Adobe improves a good thing with Creative Suite 2.0

May 05, 2005 at 11:57 pm by staff

Adobe began shipping the first copies of Creative Suite 2 in May and newspapers have a vested interest in this latest crop of design tools. Eighteen months have passed since the initial version of Creative Suite (CS1) hit the market and Adobe promises significant advancements in CS2. Like it?s predecessor, CS2 includes three applications of great importance to many newspapers. InDesign, which has changed the way many newspapers paginate, is now up to version 4.0. Photoshop, the standard for photo editing among newspapers large and small, is in its ninth incarnation. And Acrobat Professional, which was released separately earlier in the year, is up to version 7.0. In addition, CS2 includes Adobe GoLive and Illustrator, applications that are used by many newspapers for website development and ad design. Creative Suite 2.0 comes in two flavors. The first, Creative Suite Standard, includes InDesign, Photoshop and Illustrator ? as well as Version Cue and Adobe Bridge, two features to assist in managing workflows. Creative Suite Premium includes all these, plus Adobe Acrobat Professional and GoLive. In coming months we?ll review these applications in more detail. For now, let?s explore a few of the new features in Creative Suite 2.0. It seems like Photoshop has been around as long as computer pagination. Versions 7 and 8 both added several impressive features to its arsenal. Photoshop CS2 (9.0) includes some welcome additions including a new Red Eye tool that makes removing red in a subject?s pupils as simple as clicking on the red part of the eye. The Spot Healing Brush allows users to remove blemishes from photos without having to sample a source area. Simply click on the blemish with this new tool and it disappears. Camera Raw, which is gaining popularity among many papers, now works with multiple images at once. Illustrator users will enjoy a couple of new features. The Live Paint tool makes it possible to fill areas with color, much like paint programs. Live Trace will make my life easier. I still keep CorelTrace (part of the Corel Graphic Suite) on my computer, even though a Mac version hasn?t been released for several. CorelTrace does a wonderful job of tracing line art and bitmapped images and converting them to vector files. Illustrator?s Live Trace works in much the same way, creative wonderful native Illustrator files from bitmapped images. Possibly the most impressive new feature in InDesign CS2 is Object Styles. Much like Paragraph Styles, Object Styles will benefit newspapers as much as anyone. Let?s say you have a look that is repeated on a regular basis. Maybe it?s a gray box with text and a drop shadow that is used throughout your publication. Suppose the box has a text wrap built around it and a drop cap at the beginning of the first line of text. An Object Style can be created that includes all this information, allowing the user to apply all these settings to any text frame to create a consistent look throughout the publication. InDesign CS2 also includes the ability to save a document for persons working in previous versions. The most apparent addition to Creative Suite is Adobe Bridge. Much like Photoshop Browser, Bridge works throughout the Creative Suite applications to help users organize, browse, locate and preview graphics, text and files that are needed daily. Available from within Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and GoLive, Bridge lets the user quickly look through PDF, PSD, Illustrator, Camera Raw and InDesign files, plus the image formats already available in Photoshop?s Browser (jpeg, tiff, eps, etc.). In compact mode, users can drag and drop any file from Bridge onto a document created in any CS2 application. Creative Suite 2 includes too many features to cover in one column. I haven?t even mentioned snippets, color management improvement, and tighter integration between applications. The list could continue for some time. It?s scary to think that one company could produce so many of the tools needed for optimum design at one time. With its recent merger with Macromedia, Adobe?s future only looks brighter. Maybe I should have bought that Adobe stock a few years back. For more information concerning Creative Suite 2.0, visit (US/Canada) or (Australia).


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