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The latest Photoshop update makes it usable on 8K displays

The latest Photoshop update makes it usable on 8K displays


Plus there’s a new Select Subject tool powered by machine learning

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Image: Adobe

Adobe has updated Photoshop CC today with two significant new additions: first is the option to scale the interface all the way up to 400 percent, and the other is a new Select Subject tool that ameliorates the chore of separating your subject from the background of an image.

When I reviewed Dell’s excellent but also super expensive 8K desktop monitor last year, I was disappointed to find that Photoshop — one of the ideal apps to exploit such a pixel-heavy display — only had two display-scaling options, leaving me with a tiny interface on a massive screen. Today’s update promises to rectify that problem, provided I’m running the Windows 10 Creators Update. Adobe and Microsoft have been working closely on this, according to Panos Panay, chief of Microsoft Devices, “to ensure Photoshop scales perfectly on any Windows 10 device, from the 12.3-inch Surface Pro all the way to the 28-inch Surface Studio.”

Once updated, Photoshop CC will tie in with the Display Settings menu in Windows and then automatically adjust to the scaling setting you choose there (going from 100 percent to 400 percent, with 25-percent increments in between). This isn’t quite as granular or as accessible as a direct Photoshop scaling option, but it’s an improvement on the even more limited options we had until now. Adobe says it’s also made sure that displays of mismatched resolutions — like a 4K laptop alongside a lower-resolution desktop monitor — work smoothly together.

As to the Select Subject addition, that comes from the Adobe Sensei development team, which works to implementing machine learning (ML) into the company’s software suite. Like Pixelmator Pro’s Quick Selection tool, the Select Subject button in Photoshop CC uses ML to automatically figure out the proper contours of complex objects and identify your subject for you. I tried it with the selfie below, and, well, the initial result isn’t especially thrilling, but perhaps it could still streamline editing workflows with simpler subjects.

Correction January 23rd, 3:44PM ET: Clarified that the new scaling options are not controllable within Photoshop itself, but are tied to the screen size adjustments that users make in their Windows settings.