The first big update to Adobe CC came in November 2019, but in late June 2020 we saw another update. Here are some of the new features and functions.
Like most responsible companies, Adobe has tried to figure out how they can help in these troublesome Covid-19 times, especially to make working from home even easier. A nice example is allowing students free access to Adobe CC in place of their schools in-classroom licenses, at least until July 6. But this might be extended since we know that the pandemic is far from over.
Something new, some things improved
We will focus this short review on the classic cornerstones of Adobe CC – Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign. But there is an almost overwhelming range of applications in the complete Creative Cloud suite, so we will only highlight some of the news in other apps.
A subscription gives you access to Photoshop for desktop and iPad, and there are some improvements for the iPad version. Photoshop iPad will now fetch and activate fonts automatically. Photoshop in general has some improvements, for example the Select function has been much enhanced to be faster and more precise. The presets have been re-organised to be more intuitive and easy to use. There is a new Object Selection tool to automate complex selections. The Lens Blur has been improved to give a more natural and realistic look. And the Content-Aware Fill has been improved to let you fill multiple areas in one go.
InDesign has some new nifty features, especially for teamwork and proofing. Share for Review makes it fast and easy to share designs to the web and manage feedback directly within the app. So if the customer/print buyer have InDesign you don’t need to manage proofing via Acrobat PDFs. And just like Photoshop fonts will now be fetched and activated automatically. Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) can now be used directly in InDesign. Vertical rules (lines) can now be inserted between columns, and will automatically scale to fit – nifty and sought after for quite a while. And finally –OpenType variable fonts are supported, at least for Roman fonts. Using OpenType variable fonts you will have the equivalent of many individual fonts packaged into one single font file, which in turn can be manipulated in various ways.
Illustrator is now better integrated with Cloud Documents, and you can access them directly from the home screen. It’s easy to track version history and revert if needed. The documents are saved automatically and fast. The canvas area is now allowed to be a hundred times larger than before for large-format projects like billboards and bus wraps. Realtime rendering has been improved to be faster and not show objects as outlines. Artboards can be copied and pasted between documents. The Free distorts tool now let you modify shapes freely through a bounding box, which makes it easier to edit without the need to reset. Finally there is now an improved function to reduce document corruption. If documents get damaged they will automatically be repaired and recovered if possible.
One of the latest apps from Adobe is XD for website and mobile app design was released late 2017 (a baby compared to Illustrator released in 1987). Adobe XD is now a stable product designed from the start to operate in a collaborative environment through the cloud. A beta version of the latest version of Adobe XD is up for testing using the new feature called Collaboration with Coediting. This makes it possible to work on the very same document simultaneously as a team.
Adobe Premiere video editing software users can now use, save, organise and share audio assets directly from the Creative Cloud Libraries panel. Adobe Spark, an online and mobile design app, now also uses the Creative Cloud Libraries.
Adobe Creative Cloud can integrate with many collaboration tools like Teams and Slack to help you be more productive and connect to teams.
Improved collaboration seems to be a theme for Adobe, and that sits well in these strange times of Covid-19 lockdowns.