Adobe Unveils Free ‘Adobe Scan’ Optical Character Recognition App

Adobe today announced the launch of Adobe Scan, a new Optical Character Recognition (OCR) app that's able to scan documents and convert printed text into digital text in a matter of seconds.

Unlike most OCR apps on the market, Adobe Scan is free to use, with no watermarks or page limits, and it's optimized for capturing multi-page documents.


The app works by capturing a picture of what a user wants to scan, from notes and forms to receipts and business cards. Adobe Scan detects the edges of a document, captures and cleans the image, fixes perspective, removes shadows, and then uses image recognition to detect and convert printed text.

Scans are converted into Adobe PDFs that can be searched, highlighted, copied, edited, marked up, and shared with other users.

"Adobe Scan represents a radical reimagination of how to capture your most important document content," said Bryan Lamkin, executive vice president and general manager, Digital Media at Adobe. "Adobe invented PDF creation for PCs, and with Adobe Scan we're doing the same for a mobile-first world. As part of Adobe Document Cloud, new apps like Adobe Scan integrate with services in Adobe Sign andAcrobat DC, offering a modern document experience with unprecedented value to our customers."
Adobe Scan is powered by the company's Adobe Sensei image processing technology. Scans captured by the app are stored in the Adobe Document Cloud, also free to use, and are accessible across desktop and mobile devices, and it works with Acrobat DC and Adobe Sign.

Adobe Sign is also gaining new features, including cloud-based digital signatures, cross-device signature capture, customizable email templates, and more.

Adobe Scan is available for download starting today on iOS and Android devices. [Direct Link]

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Adobe Announces Updates for Premiere Pro, After Effects, Character Animator and Audition

Ahead of the NAB media trade show, which kicks off on April 22, Adobe today unveiled updates to several of its Creative Cloud apps, including Premiere Pro, After Effects, Character Animator, and Audition.

Better integration between Premiere Pro, After Effects, and Audition is a key theme in today's updates, as are more powerful Dynamic Link collaborative tools to make group projects easier.

Premiere Pro is gaining a new Essential Graphics Panel, designed to allow users to add titles and motion graphics to videos using controls similar to those found in Photoshop and Illustrator. Included in the Essential Graphics Panel is a Type tool for adding text, which offers customization options for font, size, color, and blending mode.


Shape Layers and Clip Layers for adding images, video, and graphics are included, and designs can be saved as Motion Graphic templates to be quickly added to future projects. Motion Graphic templates can also be created in After Effects and accessed and edited in Premiere Pro thanks to new integrations between the two apps.

Audition's Essential Sound panel is now accessible in Premiere Pro, offering a powerful audio editing experience without the need to leave the Premiere Pro app. The Essential Sound panel lets users assign mix types to clips, with built-in tools for each type of content - dialogue, music, and sound effects. There are also more audio effects available within Premiere Pro, along with seamless transitions to Audition, and Premiere Pro also supports ambisonic audio export.

For 2016 MacBook Pro owners, Adobe is introducing support for the Touch Bar, providing options for touch-based video editing.

Adobe After Effects CC is also gaining the Essential Graphics panel to allow for the creation of Motion Graphics templates for Premiere Pro, and Adobe is introducing a new Camera Shake Deblur feature.

Camera Shake Deblur is designed to cut down on unwanted motion blur artifacts and according to Adobe, it's able to salvage otherwise unusable shots when combined with the Warp Stabilizer VFX. It analyzes frames on either side of the blurry frame and merges the sharper content with the blurry content for a crisper image.

Premiere Pro's integrated Lumetri Scopes are expanding to After Effects to make it easier for After Effects users to accurately adjust color using Vectorscopes, Histogram, Parade, and Waveform to evaluate video, and the After Effects update introduces new GPU-accelerated effects including Fractal Noise, Levels, and Fast Box Blur.


Adobe Character Animator CC is gaining Walk Cycles for animated characters, allowing users to create instant walking animations by tagging a character's legs, arms, and body. Walk Cycles includes features like walk, run, and sneak, plus it can automatically adapt to step speeds and leg length.


Mouth shape editing for pre-recorded audio is available, there's a new Workspaces feature for streamlining the animation process, and Character Animator now supports live streaming through Facebook and YouTube.

For Audition, along with deeper integration with Premiere Pro, Adobe is introducing multichannel audio workflows, Presonus Faderport controller support, updated effects, and a visual shortcut editor to make it easier to find and create custom keyboard shortcuts.

Adobe is also adding new features to Adobe Stock. Video editors can now submit content directly to Adobe Stock using Premiere Pro or Adobe Media Encoder, allowing them to earn royalties for their work.

All of Adobe's Creative Cloud updates will be available starting today. Adobe's Creative Cloud plans, which cover the complete range of Adobe CC software, start at $49.99.

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Adobe Illustrator and InDesign CC Updated With New Features

Adobe today rolled out new updates for Illustrator CC and InDesign CC, introducing new features and improvements.

For Illustrator CC, Adobe is introducing a new image crop tool for manipulating embedded images, which means Illustrator users no longer need to create clipping masks to hide image content or switch over to Photoshop to crop images.

Adobe says the new feature will reduce the size of Illustrator CC files, bringing increased tool performance.


As for InDesign CC, Adobe is debuting a new user interface that's meant to be easier to navigate. Tools and panels (selection, text, pen, and eyedropper) are gaining new icon designs with the aim of creating a distraction-free workspace, and users can expect a more modern, flat look. There are also four UI themes: dark, medium-dark, medium-light and light.

InDesign CC is also gaining design-ready quick-start templates that can be obtained from Adobe Stock when creating a new document.


Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign are part of Adobe's suite of Creative Cloud apps and can be accessed through a Creative Cloud Subscription priced at $19.99 per month.

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Adobe’s Research Team Demos Tech That Could Transform Selfie Photography

Adobe today shared a video from its Adobe Research team, demonstrating what future selfies could look like using artificial intelligence and deep learning technology.

Using its Adobe Sensei technology, Adobe demonstrates tweaking a selfie photo with perspective effect editing, automatic masking, and photo style transfer technology.


The end result is a standard selfie that's been edited to look like it was taken at a longer focal length, with a depth of field effect added for a much more flattering image. It also demonstrates the quick copy and paste of image styles from one photo to another.
The Adobe Research team has been exploring what the future may hold for selfie photography powered by Adobe Sensei. Great portrait photography requires the right perspective, equipment, and editing expertise.

But what happens when we tap into the power of artificial intelligence and deep learning to transform bad portrait shots into good ones - all on a smartphone? By combining perspective effect editing, automatic, software-only photo masking, and photo style transfer technology, we're able to transform a typical selfie into a flattering portrait with a pleasing depth-of-field effect that can also replicate the style of another portrait photo.
The technology shown off in the video isn't available to consumers as of yet, but Adobe says it's a "peek into the future potential of mobile portrait photography."

Adobe's Research Team has shown off additional up-and-coming technologies in the past, giving us a behind the scenes look at some of the things Adobe's working on. Past videos have showcased a voice-based AI for image editing, digital face painting, and an interactive sculpting tool for Photoshop.

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Adobe Issues Critical Security Update for Flash Player on Mac

Adobe this week released Flash Player version 24.0.0.221 to "address critical vulnerabilities that could potentially allow an attacker to take control of the affected system," including Mac, Windows, Linux, and Chrome OS.

Mac users with Flash Player version 24.0.0.194 or earlier installed should immediately update to the latest version using the built-in update mechanism. The update is also available from the Adobe Flash Player Download Center.

Flash Player users who had enabled the option to "allow Adobe to install updates" will receive the update automatically. Likewise, Google Chrome will automatically update Flash Player to version 24.0.0.221. Select "About Google Chrome" under the Tools menu to verify the browser is up-to-date.

Adobe said the critical security update resolves integer overflow, memory corruption, type confusion, heap buffer overflow, and use-after-free vulnerabilities that could lead to code execution. The vulnerabilities were reported by security teams from Google, Microsoft, Palo Alto Networks, and Trend Micro.

Safari on macOS Sierra deactivates Flash by default, only turning on the plug-in when user requested. Chrome, Firefox, and most other modern web browsers also have web plug-in safeguards in place due to repeated security risks. Adobe has released fifteen Flash Player security updates over the past year.

In 2010, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs shared his "Thoughts on Flash," in which he favored open web standards such as HTML5 over Adobe Flash. Jobs said Flash Player was "the number one reason Macs crash," while criticizing its performance on mobile devices. "Flash was created during the PC era – for PCs and mice," he opined.


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Adobe’s Research Team Experimenting With Voice-Based AI, Digital Face Painting

Adobe this week published three videos on YouTube, sharing details on what its research team is working on for inclusion in future Adobe products like Photoshop.

A voice-based AI assistant like Siri is Adobe's most interesting project, which Adobe says is the first step towards a voice-based interface that would let Adobe users search and edit images in unique ways.


According to Adobe, its team is working to combine voice interaction with "a deep understanding" of creative workflows. In its current incarnation, the speech recognition system can accept natural language instructions or image editing, directly on a device or through a cloud-based Natural Language understanding service.

Adobe is also working on a new digital face painting application that would allow users to paint on a still image of a person, using blending and rotating tools to paint on all sides of the face. A real-time paint simulation engine makes there the paint blends in with the image with the proper lighting.


The final project shared by the research team is an interactive sculpting tool for Photoshop, which allows an artist to use familiar Photoshop tools to sculpt 3D objects.


There's no word on if or when these projects will make their way into Adobe's software, but Adobe pushes updates to its Creative Cloud projects on a regular basis and unveils major new features each year.

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44 companies join the White House’s pledge for equal pay

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Adobe, MasterCard and AT&T are just a few of the 44 companies who recently pledged to close the gender pay gap. 

They all joined the Obama administration’s Equal Pay Pledge, the White House announced Wednesday. Also joining were eBay, the Honest Company, Square and Workday, among others. 

The pledge was launched earlier this summer, when it attracted the support of  companies including Apple, Facebook, Airbnb, Amazon, IBM, Microsoft and LinkedIn.

Women working full-time today earn 79 percent of what men earn. For black women, that number is 63 percent. For Latinas, it’s 54 percent.  Read more…

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