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Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 New Features – A Beginner’s Guide

This is a comprehensive guide to Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 new features. We’ve also included a handy beginner tutorial to get you started with this new upgrade.

Adobe has just released its 2017 Photoshop CC update. This is a special update for the software mogul marks its 25th year in the image editing space. The update mainly focuses on making Adobe Photoshop a more integrated software that can stay relevant in the current age where sharing of files an essential part of every application.

The update includes upgrades and enhancements of most of the features of Photoshop CC 2015. The improvements are meant to make working on the platform much easier. Some of the enhancements are meant to increase the ease of learning for new beginners.

Below is a list of some of the major upgrades:

New Working Templates

This is the feature that had all users amazed by the upgrade. The new document window gives users the option of selecting starter Photoshop templates. These are predesigned templates that can be used to give you a head start in your work, or give you inspiration on what to work on.

This saves a lot of time because unlike in the past, one doesn’t have to start from scratch. The feature also enhances the learning experience for beginners. Working from scratch is quite tough. A kick start could mean a lot to a learner, allowing him/her to work on different templates thus exposing him/her to a lot of editing tools at an early stage.

The templates are of different kinds and are available for free at the Adobe Stock. They include all kinds of categories: Art and illustration, Photo, Print, Film and Video, Mobile, and Web. Each category has hundreds of templates that you can choose to work on. You can download your preferred templates to your Stock Template’ library and work on it later.

Creative Cloud Library Feature

In the current age, connectivity is a big part of web design. This is exactly what Adobe has done. Photoshop 2017 CC allows collaboration with Adobe XD. You can freely move elements and adjust layers while moving them from one app to the other.

The improvements also enhance several features of the library panel. The new Share option enables one to share any file, created an asset, font or any element. It also allows sharing of a link in which viewers can have a read-only access to your works.

At the same time, there is the option to follow a designer whereby you will be receiving updates of his/her works. This is transforming Photoshop to a more social and interactive platform that it needs to become in order to stay relevant in the current world.

A great addition to the library’s panel is the Visual search functionality. You can now search for images with visual similarity on Adobe Stock. It is a good way of seeing the works of fellow designers. This is a great way of getting new ideas.

SVG Color Font, Emojis are Now Available on Photoshop

This is one of the biggest enhancements of Photoshop, and the one that has taken the internet by storm. The SVG font supports the use of multiple colors and different gradients in the same character. It also comes with EmojiOne font, allowing the use of emojis in Photoshop. Now you can literally smile in your photos.

The SVG fonts are available on your Glyph panel. This panel gives you access to a wide range of characters. Your choice is not limited to the predesigned characters; the panel gives you the option of making composite glyphs.

You can combine several characters or edit pre-existing ones to come up with your own glyph. This will be saved in the panel and you can use it whenever you want. Also, with the sharing feature, you can access thousands of created glyphs from other users, as well as share yours.

Properties Panel Enhancements

The Properties panel has been incorporated into the essential workspace. More properties are displayed in the panel making them easier to access. All this is in line with the developers’ aim of improving the ease of accessing and working on PS.

Layer properties and editing options are now available on the panel. The panel also displays document properties when no layers or any other elements are selected. You can also edit text properties from the panel.

Search Panel

Over the past 25 years, Photoshop has developed hundreds of tools and features for image editing. It is difficult, even for pro users, to easily access each feature. For this reason, the search panel has been introduced. You can directly search for tools, layers, menus, tutorials, tips and more. This is an instant way to access any feature.

The search is also linked to Adobe stock enabling you to easily access templates and other assets. When looking for tutorials and tips, the search engine can access adobe online help platform to give you exactly what you need.

The search algorithm is designed to easily find what you need. For example, if you search for layer editing’, it will give results on all aspects of the search such as layer merging, etc. each search result is also displayed in three categories: Photoshop, Learn and Stock. Each offers you different options on your search.

Select & Mask Tool

The Select & Mask tool is an advancement of the CC 2015 Refine Selection.

The new polygonal lasso allows you to make fine selections and refine edges. The lasso is also easily accessible and comes with several options to enhance fineness of the selection.

Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 Tutorial for Beginners

This is a tutorial meant for to guide you on how to perform basic photo editing using Photoshop CC 2017. It is a beginner’s guide and does not require any previous experience on photo editing. Photoshop CC 2017 was designed to make the learning experience simple. The platform is very user friendly. With a simple tutorial, you will be able to confidently edit photos on this version of Photoshop.

This tutorial focuses on familiarizing the learner with the user interface, and introducing basic editing elements. It includes the following sections:

– Understanding the user interface.
– Creating a new document
– Using blank and Photoshop templates
– Working with Layers
– Selection of Objects
– Cropping
– Retouch and painting
– Text tool
– Photoshop CC 2017 search tool

The User Interface

When you launch the software, the first window to appear will be the Start work space’. This window gives you the option of accessing recent files, creating a new document, or opening a file to work from. Select the New..’ option or Ctrl+N to create a new Photoshop document.

Blank Tempelate

A New Document Dialog box pops up. This gives you several options of what to work on. The window offers the option of working on recent files or creating a new document using the default Photoshop template, which is blank.

On the right side of the screen, there’s a section titled Preset Details’. It allows you to rename your document, and customize its width, height, resolution, orientation and background color. You can select your preferred design and click on Create’. This will create a blank template to work on. Alternatively, you can use Photoshop templates that will give you a head start.

Working on Photoshop Templates

On the New Document Dialog box, there are several options from which you can choose templates. These are listed on the top of the box in categories: Photo, Print, Art & Illustration, Web, Mobile, and Film & Video. Click on one of the options. This displays several templates.

To work on a template, select the template and click download. It will be saved to your stock photo, and from there, you can click open to start working on. There are hundreds of templates of different kinds ranging from brochures, art pieces, scenic animations, etc. If undecided you can select any and click the Preview’ button.

The advantage of Photoshop templates over blank ones is they allow you to get started on a project much more quickly.

Woking area

Opening the template takes you to the working space. at the center you have your template, on the left the toolbar, which contains editing features. On the top part, the menu bar and on the right, different panels such as color and layers.

Working with Layers

Understanding how to handle layers is the foundation of using PS. Think of layers as glasses stacked on one another. Once you opened your template it became the default layer that you are working on. This is visible in the layers’ panel, located on the right side of the screen.

To create a new layer go to the menu, Layer> New Layer. Click the new. Also, each item you create or work on the screen creates a new layer of its own. Another way of creating a new layer is by duplicating an existing one. This can be achieved by right clicking on the desired layer, and selecting duplicate.

Arrangement of layers: The layers are organized in a manner that the top most layer in your list is also the top most layer of your photo. You can change this by dragging layers up and down on the layers panel. At the end of your work, you can merge layers to create a single file

The advantage of this is that you can work on each element separately without affecting other parts. Each layer has its own unique properties that can be edited. To do this go to Menu> Layers:

From this point, you may take one of the following approaches, editing a photo, or creating one. Both these tasks require using different items in the tool bar. The next section explores the various editing features you need to understand in order to edit a photo.

Selection tools

These come in handy when editing images. You can make changes to the selected part without affecting the rest of the document. There are two main selection tools at your disposal. The marquee selection and the lasso tool.

The marquee selection tool is used to make selections in regular shapes. It gives you the option of making rectangular or elliptical selections. The marquee selection tool can be accessed on the top most part of the tool box. Clicking on the icon gives you the option of rectangular, elliptical, single row or a single column.

The Lasso selection is a freehand selection tool. This is specifically useful in selecting foreground images for cropping. The selection is by drawing free hand. The lasso tool can be accessed on the second row of the tool box. Clicking on the icon gives you several options; the plain Lasso tool, Polygonal Lasso tool, and Magnetic Lasso tool.

The polygonal lasso tool creates customized polygonal shapes by clicking on several points and so fixing each vertex point. The magnetic lasso tool works by fixing points on images with the difference that each curve adapts to the color shape and gradient seen in the picture.

There’s also the option of automated selections. These include the quick selection tool that selects the parts of the object on which you brush on. The other tool is the magic wand selection tool. This selects in one shot all that has a very similar color from one point to the other.

Both marquee and lasso selections can be moved by clicking and dragging the selected part. You can also rotate, invert and make any other changes to the selected part.


The cropping tool allows you to remove part of the image. It is located below the lasso tool. The default setting of the crop tool is to make a rectangular selection. You can, however, employ the election tool in cropping to create an image of any shape.

Retouch and painting tools

These tools are important in creating images. It includes brushes, clones, eraser, fill tool, sharpen/blur tool, and healing tool. They are located in the mid section of the tool box, and the image icons resemble the tool function.

The brush tool is one of the commonly used tools. You can adjust the texture and size of the brush. The color of the paint can also be changed, all under the brush icon. To erase any errors, you can use the eraser tool.

Sharpen/Blur tool

This allows you to create more focus on an object. For example, you can sharpen blur the background to make the foreground stand out. This can be accessed on the mid section of the of the tool box.

Text tool

This allows you to add text to an image. You can access this by clicking on its icon that resembles a cursor. Create a text box by clicking and dragging the preferred area. This creates a text box in which you can type your text. The tool comes with several font choices. In this version, you can also add emojis in the text box.

Search tool

This is a new feature. You can search for any tool, or function in the search bar. This will give you ease of accessing any tool. You can also search for tutorials on the use of any tool.

Simply go to Edit > Search or Use Ctrl + F to bring up the search tool:

Type anything you like to search and the result will be shown on the panel:

With this, you are equipped to start using Photoshop in basic photo editing. The best way to learn is to work on several images. Try using new tools and experimenting with different elements. That is the best way of improving your Photoshop skills.

Have you been using the Photoshop CC 2017 new features for a while? Share your experience & opinions via the comment section below!

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