Thursday, January 25th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

Adobe releases Photoshop 19.1

Adobe has released its latest update to Photoshop, improving support for HiDPI displays and Microsoft’s Surface Dial peripheral, and extending the subject selection and masking tools.

Photoshop 19.1 or CC (January 2018) or CC 2018.1, oh my
The version number for the release is something of a moot point: depending on where you look on Adobe’s website, it’s referred to either as Photoshop 19.1 or plain old Photoshop CC.

If Adobe was using the same numbering system as on the previous release, it would be Photoshop CC (January 2018), and it was using the numbering system before that, probably Photoshop CC 2018.1.

All four are reasonably accurate descriptions, so this is probably more of an issue for journalists than normal Photoshop users, but we would still like you to feel our pain.

Windows-only: improved support for HiDPI displays and Microsoft’s Surface Dial
Either way, the new release isn’t as big an update as its predecessor, particularly if you don’t use Windows.

Windows-specific features include improved support for Hi-DPI displays when running under Windows 10 Creator’s Edition, with the interface now scaling from 100% to 400% in 25% increments.

The scale factor can also be set independently for each monitor on which Photoshop is running.

If you’re using a Surface Studio, Microsoft’s pen-computer-slash-touchscreen-PC, you also get improved support for its optional Surface Dial peripheral.

The Dial can now be used to change any brush setting dynamically over the course of a stroke, enabling users to draw with one hand while changing, say, the width or opacity of a stroke with the other.

It’s an interesting workflow, and makes more of a case for the Dial as a genuine creative tool rather than a neat tech toy in search of a real purpose.

Any OS: improved selection and masking tools, including a new automated Select Subject system
Users of other operating systems get Select Subject, an automated system for isolating foreground objects from images, based on Sensei, Adobe’s AI framework.

To judge from the preview video at the top of the story, the results may take a bit of manual refinement when isolating complex objects like hair or fur, but it looks a lot less labour-intensive than creating cutouts entirely by hand, and since it’s based on machine learning, it can isolate multiple objects at once.

Other changes to the Select and Mask workspace, of which Select Subject is a part, include a new Decontaminate Colors slider to reduce colour fringing at the edges of a selection.

Pricing and availability
Photoshop 19.1 is available for Windows 7 and above and Mac OS X 10.11 and above.

Like all Adobe software, it is available rental-only, with an annual subscription costing $9.99/month for Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC, or $49.99/month for all of Adobe’s creative tools.

Read an overview of the new features in Photoshop 19.1 on Adobe’s blog

Read a full list of new features in Photoshop in the online changelog