Upgrade a must for serious Photoshop
by Alan Zisman (c) 2002 First published
in Business in Vancouver
, Issue #659 dJune 11-17, 2002: High Tech Office
A few computer programs have their market niches
and define an entire industry. Perhaps the best example is
Adobe Photoshop. Whole industries have sprung into existence
just to cater to
the needs of Photoshop jockeys.
So a new version of Photoshop is news to anyone who
graphics, Web design, or print publishing. Like most other Adobe
the new Photoshop 7.0 (about $1,000, upgrade about $250) has equivalent
versions for Windows and Mac users, but the big news is a vote of
Apple 's year-old operating system: Mac OS X. By rewriting the
Mac version to
run natively under OS X, Adobe is telling graphics and publishing
professionals that it's OK to migrate to the new operating system.
Adobe has done a good job with its OS X version;
ports to the new operating system, the new OS X Photoshop holds its own
any speed contests. While not delivering any OS-X-only features,
takes advantage of the operating system's improved stability, memory
However, it's not yet all smooth sailing for OS
Photoshop 6-compatible plug-ins will have to run in OS X's Classic
and plug-ins that control scanners using the Small Computer System
standard, printers, or other hardware, may not work at all under OS X.
creators, such as Alien Skin
, makers of the popular Eye Candy series, are rushing updated versions
market. Of course, that means having to buy more upgrades!
(Photoshop 7 continues to support older Macs running
or later, along with Windows systems running Windows 98 or later. Of
all users will benefit from a powerful processor and lots of RAM).
But while the new OS X support will be welcomed by
team, the product's new features, while worthwhile, are not as
Among the new features:
The ability to customize and tidy up Photoshop's
palettes into savable Workspaces.
The ability to save Tool Presets
A file browser, carried across from Adobe's low-price
(but highly useful) Photoshop Elements, letting users search for
graphics by name or date
or by key word.
A greatly revised Brushes palette includes features
real-world painting, reminiscent of (though still a pale imitation of)
Two new tools, Healing Brush and Patch Tool that work
erasing wrinkles and other minor flaws.
Auto Color adjustment, which simplifies correcting
in scans or digital photos.
A spell-checker. You won't use Photoshop to replace
processor, but now you'll have no excuse for spelling mistakes when
text to images.
Photoshop's Web graphics companion program,
benefits from minor makeovers such as improvements in its Rollovers
and more options when creating transparent GIF files for Web use. I'm
disappointed Adobe still hasn't managed to integrate all of
ImageReady's features into the Photoshop core. This is the third
version of Photoshop that instead packages both programs together,
forcing users to bounce between the two while working on a single
Photoshop 7.0 is a must-have for Mac users who have
OS X or are considering migrating. Other Photoshop users can probably
their time deciding whether the new features justify the time and
Corel/Procreate Painter is a better choice if you're
digital art from scratch; while Macromedia
Fireworks deserves consideration if you're making graphics for the Web.
Adobe's own Photoshop Elements is a powerful and cheaper ($149)
alternative for the non-professional.
But despite all this, Photoshop 7.0 offers enough new
features to keep the Photoshop jockeys happy.