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Adobe releases Photoshop CS6 Public Beta

By dpreview staff on Mar 22, 2012 at 04:01 GMT

Adobe has released a public beta version of Photoshop CS6, the industry standard image editing software. Available immediately for free download from Adobe Labs, it introduces a complete redesign of Photoshop's user interface along with auto and background save options. Other headline features include Content-Aware Patch and Move tools, additional photographic blur filters, increased video editing capability and Adobe Camera Raw 7.

Click here to download the Photoshop CS6 public beta from Adobe Labs

Press Release:

Photoshop CS6 Beta Now Available on Adobe Labs

SAN JOSE, Calif., — March 22, 2012 Adobe Systems Incorporated (Nasdaq:ADBE) today announced Adobe® Photoshop® CS6 beta, a preview of what’s to come in the next release of the industry standard in digital imaging, is available as a free download from Adobe Labs. Customers can download the beta, try out the experience and provide feedback to the product team. Packed with groundbreaking new innovations, features and incredible performance enhancements, Photoshop CS6 beta is available for the Mac OS and Microsoft® Windows® platforms. The final release is expected in the first half of 2012.

“Photoshop CS6 will be a milestone release that pushes the boundaries of imaging innovation with incredible speed and performance,” said Winston Hendrickson, vice president products, Creative Media Solutions, Adobe. “We couldn’t wait to share this beta of Photoshop CS6 with our customers and are looking forward to hearing from them and seeing the ways they are incorporating the beta into their daily creative workflows.”

New Features in Photoshop CS6 Beta

Photoshop CS6 beta demonstrates Adobe’s focus on huge performance enhancements, imaging magic and creativity tools that offer customers a new experience in digital imaging. Key features include new additions to the Content-Aware tools: Content-Aware Patch allows greater control by letting users select and duplicate an area of an image to fill in or “patch” another. Content-Aware Move lets users select and magically move an object to a new place in the image.

Customers will experience incredible performance, powered by the new Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine*, enabling near-instant results from popular editing tools including Liquify, Puppet Warp, Transform and Lighting Effects; and a refined, modern interface featuring dark UI options to make images pop. New and re-engineered design tools make creating designs faster and more efficient. Vector layers allow users to apply dashed lines and gradient strokes, searchable layers help quickly zero in on any layer you need, and new type styles let designers quickly apply type treatments to their designs.

In addition, the Photoshop CS6 beta offers all the features of Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended, such as new 3D editing features and quantitative imaging analysis capabilities. These features will be included in the shipping version of Photoshop CS6 Extended when it becomes available.

Pricing and Availability

The Photoshop CS6 beta is available immediately as a free download in English and Japanese. At installation, users will be required to provide an Adobe ID to complete a one-time login and online product activation. For information on how to install Photoshop CS6 beta visit Customers can submit feedback via the Photoshop CS6 beta forum: Users can also connect with the Photoshop team via the community-powered site:; on Facebook:; YouTube:; blog:; or via Twitter:

*3D features and some GPU-enabled features are not supported on Windows XP


Total comments: 22
Dario D
By Dario D (Mar 30, 2012)

Yay, new Photoshop. :)
I'm loving the darker interface. It's finally easier to see dark regions in images. (I'm just confused why Photoshop *Elements* got this ability 6 years ago, whereas this extremely expensive pro version of Photoshop has taken this long to catch up.)

On paper, the new features list seems pretty long, but CS6 still feels underwhelming. Consider this: I do heavy photography, digital painting, AND a moderate amount of web/interface design, and none of that is heavily affected in CS6.

I wish Adobe would prioritize these areas:
- Lots of new Filters (like a post-processing studio, lens flare studio, texture stuff...)
- Painting Tools
- A more "buttonized" interface, with less things hidden in "menu closets".
- 100% user-controlled toolbars. (example: I'd like to make myself a painting rack. Also, in the main toolbar, Mixer Brush is currently hidden under Brush. I'd rather make it visible at all times, then pile all of my unused tools "inside" some other button.)

Comment edited 4 times, last edit 6 minutes after posting
By TLD (Mar 28, 2012)

@ RKonegen - Bridge has apparently been recoded for 64bit, and definitely runs way faster. There is nowhere near as much lag as there used to be when opening a folder full of new images, and waiting while previews are generated.

@ Martin ChroustMasin - It was made clear at the Adobe Max presentations where the OOF feature was demonstrated, that there was still lots of work to be done on it, and it definitely would not make CS6.

@dbateman - There seem to be a lot of XP users with issues in the CS6 discussion forum. I am sure it will run a lot better on Win7, and it definitely needs a 64bit OS with 6Gb or more RAM.

If anyone is still in doubt about the worth of CS6, have a run through of the freely available preview videos on

By RKonegen (Mar 26, 2012)

I have heard very little of any improvements to the problems residing in "Bridge"? I own CS4 and find Bridge helpful and very annoying it is v-e-r-y s-l-o-w and continuously runs out of memory?

It seems that rather than fix this they are continuously pushing "Lightroom"? If they are not making improvements to Bridge any longer why not replace it with Lightroom as part of CS6?

Just a thought!

Martin ChroustMasin
By Martin ChroustMasin (Mar 26, 2012)

I was hopping that the newly proposed workflow for working with out of focus photos would be part of CS6, but I see they did not included in this version. I wonder why, since they already have it working. I saw demonstration on it and it was awesome result.

By INOV8TN (Apr 17, 2012)

I got a relatively authorative tip from someone who claims to be in the know. They said that Adobe still had some development work to do on the OOF correction tool and that the demos were optimized for effect. I saw a demo too and like you was disappointed that the OOF tool was missing. Maybe CS7 will be our lucky number. :D

By EssexAsh (Mar 22, 2012)

how can cs6 be the industry standard when its not released yet?

1 upvote
By dbateman (Mar 22, 2012)

What I find very interesting is that CS6 will run on WinXP. Whereas Lightroom 4 is limited and will not run on WinXP. I don't know if Adobe reconized that many users are still on WinXP, or if this was intensional so we would buy CS6 instead of LR4.
I still hope for a version of LR4, maybe 4.1 which will run on WinXP. I see no reason to excluded it.

Fred Mueller
By Fred Mueller (Mar 22, 2012)

what will the upgrade from 5 to 6 cost ??

By Hugo600si (Mar 22, 2012)

Now lets hope for a similar price drop as LR4, at over 1300 usd in europe CS5 is waaaaaay overpriced.

By Fotomaker01 (Mar 22, 2012)

The Content Aware Patch/Move should bring a whole new level of "oh boy" ethics to photojournalists. But to the rest of us may be fun as 'heck'! I'm holding out for the CSI deblur feature (CS7 perhaps?).

Mike Griffin
By Mike Griffin (Mar 24, 2012)

The content aware feature is no magic bullet. It works well in ideal situations otherwise it is obvious where the patch comes from and manual work will frequently be required to get a satisfactory result.

By Gholson21 (Mar 22, 2012)

At long last! ;-) I'm downloading it IMMEDIATELY!

By LarH (Mar 22, 2012)

Of no use if you're trying to open Nikon D800 raw files. It doesn't support the D800. The beta will probably expire by the time they get camera raw support ofr the D800. :(

1 upvote
By jimread (Mar 22, 2012)

I bought PS7 for £50 had used GimPhoto until then, wow photoshop does things much faster, but, GP has a better curves thingy and the image crop is better so is the perspective tool what lets it doen though is the printing PS7 is streets ahead.

Do I need anything else, no, I can do exactly what I did in the darkroom on the positive and then turn it into a negative.


By Najinsky (Mar 22, 2012)

Whoo hoo, free CS6 for a month or two. Haven't upgrade since CS2 so could be time for a play.

By CameraLabTester (Mar 22, 2012)

"photography related"?

Isn't Photoshop mostly about photography and then some?


1 upvote
By pdcm (Mar 22, 2012)

It used to be years ago. Now mostly not. As Ken Rockwell said you really only need version 5.5 for photography ( although I disagree; I think version 6 which has current colour management system is the one to go for).

Bill Rees
By Bill Rees (Mar 22, 2012)

Ken Rockwell is also plans on shooting small jpeg on his Nikon D800.

Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Mar 22, 2012)

ken "support my family" rockwell.... really?

quoting ken rockwell on a forum?
your are bold person.. i have to give you that. ROTFL

M Jesper
By M Jesper (Mar 22, 2012)

Or simply oblivious.

@CLT: The 'and then some' has come a long way. You're not one of those people still saying that phones are for making phone calls right ?

By toomanycanons (Mar 22, 2012)

What a ridiculous set of 8 comments to start this comment section with. CS6 naturally segues into Ken Rockwell bashing? Sheesh.

By micahmedia (Mar 23, 2012)

PS is about photography. Commercial photography is evolving and Adobe has a product that both chases that market and drives it. So it goes. Deal.

Ken Rockwell will have a D800 to do with as he pleases--will you?

I actually turned SMS on my phone off. SMS is an utter time suck. Why on earth would someone want to use a telephone to make what amounts to a telegraph message? If you're not available to answer the phone, that's what voice mail is for. If you're in a situation where you can't answer the phone, it's just as rude to answer the phone as it is to distractedly send a text message. Unless you're hearing impaired, there is no compelling reason for a phone to be other than a phone.

I have a tablet and a phone. Sometimes I even use them at the same time. I'm not a technophobe, I'm a technophile who has the latest gear. "Smart" phones are just stupid. If you fell for the marketing hype, that's on you.

1 upvote
Total comments: 22