San Jose, Calif. -- Adobe Systems announced Thursday the availability of Adobe Photoshop CS6 beta as "a preview of what's to come in the next release" of the industry standard in digital imaging software program.
The beta version of the new version is available as a free download from Adobe Labs. Customers can download the beta, try it out and provide feedback to the product team.
PhotoShop CS6 is said to include a number of "groundbreaking new innovations, features and incredible performance enhancements."
The beta is available for both Mac OS and Microsoft Windows platforms. The final release is expected in the first half of 2012.
New features include: additions to the Content-Aware tools -- Content-Aware Patch, which allows users to select and duplicate an area of an image to fill in or "patch" another, and Content-Aware Move that lets users select and magically move an object to a new place in the image.
An Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine is said to add speed and power to the program, enabling near-instant results from Liquify, Puppet Warp, Transform and Lighting Effects, for example, while presenting a refined user interface featuring dark options to make images pop.
New and re-engineered design tools make creating designs faster and more efficient. Vector layers allow users to apply dashed lines and gradient strokes, searchable layers quickly zero in on any layer, and new type styles.
The beta versio is said to offer all the features of Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended, such as new 3D editing features and quantitative imaging analysis capabilities. These features will be included in the shipping version of Photoshop CS6 Extended when it becomes available.
After downloading the beta version, users will be required to provide an Adobe ID to complete a one-time login and online product activation.
For information on how to install Photoshop CS6 beta, visit