Adobe Unveils Microsoft Surface Dial Features In Photoshop CC

Adobe has added support for Microsoft's puck-shaped Surface Dial accessory to Photoshop CC, the hugely popular photo editing program that is both feature-rich and at times complex. This is a big win for Microsoft, as app support for the Surface Dial has not exactly been robust to this point. It originally launched as a companion device to the Surface Studio all-in-one PC, but with Photoshop CC compatibility, the Surface Puck gains street cred, and a potentially bigger audience.

"There is something magical about the combination of Surface Dial and Surface Pen. When you fold these capabilities in with the Adobe Creative Cloud and the collective power of Surface hardware, artists can create in more intuitive AND versatile ways to bring their ideas to life," Microsoft stated in a blog post.

Surface Dial in Photoshop

Yes, Microsoft used the word "magical," taking a page from Apple in how it likes to describe its products. But aside from the whimsical hyperbole, the Surface Puck can be a useful device for artists and other creative professionals who use Photoshop CC.

Adobe describes initial support as a "tech preview," so it is not enabled by default. That also means there could be bugs that need ironed out before Surface Dial support in Photoshop CC is truly ready for prime time. Use of the Surface Dial requires a Bluetooth connection—found on most PCs—and the latest version of Windows 10.

Surface Dial Photoshop CC Options

Functionality is also a bit limited in the early going. At the outset, the Surface Dial only works with the brush settings. In Photoshop CC, the Surface Dial brings up a separate brush menu where users can manipulate the size, opacity, hardness, flow, and smoothing. We suspect Adobe will add more features in the future, but for now, it's a start.

The timing of this new integration comes as Microsoft is getting ready to release its new Surface Book 2 laptops. And as added incentive, buyers who purchase a new Surface device can grab a 3-month Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan with 1TB of cloud storage at no cost.