Adobe Photoshop is now available in a browser, but can you ditch the desktop app?

    Adobe has released Photoshop on the web, something many thought would never happen. Adobe Photoshop in the browser offers many of the things we’ve come to love about Photoshop, particularly the multi-layers, masking, effects and more recently AI-powered generative fill and generative expand.

    As part of all Photoshop plans, you can now log into and perform many of the same functions from the desktop app, and a few more. Something you will need to adjust to is the left toolbar which looks remarkably different to what we’re used to from the desktop app.

    The Type tool for example actually offers presets for text to help speed things up and its actually something I wish they would add to the Photoshop desktop experience.

    Since first introducing Photoshop on the web as a beta experience, Adobe has collaborated with the community and received valuable feedback from thousands of users in more than 40 countries.

    With this release, there is a strong focus on the needs of creators who are new to Photoshop with a streamlined user experience. And, of course, existing Photoshop users, who want access to tools like Generative Fill from any web browser, will also benefit from Photoshop on the web.

    With Photoshop on the web, you now have more ways to access the power of Photoshop and can get started in just a few clicks with no download or installation. This is great for those users who move between computers and are no longer constrained by the 2 PC limit.

    You can start new creations from scratch or pick up where you left off on any Photoshop document on the web and if you prefer, you can jump back into the desktop app with the click of a button. You can also invite others to collaborate with you – even if they do not have a Photoshop subscription – by sharing a link.

    What’s new

    Adobe has brought the majority of the most commonly used Photoshop tools to the web and have streamlined the user experience, to make it easier for newer users to navigate the app.

    For example, tools in the toolbar are grouped together based on workflows –to make it easier to retouch a portrait, select an object in your image, or to apply a quick action and more. We have also added tool names to the toolbar for users who are not yet familiar with Photoshop tool icons.

    Users who prefer an interface that is more like the desktop interface can easily hide this view to work in a way they are most familiar.

    Generative Fill and Generative Expand

    In addition to Photoshop’s most commonly used tools, Adobe has also brought the magic of Adobe Firefly, a new family of creative generative AI models, to Photoshop on the web.

    Generative Fill and Generative Expand, which were recently released in Photoshop desktop, are available in the browser.

    These features allow you to add, expand, or remove content from your images non-destructively, while magically matching perspective, lighting, and style of your image to deliver truly mind-blowing results. You can do all this with simple text prompts in over 100 languages and achieve realistic results.

    With generative AI natively integrated alongside Photoshop’s powerful editing tools, you can create in new ways while also ensuring you are in control of every last detail, all from your browser.

    Contextual Task Bar

    The popular contextual task bar, first introduced in June in Photoshop desktop, is now available on the web. The Contextual Task Bar is an on-screen menu that recommends the most relevant next steps in several key workflows, reducing the number of clicks needed to complete a project, and making the most common actions more easily accessible.

    For example, save steps in common workflows like replacing the background of an image or adjusting the lighting and tone of your images.

    Photoshop on the web does not have all the features from the desktop but you should expect to see more of your favourites like the patch tool, pen tool, smart object support, polygonal lasso, and more soon.


    If you don’t already have an Adobe subscription, you can try Photoshop on the web for free for 7 days, after which you’ll need to start a Creative Cloud single-app membership for A$29.99 per month.

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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