Adobe makes major update to Photoshop

When Adobe made its big switchover to the Creative Cloud subscription model back in June, one of the biggest selling points was the idea that designers would benefit from a continuing rollout of new features - rather than having to wait a year to buy a new, boxed version-number. And so far Adobe has made good on that promise, already announcing new features for Muse and the Edge suite, a major update to Dreamweaver and new functionality for InDesign.

But what of Adobe's flagship tool, Photoshop CC? Well, we've had to wait a few months but the company has finally announced a big change to the image editing software. It's not so much a new feature as a new platform, Generator, which has been created to help speed up designers' workflow by automating repetitive tasks. Or, as Adobe puts it: "a technology that fundamentally changes the way people work with Photoshop for web and screen design".

Essentially, Generator is a platform that allows greater interoperability between Photoshop CC, the Creative Cloud and third party applications. Right now, in practical terms, that means you can create image assets in real time as you work, eliminating the tedious steps of copying, slicing and exporting each layer manually.

All you need do is add a file extension to the name of your layer or layer group, and Photoshop will automatically create a JPG, PNG or GIF from the contents of that layer. If you make a change to that layer, the file is immediately updated - so your folder of images will be always up-to-date with your Photoshop design.

This video shows the new feature in action:

Get the update

To get the update, start Photoshop CC and choose Help > Updates. The Adobe Application Manager will launch; select Adobe Photoshop CC and choose Update.

If you want to confirm that the update worked, choose Help > About Photoshop (in Windows), or Photoshop > About Photoshop (on Mac). The version at the top should be Version: 14.1.

How it works

To turn on the new feature, go to File > Generate > Image Assets. Then you just need to rename the layers or layer groups you want to export, and the software will populate your image folder.

A variety of options, including scaling for Retina displays and varying levels of compression. And if you use Adobe's responsive design tool, Adobe Edge Reflow CC, you can now take Photoshop assets directly into that tool with just one click.

Further development

Real-time image asset generation could be a game-changer for many hard-pressed designers seeking a way to speed up workflow. But Adobe's keen to stress it's just the beginning for the Generator platform.

Based on Node.js, Generator has been designed to make it easy for developers to write their own plug-ins in JavaScript. A JavaScript API has been released, and Adobe has published Generator and its real-time image asset generation feature as open source projects on GitHub.

Liked this? Read these!

What do you think of the Creative Cloud? Let us know your views in the comments below!

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

The Creative Bloq team is made up of a group of design fans, and has changed and evolved since Creative Bloq began back in 2012. The current website team consists of eight full-time members of staff: Editor Georgia Coggan, Deputy Editor Rosie Hilder, Deals Editor Beren Neale, Senior News Editor Daniel Piper, Digital Arts and Design Editor Ian Dean, Tech Reviews Editor Erlingur Einarsson and Ecommerce Writer Beth Nicholls and Staff Writer Natalie Fear, as well as a roster of freelancers from around the world. The 3D World and ImagineFX magazine teams also pitch in, ensuring that content from 3D World and ImagineFX is represented on Creative Bloq.