Improved Properties Panel in Photoshop 2020

Improved Properties Panel in Photoshop 2020

One of the very useful improvements in Photoshop version 21 or Photoshop 2020 is Properties panel with several new items added. This small improvement is a huge time saver. New items will give you more features available from a single panel plus access to frequently used commands.

In this post, I want to draw your attention to new items that are added to the Properties panel in Photoshop 2020.

What is added to the Properties panel and how to use new items

New items added to Window > Properties panel are layer content sensitive. In other words, features or options on the Properties panel will change according to content on the selected layer.

Here is the list with features/options available based on content on the selected layer.

When none of the layers is selected in the Layers panel:

  • Canvas section provides:
    • Canvas Size which you can use to add or shrink canvas.
    • Color Mode and Bit Depth to change them without visiting the Image menu. There is also an option to quickly create a Background layer if it's not present in the document.
  • Rulers & Grids section provides quick access to show/hide ruler, grid and to change ruler measurement unit. There is also an icon to open Transparency and Gamut settings in the Preferences dialog.
  • Guides section allows you to show/hide guides and smart guides as wee to lock guides. On the right side, you can change the appearance of guides using the drop-down list.
  • Quick Actions section provides quick access to frequently used commands and tools to open Image Size, Trim and Rotate dialogues or to activate the Crop tool.

Properties panel when none of the layers is selected
Properties panel with options when none of the layers is selected in the Layers panel.

When the pixel-based layer is selected in the Layers panel:

  • Transform commands which can be used to scale, rotate and flip horizontal/vertical.
  • Align and Distribute commands which are also available from the options bar when the Move tool is active.
  • Quick Actions section provides quick access to fully automated Remove Background command and Select Subject which is also available from the Select menu.

Properties when pixel layer is selected
Properties panel with options when pixel based layer is selected in the Layers panel.

When a Type layer is selected in the Layers panel:

  • Transform section provides options and controls to scale, move, rotate and flip horizontally or vertically.
  • Character section provides most used character options like to change font, color, font style, and size... There are and other useful controls like to change leading, tracking, baseline shift...
  • Paragraph section provides controls to align and justify paragraph text, but also to change spacing and indent. You can also turn Hyphenation on/off in this section.
  • Type Options sections allow you to set type options like all caps, small caps, superscript, subscript...
  • Quick Actions section provides you with two buttons to convert the type layer to frame or shape.

Properties when type layer is selected
Properties panel with options when type layer is selected in the Layers panel.


Product used in this tutorial:
Adobe Photoshop 2020 (version 21.0.1)

Reference:
Updates, New Features, and Hidden Gems in Photoshop 2020 (v21)

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