Here is a list of things I noticed during a first test drive of the Photoshop CS6 Beta. This is a mixture of feature requests, bug reports and general observations. I just typed this up as I went along. I'm sorry I don't have enough time to file proper bug reports and feature requests, but I though this might still be useful feedback. These things are in no particular order (well, except in the order I noticed them), and I'm sure there are a quite a few grammar/spelling errors, but right now that's all the time I can invest, sorry.
And even though this all sounds really negative (I basically just listed the annoying points since a list of good thigs probably isn't very useful), I am quite happy with the new version, congratulations to the team! I love the cat graphic on the splash screen by the way.
All these things were tested on a MacBook (2008 I think) with OS X Snow Leopard and 8 GB of RAM. So here you go:
- Ctrl+Some Key still not available as shortcuts (e.g. Cmd+H Hide Photoshop, Ctrl+H Hide Extras)
- The aesthetic merit of the font choice in the about box/splash screen is debatable
- Despite all the vector enhancements, Spacebar+drag still doesn't work in the Pen tool like it does in other Adobe applications
- Paragraph and Character style definitions apparently cannot be shared with InDesign or Illustrator so far. There is no way to link to external style definition files, and no way to import or export. Since all these applications use the same text engine, this seems like a missed opportunity, requiring a lot of duplicate work on the user's part (not as much as in previous versions, though)
- The title bar of the document window uses the system title bar and thus does not match the overall interface skin. If that is set to dark (which is the default), it calls attention to itself.
- There is no way to hide the filter bar in the layers panel, making it waste screen space on laptop screens when it is not needed.
- The Warp option in Free Transform was updated to add GPU acceleration, which is great. That would have been a perfect opportunity to make the number of subdivisions user-adjustable.
- There are lots of new vector features. This would have been a perfect opportunity to integrate After Effects' mask and shape system (including effects like repeaters), resulting in increased compatibility for importing Photoshop files into AE. Besides, all enhancements would pay off double since two applications would benefit from them. That would also have added the option to feather vector shapes for use as soft vector masks (Photoshop's mask feather function seems to perform a blur and thus is significantly slower, plus it applies globally to all paths in the mask). Still, the vector features are very well implemented, even though Fireworks still seems to have a slight edge.
- The red "active" indicator on the layers panel filter bar calls attention to itself. The entire application uses grayscale icons. While I can see why this indicator needs to be obvious, I think that is too much.
- The "Scripted Pattern" function is not very intuitive to use without any kind of preview. Also, it is not really clear how to create your own scripts, edit the existing ones or even just adjust parameters.
- The Fill dialog in general takes too many clicks with that popup menu. Using icons or something similar would save a lot of mouse miles/clicks.
- There is still no way to directly load 50% gray as the foreground/background color. In photo retouching etc., this comes up a lot. Adding a little icon to the color picker in the toolbox with the ability to assign a shortcut would help a lot. Waiting for this since version 5 or so...
- Curves still doesn't support editing the layer's alpha channel nor LAB mode (at least not without converting the entire document to LAB mode or a smart object).
- The "File Info" is still the ugly inefficient Flash monster where everything takes ten times as long to do than it did with the old dialog it replaced a few versions back (mouse wheel doesn't work on tabs, text editing shortcuts are different/don't work, tabs instead of the InDesign-like list of categories and many more). Photomerge is still ugly, but at least it doesn't have such major usability issues. The interface is inconsistent enough already, why do these have to be Flash?!
- Shift key during canvas rotation to constrain angles still only works when using the tool but is ignored when using a multitouch pad gesture
- The minimum size on the new "Adjustments" panel is larger than necessary
- There still seems to be no option to not hide all panels when activating another application, causing that visual jump and slight desorientation every time
- That new pen tool cursor is huge
- There are still no Lightroom-like info bubbles or indicator icons (like LR's process version upgrade warning) for entering Quick Mask, toggling Softproofing etc. that would alert the user when accidental keystrokes
- Photoshop doesn't seem to ask the user to automatically migrate settings and presets from any previous version on first launch. The migrate presets function does nothing (don't know if this is an issue related to the computer I am testing this on).
- The "Blend RGB Colors using Gamma" feature in the color management settings still seems to be global and not per document (not 100% sure, though). This results in files being displayed differently on different computers, which is not a good idea.
- The line-based warping in "Adaptive Wide Angle" is only available within that filter as far as I can tell. This is a missed opportunity IMO. Being able to specify arbitrary source and destination paths to that algorithm would make for a very powerful warping tool.
- I'm not exactly sure what caused it, but I managed to accidentally disable path anti-aliasing and I can't seem to find a way to switch it on again. No combinations in the GPU preferences under "Performance", including switching GPU acceleration off completely, restored it. This is either a bug or a usability problem. Personally, I think the option to antialias paths and guides should be located in the View menu, not hidden in the GPU preferences.
- In the settings for a LUT adjustment layer, clicking any of the radio buttons will automatically pop up a file selection dialog, even if my intention was to use one of the presets. That file selection dialog also gives me no clue which file formats are supported (i.e the regular format popup is missing).
- Both Cmd+Space and the zoom tool itself now seem to behave identically. There is no more way to drag a box, except to switch off "Scrubby Zoom" altogether. Using both methods in parallel (as I would prefer) is unfortunately no longer possible as far as I can tell.
- The brush cursor in Liquify is always dark, making it hard to see on black surfaces for instance. "Advanced Mode" is also off by default. Since the entire thing is in a huge dialog box (a solution like Blur Gallery's interface would seem like a better way to do this by the way), there is no real benefit to hiding these controls since there are no UI elements that would benefit from the additional space. It just requires an additional click.
- The Liquify preview flickers as I am typing this in a TextEdit window that is floating above it
- Select > Color Range would benefit from buttons with icons for preview mode instead of a dropdown. Same for Curves (tabs would probably be best in that case, but at least we have the shortcuts for now)
- The "Sample all Layers" option vanishes when switching the Patch tool from "Content Aware" to "Normal"
That's it for now, thanks for listening.