Adobe Generator for Photoshop CC aims to make designing websites easier and better

Adobe has created a new tech for automating export from Photoshop, and it's first real-world use is for exporting site mockups as site assets for developers.

If you use Photoshop CC to mock up websites or screen designs – or otherwise need to extract images from layered comps – help has arrived with Adobe Generator. This just-launched open-source platform technology, powered by a JavaScript API, is included among an array of updates and improvements to Photoshop in the new 14.1 version.

Adobe has already put Generator to work, using it to create two new plug-ins for Photoshop CC. One automatically delivers image assets in real-time, thus saving the time and effort of extracting, cropping, sizing, and exporting each image by hand – creating a workflow to rival the increasingly popular Mac-based web design tool Sketch. The other links Generator to Adobe's new Edge Reflow CC Web tool (as in the screenshot below), which specialises in creating responsive Web designs that adapt content to different screen sizes. With a single click, designers can insert assets directly into Edge Reflow, thus reducing tedious manual labour.

This technology automates real-time generation of image assets directly from the layers and layer groups in your design comp and lets developers use JavaScript to create customized plug-ins to Photoshop CC.

Adobe has released the Generator and the image asset generation features as open source projects to encourage developers to create additional tools and services to integrate with Adobe CC.

The Generator platform lets you tag layers and groups in Photoshop CC, which are then automatically saved and updated in real time as individual files in the formats you specify. You can export layers as JPEGs, GIFs, or PNGs with a variety of options such as scaling for Retina displays, various compression levels, and more. Changes are previewed in the browser.

From creating comps and images for multiple devices to controlling and updating how those assets look across screens of various sizes and formats, Generator promises to offer an easier and faster way for designers to communicate, test, view, and change the behavior of their designs—not to mention speeding up mundane, time-consuming production tasks. Just enable Generator in the Photoshop prefs and then enable it in specific documents.

Generator, as well as a slew of additional updates to Photoshop CC, are available immediately to Creative Cloud members. Creative Cloud costs £39.06 plus VAT, though if you own a copy of Creative Suite CS3 or later you can get it for £22.78 for the first year – an offer Adobe originally said would expire on July 31 but has been extended until December 3 (and probably beyond, experience tells us). You can get a subscription to Photoshop CC alone for £14.65. Last week, Adobe announced a bundle of Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 for £7.50 plus VAT.

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