Adobe Photoshop turns 30 (your chance to win a 1-year subscription)

Martin Brinkmann
Feb 21, 2020
Updated • Mar 10, 2020
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The first version of Adobe Photoshop was released on February 19, 1990 for Apple’s Macintosh operating system exclusively before it was ported to Windows in 1993. Newer versions of the application are also available for Apple’s iPad.

Software programs that manage to lead an entire Industry are rare, and even rarer are programs that manage to do so for decades. Adobe Photoshop is such an application; it has become the de-facto standard in raster graphics editing, photo editing, and digital art despite the fact that plenty of free and commercial alternatives are available.

Adobe changed the naming scheme of Photoshop when it introduced its Creative Suite branding in 2002 and when it launched the Creative Cloud in 2013.

Adobe Photoshop turns 30

Adobe Photoshop is available in various Creative Cloud subscription packages. Individuals may subscribe to the Photography plan for $9.99 per month to gain access to Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Lightroom, and 20 Gigabytes of cloud storage. Users who need more storage may switch to the 1 Terabyte cloud storage plan instead, and there is a 7-day free trial for those who want to test the program, e.g. to make sure it installs and runs fine on their devices.

All programs that are included in the subscription may then be downloaded to the local system. Installation requires an active Internet connection as the latest versions are downloaded from Adobe servers when the installer is executed.

The last major version of Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop CC 2020, was released in November 2019. Adobe introduced several new and improved features in the iPad and the desktop version of Photoshop.

Here is our list of the best features of the new release.

Auto Selections improvements – New Object Selection tool

 Selection has always been a strong feature of Adobe Photoshop but thanks to the new Object Selection tool and the integration of Adobe Sensei, the company’s artificial intelligence, it has been improved significantly.

Photoshop analyses the part of the image that you have selected to identify the object that you most likely wanted to select.

The automated selection process worked really well during tests even with complex images or objects. Minor adjustments may be necessary here and there, but the automatic selection process improves the workflow as most of it is done automatically.

To use the new tool, simply locate the Object Selection tool in the toolbar and activate it. Use the selection tool then to draw a rectangle around the object, e.g. people, a car, pets, or furniture, that you want selected. Adobe Sensei analyzes the part and makes the selection automatically.

You may also select the tool in the Select and Mask workspace.

Properties Panel improvements

The Properties Panel received major improvements in the new Photoshop release. Document, Pixel Layer, and Type Layer properties have improved with new quick actions and other additons.

Quick Actions include new options such as remove background which is also powered by Adobe Sensei. It may be used to isolate objects by removing the background.  Backgrounds are not deleted but hidden in a new layer mask.

Other quick actions include selecting a subject while in the Pixel Layer properties, converting text to shapes, or trimming images.

Preset improvements

 Adobe reimagined presets in the latest release of Photoshop. Select Window and then Swatches, Gradients, Patterns, Shapes, or Styles to get started. You may notice the following:

  • Panels for gradients, patterns and shapes.
  • Modernized default presets.
  • Option to organize presets into groups using drag and drop.
  • Option to drag gradients, patterns, swatches and styles from the panel onto the canvas.
  • Live preview on the canvas to try presets.

Content-Aware Fill enhancements

 Adobe added three new Sampling Area options in this release to the Content-Aware Fill workplace. These allow you to select the sampling area that you want Photoshop to look to fill content.

The three new options are:

  • Auto -- Pick content similar to the surrounding fill area.
  • Rectangular – Pick content based on the selected rectangular region.
  • Custom – Pick content user user defined sampling areas.

Other improvements in the new Photoshop version

  • Transform multiple layers proportionally without using the Shift-key. The default behavior is now “proportional scaling” for all layer types and objects; this can be turned off with a click on the maintain aspect ratio button.  The Shift-key acts as a toggle now. If Maintain Aspect Ratio is on, holding down Shift toggles it off and vice versa.
  • Convert Smart Objects to layers by selecting the Smart Object in the layers panel, right-clicking (Control-clicking on Mac) the Smart Object, selecting Convert To Layers from the menu that opens.
  • Enhanced Transform Warp give more control over Photoshop’s warping functionality, .e.g by choosing new preset grid size options, creating custom grids, or deleting gridlines.
  • Access a font’s alternate glyphs with Stylistic sets. Access the Stylistics Sets menu in the properties panel to apply these to text.
  • 32-bit adjustment layers for Brightness /Contrast and Curves.
  • New shortcuts
    • Use the tilde key to goggle painting and erasing using the same brush tip.
    • Use Alt-click or Option-click on a layer to zoom the contents.
    • Rotate brush tips using left and right arrow keys to rotate by 1 degree anti-clockwise and clockwise, or by 15 degrees when holding down the Shift-key.
  • Animated Gif format saving option added to File > Save As.
  • New Document dialog opens much faster.
  • Improved Lens Blur performance.
  • New „Close Others“ option to close all open documents except for the active one.
  • New World-ready Layout text engine option to provide correct word shaping for South-East Asian, Middle Eastern and Indic scripts.
Article Name
Adobe Photoshop turns 30 (your chance to win a 1-year subscription)
A review of the latest version of Adobe Photoshop and celebration of the program's 30th birthday.
Ghacks Technology News

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  1. Randy Alain said on March 8, 2020 at 5:40 pm

    Thanks a lot ghacks and Adobe! Congratulations on Photoshop’s 30th birthday.

    Adobe Photoshop is the still the creative app to beat though it becomes way to expensive for its subscription plans. Hoping to win and try its new features.

  2. Allanah said on March 2, 2020 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks for letting us know about this.

  3. Heru said on March 1, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    Dear PS,
    You should create the Linux version.

  4. some1 said on February 26, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    It’s like Adobe doesn’t want people installing their software legally, because when you do they fill up your computer with useless bloatware and try to make as much headache for the user as possible. While if you use a pirated version you can cut out all the bloatware!

  5. John C. said on February 26, 2020 at 11:16 am

    Dumb terminals and renting software. These are the two holy grails for Micro$oft and Adoboobs. People who drink the Kool-Aid and buy into either scheme are sheeple. There are enough freeware alternatives out there to Photoshop that paying the company to use that program is a waste of money.

  6. YURY said on February 26, 2020 at 10:44 am

    Thanks to ghacks and Adobe for the giveaway.
    Congratulations to Photoshop on its 30th birthday.
    Adobe Photoshop is the best program in its class. I hope to win.

  7. sp808 said on February 25, 2020 at 10:26 pm

    I prefer one time payment for Affinity Photo rather than endless adobe photoshop sub for low quality and unstable software.

  8. Vietnam Rum said on February 25, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Thanks ghacks and Adobe for the giveaway for 1-year subscription of Adobe Photoshop.


  9. Kai said on February 25, 2020 at 6:29 am

    My shop uses CS6 and even older versions, on PCs that are offline. We have no need for Adobe’s cloud subscriptions, or to update, as we like the older/local software much better.

  10. Anonymous said on February 24, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    We are getting rid of everything Adobe at my workplace and going with alternatives.

  11. Matt Parker said on February 24, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    I wish there could be a Linux version. Gimp is awful.

    1. Anonymous said on February 24, 2020 at 7:12 pm

      Ever tried Krita?

      1. Ryan F said on February 27, 2020 at 4:18 pm

        Wow, I never heard of Krita before but it looks sweet. (Also I’m a sucker for cute things and that mascot is too much to resist…) Definitely trying it tonight. Thanks for sharing!

      2. FreddieDazzFreeloader said on February 28, 2020 at 7:02 pm

        I’m using Gimp for what Gimp is good at and Krita for what Krita’s good at and I’ll even pull 2D images into Blender 3D, assigned as an Image texture to a plane, and work that with Blender’s compositing nodes and other features to get all sorts of effects. And that includes making use of Inskape’s trace bitmap to color scan(256 Colors) into a 256 paths SVG that’s created from that bitmap to SVG scan and import that into Blender and work with that in Blender 3D for effects that can not be easily done with only 2D software.

        Blender 3D is like actually having your own virtual back lot and 2D/3D animation production studio. And that’s all opensource and very non subscription based for the most part and no real EOL for any versions, Hardware/Driver/Graphics API requirements permitting.

        Now for stacking/unstacking and manipulating 256 imported SVG/Paths(Curve Objects in Blender 3D) and their materials settings I’ve had to hack together some Python based Blender Editor Mode UI code snippets that I can cut and paste into the Blender text Window and actually execute that Python script with a button click.

        So I can work with those and a scanned into SVG/Path representation that looks darn close to the actual image that was scanned but has been reduced to 256 individual color planes(Blender 3D curve Objects) with cutouts. And that stack of curve objects, if viewed from the top of the stack, looks like that exact image that’s been reduced to a 256 color pallet. And all sorts of fun lighting/shadow/other effects under Blender 3D on those 256 individual color planes/paths(Curve Objects in Blender 3D) that also can be transformed into 3D objects by converting those imported, SVG into Blender 3D, curve objects to mesh opjects and really the fun can be endless and lighting/shadow and other effects that are impossible in most 2D graphics packages.

        And none of that software cost any subscription fees or up front purchase price. And I’d much rather spend my money on the hardware than have it all taken up by software rental expenses that are a never ending pay to play sort of affair.

  12. Yuliya said on February 24, 2020 at 1:31 pm

    The version you get from The Pirate Bay seems superior to this one imo, as it does not come with the rest of adobe bloatware (updater and other crap running in background), it’s just the Photoshop. Been using it for years, 10/10 would download again.

    1. Yuliya said on February 24, 2020 at 1:33 pm

      Also adobe is a disgusting company, while Flash was still somewhat relevant these suckers went after everybody pointing towards the actual Flash package. They wanted everybody to use their downloader crap, forcing pups on your computer as well, and other background tasks.
      To Hell if I’ll ever give adobe any incentive, let alone money.

  13. Ânonymous said on February 24, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    I’ve got lifetime subscription if you get my meaning ;)

  14. Mountainking said on February 24, 2020 at 12:27 pm

    Apporeciate the honesty and being upfront about sponsored contents.

    1. Muhammad Haziq Rifa'ie said on February 26, 2020 at 7:25 pm

      if it was not for money there will be no news like that, i wonder is it martin action, adobe’s or softpedia one.
      so it’s great because i can’t find this at Albertson’s

    2. wabash said on February 25, 2020 at 9:51 am

      if it was not for money there will be no news like that, i wonder is it martin action, adobe’s or softpedia one.
      so it’s great because i can’t find this at Albertson’s

  15. Jeff said on February 24, 2020 at 12:09 pm

    A subscription to a software can never be truly called a giveaway. More like a 1 year free trial.

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