Although I sometimes want to claim to be a designer, I have a long ways to go before I reach a level where I am comfortable calling myself one. Photoshop 6 (due out later this month) won’t get me any closer to my goal, but it may make getting there a little easier (OK so it will really only allow me to not open Illustrator so much). There are some great new features that make Photoshop 6 worth upgrading for (unless you have to pay the full price for it). Here they are in no particular order:

  • Text directly on the canvas — No more writing in a box!
  • Support for more layers — form 99 to 8000. Is this really necessary? How big would an 8000 layer document be?
  • Layer sets — I am really excited about this as it will allow for the organization of layers into logical groups like “header” and “sidebar”.
  • Vectors! — you can now draw vector shapes in Photoshop — goodbye Illustrator!
  • Text on a curve — enough said.
  • Toolbars replace some palettes — This is the one thing some die-hards may not appreciate but I feel will make the program more efficient to use and keep more functionality at the users “fingertips”.
  • PDF support — kinda cool?
  • Improved optimization — by using alpha channels you can now optimize different parts of an image differently

Those are some highlights. There are still some notable exclusions (or at least I haven’t heard of them, namely:

  • Multiple sets of guides or guide layers.
  • the ability to discard all hidden layers in one action
  • multiple undo’s without using the history palette

But all in all, a good product getting better. I am looking forward to it.