Photoshop CC 2018 Tutorials – What’s NEW in Adobe Photoshop CC 2018

This article’s Photoshop CC 2018 tutorials will cover the most noteworthy new features released in this latest update.

Many new features from the previous release, Photoshop CC 2017, get upgrades and enhancements.

Photoshop CC 2018 Tutorials – Everything New With Adobe Photoshop CC 2018

You can watch the Photoshop CC 2018 Tutorials video to see how the biggest and best new features work, or you can use the index below to move down to the corresponding description.

Lightroom CC Photo Access

Photoshop CC 2018 will greet you with the Start Workspace, which is very similar to the version in Photoshop CC 2017. The most significant addition is the “LR Photos” tab which gives you access to all your Lightroom cloud-based photos. These photos are now easy to browse and import into Photoshop CC 2018 using this built-in browser. Gives you the convenience of an easy mobile to Photoshop editing workflow, and it allows you to take advantage of the cloud storage that Adobe provides.

You can watch this Free Lightroom CC Training Course for Beginners if you would like to know more about the new cloud-based service.

From this screen, you can view and download recently taken photos and albums that you have uploaded via Lightroom Web, the Lightroom mobile app, and Lightroom CC. And you can bring these images right into Photoshop CC 2018 for editing.

To bring in a copy of a photo into Photoshop CC 2018, you can either double-click on the image that you would like to edit or select it and then click Import Selected.

If you select a raw image, then Photoshop’s Camera RAW will open, and you can make any tonal adjustments that you like and bring it into Photoshop after that.

Once the image is inside Photoshop CC 2018, it will no longer maintain the connection to the original photo in the cloud.

After you make your edits in Photoshop CC 2018, you can use the new Quick Share Button to send it back to Lightroom Photos in the cloud. Or to share it on Facebook or other social media.

Photoshop CC 2018 Search Upgrade

The In-App Search functionality (Photoshop, Learn, Stock) introduced in Photoshop CC 2017 was enhanced in this new update.

Photoshop CC 2018 now allows you to find, filter, sort, and import Lightroom photos into Photoshop.

You can also find the improved Photoshop Search in the LR Photos tab where you can quickly search your photos on the cloud.

Lightroom search also leverages Lightroom’s auto-tagging feature applied to your photos when you upload them via Lightroom web, mobile, desktop application, or Photoshop’s Quick Share.

This feature allows you to search via keywords based on the subject matter in your photos that you haven’t manually tagged.

New Brush Presets Panel: Brush Preset Organization in Photoshop CC 2018

The new Brush Preset Panel allows you to group your brush presets into various folders (including nested folders) so that large numbers of presets can be organized and managed quickly without the hassle of saving and loading sets all the time.

Enhanced Brush Presets in Photoshop CC 2018

Many people have chosen to use Tool Presets for their brushes instead of Brush Presets because the latter doesn’t capture all the settings important to them (Flow, Opacity, Blend Mode, or the various settings in the Mixer Brush options bar).

Of course, the downside of using Tool Presets is that you get no preview of the brush, and they don’t show up in the recent brushes. Plus, it means that all the brush preset enhancements (folders, more preview choices, adjustable view scale, etc.) are not available either.

They give you the power of a Tool Preset in a Brush Preset by allowing you to capture the associated tool and all of its settings:

No more reason to use a Tool Preset instead of a Brush Preset.

Photoshop CC 2018 allows you to convert your old Tool Presets into the new Brush Presets so that you do not lose all those tool presets you have created over the years.

Paint Stroke Smoothing

Photoshop CC 2018 allows you to apply intelligent smoothing on your brush strokes. Simply enter a value (0-100) for Smoothing in the Options bar when working with one of the following tools: Brush, Pencil, Mixer Brush, or Eraser.

A value of 0 is the same as legacy smoothing in earlier versions of Photoshop (You can disable it from the Brushes panel). Higher values apply increasing amounts of intelligent smoothing to your strokes.

The idea is that this option filters out jitter in the user’s paint strokes, leading to smoother strokes.

Also, it helps you paint or draw when zoomed out. Because document pixels are smaller than screen pixels when you’re zoomed out, the mouse or stylus can’t accurately sample them. This can result in a very stair-stepped artifact in paint strokes. Smoothing the stroke helps this.

In the tool options area you’ll see something like this to control the smoothing behavior:

Another addition: Real-Time Drawing with Scatter Brushes. Noticeable in large documents.

Variable Fonts

Photoshop CC 2018 now supports Variable Fonts, a new OpenType font format supporting custom attributes like weight, width, slant, optical size, etc.

This release of Photoshop ships with several variable fonts for which you can adjust weight, width, and slant using convenient slider controls in the Properties panel.

As you adjust these sliders, Photoshop automatically chooses the type style closest to the current settings. For example, when you increase the slant for a Regular type style, Photoshop automatically changes it to a variant of Italic.

Quickly Share Your Work

The new Share button in Photoshop CC 2018 allows you to upload and share your current document to a variety of services, including Lightroom Photos, Facebook, and more.

Apart from Lightroom Photos, the sharing services accessed through this pop-out window leverage the operating system’s sharing services. You can change this on the Mac via the OS Settings >Extensions > Share Menu. To access this feature, either click on the far right icon in the tool options bar or via File > Share…

Notes for Windows: The ability to share to standard OS share destinations requires Windows 10 anniversary edition. The ability to share to Lightroom Photos requires Windows 10, Spring Creators release.

Curvature Pen tool

The Curvature Pen tool lets you create paths easily and custom shapes intuitively. You can create, toggle, edit, add, or remove smooth or corner points using the same tool. Now, you don’t have to switch between different tools to work quickly and precisely with paths.

1 Select the Curvature Pen tool

Note: The Curvature Pen Tool is nested in the Pen Tool group. To access this tool, do one of the following:

  • Cycling through Shift P
  • Click and hold on to the Pen Tool to reveal the other tools in that group.

Click anywhere on the document to add an anchor point.

3 Drag the cursor with the mouse-down. The anchor point is not applied until mouse-up.
4 (Optional) You can do the following using the Curvature Pen tool:

  • To add additional points, click anywhere on your document.
  • To create a corner point, double-click or press Alt/ Option while clicking or tapping.

Additional options for drawing:

  • To toggle the point between smooth or corner points, double-click or double-tap a point.
  • To move Anchor Point, click a point or tap it, and then drag the point.
  • To delete Anchor Point, click or tap a point and press Delete. The anchor point is removed, but the curve remains
    (the segment is not deleted, similar to the Pen tool).
  • Press the Esc key to stop drawing.

Straight out of Illustrator with a few changes, similar to Adobe XD’s tool. This tool makes curves with no bezier handles.

It’s straightforward to create and edit paths without changing tools or using keyboard shortcuts. You can click on the curve to add points or select a point and delete it by tapping the backspace/delete key on the keyboard.

You can also go between the curvature pen tool and the old vector tools if you like.

Path Options

Pathlines and curves are no longer just in black in white! You can now define the color and thickness of path lines to suit your taste and for easier visibility.

While creating a path—using the Pen tool, for example—click the gear icon in the Options bar. Now specify the color and thickness of path lines.

Copy and Paste Layers in Photoshop CC 2018

You can now copy and paste layers in Photoshop, both inside a document and between documents, using the Copy, Paste and Paste Into Place commands.

When you paste a layer between documents with different resolutions, the pasted layer retains its pixel dimensions.

This can make the pasted portion appear out of proportion to the new image. Use the Image Size command to make the source and destination images the same resolution before copying and pasting, or use the Free Transform command to resize the pasted content.

Note: Depending on your color management settings and the color profile associated with the file (or imported data), you may be prompted to specify how to handle color information in the file (or imported data). Understanding the Copy and Paste layer(s) commands

Editing 360 Panoramas in Photoshop CC 2018

Photoshop CC 2018 allows you to edit 360 spherical panoramas.

Rich Tooltips

Figuring out what Photoshop tools do is now easier than ever before! When you hover over certain tools in the Tools panel, Photoshop displays a description and a short video of the tool in action.

You can choose not to view rich tooltips. To do so, deselect the Preferences > Tools > Use Rich Tool Tips preference.

See how the Rich Tooltips in action in this Photoshop CC 2018 Tutorial: How Rich Tool Tips Works.

Support for Microsoft Surface Dial

Surface Dial

Use the Microsoft Surface Dial with Photoshop; you can adjust tool settings without looking away from the canvas.

In Photoshop CC 2018, the Microsoft Surface Dial can be used to adjust brush size, opacity, hardness, flow, and smoothing for all tools that use a brush tip.

The Microsoft Surface Dial support is enabled by default but you can enable it through Preferences > Technology Previews > Enable Surface Dial Support.

With any tool selected, long-press on the Micorosft Dial, rotate to the Brush icon, and press the Dial.

Microsoft Dial Brush

This will automatically activate the Brush Tool unless you have another tool active that uses a brush tip.

You will see a heads-up display of brush settings: Size, Opacity, Hardness, Flow, and Smoothing.

Microsoft Dial settings

Note: if your current tool does not support a particular setting, you will not see that as an option. For example, you will not see Smoothing if your active tool is the Dodge tool.

Rotate the dial to move between settings and press the Dial again to enter edit mode for the setting.

Rotate the dial to adjust the setting value. You will see the value and horizontal bar update as you rotate the dial.

Adjust the setting in one of these ways:

Normal adjustment

(Rotate the dial) Adjusts the setting in increments proportionate to the current value.

For example, if you’re working with a brush size of 5px, rotating the dial increases the brush size to 6px. Instead, if you’re working with a brush sized at 200px, the size increases by a larger increment to 220.

Fine adjustment

(Press and hold while rotating)

While in this edit mode, if you press and hold down as you rotate, you will be able to adjust values at a more granular level.

Adjusts the setting by finer increments even at high values. For example, even for a large-sized brush, the size increases in smaller increments than normal adjustment.

Requirements: Windows 10 Only, Fall Creators release, PC with Bluetooth, and a Microsoft Surface Dial.

Paint Symmetry

Paint Symmetry is a tech preview feature in Photoshop CC 2018 that is off by default, so to use it you’ll first need to enable it in the preferences dialog.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a new button available in the Brush, Pencil, and Eraser tools that lets you turn on various kinds of symmetry (vertical, horizontal, four-way, curvy, etc.).

With symmetry on, paint strokes will be reflected live across the line of symmetry, allowing easier sketching of things like faces, cars, animals, and all kinds of design tasks.

This feature also allows for symmetry across an arbitrary user-drawn path, which is something none of us could recall seeing in a painting application before. We’re hoping to see some creative experiments once users get their
hands-on it.

The line showed only goes so far, but in reality, the line goes into infinity. Best of all it allows symmetry on a curve.

What photoshop us using under the hood is just a path. And the presets are really just paths that you can start using right away. These paths could be modified.

Paint Symmetry is available with:

The Brush Tool, Pencil, Color replacement brush, Mixer Brush, clone tool, pattern stamp, History Brush, Art History Brush, Eraser, Background Eraser, Magic Eraser, Blur, Sharpen, Smudge, Dodge, Burn, and sponge.

Updates Not Covered in the Photoshop CC 2018 Tutorials Video

Select & Mask Enhancements

What’s New:

  • The improved algorithm provides more accurate and realistic results when subtracting the foreground when
    the foreground and background colors are visually similar.
  • Improved blending of original selection and matting results (refining “eats into” less of the image)
  • Resolved bug where brushing with soft radius with the Refine Edge brush still produces a hard edge.
  • Decoupled transparency view mode settings from Quick Mask view modes. Transparency settings will not be shared between Select and Mask and Quick Mask.
  • Overlay view mode transparency settings have been decoupled from “On White” and “On Black” transparency settings.
  • Additional bug fixes.

Face-Detection Algorithm

Photoshop CC 2018 has an updated face-detection algorithm that recognizes faces at rotations/angles and partial faces better.

It also does a better job of defining the edges of the face. Look for better results in skin tones or better face protection in:

  • Content-Aware Move
  • Select > Color Range… (Select: Skin Tones and the “Detect Faces” checkbox)
  • Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast (Auto button)
  • Image > Adjustments > Levels (Auto button)
  • Image > Adjustments > Curves (Auto button)

Intelligent deep-learning-led face detection for Face-Aware Liquify.

HEIF Support and Depth Map

You can now open the HEIF image file format promoted by Apple in macOS 10.13 and iOS 11.0 in Photoshop. Photoshop CC 2018 can also read the depth map from HEIF files created by the iPhone 7 Plus (and later) camera into a channel, allowing users to create a depth-of-field effect using Filter > Blur > Lens Blur.

Properties Panel Improvements

  • Kerning and tracking can now be adjusted via the properties panel for type layers.
  • Multiple type layers can be adjusted at once via the properties panel (color, font, size and more).
  • Adobe Stock assets are now supported in the properties panel. – See stock id number, license assets, find similar,
    • Click the asset ID hyperlink to view the asset on
    • License a preview image from the properties panel
    • Find Similar images on from the properties panel

Learn Panel

The Learn Pane is targeted at beginners. Learn Panel presents Photoshop CC 2018 tutorials guiding users through basic concepts with step-by-step guiding “coach marks” and instructions.

Photoshop CC 2018 will ship with a new Learn Panel containing user-guided tutorials that teach new users the basics of Photoshop CC 2018. The tutorials are broken down into four categories:

  • Photography
  • Retouching
  • Combining Images
  • Graphic Design

This feature will show in the default workspace (Essentials) on launch based on user level: Beginner, keying off the preferences migration of previous versions.

If preferences have been migrated from a previous version, the Learn Panel will not show in Essentials by default but will still be accessible under the Window menu.

Better PNG Compression

Adobe changed how Photoshop CC 2018 writes PNG files through the File > Save As > PNG menu to use a more modern method for writing PNGs. It is faster for smaller images and more thorough for larger images (however, it can be slower for huge images).

Since the internal logic of the old and new methods differs, the wording changed, but Adobe kept the default setting so that the faster (but larger file) would still be saved out if you made no changes to them.

The option for small and interlaced has been removed because the interlaced option creates a larger file, which conflicts with the need for a smaller file. Also, bandwidth has improved over the years to mostly negate the need for interlaced, especially for smaller files.

AI Upscale

Deep Upscale uses a deep learning neural network model to detect and preserve the essential details and textures in images when resizing, without introducing over-sharpening of prominent edges or smoothing out lower contrast details.

In addition to skin tones and hair textures, the model improves the preservation of harder-edged details like text and logos.

Deep Upscale can be accessed as a Technology Preview in the Image > Image Size dialog, selected as a resampling method.

“Preserve Details 2.0” – Deep learning, image intelligent, and gives better results in most cases.

Other Enhancements and Improvements to Photoshop CC 2018

Besides a variety of bug fixes and tweaks around brush presets, there are two other changes of note that went in are as follows:

  • Improved performance of common blending and compositing operations
  • The Device Preview extension is no longer available.
  • The CC Libraries “Auto Vacuum” dialog often popped up when opening files have been removed (you can still access it manually through the CC Libraries panel pop-out menu).
  • Minor OS tweaks
    • Added a preference for Windows 10: Preferences > Workspace > Align UI According To OS Settings
      This can be used to avoid having contextual UI (popup menus and the like) show up under the user’s hand
      when they are drawing directly on the display. The OS setting is controlled from the Ink & Stylus system
      preferences. This setting is only available on devices that have been paired with a stylus.
    • On OSX 10.13 and newer, Photoshop will use a dark title bar for floating document windows when UI
      brightness is set to one of the two dark settings.
  • Touch bar changes:
    • Preference setting for “Enable History Scrubbing in the Touch Bar” has been removed as it’s no longer needed. To suppress history scrubbing simply remove the related button from the touch bar layout.
    • Added Brush smoothing button. It is available from the “customize touch bar” UI.

Additional Features

  • Paragraph-level composer switching support through flyout menus allows users to reuse assets for different geographies.
  • While pasting text into type layers, you can now use the new Edit > Paste > Paste Without Formatting command. This command strips out style attributes from the source text and adapts it to the style of the destination type layer
  • Improved document creation (Cmd/Ctrl+N) launch performance.
  • Improved startup time on Windows.
  • Improved performance of common blending and compositing operations.
  • Improved performance of the Surface Blur filter and the Noise > Median filter.
  • Improved quality of Content-Aware Crop and Content-Aware Fill on edges.
  • Collapsed font menus: The font lists in the Options bar and various panels now show all the font faces in a given family collapsed into a pop-up submenu accessible via either the mouse or the keyboard.
  • There have been significant performance improvements to the following filters:
    • Blur > Surface Blur
    • Noise > Median

For more information about this release of Photoshop, check out the official announcement from Adobe.

Photoshop CC 2018 Tutorials on YouTube

This is a breakdown of my Photoshop CC 2018 Tutorials Video. Click on the links to go to that section of the video:

  • Lr Tab – 1:03
  • Photoshop Search – 2:47
  • Rich Tool Tips – 5:05
  • Variable Fonts – 7:31
  • Enhanced Brush Presets – 9:26
  • Paint Stroke Smoothing – 13:17
  • Copy & Paste Layers 15:50
  • Symmetry Tool – 18:29
  • Editing 360 Spherical Panoramas – 23:21
  • PTC Templates – 38:00
  • Surface Dial Support: 41:57

Other Photoshop Updates

Check out my Photoshop tutorials that cover other updates:

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where is the magic eraser?