Assessing Adobe’s new
creative suite deal
Alan Zisman (c) 2007 First published in Business
May 22-28, 2007; issue 917
High Tech Office column
a few products from the high-tech office have gotten so entrenched in
popular consciousness that their names get used as a verb. Think
“googling” for looking something up online or “photoshopping” for
digitally altering reality.
So any time Adobe
releases a new version of its graphics and design software, it’s
noteworthy. The company’s recent upgrade of Photoshop was accompanied
by new versions of Adobe’s Illustrator drawing software, InDesign page
layout program, Dreamweaver web design program, Flash for web animation
and more; the programs are available individually or grouped as Adobe
Creative Suite 3 (CS3).
This time around, there are six packages
in the CS3 family, starting with a US$1,199 design standard built
around Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator and Adobe Acrobat Professional.
A US$1,799 design premium version adds Dreamweaver and Flash along with
an enhanced Photoshop extended version. Aiming at web designers, CS3
web standard (US$999) packs Dreamweaver, Flash and Fireworks image
editor and Contribute, while the US$1,599 web premium adds Photoshop
Extended, Illustrator and Acrobat to that mix.
Promised for the
summer are a production premium edition (US$1,699) that includes tools
for video and sound editing and a US$2,499 master collection that
includes everything. The various individual programs and CS3 bundles
are available for Mac and Windows. These programs have been around for
a while. Photoshop 1.0, for example, was originally released (for Mac
only) in 1990, and the new CS3 is its 10th major upgrade. As a result,
individually the applications seem more like fine-tuning than dramatic
redesigns. Nevertheless, the CS3 products will probably prove popular
among graphic artists and print and web designers.
Mac-using graphics departments had put off upgrading hardware to
Apple’s new Intel-based systems because previous versions of Adobe and
Macromedia software were designed with previous generations of Mac
hardware in mind. The Mac CS3 programs have been rewritten as so-called
Universal Binaries to run efficiently on both older PowerPC Macs and
the new Intel powered systems. This is the first full upgrade of
Adobe’s products since the company bought its longtime archrival
Macromedia; CS3 mixes the best of each company’s product line while
helping them work together.
Designers will find it easier than
before to edit web images, because they’ll finally be able to copy and
paste between Photoshop and Dreamweaver. Dreamweaver can now import and
tweak for the web designs created in Adobe InDesign. Similarly, Flash
users can now import images directly from both Photoshop and
Illustrator and use Illustrator’s powerful tool-set within Flash.
to Photoshop: US$649 standard and US$999 extended versions. The premium
version adds tools aimed at animators and medical and scientific
professionals. Both versions benefit from interface house-cleaning that
enable users to devote more screen space to images while still allowing
them easy access to the program’s multiple tools and palettes.
and design professionals are going to buy into the new Photoshop and
the rest of the CS3 lineup. More casual users may want to look for more
affordable alternatives. Check back next week