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Creative Suite box Adobe Launches 'Creative Suite'
By Mike Pasini, The Imaging Resource
(Monday, September 29, 2003 - 00:08 EDT)

Don't call it Photoshop 8 -- it's Photoshop CS now. And it has company. ImageReady CS, Illustrator CS, InDesign CS, GoLive CS, Acrobat 6 Pro and more.

Like that old Beatles tune (You Know My Name, Look Up the Number), Adobe has flipped its professional software over, foregoing version numbers in favor of, well, a name. Creative Suite.

But there's more to Creative Suite than the name. It smells a lot like Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat, InDesign and GoLive! sweating profusely in one tiny phone booth (your hard disk).

It's a new strategy, by any other name, according to Adobe.

Things have changed in 20 years, the company said in introducing the new suite to a select group of interested press moguls at Seybold San Francisco. Customers have problems.

Well, that hasn't changed, but the problems have evolved into serious organisms. Now you have to wear a lot of hats (what photographer hasn't dabbled in typography, what art director hasn't wrestled with a Web site, what...). And the way things are going with the local economy, the green is a little greener on the other side of the ocean. We're international. Add the breakneck pace of technological innovation to the mix and, well, who's counting anymore?

Not Adobe. No numbers, this is the Creative Suite, featuring:

  1. Simultaneous delivery of each application (no waiting for cool new features to trickle through the lineup),

  2. Customer consultation (rather than small development groups) driving design, and

  3. New technologies (Version Cue and Design Guide) to integrate the workflow.

And just what's this going to cost you? Not too much, actually. The full suite of eight applications runs $1,229 new or $749 for the upgrade. That includes Photoshop CS (with ImageReady CS), Illustrator CS, InDesign CS, GoLive CS and Acrobat 6.0 Professional with the Version Cue file version manager, expanded support options as well as a workflow guide, a video training CD and other educational resources to show you how to use the tools together effectively.

But wait, there's less (as Russell Brown, Photoshop evangelist, never said). You can get the "standard" edition (configured primarily for print production) for $749 ($549 upgrade). Upgrade pricing requires ownership of Photoshop 7.0 or the Adobe Web, Design, Publishing, Digital Video, or Video Professional Collection.

But wait. There's even a bit less. Say, you want to upgrade to just the $649 Photoshop CS from 7.0. They'll do it for $169.

But now you really have to wait -- until the fourth quarter. It isn't shipping yet.

In fact, we're still waiting for the beta to preview. But we did wipe the mustard off our mustache long enough to see some of these new tools in action.


Lot of talking points here, bear with us. It's our underwhelmed way of admiring the emperor's new clothes.

Take, for example, the top five features of the Creative Suite, according to Adobe:

  • Integrated print and Web design using new versions of Adobe's professional creative applications that actually can read each other's native formats (including style sheets).

  • A common toolset of professional design tools built to work together and priced affordably. Applications share technologies like the Adobe Color Engine, Extensible Metadata Platform (XMP), Flattener and Separation Preview palettes, and support for OpenType fonts.

  • Common interface elements including commands, tools, palettes, and user-defineable keyboard shortcuts to reduce the slope of the learning curve.

  • Intuitive file-finding with Version Cue to retrieve files quickly by viewing thumbnails or searching on XMP metadata such as keywords, version comments, file name, author and date.

  • Educational resources to help you discover new ways to use the suite with documented tips, tricks, and guides.

  • File management from within the familiar Adobe design environments of Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, InDesign CS and GoLive CS.

Some creative intern at Adobe measured just how much time creative professionals spend looking for files. While the average home user can never find where their images were stored on their hard disk, the pro spends 10 to 20 percent of their time juggling files. But then, that's billable time.

While you might think that the solution to this is called an operating system, Adobe has taken a cue from software development (which resembles print and Web production rather closely) to come up with Version Cue. The new application is actually a database that keeps track of everything, letting you access files by browsing workspaces and saving various versions without cluttering up the file system.

We were all confused by this, but the coffee wasn't warm anymore. Besides, we were really there to find out about Photoshop 8, er, CS.


John Mach, product manager for Photoshop CS, began his presentation by acknowledging that the big problem for Photoshop users is the number of files they have to deal with. Thousands of images, not dozens.

Photoshop, he said, is the first application that touches these files on their way to the Web or print. If you don't count Image Capture, iView Multimedia Pro, iPhoto, Photoshop Album, Kodak EasyShare, or anything else that transfers images to your hard disk.

But when it's time to get to work, it's Photoshop that usually gets the call, like the fire truck that always beats the ambulance.

So, CS features an enhanced browser (see below). It apparently is even a bit more in synch with changes to files and directories made in the operating system. No refresh needed, we were told.

As "your digital imaging hub," the new browser features flags, keywording and editable metadata with the most common commands grouped on a new toolbar (see below).

But can it rotate images, not just thumbnails? Adobe's PR firm answered us, "You can rotate an image, then choose Edit (from the File Browser's menu bar) -> Apply Rotation." We're crossing our fingers (after all, iView Multimedia, to name one program, can do it -- even if it skips the thumbnails in the JPEG header).

CS adds a Match Color feature that "reads the color statistics of one image or layer and applies them to another." The idea is to give a family resemblance to a series of shots, regardless of lighting conditions, say.

And CS includes the Camera Raw plug-in (which we reviewed earlier), previously available for $99. The nice thing about that is that CS itself is now a bit more 16-bit savvy. Adobe claims the "core features" of Photoshop now function on 16-bit images, meaning layers, channels, painting, text and shapes. A number of filters are active, if not all of them, and we believe selections can be made on 16-bit images, too.

Adobe has tried to extend the language used in the Camera Raw plug-in (color temperature, for example) to the rest of the product, so pros can talk shop with the software. The new Shadow/Highlight command (see below) is just one example.

CS can display a live histogram for your image so you can monitor the effect of any operation. This is probably a more precise view than merely looking at the image. And it's extended with before/after and individual channel views.

If you do much scanning, you may appreciate the new Auto Crop and Straighten command. It even works on multiple images, copying each crop into a separate document.

There's a new Lens Blur Effect filter that gives highlights the shape of the camera lens aperture. You can use an alpha channel to modify just how much various parts of the image should be affected. There is also a set of Photo Filter Effects that mimic standard photo filters. You can apply them as adjustment layers and modify them with the color picker.

Photomerge makes it into CS from Elements. We really like Photomerge. It's simple and effective with seamless blends. We just wish we had a 4x26-inch printer.

A new Color Replacement tool maintains the texture and shading of an area while changing its color. This has always been harder than it should be, so we look forward to revising our sister-in-law's alma mater dress code on a very large number of images. Those Stanford people.

Picture Packages are a little more flexible, allowing you to interactively edit existing layouts, gang images or duplicate a single one.

Layer sets can now be nested, making them a bit more readable (a feature that extends through the lineup). And if you're ambitious, you'll appreciate CS's image size limit of 300,000x300,000 pixels with up to 56 channels per file.


We were most interested in Photoshop, of course, but this is a suite, not a piddling application. So here's a very brief look at just a few highlights of the other applications:

Illustrator now ships with 100 open type fonts, some of which are even Pro fonts (featuring ligatures, alternate ligatures, extra characters and glyphs you can toggle on and off). Printing has been improved, too.

InDesign features a cute right-hand well (Photoshop has a well, but it's in the tool bar -- so much for an integrated user interface) that resembles Explorer's tabs. You can stash your palettes there, pulling them out when you need them. Otherwise it more closely emulates Photoshop's tool workspace. But the big advance is the introduction of the story editor (think of it as a typewriter built into the page layout program) that dispenses with formatting other than bold and italic but gives an overset count to the author trying to copy fit. Drop caps are improved, as well as decorative items. Formatting is applied by something called "natural structure" and styles can be nested. You can view separations and move elements from one plate to another. The InDesign team has come up with a new approach for getting from print to the Web, eschewing HTML export in favor of "repurposing assets," which means extracting text with styles and images.

So GoLive can read those nested styles now and apply cascading style sheet enhancements of its own (which it can preview). It can also resample images on the fly (saving a trip to Photoshop) and render HTML changes live using the Opera HTML rendering engine. PDF rendering is also improved.

Acrobat 6 Pro includes layers support and preflight tools. It's ISO approved as a standard ad delivery format, as well.


We'll have more to say (perhaps as early as this week's newsletter) about the entire suite when we see it, but our first impression is deja vu. CS mixes some features from Camera Raw, some from Elements and others carried through the line. It all seems like spring cleaning, not new ideas.

We're generally in favor of spring cleaning and mistrust new ideas.

The best ideas are old ones like affordable upgrade pricing. Adobe's upgrade pricing brings this suite of competent applications home for the price of a couple of parking tickets. This suite promises to make you a bit more capable a bit faster. Whatever qualms we may have, let it be, that's exciting.

Original Source Press Release:

Adobe CS and Photoshop CS Press Releases

All-New Adobe Creative Suite Delivers Platform for The Future of Design and Publishing

New Product Strategy Combines Four Full-Version Upgrades of Essential Creative Applications, Acrobat 6.0 and Introduces Innovative Version Cue File Manager

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Sept. 29, 2003 (NASDAQ: ADBE) - Adobe Systems Incorporated, the leader in network publishing, today unveiled the Adobe® Creative Suite, a new software product that combines new full-version upgrades of Adobe Photoshop® CS, Adobe Illustrator® CS, Adobe InDesign® CS, and Adobe GoLive® CS, incorporates Acrobat® 6.0 Professional, and introduces the innovative Version Cue™ file version manager. The all-new Adobe Creative Suite is a complete design environment that gives today's creative professionals everything they need to create and publish content to print and the Web faster, more easily, and more efficiently than ever.

"Adobe Creative Suite integrates outstanding new product releases and unleashes Version Cue - technology that will save creative professionals time and revolutionize interaction within creative teams," said Bruce Chizen, president and CEO, Adobe Systems Incorporated. "With Adobe Creative Suite we are delivering a platform for the future of design and publishing, building on 20 years of innovation and partnership with the creative community worldwide."

A New Era Of Adobe Integration

Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition combines four new full-version upgrades of essential Adobe applications, relied on by millions of creative professionals around the world: Photoshop CS with Adobe ImageReady CS®, Illustrator CS, InDesign CS and GoLive CS, all brought together with Version Cue (see separate press releases for component software details).

With Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) becoming an integral part of Web and print production workflows, Acrobat 6.0 Professional, released to industry acclaim earlier this year, is also a component of the Adobe Creative Suite - allowing customers to review and comment on documents, as well as pre-flight and output complex print jobs.

Adobe Creative Suite is anchored by Version Cue, an innovative file management system that allows designers to increase productivity and meet tight deadlines. Whether designers, working alone or in teams, are looking for the most recent iteration of a file or for an older version, Version Cue enables users to visually scan image thumbnails in Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, InDesign CS, and GoLive CS, or search XMP metadata across version comments, keywords, author, date, and more.

"Simplification of the creative workflow and tighter integration of applications into suites is a trend which will benefit designers collaborating on projects to become more efficient and productive," said Joshua Duhl, research director at IDC. "Features that allow users to easily share files with clients and colleagues, and locate files visually or through the use of metadata will facilitate the broader workflow and lifecycle of creative assets."

A Standard Edition of Adobe Creative Suite is available, combining these same components, except for GoLive CS and Acrobat 6.0 Professional, to provide an advanced solution for print design and layout.

Adobe Creative Suite also includes two Adobe typeface families. Warnock Pro, a new Adobe Originals OpenType family, is included with every copy of Adobe Creative Suite, providing a classic yet contemporary composition family that performs a wide variety of typographic tasks with elegance. Brioso Pro, an OpenType family designed in the calligraphic tradition of the Latin alphabet, is available free of charge to customers who register their copy of Adobe Creative Suite via the Web.

Get Up and Running Quickly

Both versions of Adobe Creative Suite include Video CDs, developed by Total Training, and a new Design Guide that offers insights on working more efficiently across the Adobe Creative Suite workflow, with advice for users of all experience levels. Adobe Creative Suite customers will also have access to the new, redesigned Adobe Studio™ ( www.studio.adobe.com ) a one-stop Web resource for expert tips, tricks, and guidance.

Customers receive one serial number for Adobe Creative Suite and one number to call for support and service, greatly simplifying installation and troubleshooting. Adobe Creative Suite comes with complimentary warranty support for registered users that provides toll-free and online support for installation and bug-fix issues. For other types of technical and workflow support issues, customers can purchase one of Adobe's Expert Support options ( www.adobe.com/expertsupport ).

Pricing and Availability

Adobe is making it easy for creative professionals worldwide to upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite. Any customer that currently has a copy of Photoshop (purchased as a standalone product or part of an Adobe Collection) on their system, can upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition for an estimated street price of $749, or the Standard Edition for $549.

Estimated street price for the Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition is US$1229 and $999 for the Standard Edition. For more detailed information about the Adobe Creative Suite, please visit: www.adobe.com/creativesuite .

Adobe Creative Suite for Mac OS X 10.2.4, Microsoft® Windows® 2000 with Service Pack 2, and Windows XP Professional and Home Edition, will be available in the fourth (calendar) quarter of 2003 to customers in the United States and Canada through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store at: www.adobe.com/store .

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Founded in 1982, Adobe Systems Incorporated ( www.adobe.com ), the leader in network publishing, offers a comprehensive line of software for enterprise and creative professional customers. Its products enable customers to create, manage and deliver visually rich, compelling and reliable content. Based in San Jose, Calif., Adobe is one of the world's largest software companies.

Adobe Raises the Digital Imaging Standard with Photoshop CS

Streamlined ImageReady CS, Enhanced Camera Raw Functionality and New Shadow/Highlight and Match Color Features Headline `Must Have' Photoshop Release

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Sept. 29, 2003 (NASDAQ: ADBE) - Adobe Systems Incorporated, the leader in network publishing, today announced Adobe® Photoshop® CS, a dramatic full-version upgrade to the professional standard in desktop digital imaging. Available as a key component of the Adobe Creative Suite (also announced today) or as a standalone software application, Photoshop CS is loaded with indispensable new features that help creative professionals craft the highest quality images more quickly and efficiently than ever.

Photoshop CS increases user control, with a redesigned File Browser enhancing search, sorting and sharing capabilities and a new Histogram Palette monitoring changes in the image as they are made. Additional advances include: Match Color, which reads color statistics to quickly achieve a consistent look across a series of photographs; Shadow/Highlight which radically improves the contrast of over- or underexposed digital images; and enhanced ImageReady® CS integration. Photoshop CS also integrates second generation Camera Raw functionality, enabling direct manipulation of raw data in an expanded set of professional-grade digital cameras.

"Photoshop is the gold standard in digital imaging and a catalyst in the continuing digital photography revolution. This release empowers our customers to deliver their highest quality work, faster and more efficiently," said Bryan Lamkin, senior vice president of Digital Imaging and Video Products at Adobe. "For the millions of people worldwide who rely on Photoshop every day, our new CS edition will be a must-have upgrade to their digital imaging desktop."

Features for Graphics and Photography Professionals

For graphic designers, features such as Layer Comps can be used to quickly capture design variations within a single file, then instantly output alternates for client review. Eye-catching typographic designs can also be created by manipulating fully editable text on any path or inside any closed path. Photoshop CS enables photographers to work directly with raw data from even more digital cameras and includes comprehensive editing support for 16-bit color images. Color across images can be synchronized effortlessly with Match Color and Shadow/Highlight correction cures exposure problems while preserving midtones.

"As a digital shooter who not only captures hundreds of shots each day, but also has to meet time-sensitive client demands, I'm excited about the enhancements in Photoshop CS," said Martin Evening, notable London advertising photographer and author. "The more powerful File Browser with integrated and expanded Camera Raw support gives me the speed, personalization and intuitiveness I've been searching for while the Shadow/Highlight correction tool provides an easy way for me to deal with tricky image adjustments. I'm impressed."

Professional Film and Video Features

Photoshop CS removes the guesswork for film and video professionals designing sequences for DVD, video and film. Accurately creating imagery for display on screen has always been a challenge, because non-square pixels, typical of video, cause computer-generated graphics - which use square pixels - to appear distorted. With non-square pixel support in Photoshop CS, video professionals can see the image as it would appear on the destination device and they can create with confidence using preset video-standard sizes, including automatic action-safe and title-safe guides. The 16-bit support in Photoshop CS preserves the rich color palette of film and the product is tightly integrated with Adobe's industry-leading video software, including Adobe Premiere® Pro, Adobe Encore™ DVD and Adobe After Effects®.

ImageReady Comes of Age

Web designers benefit from the seamless integration of ImageReady CS with Photoshop CS which gives them the ability to prepare graphics more quickly and easily than before. The enhanced user interface features multiple object selection, manipulation and grouping, with Smart Guides to facilitate object alignment. Exporting to Macromedia® Flash™ SWF can be done in one step with preserved vectors and dynamic text, including embedded fonts. Web professionals can also create leaner, more easily edited HTML, with new controls for nested tables, XHTML and more.

New Adobe Creative Suite

Photoshop CS is a key component of the all new Adobe Creative Suite. The Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition combines full, new versions of Adobe Photoshop CS with ImageReady CS, Adobe Illustrator CS, Adobe InDesign CS, Adobe GoLive CS, and Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Professional and introduces the innovative new Version Cue™ file version manager, to easily track iterations and quickly locate files. The Adobe Creative Suite is a complete design solution that gives today's creative professionals everything they need to create and publish content to print and the Web faster, more easily, and more efficiently than ever.

Pricing and Availability

Photoshop CS for Mac OSX 10.2.4, Microsoft® Windows® 2000 with Server Pack 3 and Windows XP will be available in the fourth (calendar) quarter of 2003 to customers in the United States and Canada through Adobe Authorized Resellers and the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com/store . Adobe Photoshop CS will be available for an estimated street price of US$649. Registered users of any previous version of Adobe Photoshop can upgrade to Adobe Photoshop CS for an estimated street price of US$169. Photoshop CS is also available as part of the Adobe Creative Suite. Registered users of any previous version of Photoshop can upgrade to Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition for an estimated street price of $749, or the Standard Edition for $549. For more detailed information about new features and upgrade policies for Photoshop CS, please visit: www.adobe.com/products/photoshop . For more detailed information about the Adobe Creative Suite, please visit: www.adobe.com/creativesuite .

About Adobe Systems Incorporated

Founded in 1982, Adobe Systems Incorporated ( www.adobe.com ), the leader in network publishing, offers a comprehensive line of software for enterprise and creative professional customers. Its products enable customers to create, manage and deliver visually rich, compelling and reliable content. Based in San Jose, Calif., Adobe is one of the world's largest software companies.

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