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Adobe Lightroom CC: All the new features announced at Max 2019

Each year at Adobe Max, the creative tech giant announces a range of new products and updates. The 2019 event has stayed true to form, with Adobe launching new apps, including Photoshop Camera, and bringing major updates to existing ones. For its cloud-based photo organizing and editing program, Lightroom CC, Adobe put less emphasis on shiny new features and more on workflow improvements, something we’re very pleased to see. From advanced export options to GPU-accelerated editing, let’s take a closer look at all the new features in Lightroom CC.

Guided tutorials and interactive edits

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Adobe is now offering access to a range of tutorials delivered to you by professional photographers from around the world. Initially reserved for Andriod, ChromeOS, and iOS, this feature is now unlocked for both Windows and MacOS. Unlike your standard sit-and-watch tutorial, interactive editing guides you through each step of your editing process and lets you move at your own pace.

Advanced export for Lightroom (desktop and Android only)

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With advanced export, Adobe is (finally!) looking to give photographers more control when exporting their images. As well as exporting the original file format, Lightroom now gives you the ability to export a TIF file, which is welcome news for photographers working in editorial and publishing or anyone who wants to open and edit an uncompressed version of their photo in another application. Other additions include the option to choose output resolution, JPEG compression, metadata, file naming, output sharing, and color space.

GPU accelerated editing

What does every photographer want when editing their photographs? A smooth, responsive experience that allows them to work freely and without interruption. Lightroom is no stranger to the occasional slowdown. However, with increased utilization of your computer’s graphics processing unit (GPU), you should enjoy an improved workflow when making edits to your photographs. In particular, the post-crop vignette effect will update in realtime as you crop or resize a photo.

Print to White House Custom Color (desktop only)

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In partnership with White House Customer Color (WHCC), Adobe has created a new Connector and built it directly into Lightroom. This new tool opens the door to professional-grade prints without having to leave Lightroom. Adobe’s cloud servers, where your images are stored, communicate directly with WHCC servers, making printing quick and straightforward.

Panorama Fill Edges powered by Content-Aware Fill

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You can say goodbye to annoying white space that emerges around your multi-shot panoramic images. Alongside the Boundary Wrap and Auto Crop tools (previously found in the Panorama Merge dialog) Adobe has added an option called Fill Edges. Through the use of Content-Aware Fill technology, Lightroom is now able to fill in the edges around your photograph. All versions of Lightroom — and Adobe Camera Raw — now have this feature.

Migrate from Photoshop Elements

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If you’re looking to shift your workflow from Photoshop Elements over to Lightroom, it has never been easier. Windows and Mac OS users can take advantage of the new migrator found in Lightroom. The best part is that all previously edited work in Photoshop Elements can be seamlessly transferred over to Lightroom. With that, you can keep edits and metadata such as star rating, flags, and keywords and continue where you left off.

Contextual Help

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Those familiar with the desktop version of Lightroom will be no strangers to contextual help. Adobe has made the decision to roll this out across mobile devices too. To access useful information and support, tap on the “?” icon which brings up a new help menu. You can easily use the search function to ask a question about editing controls allowing Lightroom to bring up the best possible answer and solution.

Batch editing comes to iOS

Having the ability to copy and paste edits between photos edit can save a lot of time. Adobe recognized this when it added batch editing to the desktop, Andriod, and ChromeOS versions of Lightroom CC. Surprisingly, iOS was the only operating system not to receive this update. That has now changed, and batch editing is now available across all versions of Lightroom CC.

Multiple export options

Previously, if you needed to export images for multiple purposes (e.g., one for your website and another for printing) you could only do so individually. Not anymore. The latest update allows you to select multiple options when exporting files, making your life much easier.

A number of smaller improvements

Adobe also made several small tweaks to the desktop version of Lightroom CC that are worth calling out:

  • Custom sorting in grid view lets you manually arrange photos in any order you wish.
  • Easily delete photos in grid view by selecting them and pressing the delete key.
  • Drag-and-drop is now supported for importing photos.
  • Automatically move to the next photo after rating a photo by holding the shift key when adding a star or flag to a photo.

A great move by Adobe

These updates should make the Lightroom CC experience much more fluid. Instead of introducing flashy new features to attract new users, Adobe poured the bulk of its resources this year into quality of life improvements that make Lightroom CC friendlier for its existing customers. It’s also clear that Adobe is looking to blur the line between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic while also making it easier to bring Photoshop Elements users into Lightroom.

Lightroom CC starts at $10 per month as part of the Creative Cloud Photography Plan, which also includes Lightroom Classic and Photoshop. Lightroom for mobile is available as a free download, with premium options — included for Creative Cloud subscribers — offered as an in-app purchase.

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Dan Ginn
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Dan Ginn is an internationally published street photographer, feature writer and content creator. Through his writing, he has…
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