how to do a dashed line in earlier versions soon.

Background saving

This sounds interesting. When making montages with lots of layers it is important to save regularly but large psd files can take a long time to save and it can be frustrating to have to wait. Now we should be able to continue editing other images while saving large files. Yay!

Creative Cloud

I don’t think I’ll be subscribing to the Creative Cloud as with educational pricing it’s going to be better to just buy the software outright, but if I were looking to purchase the software for home use and having to pay full price then I think I would consider the subscription type service.

Of course, I’m also looking forward to playing with the image manipulation tools as I love to use Photoshop for design and photo manipulation as well as scientific imaging. And you never know when a tool designed for creative purposes may come in useful for technical imaging.

Are you going to upgrade to CS6 soon? Are you interested in the Creative Cloud idea? And have you ever found a use for the Content Aware tool and other image manipulations within scientific imaging? I’d love to hear from you!


3 Comments on “Photoshop CS6 – what does it have for scientists?”

  1. Martina says:

    Hello Jo-Maree,

    I’ve upgraded to CS6, but haven’t had much time to explore it yet. I’m looking forward to testing the new features that you mention in your blog.


  2. Martina says:

    Hello Jomaree,

    I just discovered that Photoshop CS6 that is part of the “Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design Standard and Teacher Edition” does not allow to set measurements, measure and record the measurement. Setting custom scale and making measurements in images is a basic function that, in my opinion, should be included in the simplest version of Photoshop. Apparently, this function is available only in Photoshop CS6 Extended.

    I wrote to Adobe and will keep you posted, but in the meantime, I am disappointed because this is a function that I use a bit at the moment.

    If you or anybody finds a way, please let me know.


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