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Technology

Creative Suite 3 is the powerhouse from Adobe
by Roy Webb


Adobe Creative Suite 3

Adobe Creative Suite 3 is the powerhouse from Adobe after the merger of Macromedia that revolutionizes design and development tools for virtually every creative workflow. Creative Suite 3 unites the best of Adobe and Macromedia products and innovation to provide designers and developers with a broad spectrum of creative options for all facets of print, web, mobile, interactive, film, and video production.

Adobe has divided the products into three logical groups aimed at different sets of creative professionals -- print, Web, and video post-production -- offering a premium and standard version of each. There are six all-new configurations of Adobe Creative Suite 3. These include, Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium and Design Standard editions; Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium and Web Standard editions; and Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium (this review will focus on the Design Premium and Web Premium). Rounding out the product line is Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection which combines 12 of Adobe's new design and development applications in a single box-the largest and most comprehensive software ever delivered in Adobe's 25-year history.

Each edition of Adobe Creative Suite 3 integrates different configurations of Adobe's creative products to serve a breadth of design needs: Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium delivers an essential toolkit for print, web, interactive and mobile design while Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Standard focuses on professional print design and production. Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Premium combines the leading web design and development tools and Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Standard serves the professional web developer. Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium, meanwhile is a complete post-production solution for video professionals. Lastly, Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection combines 12 new creative applications in one box, enabling customers to design across all media-print, web, interactive, mobile, video and film.

Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium brings greater levels of integration, efficiency, and productivity with InDesign CS3 software for professional page layout, Photoshop CS3 Extended software for advanced image editing, Illustrator CS3 software for vector graphics creation, Flash CS3 Professional software for interactive design, Dreamweaver CS3 software for web design and development, and Acrobat 8 Professional software for efficient Adobe PDF workflows. More efficient print and web publishing workflows based on InDesign CS3-Design any type of printed material from marketing collateral and catalogs to magazines, newspapers, and books. Integrated with Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, and now Dreamweaver, InDesign CS3 delivers customer-inspired productivity enhancements to streamline repetitive tasks, accelerate demanding workflows, and help meet tight deadlines. Experience greater levels of integration, efficiency, and productivity with InDesign CS3 software for professional page layout, Photoshop CS3 Extended software for advanced image editing, Illustrator CS3 software for vector graphics creation, Flash CS3 Professional software for interactive design, Dreamweaver CS3 software for web design and development, and Acrobat 8 Professional software for efficient Adobe PDF workflows.

Creative effects include the ability to place multiple files at once, table and cell styles, and advanced find/change. Also export layouts as XHTML or XML files to jumpstart web pages in Dreamweaver or for other publishing workflows. Efficient, fluid creation of vector graphics and images and new ways to work with and incorporate vector graphics and images into print, web, interactive, and mobile design projects. With Illustrator CS3, use an exciting new color environment called Live Color to explore and save color combinations and to interactively apply them to multiple objects at once; draw more quickly and naturally thanks to numerous improvements.

CS3 reflects the powerful integration between Adobe and Macromedia giving designers and developers the creative license to engage audiences across virtually every medium. Design Premium combines indispensable tools for page layout, image editing, illustration, and Adobe PDF workflows with newly integrated components for creating compelling publications, websites, rich interactive experiences, and engaging mobile content-all in one highly efficient work environment. When you open up applications in CS3 for the first time, you will see that Adobe has attempted to give them a common look and feel with helps to get comfortable with the ability to integrate the applications. Dozens of new and enhanced features in InDesign CS3 make it easier and faster to handle repetitive layout tasks. The new Live Color feature in Illustrator CS3 enables designers to experiment with, save, and apply combinations of colors quickly and intuitively. Daily image editing tasks such as selecting image areas, compositing images, and applying filters are faster and more flexible with Photoshop CS3 Extended.

New integration of Flash CS3 Professional means designers and developers can import native Photoshop and Illustrator files into projects created with Flash with full fidelity, saving time and producing higher quality results compared to previous workflows. In addition, Dreamweaver CS3 automatically optimizes for the web when designers copy and paste Photoshop files into web layouts. Designers can also repurpose print content for the web by exporting InDesign selections or documents as XHTML files and then opening them in Dreamweaver to jumpstart a web design.

Creative Suite 3 Web Premium is the complete set of essential tools if you are serious about bringing your creative vision to the web. It is the best value for both capability and price offering comprehensive interactive design and development for the web. CS3 Web Premium offers a broad toolset enabling web designers and developers to easily prototype, design, develop and maintain websites, applications, games, presentations, and mobile content. With advanced integration simplifying workflows, the suite combines all of the Adobe applications that web designers and developers require-including compelling new versions of Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, Adobe Fireworks CS3, Adobe Contribute CS3 along with major releases of key design tools, including Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, Adobe Illustrator CS3, and Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional. Additionally, Adobe announced Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Standard software for web designers and developers focusing on interactive design and development.

Creative Suite 3 Web editions are available as Universal applications for both PowerPC and Intel-based Macs and support both Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista. The software has been optimized to deliver outstanding performance on both the latest Macintosh and Windows hardware. The Web Premium software covers the spectrum of web development and digital interactive design, marrying new versions of industry favorites Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended, Adobe Illustrator CS3, and Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional with brand new releases of Adobe Dreamweaver CS3, Adobe Flash CS3 Professional, Adobe Fireworks CS3, and Adobe Contribute CS3. Web designers and developers can now use the most comprehensive tools available to prototype, design, develop, and maintain websites, applications, and mobile content. Web Premium offers full new releases of the industry's best tools for graphics creation, web design, rich media authoring, and web development.

Experience the incredible efficiency of advanced integration between each component with shared tools and a unified design environment with common commands, tools, keyboard shortcuts, control elements and workspace panels that dock and group make web design and development easy, efficient, and productive.

Whether you're working on Mac or Windows, your workflow is optimized and your productivity boosted as you work with features such as rapid prototyping in Fireworks, improved CSS workflow in Dreamweaver, ActionScript 3.0 in Flash, the new Live Color feature in Illustrator, the enhanced Vanishing Point feature in Photoshop, WYSIWYG authoring in Contribute, PDF packaging for multiple files in Acrobat, and more. Now you can move from concept to delivery in one fluid, intuitive environment.

Advanced integration is a major focus across Adobe Creative Suite Web Premium, giving users a faster, more productive workflow across the applications, as customers transition between prototype, design, and development efforts. Now, for the first time, web professionals can import native Photoshop and Illustrator files directly into Flash and Fireworks with full fidelity. On import, users can specify how layers, organizational hierarchy, text, styles, formatting, and other attributes are handled for maximum flexibility and considerable timesavings. In addition, web designers can use the new hierarchical organization structure in Fireworks CS3 to rapidly build complex web-page prototypes and save them in a single PNG file. Users can copy and paste directly from Photoshop CS3 to Dreamweaver CS3 to quickly build pages from website compositions. Website maintenance is easier and more cost effective with tight integration between Dreamweaver CS3 templates and Contribute CS3, ensuring the look-and-feel of web pages is consistent and never compromised. Illustrator and Fireworks have a new CS3 look and feel and there is a new direct access to a stock photo repository, however, it is fee based but saves a lot of time when you need a photo.

With Creative Suite 3 Web editions, users can deliver consistent experiences across all browsers, operating systems, and a range of mobile and handheld devices. Dreamweaver CS3 introduces integration with the new Spry Framework for AJAX, a pre-built, cross-browser compatible library of widgets and effects that makes it faster and easier to build rich interactive websites. New CSS layouts, the automated Browser Compatibility Check, and the online CSS Adviser, streamline creation and testing of CSS-based websites for multiple web browsers. With Contribute CS3, users can update multiple websites and blogs, easily publish content generated by Microsoft Office, and quickly add videos created with Adobe Flash with no technical expertise required.

Let's face it. Budgets are tight, and good deals are hard to come by. But the Adobe Creative Suite 3 isn't just a good deal, it's a great one.


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