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Adobe releases public beta of Photoshop CS6

Let the celebrating—and inevitable complaining—begin: Adobe has announced the public beta of Photoshop CS6, the latest and greatest version of its flagship photo editing program. The first big update of the product in about two years, CS6 has been overhauled with a new interface that now sports a customizable background color and redesigned icons. There will of course be much gnashing of teeth from those who don’t like change, but the look does feel more current, in my opinion.

Available as a free download (Mac or Windows) from the Adobe Labs site, the beta requires online registration activation and at least 2GB of free disk space on the Mac, or 1GB in Windows XP or 7. It includes features from both the standard and extended versions of Photoshop that will ship this spring, such as two new tools that take advantage of the very cool content-aware technology Adobe debuted in CS4, Content-Aware Move and Content-Aware Patch. Other cool improvements include a revamped crop tool, the ability to migrate presets (as well as import and export them), improved raw image processing, and a new Blur Gallery that allows you to add Tilt-Shift, Iris, and Field blur effects easily.

For a complete list of new features, check out the installation and feature notes for the Photoshop CS6 beta, and for a great hands-on take, don’t miss Lori Grunin’s post at our sister site, CNET Crave.

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<p>Janice Chen is an editorial consultant and has been covering technology for over two decades. Serving as editor in chief at CNET and Computer Shopper magazine for many years, she oversaw product coverage for the CNET and ZDNet websites. She has appeared on most of the major morning TV news programs and was featured weekly on CNN Headline News’ Hotwired segment recommending personal tech ranging from digital cameras to notebook PCs. Prior to that, she appeared with Anderson Cooper on a monthly technology segment for ABC World News This Morning. Quoted in numerous publications such as the New York Times, USA Today, and People magazine, Janice has also evaluated tech products for BusinessWeek, USA Weekend magazine, and Parenting magazine among others.</p>
Janice got her hands on a Nikon Coolpix 900 back in 1998 and has been a digital camera enthusiast ever since. A graduate of Cornell University, she resides in Maplewood, NJ, with her husband (a professional photographer who shot his last roll of film in 2003) and their two daughters. </p>

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