Just a few weeks ago, Apple revealed the all new MacBook Pro featuring a breakthrough new interface that replaces the traditional row of function keys with a Retina-quality Multi-Touch display called the Touch Bar. We’ve been working hard to build custom support for the Touch Bar, and I’m pleased to announce that, as promised, it is available in today’s update to Photoshop.
I’ve had a chance to use the Touch Bar a bit and I find it exciting for two reasons. First, the Touch Bar is useful for surfacing a contextual “next step”. This is helpful both for a beginner who might not know how to navigate Photoshop, and for an experienced user in giving them speedier access to the desired next action. Second, the Touch Bar is useful for accessing controls in a new way, especially controls that were sometimes clumsy with a keyboard and mouse.
In designing the interaction with the Touch Bar, we imagined three distinct categories of functions that would be useful to our customers: Layer Properties, Brushes, and (true to Photoshop’s ethos) your customizable Favorites.
Inside the Layer Properties section, you can quickly access common actions like place a Smart Object, clip Layers, and open Select & Mask. Controls for changing the blend mode and scrubbing through the history are especially nice to use on the Touch Bar Retina display because of a visual preview of the result.
The Brushes section gives you quick access to brush color, size, hardness, opacity and flow. Each of these commands has a movable slider to pick just the right value.
The Favorites sections allows you to configure your own set of favorite actions. This includes any combination of actions from the previous sections, or other commands like Full screen mode, Flip Horizontal/Vertical, and launching the macOS share menu.
More details on of the new Touch Bar capabilities are available here.
It’s an exciting time in computing, bringing all new ways to interact with your content and control your device. The Photoshop team is constantly evaluating new technologies and thinking of ways to make our customers more productive. As we continue to evolve our support for the Touch Bar and other alternative input methods, we would love to hear your feedback. Please let us know your feedback and suggestions here.
To install the update, choose Help > Updates… More info here.
For a complete read me including fixed customer issues, see here.