The Top 5 New Features of Adobe CC 2014

On June 18, Adobe launched the newest features of Creative Cloud, including multi-device workflows, cloud-integrated mobile apps, and as usual, some crazy new design program tools that left my jaw on the floor. If you followed along with our twitter feed and the hashtag #CCNext on June 18, you’re probably aware of the giddiness these new tools bring to us design & print folk.

There were hundreds of new features…that’s right, hundreds. Because it would be nearly impossible to list them all here, I’ve picked out my 5 favorite new tools from the Creative Cloud 2014 launch.

1. Adobe Photoshop Mix

This is the mobile version of Adobe Photoshop, and guess what…it’s FREE.

There are tons of image editing apps out there, but this one brings the power of desktop Photoshop to your tablet. Some of the coolest features:

  • Image composites: select parts of different photos that you like, and seamlessly combine them.
  • Masking: a highly versatile tool that allows spot editing as well as ridiculously simple image cutouts and background replacement. That white halo you would get when masking around hair and fur? No more. Yes, this is all on your iPad.
  • Content Aware Fill: you can finally remove that stranger in the back of your photo with the click of a button.
  • Camera Shake Reduction: Bye bye blurry photos!
  • Connects instantly with the Cloud, so that you can continue your photo edits on your desktop.

Check out the rest of the apps, including Lightroom, Sketch, and Line. They are pretty darn amazing.

Here’s a quick edit I did in Photoshop Mix, just to show you the capabilities!

I started by taking a photo of our building.

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I then cut out the sky to edit that piece individually, since I thought it should be a bit bluer.

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I added the foreground back in, and edited the sky to be a little less saturated.

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Our sign still has our old logo, so I thought I might want to see what the building would look like without it, so I can do some new sign mockups. I selected the sign on the foreground layer with the content-aware fill tool.

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Selected “Fill,” and voila! You can see below there are also pre-set filter options you can apply to each photo, if you need a quick fix.

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2. InDesign Tables

If any of you have had to create, then edit a table in InDesign, you know that doing so is on par with getting a cavity filled. But NOW you can drag and drop rows and columns to rearrange your table, while maintaining cell content and width/height. This is a small feature, but possibly one with a huge effect, in terms of time-saving and sanity maintenance.

 

3. Adobe Muse

Adobe Muse has sort of been around for a while…primarily in the beta testing stage. Now it has been released for real with Creative Cloud, and it’s crazy. If you are a programmer or web developer, you will likely consider this some sort of blasphemy. Being somewhere in between a designer and developer, I am both ridiculously excited and a little horrified. Whatever your feelings are, you can’t deny that it’s amazing.

Here are some of the most mind-blowing aspects:

  • ZERO CODING. Interface is much like Illustrator or InDesign. Draw boxes, place art files, drag & drop menus, rearrange elements however you want. Muse creates the code for you.
  • Includes special tools like slideshow-adding. Takes less than a minute to add a full-screen image slideshow. With HTML and Javascript, that could be hours of coding.
  • Muse widgets are device-aware, so there’s no excuse not to have a mobile site.
  • Allows in-browser web editing for text and image changes. No coding or software necessary, just need a username and password.

Screen Shot 2014-07-21 at 2.46.25 PM

4. Typekit Missing Fonts

This one is HUGE for us as a printer. On a daily basis we receive Adobe files that are missing fonts, so we either have to dig through our font archives, or spend time going back and forth with the designer to get the right font file. But now we can click one button to resolve all of our font issues. SQUEEE!!!!

Members of the Creative Cloud automatically have access to hundreds of desktop fonts. So now with the 2014 update, when you open the file with a missing font, a dialog pops us, alerting you to the missing fonts, and highlighting where they appear in the document.  If the missing font is a available from Typekit, you can click “Sync Fonts” from the dialog box. This font will appear in your document to replace the missing one, and voila! No more font problems.

Typekit Missing Fonts Adobe Creative Cloud

 

 

5. Adobe Illustrator Pen Tool & Live Shapes

As someone who uses the pen tool on a daily basis, this is going to be big. Usually my workflow is to roughly draw out a shape, then clean it up afterwards by rearranging anchor points and curves. Now, Illustrator allows you to preview your path before you draw it. There is also more control over curves, and converting back and forth between curves and points without losing your original shape. Big deal for efficiency in Illustration! Click here to learn more.

 

The “Live Shapes” in Illustrator will be another big hit with graphic designers and Illustrators who need to go back and edit original work. Now, if you add round corners to a rectangle in Illustrator, it’s not possible to convert back to points. You either have to rearrange the anchor points, making sure they are aligned, or re-draw the shape from scratch.

Now, you can modify a rectangle’s corners, with individual control over each corner using the new Transform Panel. The best part is that Illustrator remembers your original shape, allowing you to convert back at any time.

 

Overall, the trend with the Adobe Creative Cloud is leaning towards non-destructive editing (easy revert back to original), seamless integration between mobile, desktop, and Cloud, as well as social integration/collaboration and the ability to instantly share work with your followers on Behance, or simultaneously work on a file with your collaborators across the world.

The future of creativity, art, and design is fluid, ongoing, and not hampered by the physical space between people or devices. And I think that’s pretty awesome.

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