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Adobe is announcing updates to several Creative Cloud desktop and mobile applications this morning. The changes are designed to speed up the editing process and to make working between applications across various platforms more seamless.
Adobe XD has stolen the Creative Cloud spotlight this year with frequent updates and a design fund initially targeted at the app’s audience. June’s release adds features initially previewed to us in May.
The first addition is called fixed elements, which Adobe says was one of their most requested features. Users will be able to lock design objects to one position on an artboard and layer them above or below other objects to create more visually realistic mockups. Also new are overlays, content that is stacked on top of other artboards.
Alongside these headline features, private email sharing, improved cropping, math calculations in property fields, and improved support for Photoshop and Sketch image fills have been added.
While XD’s updates may seem to outpace other Creative Cloud applications, the crowded user experience design space demands quick iteration. Just last week, Apple began offering their own sessions in retail stores about prototyping apps, a move that could spark a whole new wave of interest in UX design. You can read more about today’s XD update here.
Second is Lightroom CC, which is gaining preset and profile synchronization. All versions of Lightroom – Mac, iOS, Android, Windows, ChromeOS, and the web – will have access to any presets created or purchased on any device, including those from third parties.
Creation of editing presets will also be available on iOS, Android, and ChromeOS for the first time. Profiles and presets will be uploaded and stored in Creative Cloud and sync in the same manner as Lightroom photos. You can read more about profiles and creating them here.
Exclusive to the desktop version, Lightroom is gaining a few extra features alongside today’s syncing update. Settings applied to an image can now be batch copy & pasted to multiple images at once. For users that use Lightroom’s Shared Album feature, fine-grain options are now offered to better control what information is available to viewers.
As reception to last year’s Creative Cloud-overhaul of Lightroom has been mixed, Adobe continues to update Lightroom Classic for users who prefer the older but more full-featured workflow. Profile and preset management, faster searching in folders, folder color labels, and auto-stack HDR/panorama are all being added.
In addition to preset creation, Lightroom Mobile has gained a new healing brush tool. Adobe says it features the same functionality as the brush found in Camera Raw and Lightroom on the desktop. Exclusive to iOS, a Remove Chromatic Aberration checkbox will help resolve the color fringing that plagues many photos taken at long focal lengths.
You can read more about all of the changes coming to Lightroom CC on Adobe’s website.
Last, Adobe is bringing its collage creation tool Adobe Spark Post to Android. The app has been available in various forms on iOS since December 2024. The new app is available to download on the Google Play Store.
Adobe offers a variety of Creative Cloud subscription options beginning at $9.99/mo. for a photography plan offering access to Lightroom CC. Adobe XD now offers a free plan.
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Photoshop maker Adobe today announced some cool new capabilities and enhancements for XD—which is its vector-based tool for designing and prototyping user experience for web and mobile apps—that the firm says will streamline designers’ everyday workflows.
The updates include shareable cloud documents that work across devices, the ability to flip an object’s direction search in the layers panel and more. Cloud documents are now the default way of working in XD so if you happen to go offline, just keep working on your document as any changes will get automatically synced back to the cloud when reconnected.
Shareable cloud documents: An alternative to saving documents locally, users can now auto-save documents to Creative Cloud to keep them accessible across devices and easily shareable with other users without leaving XD. Cloud documents are available on both Mac or Windows. Just sign-in using your Creative Cloud account to see all your documents in XD on desktop and mobile.
Auto-save: The latest version of your document is auto-saved to the cloud so there’s no need to manually save or worry about data loss from an OS or application crash.
Everything in one place: You’ll find your cloud documents and those shared with you right within the XD welcome screen.
Object flip: This new feature lets you toggle an object’s direction with all basic design elements like gradients, text, groups, images and vectors.
Search in layers panel: With this feature, you can easily search by layer names or filter by text, shapes and images categories.
Improvements to symbols: You can now see an on-canvas preview when there’s a linked symbol change, letting you see it in context before accepting the change.
Adobe outlined other changes too:
In addition to opening Photoshop and Illustrator documents in XD, you can now also copy and paste from Illustrator to XD with the same fidelity, as well as import Photoshop and Illustrator documents into an existing XD document.
There are also improvements to SVG export, providing more control over what’s included in the exported SVG. If you use a device with a touchscreen or you use a Wacom tablet, you’ll find improved support for manipulating objects on the canvas using touch.
They’re currently working on a number of major additions to XD that will only be available when using cloud documents, including the following perks:
Faster sharing: Rather than have to generate and upload prototypes and design specs to cloud storage, cloud documents will enable near-instant creation of designs and prototypes for review or development.
Live collaboration: Instead of having one person in a document at a time, and needing to agree who is making changes when, the introduction of live collaboration capabilities will enable you to work alongside other designers in your cloud document.
Versioning: No longer will you need to manually save out versions of documents. With cloud documents, you’ll get easy ways to make a milestone version that you can quickly access right within XD.
Design systems: With cloud documents and Creative Cloud Libraries, you’ll have everything you need to create and manage robust design systems for use with your team or organization.
For more information on these enhancements, read Adobe’s blog post.
Written by Steve Patterson.
In this tutorial, we learn how to place an image in text, one of Photoshop’s most popular and classic effects. As we’ll see, thanks to the power of clipping masks, placing an image inside text with Photoshop is simple and easy. I’ll be using Photoshop CS6 here but this tutorial is fully compatible with the latest version of Photoshop up to 2023. If you’re using an older version of Photoshop, be sure to check out my original Placing An Image In Text tutorial.
Here is the image I’m using (tropical beach sunset photo from Adobe Stock):
The original image.
And here’s what the same image will look like when placed inside text:
The final result.
Let’s get started!How To Place An Image In Text With Photoshop Step 1: Duplicate The Background Layer
Open the image you want to place inside your text. With the image newly opened, if you look in your Layers panel, you’ll see the image sitting on the Background layer, currently the only layer in the document:
The Layers panel showing the image on the Background layer.
We need to make a copy of this layer. Go up to the Layer menu in the Menu Bar along the top of the screen, choose New, then choose Layer via Copy. Or, you can select this same command from the keyboard by pressing Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac):
Photoshop creates a copy of the layer, names it “Layer 1”, and places it directly above the Background layer:
A copy of the layer appears above the original.Step 2: Add A White Solid Color Fill Layer
Choose Solid Color from the top of the list that appears:
Selecting a Solid Color Fill layer.
Photoshop will pop open the Color Picker so we can choose the color we want to fill the layer with. I’m going to use white for my background color by entering a value of 255 into the R, G and B boxes:
A value of 255 for the R, G and B values gives us white.
The Layers panel showing the Solid Color Fill layer.
And because the Fill layer is sitting above both of our image layers, the document is now temporarily filled with white:
The image is temporarily hidden by the Fill Layer.Step 3: Drag The Solid Color Fill Layer Below Layer 1
Dragging the Fill layer between the Background layer and Layer 1.
Release your mouse button when the highlight bar appears to drop the Fill layer into place between the two image layers. Your image will reappear in the document window:
The Fill layer now sits between the two image layers.Step 4: Select Layer 1
Selecting Layer 1.Step 5: Select The Type Tool
We’re ready to add our text. Select Photoshop’s Type Tool from the Tools panel along the left of the screen. You can also select the Type Tool simply by pressing the letter T on your keyboard:
Selecting the Type Tool.Step 6: Choose Your Font
With the Type Tool selected, go up to the Options Bar along the top of the screen and choose your font. Since our goal is to place an image within the text, generally fonts with thick letters work best. I’m going to choose Arial Black, but of course you can choose any font you like. Don’t worry about the font size for now. We’ll resize the type manually later:
Selecting a font from the Options Bar.Step 7: Set Your Type Color To White
Setting the R, G and B values to 255.Step 8: Add Your Text
Adding my text.
Learn all about working with type in Photoshop with our Photoshop Type Essentials tutorial!Step 9: Drag The Type Layer Below Layer 1
If we look in the Layers panel, we see our newly added Type layer sitting above Layer 1, which is why the text is appearing in front of the image in the document:
The Type layer currently sits above the image.
Dragging the Type layer below Layer 1.
Release your mouse button when the highlight bar appears to drop the Type layer into place:
The Type layer now sits below Layer 1.Step 10: Select Layer 1 Again Step 11: Create A Clipping Mask
Choose Create Clipping Mask from the menu that appears:
Choosing the Create Clipping Mask command.
This clips the image on Layer 1 to the text on the Type layer below it, meaning that only the area of the image that sits directly above the actual text on the Type layer remains visible, creating the illusion that the image is inside the text. The rest of the image is now hidden from view, and in its place, we see the solid white Fill layer:
Only the area of the image that sits directly above the text remains visible.
If we look again in the Layers panel, we see that Layer 1 has been indented to the right, with a small arrow pointing down at the Type layer below it. This is how Photoshop lets us know that the Type layer is being used as a clipping mask for Layer 1:
The Layers panel showing Layer 1 clipped to the Type layer.
Related tutorial: How Photoshop Clipping Masks WorkStep 12: Select The Type Layer
Selecting the Type layer.Step 13: Resize And Reposition The Text
All that’s left to do now is to move and resize the type, and we can do both of those things using Photoshop’s Free Transform command. With the Type layer selected, go up to the Edit menu at the top of the screen and choose Free Transform. Or, press Ctrl+T (Win) / Command+T (Mac) on your keyboard to select Free Transform with the shortcut:
Moving and resizing the text with Free Transform.
When you’re done, press Enter (Win) / Return (Mac) to accept the transformation and exit out of Free Transform:
The effect after moving and resizing the type.Step 14: Add A Drop Shadow (Optional)
Choose Drop Shadow from the bottom of the list that appears:
Selecting a Drop Shadow layer effect.
This opens the Layer Style dialog box set to the Drop Shadow options in the middle column. I’ll lower the Opacity of the drop shadow from its default value of 75% down to 50% to reduce its intensity, then I’ll set the Angle of the shadow to 120°. I’ll increase my Distance value to 30px and the Size to 40px, but these two values depend a lot on the size of your image so you may need to play around with them on your own to find the settings that work best:
The Drop Shadow options.
The final effect.
And there we have it! In this tutorial, we learned how to place an image in a single word, or a single Type layer. In the next tutorial, learn the trick to placing an image in multiple text layers at once! Or visit our Text Effects or Photo Effects sections for more Photoshop effects tutorials!
I know most of you are probably still reeling from the Star Wars VII launch this weekend (I am literally writing this article while sitting in line, waiting to see it), but the world still continues and the App Store is still open. If you aren’t spending every waking moment watching the sequel to the most popular sci-fi movie in the world (or if you are sitting in line, wondering if there is anything new to play with while you wait), we’ve got a list of apps and games that you should check out.Frank the Dillo
This app is described as miniature golf/platformer with an Arabian Nights theme. The goal is to get the adorable armadillo into his hole in as few moves as possible. It’s not quite as easy as the average put-put golf game. Frank has to navigate such obstacles as ramps, jumps, and traps. Plus, you’ll want to collect all those shiny gems on your way home. To get Frank rolling, drag your finger behind the ball and slide to aim. Then, let go to shoot. The trick is getting him to move without over shooting. The controls feature a percentage meter to help you out. This game is available for $0.99.
You may have noticed by now that I’m a big fan of the GIF, especially if there are cats involved. This app has all the typical features of a GIF maker, but adds the element of animation overlays to make things even more interesting. You can use photos, video clips, and other forms of media to combine one GIF. Then, choose from the included animation masks, effects, and stickers to turn it into a wild time. You can even search for content and import from Giphy. If you don’t already have content on your device, you can always create it from scratch using the in-app camera to record video or grab pics using burst mode. This app is available for free.
Have you ever had trouble finding the words to express yourself? Imagine if you were in an accident that affected your ability to speak. That is exactly what has happened in this game. You wake up in a hospital after an accident, unable to properly speak to anyone, even though you can understand them. Every time someone asks you a question a series of jumbled words appear on the screen and you have to figure out which of them to use to respond. Only when you pick the correct word or series of words will you be able to continue. This game is available for $2.99.Swingdo
I often find myself buried in tasks and I can’t figure out what to tackle first, especially around the holidays. This app uses machine learning to organize your to-do list based on what time it is now, and what you have coming up. It also tracks your email and lets you know if you have forgotten to respond to an important message. Instead of displaying your tasks as a long, overwhelming list, your to-dos are organized into comfortable looking time cards around your calendar, for a less stressful visual experience. It works with Gmail, iCloud, Yahoo, Outlook, and Twitter. This app is available for free.Star Skater More apps you should check out These apps have been updated
Pixelmator for Mac received a sweet update last evening, adding a trio of noteworthy features and a plethora of bug fixes. A free update to existing users of the app, Pixelmator 3.3.2 brought out an even more remarkable — and way faster — Repair tool.
It also added support for pressure-sensitive drawing on Macs with the new Force Touch trackpad and importing photos from the Photos app on OS X Yosemite 10.10.3. In addition to these perks, the app contains other tweaks and bug fixes.
The enhanced Repair tool, shown above, is the result of two years of refinements. Not only does it sport improved edge detection, content patching and color matching, but is now five times faster whilst producing significantly better results in removing unwanted objects than before.
Here it is in action.
“We even used the new Mac Pro (because it’s extremely fast and powerful) to automatically improve our Repair technology algorithms,” said the firm.
Next, you can now access your Photos library right from the Photo Browser in Pixelmator. Here’s browsing images from the Photos app in Pixelmator.
The force sensors detect how much pressure you’re applying, and Pixelmator changes the size of your brush. “It feels just like painting with a stylus,” said developers, though this feature is hardly a replacement for dedicated drawing tablets that graphics professionals use.
Pixelmator 3.3.2 changelog:
New features and enhancements:
This update includes support for the new Photos app and the new Force Touch trackpad. It redefines the performance of Pixelmator’s awesome Repair tool, and contains other improvements and bug fixes.
Now you can quickly access your Photos library right from the Photo Browser in Pixelmator.
Paint with pressure sensitivity using the Force Touch trackpad on the new MacBook and MacBook Pro.
Wipe away unwanted elements from your photos up to five times faster with the enhanced Repair tool.
Other improvements and bug fixes:
You can now repair images non-destructively on a transparent layer placed in front with the “Sample All Layers” option selected.
The app would previously stop responding on certain Macs when using the Repair tool with the document name popover visible. We fixed this.
Performance used to get a little slow when working extensively with colors and styles of text and shape layers. Not anymore.
The “New Layer from FaceTime” feature now works perfectly on all Macs.
The Layers palette no longer dims after changing the image size.
After using crop and undo actions one after the other, the thumbnails of grouped layers used to show inaccurate previews of the enclosed images. Now they’re displayed beautifully.
Sometimes, after dragging an image from a Web browser when the app was hidden or closed, the palettes failed to open. No more surprises.
Now you can open 16-bit Photoshop images exported from Aperture.
Previously, opening Photoshop images containing outer glow adjustments could cause the app to stop responding. That won’t happen again.
Small images used to jump to full zoom when zooming out with the pinch gesture. We fixed that, too.
The scroll bar of the Gradients, Styles and Shapes palettes used to hide part of their thumbnails when the “Show Scroll Bars” feature was set to “Always” in System Preferences. Fixed.
The app used to stop responding when grouping shape layers into many subgroups. Fixed.
Sometimes, when connecting a MacBook Pro with discrete graphics and OS X Yosemite to an external display, weird graphical glitches would occur. We fixed that, too.
Once in a while, the alert “The file doesn’t exist” would pop up when trying to export a file in a different file format. It won’t happen again (fingers crossed).
Now you can Send Backward as many layers as you wish.
The thumbnails of newly created gradients wouldn’t show up properly in some localizations. Now, they are displayed just as they should be.
Our own Jeff Benjamin made a little video explaining how Pixelmator’s Repair extension can be used to easily remove unwanted objects from images in other apps like Mail, TextEdit and more, here it is.
The 42.9-megabyte app requires a Mac with a 64-bit Intel processor and OS X 10.9.5 and later.
Pixelmator is $29.99 in the Mac App Store.
The iPad edition is $9.99 in the App Store.
If you are playing around with vector images and need to recolour something but don’t have any dedicated vector editing software. This article will show you how to quickly and easily use Adobe Firefly to change the colour scheme of vector images using AI. The process is super easy and has some pretty interesting methods and options for changing vector colours.
Vector images are digital graphics that are created using mathematical equations to define geometric shapes such as lines, curves, and points. Unlike traditional raster images, which are made up of pixels, vector images can be scaled up or down infinitely without losing resolution or quality which is why they are such popular image formats for logos and other content that needs clean sharp lines and edges. They also work flawlessly with printers and print mediums.
The only problem with Vector files is that they require speciality software to create and edit. While there are plenty of tools around they can be expensive and have a rather steep learning curve to master the basics. This is where Adobe Firefly aims to simplify things. Using Adobe Firefly – Recolour Vectors, you can quickly and easily change the colours and colour theme of vector image files.
How do you Recolour Vector Images with Adobe Firefly? Adobe Firefly Vector Recolour.
This will take you to the main page where you can upload your SVG file. Sadly this is the only file format that works with Adobe Firefly Recolour but there is a good reason for that which we explained earlier. Recolouring different file formats would have far less desirable and quality results. It’s just the nature of the beast.
Now that you have uploaded your file you’ll be able to start recolouring. So enter the colour scheme you want to achieve for your image. Sometimes really descriptive requests work well, while others keeping things simple works better. You’ll need to experiment a little.
On the next page, you’ll be given quite a few more colour options that you can play with and some extra options under the Harmony heading. The options under the Harmoney heading change the way colours are replaced giving slightly different effects. You’ll need to experiment with these because they do vastly different things and don’t seem to have a specific general rule. At least with the example SVG vector file I’m using.
When you find an image that you like the colour scheme of, hover your mouse over the image to reveal some extra colour options. This will show you a shuffle icon and a list of colours which will update the image using those colours in different ways. This option has a surprising amount of variability so it’s worth experimenting with a little.
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