Font Menu Updates – Photoshop CC 2015

The latest version of Photoshop features an updated font menu for selecting and browsing fonts. We've arranged the menu to be consistent with Illustrator and InDesign, and have introduced several new features.


Find yourself reusing a font over and over again? Now it can be favorited for easy reference. To the left of the font name is a star icon. Clicking this icon will add that specific font to the Favorites Filter in the top of the menu. Very handy for referencing fonts for projects.

Most Recently Used

Recently used fonts will appear at the top of the font menu. The default is set to the last 10 fonts used. This amount can be adjusted in the Preferences menu and can go anywhere between 1 to 100.

Classification Filter

Typeface classifications can be used to filter selections. We currently have 8 classifications to sort by:

  • Serif
  • Slab-Serif
  • San-Serif
  • Script
  • Blackletter
  • Monospace
  • Handwritten
  • Decorative


Want to find a fonts with similar characteristics to the current selection? Similarity will filter all fonts installed on the system and provide matches. This features is useful for finding alternate fonts that share a look and feel.

UI Refresh – Photoshop CC 2015

The latest release of Photoshop CC 2015 features an updated interface. This marks the first visual upgrade to Photoshop since the release of CS6 in 2012. Drop shadows and chrome have been removed in favor of solid colors and outlines. Previous versions of Photoshop would display a light UI for dialogs. Dialogs are now the same color theme as the main application UI.


Large Tabs and Footers

Photoshop now features large pane tabs and footers by default. The pane tabs are used to organize and select panes within the application and act as a header. Tabs are 28px in height, which I felt were large enough to be touch friendly while retaining pleasing proportions.


Buttons and Input Fields

Drop Shadows, highlights, and gradients have been removed. Commit buttons are now outlined strokes, while smaller buttons are solid fills. Radio buttons and checkboxes are now solid fills when active. The most drastic change for this release would be the new input fields. 


Here's a slideshow comparing the new and old UI:

Lead Designer: Seth Shaw
Engineers: John Hanson, Ram Narain Yarav
QE: Jeanne Rubbo, Eric Ching, Meredith Stotzner
Icon Design: Isabelle Hamlin, Gesine Grewoldt

Guide Updates for Photoshop, November 2015

The recent addition of artboards to Photoshop introduced new ways of working within the application. It also introduced a few new challenges, like the relationship of guides and artboards. With this release we've improved guides with a focus on artboard interactions.

Artboard Guides

Artboards now have their own unique guides. Any new guide created with an artboard selected, whether from the rulers or via the New Guide dialog, will be associated with the artboard. An artboard's guides are only visible if the artboard is selected. Artboard guides are dark blue by default to differentiate them from the cyan canvas guides. 


Guide Preferences

We've also added a preference to display inactive artboard guides. With this preference toggled on, all guides within the document visible.  The default stroke style for inactive guides is dashed, which will make them appear slightly lighter than the solid active artboard guides.

Guide Layout Revisited

In October of last year we released a feature called Guide Layout. The feature could create a grid within the document that is useful for designing web and mobile apps. Artboards did not exist at the time of it's introduction, so it was only able to apply a grid to the entire canvas. We've revisited this feature with the latest release and have added additional functionality.

Target allows layouts to be placed within any portion of the document. The default, "Selected Artboards", applies layouts to all actively selected artboards. All artboards within the document are listed, so a single artboard can be selected. "All Artboards" applies layouts to all artboards throughout the document. The old behavior is listed here as "Canvas", which could come in handy if organizing artboards within the document. 


Duplicating Artboards and Guides

Artboards can now be quickly duplicated on canvas. This is done by clicking the title (Ex. Artboard 1) to select an artboard. Plus buttons will appear around the edges of the artboard. These buttons create a new artboard next to the previous one. Here's a neat trick though...holding down option and clicking duplicates the artboard and it's guides.

Copy and Paste Layer Effects and Vector Attributes

One overlooked feature of Photoshop is the ability to copy and paste layer effects and vector strokes and fills. These actions can be done via menus and keyboard shortcuts. The shortcuts aren't defined in the default settings, but can easily be added. Here's my suggestion on how to set them up. 

Keyboard Shortcuts for Layer Effects

  • Control + ⌘ + C = Copy Layer Style
  • Control + ⌘ + V = Paste Layer Style
  • Control + ⌘ + K = Clear Layer Style

Change the shortcuts via Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts...

Copy and Paste Layer Effects

Here are two rectangles I've drawn in Photoshop. Rectangle 1 has an orange stroke and drop shadow defined by layer effects. Rectangle 2 has none. With the shortcuts defined, we can quickly copy the layer effects from one layer to another using only the keyboard. First we'll have to select Rectangle 1.

We can also Option+Drag effects between layers to duplicate effects quickly, but the keyboard shortcuts allow us to work without digging through the layers panel. Keyboard shortcuts, combined with Auto-Select, are very handy when navigating layer dense documents.

Copy and Paste Vector Attributes

What about vector strokes and fills? Currently there are no keyboard shortcuts for copying and pasting vector attributes. We'll have to right click in the layers panel to get to the menu command. Rectangle 1 has a vector stroke and fill applied. Top copy and paste those vector attributes to other layers, right click on the Rectangle 1 in the layers panel.

It's also possible to copy and paste only the stroke or fill of a vector shape. With one of the selection tools (keyboard shortcut = A), right click directly on the shape. The menu will now have "Copy Fill" and "Copy Complete Stroke" listed instead of "Copy Shape Attributes." Right click on the destination shape layer and paste.


Guide Updates for Photoshop, October 2014

The latest release of Photoshop features several new updates for guides and smart guides. 

Guide Layout

Multiple guides can now be added at once to create layouts with columns, rows and margins. This feature was created with column based website design in mind. It also brings some of the layout functionality of InDesign
into Photoshop.

All input fields of the Guide Layout tool are scrubbable.

  • If the Width and Height are left blank, the layout automatically resizes to fit the canvas.
  • The Center Columns option will center align the layout if a specified width has been given for columns.
  • Guides update quickly on the canvas to give you a preview. All input fields are scrubbable.
  • Clear Existing Guides removes all previous guides on canvas. A blank slate for the layout being generated.

Presets can be saved and defined as .gds files and can be stored anywhere on the system. If there is a layout frequently used amongst a team, those layouts can be stored on a shared folder. We've shipped 4 default layouts with this feature that are based on common web grids. Defaults do not have the column width defined, so they spans the width of the canvas. 


New Guides from Shapes

The idea for the New Guides from Shapes feature came from my own experience creating layouts in Photoshop. When creating a design, it's either from scratch or wireframes. Basic shapes are drawn on the canvas to define content. Guides are then dragged out from the ruler one by one. This saves time by allowing precise guide placement to be done in one step. I've set up Control + Command + ; as my keyboard shortcut. 

One nice detail of the feature is how it reacts to Point Text and Paragraph Text. Guides generated off of Point Text are aligned right against the outer pixels of the type. Paragraph Text guides are aligned to the bounding box.


Another feature is the ability to target active paths within complex shapes. Here I have a shape with 6 smaller vector paths. Selecting these paths will render guides aligned to the paths, not the external shape. If the inner paths are not selected, the bounding box of the layer will be used to generate guides. 


Smart Guides

Smart Guides have been fine-tuned since the June 2014 release. Now the vertical and horizontal centers of the canvas will be detected when moving objects. Smart Guides displaying object relationships have also improved for better detection and relevant feedback.