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(Pocket-lint) - Those who have been eagerly awaiting Adobe Photoshop CS6 with bated breath are in luck - it's now available to download for free, gratis, nada, zilch. Well, the public beta version anyway.

With the full release scheduled for "the first half of 2012" (of which we're already halfway through), the software giant has decided to allow those with Adobe ID accounts to test the new features and myriad improvements for themselves.

The company says the beta even includes all the new modes that will feature in both the Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Adobe Photoshop CS6 Extended editions when they become available, including new additions to the Content-Aware tools and 3D editing features.

All Adobe asks in return is that it gets some feedback from users, in order to iron out the bugs and further improve the package before its official release.

"Photoshop CS6 will be a milestone release that pushes the boundaries of imaging innovation with incredible speed and performance,” said Winston Hendrickson, vice-president products, Creative Media Solutions.

“We couldn’t wait to share this beta of Photoshop CS6 with our customers and are looking forward to hearing from them and seeing the ways they are incorporating the beta into their daily creative workflows.”

To get your copy (on either Mac or PC) just visit Adobe Labs. The PC version is a 1.7GB download, while the Mac edition is smaller, at 984MB.

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The PC zip file includes versions for both 32- and 64-bit Windows. And both English and Japanese languages are supported. It is expected to expire, unless a serial code is entered, as soon as the real version hits the streets.

Have you downloaded the free beta? If so, what do you think? Let us know in the comments below...

Writing by Rik Henderson.