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Adobe Creative Cloud updated for 2014 with hundreds of new features, iOS mobile integration

Tom Morgan
18 Jun 2014
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14 Creative Cloud applications receive updates, along with new Cloud-syncing iOS apps

Adobe has officially revealed the 2014 update to its Creative Cloud software suite, bringing 14 programs up to date with a range of new features, as well as better support for the comapny's growing range of iOS apps. The update, which goes live today for existing Creative Cloud subscribers, will include a new Creative profile which uploads files, photos, fonts, colour swatches and other design essentials to the cloud, and a new marketplace for buying images, plugins or assets.

Every Creative Cloud application should see speed improvements, as well as a new splash screen with imagery taken from Adobe's Behance user portfolio website. The familiar Dark UI has been tweaked when used on touchscreens, with larger icons that should make working on the move a little easier. Some programs have received more tweaks than others, so we've gone through some of the major changes to Creative Cloud's most popular programs below.

Photoshop CC

As well as several new blur modes, including non-destructive path blur and circular spin blur with strobe length control, Photoshop has also been streamlined for web designers with the ability to update multiple elements across layers in one action. Many tweaks will feel familiar to InDesign users, but are coming to photoshop for the first time: linked smart objects in particular should make collaborative work much easier. Users can embed Illustrator or Photoshop files, which are updated automatically when changes are made.

Fonts are finally shown in live preview for the first time, and it's now possible to filter by TypeKit fonts to ensure compatibility when designing for the web. Assets folders are created automatically when designing for the web, with file names and folder structure updated as you make changes. It's also possible to export SVG files directly from Photoshop for uploading to the internet.

InDesign CC

InDesign users are notoriously particular about their settings and panel layouts, to the point that many avoid upgrading to avoid the hassle of changing their settings to match personal preferences. Adobe thinks it has this sorted with InDesign CC's new ability to migrate settings directly from a previous version, ensuring your preferences are set up automatically. It's now possible to move columns within tables, which was previously a tricky process, and colour swatches can be organised into folders rather than displayed in one huge list.

The other major addition is the ability to create fixed layout ePub files directly from InDesign, which should make designing content rich eBooks for the iTunes store much easier.

DreamWeaver CC

The web page editor for Adobe purists now lets you edit live view site previews for the first time, modify images or text directly and add CSS classes without getting your hands dirty with code. The Quick live inspector now highlights sections more clearly, to make it obvious which division is being worked on at a particular time.

Muse CC

Now a full-bown program, rather than an Adobe Air app, Muse CC is much more powerful than previous versions. Coded for 64-bit processors and optimsed for Retina displays, the simplified website creator also supports addons for the first time. Developers will finally be able to publish a site then hand over control to a site moderator, who can make changes through a web browser, but the creator will retain overall control over those edits.

Illustrator CC

Big changes to the pen tool should make it easier for Illustrator newcomers to draw curves, while a new rectangle properties field will let designers tweak values for multiple objects at once. Rotation is now non-destructive too. The CSS export tool has been streamlined to make it easier to add specific object layouts to a website, and SVG objects can now be saved as responsive for developers working on resizeable web pages. Finally, you can now copy a vector graphic and paste it as an SVG into your web editor of choice.

Premier Pro CC

Many of the changes being made to Premier Pro were revealed at the NAB show earlier this year, but are worth highlighting again here. They include support for Intel Iris integrated GPUs, which should hopefully mean faster rendering on MacBooks without dedicated graphics cards, and the ability to apply settings or effects to a master clip rather than individual clips taken from an original master. There's now a direct link to SpeedGrade too, putting the entire Premier timeline into SpeedGrade in real time for quick colour grading.

After Effects CC

Integration with Premier Pro should hopefully speed up edits, as title designers are now able to give permission for Premier editors to change variables from within Premier Pro. After Effects now has better integration with the Kuler colour wheel, and all effects now have both rectangular and polygonal masks. Masks now automatically track their targets, too, which should make blurring license plates or faces a much simpler task than it was in previous versions of the program.

Other major feature changes include WebGL support in Flash CC, but there are hundreds of smaller changes that will be rolling out to current Creative Cloud subcribers from today onwards. Subscription prices will remain the same, meaning £46.88 per month for graphics professionals here in the UK, although Adobe has also extended is photography-oriented Photoshop/Lightroom deal indefinitely for £8.70 per month.