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What’s New with CC Libraries

When Adobe MAX arrived in Los Angeles the first week of November, it brought with it changes to all of the Adobe Creative Cloud applications.

In the middle of all this, new changes and enhancements also came to the Adobe Creative Cloud infrastructure as well—including CC Libraries. CC Libraries (called Libraries in many other Creative Cloud applications) let you save, view and use assets (text, graphics, colors, and so on) across the Creative Cloud—in desktop and mobile apps, and on the web.

CC Libraries Can Be Viewed and Managed in the Desktop App

The CC Desktop app, found in the menu bar on Macintosh computers and the task bar in Windows, has been available to download apps, manage fonts, and download images and art from Adobe Stock.

Many of you have recently noticed that this app has grown quite a bit bigger. In the last month or so, most Creative Cloud users have updated to version 5.0.x of the Desktop App which not only lets you control those functions, but also now has a section called Your Work. Here there are links to files you’ve stored in your Adobe Files storage area and a new feature (used in Photoshop 2020 and Adobe XD) called Cloud documents. There is also a generously large display of all the Libraries you have created.

Figure 1: Libraries you have created can be viewed and managed from your CC desktop app version 5.0.x or later.

Previously, you have been limited to managing libraries in the CC Libraries panel of InDesign and other CC applications—a very small workspace. Now, you have a much larger area where you can easily view your library assets. You can access menus to manage the libraries, drag and drop assets from one library to another, create groups within a library and so on.

In addition, you can now include up to 10,000 assets in a library, up from a previous limit of 1,000.

Support for Saving Color Gradients in Adobe Capture

A recent update to one of the most popular Adobe mobile apps—Adobe Capture, available for iOS and Android devices—added support for creating color gradients from images captured on a camera, your camera roll, or an Adobe Stock photo. Previously, you’ve been able to create color themes, type, shapes, patterns, and other assets and save them to a Library file. The current version of Capture 5.3 adds the ability to select colors from an image, choose the number of color stops, and edit the resulting gradient. This version lets you save directly as an SVG file or image, but not yet to a Library file. A promised soon-to-arrive version will also allow you to save gradients to a Library. InDesign 2020 can now directly import the gradients saved as SVG files.

Figure 2: A gradient being captured and created in Adobe Capture. Another screen lets you edit and save the resulting gradient.

Addition of a Capture In-App Extension in Photoshop 2020

Capture has been so successful that’s it’s being cloned and re-created as a Capture in-app extension in other Adobe Creative Cloud applications. This lets you create design assets where you’re working. It first appears in Photoshop 2020.

When you have an image open in Photoshop, you can click on the Add Content (+) button at the bottom of the Libraries panel. One of the options is Create from Image. This gives you the options to capture color themes, patterns, shapes, and gradients. Photoshop 2020 not surprisingly saves its gradients as a bitmapped color gradient which InDesign cannot use directly, although they can be currently used in Adobe XD.

Figure 3: A gradient being captured and created in Photoshop 2020. InDesign can’t directly place the gradient as a bitmap but can use the color themes and shapes (saved as an SVG which InDesign 2020 can use).

Using Creative Cloud Libraries in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint

If you create assets in Creative Cloud applications like InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, not only can you use them in other CC apps using CC libraries, but now you can also copy them directly from CC Libraries into Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.

This is possible because of a newly arrived add-in to Word and PowerPoint called “Adobe Creative Cloud for Word and PowerPoint.” It’s supported in Microsoft Windows 10 using Microsoft Office 2016 or later, or macOS X 10.13 or later using Microsoft Office 2016 or later.

This allows you to share brand assets, and it means you can stop sending creative elements such as logos via email. The assets are stored as read-only so you don’t have to worry about them changing in your library unexpectedly. This Adobe Help file explains how to install and use the add-in.

Figure 4: The Adobe Creative Cloud Add-in is installed in Microsoft Word 2016 on a Macintosh. It shows many of the same controls as in a Creative Cloud application, and allows a user to copy assets (here, colors and graphics) into a Word document.

Steve Werner

Steve Werner

Steve Werner is a trainer, consultant, and co-author (with David Blatner and Christopher Smith) of InDesign for QuarkXPress Users and Moving to InDesign. He has worked in the graphic arts industry for more than 20 years and was the training manager for ten years at Rapid Lasergraphics. He has taught computer graphics classes since 1988.
Steve Werner

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