Adobe Firefly vs. Photoshop: Which one is right for you?

Both tools work wonders on their own and can make magic together with the power of generative AI.

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Firefly and Photoshop: Powerful tools for the new era of creativity.

Since Photoshop 1.0 debuted in 1990, foundational features like masking and layers have become essential editing tools. Later, intelligent features like Remove Background, Select Subject, and Content Aware Fill made multi-step editing tasks nearly instant. And today you can use features powered by Firefly generative AI in Photoshop and the Firefly web app to rapidly and dramatically change your images, and even create entirely new ones.

Two products, infinite paths to creativity.

There’s no right way to create, but choosing the right product can get you there faster. Read on to learn more about the key benefits of Firefly and Photoshop, and how they complement each other.

Unicorn in a magical grove, detailed

Firefly: Generative AI for creators.

Generative AI is a kind of artificial intelligence that can transform simple descriptions into something totally new, like rich images. With Firefly generative AI, you can create incredible images, transform text, instantly recolor artwork, and more. Streamline your workflow by using text prompts to add, expand, and remove content from any image. Firefly is both a web app with easy-to-use modules that quickly produce high-quality results and can also be found inside Adobe apps like Photoshop, in features powered by Firefly like Generative Fill.


Firefly’s generative AI was developed to produce high-quality outputs, and always with an eye on what would benefit creators most. Firefly is trained on Adobe Stock images, openly licensed content, and public domain content. Plus, Firefly is designed to be safe for commercial use, so you can confidently use generated designs in your work. Adobe is also committed to responsible, accountable generative AI and is working toward a universal “Do Not Train” Content Credentials tag that will remain associated with artworks wherever used, published, or stored.


Photoshop: Precision image editing.

From fine-tuning a photograph down to the pixel to creating vibrant artwork with thousands of digital brushes, Photoshop has long been the standard for image editing. Photoshop’s suite of tools, fonts, and effects offer maximum control and precision for graphic design, artmaking, photo editing and more.


Today you can find features powered by Firefly within the app, like Generative Fill and Generative Expand, which enable you to add, extend, and remove content from images using simple descriptions right inside the app. Use them in your everyday routine: generative AI features were designed to complement common Photoshop workflows, like retouching and compositing images, and to inspire creative experimentation.

Comparing Firefly and Photoshop.

Get to know the key differences between the two apps.

Underwater oceans

Tools and capabilities

  • Photoshop includes a full suite of precise editing tools for maximum control, including tools for adjusting image appearance, adding text to images, combining images, and more. You can also add, extend and remove content from images using Generative Fill and Generative Expand, powered by Firefly.
  • The Firefly web app includes modules for generating new images, creating text effects, recoloring artwork, and adding and removing content from images — all with a simple text prompt.


  • Photoshop has a customizable user interface that includes toolbars and panels that you can adjust to suit your specific needs, such as always surfacing tools you use regularly in your workflow.
  • The Firefly web app has a streamlined, easy-to-use interface that includes a prompt bar and a settings panel where you can adjust things like style, aspect ratio, and color and tone.

Skill level

  • Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, you can get started with Photoshop. Make quick turn changes like removing a background, or perform complex edits. You can choose from lots of tutorials for all skill levels. You can also try a streamlined image editing experience online with Photoshop on the web.
  • It’s easy to get started with Firefly. Just type in a text prompt and play with the settings. Learn how to fine-tune your text prompts to continually improve your results.

Best for

  • Photoshop is best for major image transformations, and for editing with precise control.
  • Firefly is best for quickly generating all new-content, like images or embellished text, and for making dramatic changes at speed.
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Devices and integrations

  • Photoshop is an app that you can use on desktop, tablet, and on the web. It includes features powered by Firefly like Generative Fill and Generative Expand that you can use to add, extend, and remove content from images. You can save your projects to Creative Cloud Libraries in Photoshop so that they can be easily opened and edited in other Adobe apps.
  • Firefly is a web app that you can use on desktop, tablet, and mobile. Firefly-powered features can be found in many Adobe apps, and Firefly generated images can be easily edited with those same products. You can also save work to your libraries from the web app and then open it directly in Photoshop.


  • Photoshop starts at    a month for an individual plan, with 500 generative credits per month included.
  • Firefly is free with 25 generative credits per month, or you can get a    per month premium plan that includes 100 monthly generative credits, Adobe Fonts, and no watermarks on images generated by Firefly.

Responsible generative AI

  • Firefly generative AI is designed to be safe for commercial use, so you can use generated designs in your work with confidence. Also, when you download or export Firefly-generated work from the web app or Photoshop, a content credential will be attached automatically, explaining that the artwork was made with the assistance of AI. This is to promote transparency and increase trust and confidence in such work.

Using Photoshop and Firefly together.

You can create incredible work with just Photoshop or Firefly — but put them together and it’s design peanut butter and jelly.

empty plate on table vs cake in plate on table

Lightning-fast image generation meets precision editing.

Firefly is an ideal tool for kickstarting a project — use it to ideate, create reference images, and experiment at speed. Then bring those assets into Photoshop where you can use precise editing tools to adjust and hone Firefly generated imagery, folding it into larger design projects. Think of it as an assistant that speeds up tasks that take away time spent on creative work. Instead of searching for a perfect stock photo to complete a composite image, you can quickly generate a slice of cake to fill an empty plate on a banquet table and then get back to perfecting your project.


When to use Firefly vs. Photoshop.

If you are performing highly specific edits for a desired outcome, such as adjusting exposure and color, use Photoshop for maximum control over every pixel. Photoshop is also ideal for creating bespoke artwork in your own style with brushes and pencils and for graphic design projects.


Use Firefly to create beautiful images, text effects, and fresh color palettes with simple prompts. Quickly create all-new content to use in your designs or to mockup moodboards for clients, for quick-turn social content, and more.


Creating an integrated workflow with Firefly and Photoshop.

You can start a project in the Firefly web app and bring the output into Photoshop on desktop or on the web for further refinement. You can also save work to your Creative Cloud libraries directly from the Firefly web app and then open it directly in Photoshop. Or, you can use Generative Fill and Generative Expand to edit images with text prompts right inside Photoshop.


Here are some common workflows that benefit from combining the capabilities of Firefly and Photoshop:

Adding content to images:

Use the Firefly web app or features powered by Firefly in Photoshop to swap out a sky or item of clothing, add food to an empty plate, or stage furniture in an empty room. Firefly is ideal for quickly adjusting assets like real estate, fashion, and wedding photography before fine-tuning the results in Photoshop.

Story and moodboards:

Use Firefly to create original assets for video storyboards or to create a mood and style proposal for a client that you can then assemble into a presentation in Photoshop.

Resizing imagery:

Use Generative Expand in Photoshop to quickly resize images for website banners, ads, and more — just click and drag to instantly expand backgrounds and fill them with content that matches the original image. You can also straighten images and then easily fill the blank canvas space with newly generated content. Or use the prompt field to fill an expanded canvas with something entirely different to act as a frame for the image.

collage of AI generated images including driving a car on mars, side profile face and ocean double exposure portrait, zebra on a chair, tiny yorkie dog, white castle in the salt flats, and a fluffy blue ball animal running through a magical forest

Keep playing, experimenting, and creating with Firefly and Photoshop.

Firefly and Photoshop are both wildly powerful design tools with unique capabilities. When combined they can radically transform workflows, freeing up time spent on routine editing tasks for creative work. Explore both with an eye on what you need to accomplish, and experiment with combining their distinct offerings to figure out how they can best complement your design process.

Questions? We have answers.

The Firefly web app is available by itself or as part of your Creative Cloud All Apps subscription. You can use the Firefly web app to generate images, text effects, and other creative content with simple text prompts and generative AI. Features powered by Firefly are a part of select Creative Cloud apps, including Photoshop and Illustrator.

Yes. You can create assets with the Firefly web app, export them as JPG files, and open them inside Photoshop. Features powered by Firefly such as Generative Fill and Generative Expand are natively integrated within Photoshop and can be used to add, extend, and remove content from images right inside the app.

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Learn more Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Firefly.

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Discover all you can do with Photoshop.

Add, expand, and remove content in any image with Generative Fill and Generative Expand, then perfect it with precise editing tools.

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Try Firefly on the web.

Use generative AI and simple prompts to create images, text effects, color palettes, and more — right in your browser.

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