Adobe has just announced the latest round of updates to the Creative Cloud (CC), their suite of design apps. Since they switched to a subscription model, they’ve been pushing out smaller, incremental updates every year rather than doing a massive overhaul every four or five years.
This year’s update is relatively small, with a focus on emerging technologies like VR. For most people, there won’t be any major new features to play with; just some nice refinements.
In this article, I’m going to flag the biggest updates in Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, and Premiere Pro CC. For the time being, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom hasn’t been updated.
Photoshop CC 2017
Photoshop CC 2017 gets no major new features, but instead, gets some small changes. In particular, it’s now more closely integrated with Adobe Stock so you can always find the image you need for your cool projects.
The most interesting new feature, especially for people just learning Photoshop, is the powerful new search tool. Clicking on the Search icon (or pressing the keyboard shortcut Command + F (Mac) or Control + F (Windows)) brings up the Search tool. You can search UI elements such as tools and menu items, documents, help and tutorials from Adobe, Stock assets, and more, all from the one place. Search works both in documents and when you’re at the New Document screen.
As well as Search, Adobe has added some smaller updates:
- Rather than starting from a blank canvas, you can now use one of hundreds of Adobe Stock templates in your projects.
- The Polygonal Lasso Tool is available in the Select and Mask workspace.
- Photoshop now supports OpenTypeSVG fonts. Trajan Color Concept and EmojiOne font are included at launch.
- Face-Aware Liquify can target each eye individually.
- The Properties panel shows the Document Properties when nothing else is selected.
- Adobe Camera RAW supports pressure sensitive input devices.
- And mseveral more smaller features.
Illustrator CC 2017
The biggest change in Illustrator CC 2017 is the fresh new interface. It’s been due a refresh for a while. Now it sports a “flat, modern” look that Adobe promises is “easy on the eyes”. All the tools and panels have new icons. It fits in much better with the rest of the Creative Cloud.
As well as the new coat of paint, there are some new features:
- Like with Photoshop, you can now use Adobe Stock templates in Illustrator.
- New Type objects are automatically filled with placeholder text; they have the same text settings as the previously created type object.
- Text placed from a file can now be placed inside a path or shape.
- The Font menu has been given a major overhaul. You can now favorite different fonts, or filter them by style like Serif, San Serif, and so on. Visually similar fonts will also get returned.
- A few related new features make it easier than ever to draw pixel art.
- And much more.
Premiere Pro CC 2017
Premiere Pro CC 2017 gets the best of the updates in this year’s release with two major new features: team collaboration and VR support.
If you’re using an enterprise version of Premiere Pro, you get access to the Team Projects beta. Editors and motion graphics artists can collaborate on a single project using Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, and Prelude CC. There’s version history, smart conflict resolution, and the all the other features you’d expect in a collaborative app. For more info, check out Adobe’s website.
High-quality virtual reality is really only a few years away and Premiere Pro now offers all the tools you need for putting together virtual reality content. It will auto-detect what format your VR footage is and select all the correct settings so you don’t have to over-think things. There’s a full rundown of the new workflow on the Adobe site.
Like Photoshop and Illustrator, Premiere Pro gets a load of smaller features:
- Visual keyboard shortcut mapping so you can learn all the keyboard shortcuts.
- Open caption support.
- Better Lumetri color tools so you’ve more control over your footage than ever.
- Control over Live Text Templates in Premiere Pro so you don’t have to constantly jump to After Effects when working on dynamic graphics.
- Significantly improved audio processing courtesy of Adobe Audition’s toolset.
- Improved GPU and Apple Metal Support.
- A lot more.
Best of the Rest
The Creative Suite is massive with over thirty different apps available. Outside of the big apps, there’ve also been some interesting updates.
- Photoshop Fix is now available on Android phones. It’s been available on iOS since last year.
- Reuters’ entire catalog is now available in Adobe Stock so you license news and celebrity images for your work.
- Project Felix is a new tool for easily combining 2D and 3D elements to create product mockups and screen renderings.
Go Update Now
If you’re a Creative Cloud subscriber, many of the latest updates are available now through the Creative Cloud Installer app. You can go and update them now.
What do you think of the new updates? Let us know in the comments.