Articles, Blog


February 23, 2020

Photoshop MacBook Pro Touch Bar Tutorial Hey Cafe crew, it’s Colin Smith here from
PhotoshopCAFE and today I’ve got something super exciting for you. We now have Photoshop support for the touch
bar on the MacBook Pro 2016. So we’re going to have a look right now and
I’m going to break this into two parts. Part 1, I’m just going to do just kind of
like a workflow, just kind of demo sort of thing and show you how it works. Then Part 2, we’re going to break it down. We’re going to go under the hood. We’re going to look at all the different options
in there as well as how to customize and set it up how you want to work. So the first thing we’re going to do is a
little bit of dodging and burning on this photograph right here, so let’s get started. So notice when I go into Photoshop, you can
see the options there in the touch bar. So what we want to do is I want to create
a new layer, so I’m going to tap on the touch bar there and you can see we got three different
categories. I’m going to choose Favorites and a new layer. And we can just click OK to apply a new layer. Now, I just want to change the Blend Mode
in this to Overlay. Now I can do it this way here just by selecting
it in the menu, or I can go back here in the Layer Properties and we can choose the different
blend modes right there as you can see there, so we can scroll through them and we can choose
different blend modes. All right, the next thing we want to do is
hit B for Brush, so now I’ve selected a brush. And what I want to do with this brush is set
it up. So we’re going to go there, choose the Brush
settings and under the Brush settings, we’re going to see our Size so we can make it big
or small. See that? We’re going to hit the Opacity and we’re also
going to hit our Flow. So notice, here, we can adjust the flow. The difference between Opacity and Flow, opacity
is how transparent it is, the flow, the longer you keep pressing on that brush, the more
intense it comes, kind of like a paint or an airbrush would kind of work. So great! Now we want to set up the Brush, so we want
to choose some colors here, so notice we got some colors. Now we can change these colors. We can simply tap here and we can change these
individually–Hue, Saturation and Brightness. So, in this case, I’m going to make it very
dark or I could go very light. Why don’t we go very light? And we’ll do some dodging here. All right, so what I’m going to do now is
I’m just going to begin to paint. Now don’t forget, you know, all our other
keys and everything like that still works. So if we want to lighten this up, we can just
kind of paint. But right now I’m just using a Wacom into
this Pro. And what I’m doing is just adding a little
bit of light here onto these front faces. See that? And, you know, I’m not going to spend the
whole day doing it. I’m just going to do it very quickly just
to give you an idea of different types of things we can do and how this would apply
to our workflow. All right, awesome. So now I want to change the Brush maybe to
a black brush so I can just tap here and I can change the darkness, the lightness. See that? And let’s tap out and change the size. Now I might just paint a few shadows into
this. All right, so you get a general idea of how
we could use this in our workflow here and how it can be really quite handy, particularly
for things that would take a little bit more digging for a menu. So let’s actually have a look and see we’ve
got in here. So if we hit the little button here, you’ll
see we have three categories–Layer Properties, Brushes and Favorites. Now bear in mind, you know, this is the first
release of this, so over time, there could be more customization, more features added
to them, you know, as Adobe usually does. But, also, let me tell you how to get the
Update. So to get the update, we’re going to go here
and we choose Updates, then your Creative Cloud is going to open. So here’s a little tip for you, though, because
sometimes, you see there’s an update, then you go in here you don’t see your update and
then you’re like, “Why don’t I have the update?” Well, you can actually force it to update
by going up here and then choose Check for App Updates. So, there could be an update you’re just not
aware of yet. All right, moving right on, so let’s look
at the categories here. So if we tap here we see we got Layer Properties,
Brushes and Favorites. So if we tap on Layer Properties, you can
see we have things like we can add a new image in here, you know, if I want to drop something
else on top, which I’m going to place the same image on top of itself. Just for fun, we can do that. We can see, you know, we can change the Opacity
of the layer, so we got our unaffected layer and you know, over the top, so if we want
to blend it, of course, the smarter way to do it is actually to go here and grab that
dodging and burning layer, and we could just dial in the settings we want for that; see
that right there? And, of course, we can hide or show that layer’s
visibility; so that could be kind of handy. So let’s go back on this one here and what
else do we have here? Well, we have the Blend Modes as we’ve shown,
so we can tap on different blend modes and we can start to maybe grab this one here and
let’s look at some of the blend modes and see how they work together. We can see that and we can just go through
and try the different blend modes, and we can slide this back and forwards to just grab
the different ones, so that’s, you know, sort of handy. I’m going to be honest with you. The blend modes is probably not what I’m going
to use a lot because I can go up in the blend modes up here and change it quickly or use
the Shift + (plus) or -(minus) key to cycle through the blend modes. But for newer users, this is quite useful. All right, so what else do we have? Here we have the option to go into Mask. Select Mask Workspace if you want to get things
up, you can do it there, and we can go there, and this is our History. This is kind of cool. So all these different things that we’ve done
here, we can actually drag it out and we can change our history states, see that? And we get that little preview on there of
what those different history states look like. So that’s kind of nice. And depending on the kind of work you’re doing,
you might find that these displays here are going to work really well for that. All right, let’s get out of there. And what else do we have? Well let’s have a look at the other categories. So we have Brush. Okay, so here we go, we’ve got our Flow, Opacity,
Hardness and Size, and those are just sliders. So what else do we have? We have Colors. So if we choose on here, we have two different
options. The first one here, this shows our color swatches. And I’ll show you how to customize this in
a second, or we can tap again and we go into Hue, Saturation and Brightness. So Hue and Saturation, hue enables us to dial
in a color, maybe a blue. Okay, so we go into our Saturation here and
you can see the saturation shows how much of that color should be in there. So it’s going to be a very bright blue or
is it going to be more faded? And then, of course, we go to Brightness. Brightness is just how light or dark is it
so we can make it a very dark blue–you can see the color there on the swatch–or we can
make it a very light blue, so you can adjust that there using the HSB or Hue, Saturation
and Brightness, so you can dial on those individual colors. Nice, okay. So let me just show you another thing. So if we go here in the swathes, you can see
those are the colors there, but maybe if you don’t like those colors, how do we change
those swatches? Well, it’s quite easy. We’re just going to go up under Window. Then what we’re going to do is just open up
our color swatches here. Now you can make your own custom color swatches
or you can just load them in just by clicking here. So maybe we’re going to load in something
different like, maybe, Website Colors. And, yeah, we’re just going to replace it
because I haven’t changed anything. Then notice when I do, now, the touch bar
shows those new colors. That’s quite bright so it doesn’t show well. Let me try a different one that shows better. So we can go under here and maybe grab some
Pantone colors and notice, now, the touch bar is going to reflect those new colors. Now there’s another thing we can do in here. If we click on one of these colors and hold
it, notice that we get some variations of it so we can play around a little bit and
just choose a different variation of it. So that’s how the color bar works, so let’s
get out of here and let’s look at the last setting, which is Favorites. We can add, you know, a Layer and, you know,
we can do different things there. So let’s actually have a look at where the
comprehensive list is. Now the first thing you want to do is make
sure you go into the Favorites when you’re customizing it. Then we’re going to go into the View Menu
and we’re going to go down to Customize Touch Bar. And here we are in the Customize Touch Bar
and you can see these are the different things. Now, if we want to try some different things
like, maybe, we want to duplicate a layer, we click it–and this is kind of cool–we
drag it into the bar. See that? And we can move that around wherever we want
to do it. So you know, maybe we want to step backwards
and maybe we want to let’s go back up there and maybe we want to step forwards. And you can see how we can just put those
things right there on the touch bar. Now the other thing you can do is if you want
to reset it, just grab this and drag it, and that will go back to the factory settings. So we just click Done when we’re finished
and now we’ve customized those options there. All right guys, so that’s the touch bar with
Photoshop. If you like this video, slam that Like button
right now and give us a thumbs up. I’d really appreciate that. Also, if you’re not a subscriber, hit the
Subscribe button right now and you’ll get Photoshop tutorials and different gadget reviews
and stuff every single week from PhotoshopCAFE. But let’s talk about this for a second. What do you think about the touch bar? Do you think it’s the most amazing thing to
ever happen to computing or is it a complete gimmick? Do you think this is something that will speed
you up or do you think it’s something you might play around for a little while, then
just kind of lose interest in it? Would the touch bar make you want to buy a
MacBook Pro or is it the thing that’s holding you away, obviously, apart from donglegate. But anyway, let me know your thoughts. Drop them in the comments underneath. Let’s have a discussion going. Don’t forget, become a subscriber if you’re
not already, and until next time, I’ll see you at the Cafe.


  • Reply Lamar Battle December 13, 2016 at 10:35 pm

    hahaha I'll pass. I will stick with Microsoft!

  • Reply natserog December 13, 2016 at 11:39 pm

    wow!!! love it …im all MAC. What would you suggest for brand new photoshop person. Never used it but want to learn!!!!!!

  • Reply R. Ran December 14, 2016 at 1:07 am

    dude your upper text is in the way…(i,e photoshop macbook touchbar tutorial ) when i go full screen

  • Reply caterhamnut December 14, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    Thanks Colin – super useful as usual and a great quick over view. Just bought a MacPro, having done 99% of adobe work on desktop PC – I want portability and the ability to work anywhere. So as someone who knows the software, but is learning how to use the Macbook, the touch bar is a cool thing to learn at the same time as it is 'all' new – I guess if one is already used to using a MacBook without a TB – used to the layout, the shortcuts etc etc, then the TB is probably slower.
    I do think it is something that will increase in usefulness as developers find new ways to use it – it will become less 'gimmicky'….maybe in the future we'll see one down the side of the laptop, like a wacom touch pad – so you can use it with a thumb without blocking the keyboard from view?

  • Reply Mariusz Pocztowski December 14, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Can we add specific actions to the touch bar?

  • Reply tofolux December 17, 2016 at 2:42 am

    Touchbar is nothing but a gimmick… 99% of the time you can do things quicker with shortcuts. Constantly looking down and back up at the screen is counter productive. Majority of users with touchbar stop using it after a week and even forget that it's there. Massive fail.

  • Reply Marco Pfeiffer December 17, 2016 at 1:38 pm

    Anything on the touchbar that requires more than one touch is something I'll never use. The touch bar can be nice but apples guidlines with "an action on the touchbar should be finished on the touchbar" is the worst thing for the touchbar. It should just be a set of context sensitive shortcuts with maybe a slider as long as it can be used in the same matter as the volume slider (without touching twice).

  • Reply Nash and Snow Travel Vlog December 20, 2016 at 6:42 am

    thanks so much

  • Reply Ellie December 21, 2016 at 5:59 pm

    how is the battery life using photoshop?

  • Reply Thomas Jessen December 24, 2016 at 11:56 am

    In a pro environment it looks really slow 🙁

  • Reply rizzo905 December 26, 2016 at 8:48 am

    omg this is brutal, not your review, just the stupid touch bar…. literally all these things are easy keyboard shortcuts that are already set up form the first time oyu open photoshop.. this is the biggest load of crap ive ever seen.

  • Reply rizzo905 December 26, 2016 at 8:51 am

    hold control and option and at the same time slide your fingers lift or right on track pad for brush size , up or down for brush opacity, two seconds and you dont need to take your eyes off the screen …. unbelievably useless piece of shit.

  • Reply Wendy De Jong December 28, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    I have the 13 inch macbook pro with touch bar, is think it is not very helpful or something, but it might speed up the way how you work. Beside that, I just started with photoshop, so I do not know all the shortcuts, and now it is more clear.. For me it is helpful. And I love the new color to!😍

  • Reply Freeze Frozen January 8, 2017 at 8:14 pm

    plz help, I run adobe CC under license, with a 15' macbook pro with touch bar, did all the updates i could, but nothing happens on my touch bar, no adobe tools nor short cuts, just classic control strip. very frustrating.

  • Reply photoshopCAFE January 15, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    Just a little heads up guys, I'm a little hesitant to recommend the new MacBook pro to you. Apart from the obvious battery life issues and lack of ports, I find the touchpad is too big and I constantly bump it while typing, I'm not loving the keyboard either, to me it feels cheap compared to the previous gen MacBook Pro and I always hit the caps lock by accident because of the lack of separation between keys. I REALLY want to love this computer, but I can't. As far as the touch bar, I do find it useful and I love the fingerprint ID which also works with 1 password.

    I ran benchmark tests on this vs my older one and there was almost no speed improvement, except for video card performance. A disappointment really.

  • Reply Ronan Passmore January 16, 2017 at 12:59 am

    If you have premiere pro can you make a similar video about it please?

  • Reply Padawin February 11, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Why my photoshop cc 2017 didn't have a touch bar ? or it's must setting before using ?

  • Reply Vinojan Chandrasekaran June 9, 2017 at 1:49 am

    Hello. I am a Photographer. I use Photoshop, lightroom, Microsoft word and powerpoint regularly. I also do browsing quite often. I am planning to get a 13 inch macbook pro with touch bar which has 256GB space and 8 gb ram. I am confused with a lot of mixed reviews for this laptop. Would you recommend that laptop to me ? Please help.

  • Reply Jerry Reed July 17, 2017 at 10:29 pm

    Hey how long does the MacBook Pro battery last with working with Photoshop? I'm wanting to buy one just curious about the battery

  • Reply Jamie Ayling September 19, 2017 at 12:30 am

    Although there is some mixed opinions, in the comments section some useful some just as expected from the internet 😂, this was a really good video and informative , showing how the touch bar works with photoshop rather and sticking to that rather than just listing loads of pros and cons , video was to the point got yourself a new subscriber @photoshopcafe

  • Reply sabir ayaz January 5, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Hi, thanks for the great video, however I am trying to set up the screenshot command on Touch Bar  but every time I press cmd+Shift+4 the command does not get typed into the box and instead I only get the cross on my cursor for screenshot. Please help me if I am doing something wrong here. Thanks in advance.

  • Reply riccia888 October 14, 2018 at 1:53 pm

    what if i want the F1 to F12 keys for my hotkeys?

  • Reply graphicartdude May 17, 2019 at 2:03 am

    I own a new MacBook Pro. In Photoshop certain tools appear in the touch bar, and I'm able to configure these tools by going to View > Customize Touch Bar". Yet in Illustrator, no tools are available in the touch bar, and there are no configuration options. All I see are function key shortcuts (F1, F2, F3, etc). Am I the only one experiencing this bug? Why isn't Illustrator working with my touch bar? Any ideas?

  • Reply _Dayoo August 4, 2019 at 11:13 am

    I have a macbook pro 2018 13 inch and my photoshop cc 2017 doesnt work with touchbar. The buttons just dont appear when i open the program, am i missing something???

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