5 Creative Cloud Features to Get You from Concept to Complete Faster

New technology, including Adobe Sensei, gets the software out of the way of your designs.

5 Creative Cloud Features to Get You from Concept to Complete Faster
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Designers should be spending the bulk of their time ideating, experimenting, and crafting — not figuring out the technology they’re using to create. The Adobe Creative Cloud team is constantly innovating to simplify the design process and make your workflow as efficient and painless as possible. Terry White is a Creative Cloud evangelist for Adobe whose expert advice can help you get the most out of Adobe Creative Cloud for teams. He suggests using these five time-saving features built into Creative Cloud.

1. Share assets across apps with Creative Cloud Libraries

Downloading, uploading, and searching for files you’ve already used are among the most tedious and time-consuming tasks designers encounter. Avoid the pain by using the full capabilities of Creative Cloud Libraries. With CC Libraries, you can access, organize, and share your creative assets across all Adobe desktop and mobile apps.

To open the CC Libraries panel, go to Window > Library, or Window > CC Libraries, depending on the application. You can add assets to the default “My Library,” or use the panel menu to create a new library and label it. When you create a new library, it and any assets inside will sync to the CC apps on all your devices, so you’ll be spending less time importing and searching for assets.

To add assets to a library, either drag and drop or press the plus (+) symbol. By pressing the plus symbol, you can choose to add more than just the graphic itself to your library. All of the assets applied to your graphic will appear as options: the character style, the layer style, the colors in the graphic, etc. You can choose which you want in your library or add all of the above. These assets are then accessible across your apps by simply opening that specific library.

Terry White shares how to use CC Libraries to collaborate in a business environment here.

Photoshop CC tip: Easily add an entire document to a new library. Press the sign next to the plus symbol — “new library from document.” It picks apart every asset used in the document (colors, layers, character styles, etc.) and adds them all to a new library.

If you go back and edit the original graphic, it will edit across all the apps. Plus, you can copy or move any item into other libraries. This feature is particularly helpful for logos and other frequently used elements — you won’t have to spend precious minutes scouring fonts and colors to unify your designs, even when the files are in different apps.

2. Don’t start from scratch — use Creative Cloud Market and templates

The smartest artists take inspiration from other artists. While many of your designs will be original, not everything needs to be created from scratch. Instead, use Market. Creative Cloud members donate their designs to Market with the specific intent of letting other designers use and build upon them. Essentially, Market is free content ready for the taking.

Access and explore the Creative Cloud Market from your Creative Cloud assets menu.

To access Market, launch Creative Cloud, click “assets,” and then “market.” Use the search bar to find the asset you need, and select whatever suits your design fancy. From product mockups to user interfaces, to vectors and brushes, you’re guaranteed to find something to play with.

You can also jumpstart your next design by using templates. You’ll skip the initial setup, and instead be able to focus on customizing and refining your design. Instructional templates will even help you learn while you create, so you’ll be better prepared the next time around.

You’ll be able to spend your limited time on refinement and details — the things that set good design apart from great design, and set your designs apart from others.

3. Pull color themes from photographs

Even the best designers get lost in the color wheel. With so many hues available, creating a color scheme can quickly consume large chunks of time you didn’t really have to begin with. By using Adobe Color CC, you can use a photograph or other piece of art to create color palettes quickly and easily.

Let Adobe Color CC choose a mood-based palette or select colors of your choosing directly from the photo or art you upload. Image source: Adobe Stock / _jure.

Simply upload your photo or art of choice. The technology will start sampling the colors out of the photograph automatically. You can then select a mood to have a color palette created automatically, or move the swatches around so you have exactly the colors you like. Save the colors to any library, and then you have a stunning, hand-selected palette in half the time.

4. Quarter your clicks with new photo features, powered by AI

At some point in your design career, you’re going to have to cut something or someone out of a background. Previously, you could use magic wand, lasso selection, or quick select. You would have to make several (a minimum of five) clicks to get exactly the right selection.

Now, you can do it in one click. The new “select subject” feature in Adobe Photoshop CC is powered by Adobe Sensei — the artificial intelligence (AI) technology designed to help you work better, smarter, and faster.

Clicking on “Select Subject” isolates subjects in what required five plus clicks previously. Image source: Adobe Stock / olly.

To use this smart feature, upload your photo into Photoshop CC and choose “quick selection” or “magic wand” to bring up the select subject option at the top of the screen. Click the option and Adobe Sensei will quickly recognize and select the subject in the shot. If you need to go on to select and mask, you can. If not, you’re finished in record time.

Additionally, a new Adobe Sensei feature in Lightroom CC eliminates the need to manually search through photographs. AI technology recognizes photo features and automatically adds keywords to them, making finding that perfect photograph from your personal library faster and easier than ever.

5. Download various versions of your apps simultaneously and publish online

When you launch Creative Cloud, you can see your CC apps and, with one click, update, launch, or begin a trial. You can also uninstall apps without running an uninstaller. Every so often, you’ll encounter a plug-in or device that hasn’t yet been updated to work with the current version of your CC app — so we’ve created a feature where you can install previous versions of your apps without uninstalling the most current version.

Simply click the drop-down menu next to the app icon, select “Other Versions,” and choose the version most suited to your needs. This simple option can take the frustration out of upgrade issues and ensures you aren’t wasting time trying to get third-party add-ons to work.

You can similarly avoid software confusion by trading in the outdated interactive PDF for online publishing. Once upon a time, it was standard for you to send an interactive PDF and have someone view it in their Adobe Reader. Now, some people view PDFs in the Adobe Reader, while others open PDFs in their online browser, and tons of people open them right on their mobile device. All of these are inconsistent about which features of an interactive PDF they can support. Publishing online can ensure your design doesn’t get lost in translation.

Using Adobe InDesign to publish online and make your content HTML-aware allows you to guarantee the interactivity you intended is engaging those looking at your design. When you send someone a link, they will see exactly what it is you designed instead of an iteration you can’t control.

Designers are busy people with big vision. These Adobe features will save you from tedious tasks and help you get from concept to complete in record time.

Try these tips with your team and learn more about Adobe Creative Cloud for teams.

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