Adobe Photoshop Turns 30, Celebrates with Huge Updates

The venerable software has powerful, new selection tools

What: Photoshop turned 30 and to celebrate Adobe launched major software updates.

How: The desktop version now has more powerful multiple selection tools, GPU-supported Lens Blur, and support for Dark UI on the Mac.

Why Do You Care: Photoshop on Windows, Mac and, more recently, iPad is the go-to product for design professionals. These updates will have a major impact on how they use the software product.

Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop on iPad.  Adobe

The best kinds of birthday parties are the ones where everyone gets a parting gift. In the case of Adobe, its celebrating the 30th birthday of its popular photo manipulation software with a bunch of significant software updates that will benefit consumers and professionals alike.

Adobe announced the feature enhancements in a blog post celebrating Photoshop’s history and impact. The software was created in 1988 but commercialization took a couple of years. Even after the application established itself on the Mac, it didn't arrive on Windows until 1994. The iPad edition arrived in 2019.

“We celebrate the evolution that brought us here, from the first use of Photoshop (before Photoshop 1.0) to create visual effects for James Cameron’s movie, The Abyss … to the invention of the healing brush in Photoshop CS2,” wrote Adobe Product Manager Pam Clark.

Among the biggest updates is the new Photoshop ability to make and apply multiple selections and fills without leaving the already powerful Content-Aware Fill Workspace.

Adobe also made the smart move of shifting lens blur tasks off the CPU and onto the graphics processor. “It is carefully tuned to simulate a 3D environment to create the most realistic results possible, while also consuming the least amount of compute power so you don’t burn up your machine,” wrote Clark.

Other updates include support for Dark UI in macOS and on the relatively new iPad version of Photoshop, object selection and more detailed Type settings control with support for tracking, leading, scaling and support for small caps.

Photoshop is arguably the most powerful (and popular) photo manipulation product on the market. It’s also an incredibly deep application that has, in recent years, added numerous features to simplify many of its most complex tasks. Now it’s building on that foundation with previously unthought-of features. Adobe customers will surely be up for helping Photoshop blow out its candles.

The updates are all live today.