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Adobe is now trialing a free, web-based version of Photoshop

One of the best parts of this? It brings Photoshop to Chromebooks.

Photoshop logo on photoshop background
Image: KnowTechie

Adobe is testing a free-to-use web-based version of Photoshop. Eventually, the goal is to open the availability up to everyone as a way to introduce more users to the app.

Testing is currently underway in Canada. The web-based Photoshop requires the user to create a free Adobe account to access it. Adobe uses “freemium” to describe the service. That’s the model where core functions are free, and some advanced ones are subscriber-only.

That’s Adobe’s plan, get people hooked for free before pushing paid features. Everyone in the test can access every function in the web-based version of Photoshop right now. Some features will become subscriber-only in the future, however.

What is the web-based version of Photoshop all about?

Screenshot of web version of adobe photoshop with the knowtechie logo being edited
Image: KnowTechie

The web-based version of Photoshop was first released last October. It offers a simplified version of the desktop app, and it was only available to those with a paid Creative Cloud subscription.

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Currently, the web-based version of Photoshop can handle basic edits and has core editing tools and support for layers. More tools are coming to the web-based version, like refine edge, curves, dodge and burn (finally!), and the ability to convert Smart Objects.

If you’ve ever used Photoshop, you know these are core tools that nobody is going to use the web version unless they’re included.

The biggest thing to note about the web-based Photoshop? Chromebooks, a beloved tool of education, were previously unable to use Adobe tools. That’s changed with the web-based version. This opens up a huge market for Adobe. The company hopes this will serve as a sales funnel for the full Photoshop experience down the road.

Adobe hasn’t said how long the Canadian trial will run, or when the wider rollout of the freemium version of Photoshop will happen.

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Maker, meme-r, and unabashed geek with nearly half a decade of blogging experience. If it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't), Joe probably has one around his office somewhere. His hobbies include photography, animation, and hoarding Reddit gold.

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