Adobe brings updated touch experience to Photoshop on Surface Pro 3

The Microsoft Surface Pro 3 pen in action

While Microsoft may be dominating the Windows news today with the announcement of the Surface Pro 3 hardware, partner Adobe is also targeting creative professionals of the slate with an updated Photoshop experience that brings a better touch experience to the slate. Given the capabilities of the Surface Pro 3 such as an Intel Core i7 processor, an accurate pen for drawing and writing, and a capacious 12-inch display, the Surface Pro 3 may serve as a great Photoshop tool for users who need to draw and manipulate photos and images.

The updated version of Photoshop that will debut with the Surface Pro 3 brings larger buttons, more accurate pen support, and gestures to accommodate the touchscreen user experience of Windows on the Surface Pro 3.

A new version of Photoshop is debuting with Microsoft's Surface Pro 3 that brings a touch-friendly user experience

Reflecting on using Creative Suite's Photoshop program on a touchscreen, Microsoft wrote on its Surface blog, "Historically, using Photoshop on Surface Pro has been a painful experience, with tiny UX controls and no touch support, but artists have been willing to accept that pain to use the software they need on the device they love. That all begins to change today."

Along with Microsoft's Surface Pen, Microsoft says that the pen is even more accurate than the pen support on Surface Pro 2. "Photoshop is doing higher frequency sampling so the line is the line you intended to draw," Microsoft said.

Additionally, Photoshop will also support gestures and touch. According to Adobe, the touch area for the button controls of the new UX is 200 percent larger than the current Photoshop.

Both companies are saying that this is just the beginning of the partnership and we should expect to see more changes as Windows incorporates both mouse and keyboard inputs as well as touch.

Source: Microsoft Surface Blog



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Sam Sabri says:

Can't wait! Use PS daily and have always been annoyed at how it works with Windows on high DPI screens. Would love to see Lightroom get a similar treatment.

_Emi_ says:

well... would love Lightroom gets the similar treatment at all, since adobe doesn't seem to love it so much since few years ago. ;)

While Microsoft may be dominating the Windows news today with the announcement of the Surface Pro 3 hardware, partner Adobe is also targeting creative professionals of the slate with an updated Photoshop experience that brings a better touch experience to the slate.

Cell Towers

thetruth1960 says:

Like I said in my other post, I can't afford the SP3 right now (already having SP Pro and SP2 Pro), but if things like this keep coming up, I'll give up eating for a couple of months to get it :)

subkamran says:

Why not sell SP and SP2 Pro and then use that to offset the cost? I traded in my Surface RT for a Surface 2 (Best Buy had a deal) and essentially only paid $50 for the upgrade with $200 credit + gift cards.

I'm looking for a travel laptop that can power my dev tools so the SP3 is the current contender for that crown but we'll see what it looks like in the summer when I plan to buy.

thetruth1960 says:

Well, a bit more complicated than that. You know my CFO (the wife) would have to approve the purchase. That's not going to fly ;)

subkamran says:

Yah... I just got an Xbox One on Day One so I'm saving up. I siphon a little bit into my own savings so my wife can't be mad when I use it to buy shiny new things. Except since shiny new things are expensive I usually can only get them once every 6 months :P

MyNokiaMS says:

I hear you.  I will be eating Top Ramen for two months in order to save enough money to get myself SP3 i7.  *feeling excited

Can't wait for August 31st(when I'll be getting it)

NutmegState says:

I hope they also support Lightroom in the same way.

While PP CC is great, there is large photographer community which could use the Surface Pro 3 that would love the same support for Lightroom

ahmedjan87 says:

PP ? PhotoPhop ?

NutmegState says:

I meant PS for PhotoShop -- I screwed up

FFugue says:

Same here. I can't wait for an update to Lightroom! It'd be nice if they made a complete version of Lightroom as a Windows 8 app optimized for touch and pen that would use the same library as the real Lightroom so we can still use the standard version when working on a bigger screen. The current version of Lightroom is impossible to use with touch. Or maybe they could just optimize the current version for pen and touch, that way there wouldn't be two versions of the same software.

NutmegState says:

I agree, that would be great.  We will have to see.  There is already Adobe Lightroom mobile BUT, of course it is iPad Only.  Hopefully we will get a Windows 8 Native app as well.  I can see downloading my entire SD and quickly tagging on the go and making edits and notes and then moving everything over to my main PC when I get home.

This would be great at wedding and social events in being able to show people your work right away on a 12" screen and hopefully getting more people to pay for some photos.

AirdanWP says:

Great! And why do you want adobe support when you only got 256 Pressure levels on the no wacom-stylus?

subkamran says:

256 ought to be enough for anybody.

funkyGeneral says:

To be fair, there is a large about of people whose work greatly benefits from higher sensitivity pens. 256 levels is enough pressure for many, but not all. The more levels the better, really.

Robert C2 says:

I think the bigger concern would be bad palm rejection like other reviewed ntrig devices

FFugue says:

Most people don't even use, or need, pen pressure when they use Photoshop. And for most projects that need pen pressure, 256 is good enough, and when it's not good enough you can plug a Wacom tablet in the USB port. 256 is still a lot better than none at all, and on a tablet that contains a complete computer as thin as a standard Wacom tablet that needs a separate computer to run, it's pretty amazing...

Kormiko says:

What Microsoft should have done is add options... like a higher quality pen with more pressure points.  I'm still using a Wacom pen and Intuos tablet from like ten years ago, so this would definitely be an upgrade for me.

Robert C2 says:

But why the downgrade from surface pro2. Their are some.really disappointed graphic designers/artists right now.

FFugue says:

Oh... I didn't know the Pro 2 has better pen pressure... I have the first pro and I think it's the same as the Pro 3... but, if they could do better on the 2, it would have been nice if they could have kept it for Pro 3.

DalekSnare says:

They switched brands, and I guess this other company isn't as good as Wacom (the brand that the SP2 and every professional art tablet has).

FFugue says:

Well... I have the Pro 1 and the precision of the pen isn't that good. As soon as you get near one of the sides of the tablet the precision is terrible (navigating menus is horrible, and forget about painting fullscreen), so if the new company really has more precision, as Microsoft said today, then the new company isn't that bad... Not everyone need more pressure control, but everyone needs more precision.

NutmegState says:

If your talking about Corel Paint or Illustrator, maybe.  What would you do in Photoshop that needs more than 256?

jkincer says:

Exactly! A garbage pen with the pressure sensitivity of a 10 year old Bamboo. This should replace my 5 year old cintiq not be inferior. Hopefully the Wacom Companion 2 will ditch RT and go with full Pro 8.1.

The wacom companion runs full windows 8 (I am typing on one right now) I'm so glad I chose this over the Surface pro 2. I got 2K level of pressure sesitivity. As a graphic designer it really helps. Especially when suing any brishes or doing organic vector shapes. Also my hard drive was woth the money. I have seen people try to work full photoshop on their surface, making me glad I have a nice 13" display with the companion.

So don't spread lies.

And oh wow, Adobe finally did their job? Oh, but only in one version of their software. Meanwhile a smaller company produced a program called manga studio which had native Windows 8 touch out of the box. Adobe just has a lazy/underused win8 development team.


kaynachtsman says:

interesting I hope they release PhotoShop express WP version soon too.

karelj says:

Awesome. Now give the same treatment to Lightroom and maybe even Premiere.

subkamran says:

I need this on my regular work Surface Pro. I could actually use it to draw then.

Hiswona says:

Autodesk still sleeping it seems...

Montpbm says:

Right.... I need AutoCAD apps.

... Same here... :/

Kevin Rush says:

I have AutoCad, Revit, and CorelDraw on my Surface Pro 2. 256 GB. It does the job for me, but admittedly my files aren't huge and I use the Docking Station at work with full size monitors.

_Emi_ says:

Autodesk is crap... simple as that. why would you expect something from them? they just enjoy the view and don't improve much their products after a while but since they are popular or what big companies use Autodesk sytuff, well... they just accept the money and make it seem like they work.

funkyGeneral says:

This is a big step for Windows tablets. They need to start looking more "cool" and relevant for graphics and music production. All everybody thinks of is Apple for these things. It will be a tough sell, but hopefully they will continue to make inroads.

terrokkinit says:

Yes!! So stoked!!!

mango.lover says:

Touch-friendly InDesign!

Cool. Looking forward.

glassadam says:

As a lefty,I always drag my drawing hand along the surface of my paper when drawing a line. My question, as I've never drawn on a tablet, is how is the palm rejection?

DalekSnare says:

On the sp2 at least, it's very simple so it works perfectly: as long as the pen is in the detection range of the screen (~1 inch), all touch input is completely ignored.

Mike Gibson says:

This can't be true! That looks exactly like a Win32 Desktop program and we've been told that Win32 is incompable of correctly supporting a scalable, touch interface. Why isn't this a WinRT app?

stephen_az says:

The idea that pen is more accurate than a Wacom stylus and digitizer is absolute marketing BS of the highest order. Anyone who believes that garbage must be (or should be) taking the stuff they had me on when I had three vertebrae fused last month.  Beyond that, Adobe will make no changes to Photoshop that place the hordes of graphics artiists on Macs at a disadvantage.  Any modifications they make for this stylus/hardware they will also make for Wacom hardware. They will not modify Photoshop for one tablet - these changes will apply to all tablets with digitizing hardware; all touch enabled Windows machines; and all high resolution screens.    Adobe does nothing for small market segments.

As for the rest of the changes they are 1) addressing the complaint lodged against them by everyone making or using high resolution screens for the past few years; and 2) bringing in a couple bits from IOS touch app. Seriously, if anyone thinks they would do this just for Microsoft (with whom they have a challenged relationship at times) for a single piece of hardware, has little grasp of reality. Don't sell your Surface Pro or Surface Pro 2 until the update is released.  Why waste money on a new tablet when you will get the same update for your existing one? If you want the added horsepower or want the larger screen, those are reasons to upgrade. Understand though that if history demonstrates anything it is that new pen will be buggy and directly supported by very little. Ask all the Dell Venue Pro users how much fun they have had with non-Wacom active stylus hardware.   

Kevin Rush says:

Ref: Stephen Az,
Do you hate Microsoft, or maybe just don't choose your words carefully?
One story referred to a wacom pen?
What makes you think Adobe designed software for one device?
I think I'll wait for all the facts.

booog89 says:

I'm getting one and gonna try Adobe using SP3. If its better experience, then I'll donate my Desktop to the orphans :D

from the live stream i heard the tweaks are specifically for sp3... what about sp2 ??? are these awesome tweaks coming to the CC family in sp2?? :/

Keith Olton says:

I hope someone reads this.  Nokia should create a surface phone. I am in love with the 1520 but it could be better in 2 ways. 1st it needs to be water proof, second it needs finger print log in capabilities.  lf nokia churns out a surface phone (with microsofts approval) that looks like my surface pro 2 and says surface on the front with a kickstand and nokia lumia 1520 specs and my 2 added recomendations they would take over the market easily. With windows phone 8.1 they now have the best phone operating system to me and I came over from a family of 5 with iphone 5's. Capitalize on the surface phone nokia.  I am getting the surface pro 3 as soon as it is released. I would love to hear about my new nokia lumia surface phone in the future.


I just hope the new pen will be ok. I have grown to love the sensitivity of the first Surface Pro pen. Here's hoping! Because the concept of making the pen a ultra quick screenshot/note taking shortcut is bloody brilliant! Reminds me of the days of the "Courier."

Adobe is so full of it. I hate their lazy work with the windows 8 platform. Other programs had touch controls right out of the box. I would love to use my professional media creation tablet (Wacom Companion Win8) but it's a pain to work because I have to use up two of my buttons just so I can have easy access to zoom in and out.

Seriously? Manga Studio had this right out of the box.

Oh and anyone saying that there is no diffrence between digitizers obviously doesn't have a big need for one. The diffrence is huge. Going from 1k levels to 2k was amazing, like pencil on paper.

I dropped a good portion of a tax return on my wacom product and I havn't regreted a second of it except for trusting adobe to do their job.

The surface looks cool and all. I feel its going in the right direction and if wacom didn't make their own tablet then I might have gone with that.