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Artificial intelligence is exploding at the moment, with more uses for it appearing on the market all the time, but plenty of them are actually quite hard to get your virtual hands on.

That's why Adobe's new feature for Photoshop is so exciting - called Generative Fill, if you've got a Photoshop membership you should be able to access it and check out its amazing generative image features. Here's how you can get started using it.

How to use Photoshop Generative Fill

The first thing to cover is that in order to use Photoshop's generative fill system right now, you'll need a Photoshop membership - whether that's part of the Photography plan or a more expansive plan.

You'll also need to install the Beta version of Photoshop, as this is the only place to find the feature at present. You can do this through your Creative Cloud app on your device of choice, but you'll also find a direct download link on Adobe's here - just click Install at the top-right of the page.

Once you've got your license and the Beta app installed, follow the steps below to get going with Generative Fill!

  1. Open Photoshop (Beta)
  2. Create a new image file with whatever dimensions you like
  3. Import an image into the file
  4. Use the Rectangular Marquee Tool (dotted box icon) to select an area of your image
  5. Click on Generative Fill on the floating toolbar below your selection
  6. Type in a prompt with what you'd like to add to the area, or leave it blank for random additions
  7. Click Generate and wait for the progress bar to complete
  8. Review the changes and click the left or right arrows on the floating toolbar to swap between options

There you go - you've got a new layer in your file with the added options, and you can always click Generate again to get some new choices to review if you're not happy with them. The generated options are also saved in the layer, so you don't lose the ability to swap between them.

There are a bunch of ways to use Generative Fill that go beyond this, of course - you can, for example, fit an image that's smaller than your canvas, and select the whole canvas to make it fill the blank space and expand your frame.

However, because the system is still in beta it's worth knowing that it's not perfect. Sometimes you'll find that results look more than a little broken, and we found that it doesn't play very well with images that aren't from the real world, like in-game screenshots.

How does Photoshop Generative Fill work?

If you're wondering how Adobe added a tool that looks a little bit like magic to its app, the secret is something called Adobe Firefly, which is basically the AI model that powers this all.

Adobe's been working on Firefly for ages, in the same way that Google's been tinkering on Bard and Microsoft on Bing Chat, and while it's a hugely complicated model it works a little like those text-generation models, except for imagery.

You can find out more about exactly how Adobe makes this system work, and how it brought it to the point of release, in an official blog post announcing it right here.