Photoshop gets dark(er) mode for 30th birthday

(Image credit: Adobe)

Today is Photoshop's 30th birthday. And to celebrate, Adobe has rolled out a number of updated tools and new dark mode support for the Mac version of its popular image editing software. These updates coincide with Adobe offering an incredible deal on its Photography Plan, with which you get full access to Photoshop, Adobe Spark and Lightroom CC for less. 

We must, however, admit to being a little confused by the announcement that dark mode had arrived for Photoshop. The UI is pretty dark already, right? But the news actually refers to Photoshop supporting the Catalina Mac OS feature overall. So while the main Photoshop UI hasn't changed, system dialogues such as File > Open and File > Save can now match the settings and look of dark mode on your Mac (get started with our guide on how to download Adobe Photoshop).

If you're on Windows or using Photoshop for iPad, then you'll still have to keep the lights on (it seems that like Facebook's dark mode, darkness isn't accessible to all users just yet).

Screenshot of system dialog box in Photoshop

Photoshop now has three appearance options (Image credit: Adobe)

The update means Mac users now have three appearance options: Light, dark and Auto. If the dark UI is enabled, systems dialogues will be, well, dark. 

Other updates to Photoshop rolled out today include an enhanced Content-Aware Fill tool – which Adobe says has been a big customer request. Users can now make multiple selections and apply multiple fills without leaving the workspace, using a new apply button to make changes before committing to a final design. 

The Lens Blur feature has also seen some love. Now on the GPU, its overall realism is significantly improved, plus it now delivers more colourful bokeh via the specular highlights.

For Photoshop for iPad users, the most significant update that'll get creatives excited is the arrival of the Object Selection tool. Using Sensei AI and machine learning to automatically make a great selection, the tool reduces the selection process time on even the most complex of images. 

Below, Adobe's Russell Preston Brown demonstrates this much-needed new feature:

While these aren't huge updates, they are the kind of improvements that will make life easier for creatives working within the software, and show that Adobe is committing to continually updating its tool (after all, it needs to stay ahead of the game with all the Photoshop alternatives biting at its heel).

If  you don't have Creative Cloud yet, then you can sign up here. Or for full details on all of today's Photoshop updates, visit the Adobe blog

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Kerrie Hughes
Freelance writer

Kerrie Hughes is a frequent contributor to Creative Bloq, and was once its editor. One of the original CB crew, Kerrie joined the team back in 2013 after moving from her role as staff writer on 3D World. Since then she's written regularly for other creative publications such as ImagineFX, Computer Arts and Digital Camera World. After a stint working for the police, Kerrie is back reviewing creative tech for creative professionals.