Another new addition to Photoshop 7 is the pattern making
tool. This generates a pattern (tiled or seamless) from any portion of an
image, which can then be used in conjunction with other Photoshop tools
that are capable of using
Like most of the other new features, the pattern maker is very
simple to use. Select an image and go to 'filters> pattern maker' to
open the pattern making window. From here, you can select a portion of the
image to make into a pattern. Once you have your selection, adjust the
detail, tile size and generate up to 20 different versions before saving
them into Photoshop's tile library. If you wish to create a seamless
pattern, you can use the 'use image size' button to create a single
pattern the size of your original
The pattern maker is an interesting tool, but not one
that we found much use for. We could see how being able to create custom
patterns easily within Photoshop could come in handy
though. Adobe's usage example was to fill out the background of
a picture with a pattern derived from the foreground vegetation, but we could
think of several other uses.
New 'liquify' effects
Photoshop 7 brings some changes to the liquify command,
aiming to increase its usefulness. Sensibly, a hand tool and a magnifying
glass tool have been added to the command's window, allowing navigation and
magnification of the selected image. A multiple-step undo has also been
In terms of new features, you can now bring up a somewhat transparent background image of any or
all other layers of the image you are working on. This allows you
to get a sense of the changes you are making without leaving the liquify window.
This is a great addition, allowing you to get a real sense
of how the finished image will look right in the liquify window.
A new 'turbulence'
effect has been added, creating a wavy distortion ideal for smoke
or choppy water effects. We had some fun playing with this feature!
Distorted 'meshes' created with the liquify tool can
also be saved and applied to other images. This enables you to create a mesh on
a low resolution version of an image, save it, then apply it to a higher res
version of the same image, saving significant processing
Adobe has also introduced a spell checking engine to
Photoshop 7. This is a long-overdue feature for those of us who create
business documents with the program. The spell checker can use multiple
languages as you'd expect, and seems to work reasonably well. As a
bonus for those of us working north of the border, the 'English USA' dictionary
set does not flag Canadian spelling differences, so we get to keep our local
'colour' without a
PDF security features
Photoshop 7 integrates the PDF security features now
available in Adobe Acrobat, meaning it can encrypt .PDF format files with
128-bit RCA password encryption.