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The complete design environment for print and Web publishing
The Adobe ® Creative Suite is an integrated design environment that combines full, new versions of Adobe's latest creative tools with innovative file-management features, a smooth Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) workflow, and comprehensive design resources to let you create and publish content for print and the Web faster and easier than ever before.
Standard Edition contain full version of:
- Photoshop and ImageReady
- Version Cue
Premium Version contains full versions of:
- Photoshop and ImageReady
- Acrobat v6 Professional
- Version Cue
What can I say! This is by far the best upgrade I have seen from Adobe since... well... the last one I guess! But this is different...
This time they have released a well-integrated bundle of their best applications, and it has the functionality and feel of total integration and smoother workflow, meaning an ease of use second to none! You would be VERY hard pressed to find anything that comes close to, let alone beats, this latest offering from the company that has made the single largest impact on the multimedia industry.
I will be honest, though we were presented with the Premium Edition, I personally am lost in some of the applications, so here's what I think of the ones I tried, being what I would normally use...
Photoshop and ImageReady
With an interface that still carries the familiar feel and layout, anyone who has used Photoshop v5 or greater will have no discomfort using this. An important factor really. The same features you have come to know and love in v7 are all still in the same places, and the new features are so seamlessly integrated, you'll hardly know they are there until you use them, or go looking. The power of this, now totally meshed in with the other top-line products, makes the workflow so smooth, you'll wonder how you managed to get by with them separated.
And for those who like that sort of thing, yes, I found some Easter Eggs in the first night, so knock yourselves out, they are hiding in there.
ImageReady however does have a slightly different interface not much, but enough to make you second-guess yourself for the first half an hour or so. Once you learn the new locations, and get past the default layout, you'll be in home territory again. And yes, again, more Easter Eggs hidden away.
The only thing lacking (or too well hidden for me to find) that I wish was still there is the Render>3D-Transform filter. It had some dinky uses. But the new Render>Fibres filter does look very dinky. However, careful use of the Render>Clouds filter and a bit of distortion could achieve very close to the same effect.
Takes a while to load, even on a relatively hyped-up system, but most of that was sorting out the fonts, so once the list has been generated, it's not too bad. Be aware if you have a MOUNTAIN of fonts that this may take some time. After you get through that, the awesome abilities are evident. Though I have only ever 'played' with Illustrator due to limited access, this has shown me new wonders, and I honestly feel I have become converted to Illustrator as my primary Vector-based Editor. The 3d features leave one spellbound with what is now possible in a basically 2d media environment. No more need for little 3d render engines, this has it all!
This is one serious productivity tool! Quite difficult to get to grips with, but after a good solid read of the manual, and a basic knowledge of version tracking and control systems, you should have little trouble utilising this. Complete with local HTTP-accessed control panel, admin mode, project control, etc... this is a powerful application that seamlessly merges with the reast of the Suite to produce an easily-tracked history of documents and data files. If only Office had this! What a massive boost it would be!
Overall, I was totally impressed... and this is just a Beta Release! Can't wait to see the full version! Roll on Adobe, you have rightfully earned your place in the Top Shelf of serious software. And at this price (us$999 for Stardard Edition, us$1299 for Premium Edition) it is a bargain! Preium edition IS the way to go for commercial companies, since you get the added advantage of totally integrated versions of Acrobat Pro, InDesign and GoLive, ensuring maximum output options.
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