Adobe released a public preview of the next version of Photoshop late Thursday night, with a few new tricks up its sleeve.

Early reactions to the preview have been good, with reviewers praising the program’s new user interface and features that include easier photo straightening, adding that the program still retains most of its old functions for veteran users.

Over at The Verge, the staff put together a long review that celebrates new features such as searchable layers and the ability to straighten photos by simply drawing a new horizon line. The team was less impressed with the “content-aware move” that lets users move an object across a simple background.

“In our tests, content-aware move worked pretty poorly; results always required touching up, especially if the image’s background has any degree of complexity,” the review said.

Reviewers also said that the program pushes video editing further into the heart of the program than ever before.

According to Stephen Shankland of CNET, the video editing features are reminiscent of Adobe’s efforts to add some of its Premiere video editing to its photo-editing program Lightroom. He said there’s also a serious upgrade from the video-editing features that is tucked into the premium version of CS5.

In an interview with the Web site, Photoshop product manager Zorana Gee said that the team decided to update the video editing features based on research that a lot of smartphones and other devices take high-quality video that people ultimately leave to languish.

“Research showed people aren’t doing anything with their videos,” she told Shankland. “They just can’t find the time, they might not want to learn a new app, they might not be a Premiere customer, or they don’t consider themselves [Premiere] Elements user.”

The video editing features in Photoshop let users do more than simply cut film and add a few effects, however. According to Shankland, users can also put together several videos, add transitions and Photoshop features like a text layer or turn the film to black-and-white.

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