Adobe InDesign CS4

18 09 2008



Adobe CS4

17 09 2008

Adobe next week will unveil Creative Suite 4, a new version of its media design bundle set to ship the following month with features such as enhanced options for working with 3D objects in Photoshop, new Flash document exports from within InDesign, and a new animation model for Flash, AppleInsider has learned.

The San Jose-based software developer has confirmed the package to include new versions of Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Flash Player, InDesign, Photoshop, and Soundbooth, but will also bundle minor updates to the suite’s remaining components.

Nothing revolutionary

People privy to private demonstrations of Creative Suite 4 say the update will generally be minor, with only a few new features tacked on to each application. “The lack of compelling new features has been the discussion among many employees and customers that are testing the software,” one of those people said, “with many relating CS4 to a maintenance release rather than a complete new version.”

Photoshop CS4

Photoshop’s new 3D feature, which allows 3D objects to be imported as wireframes, stands to benefit only a small group of users such as architects, engineers, and package designers, according to those familiar with the software. Some also describe the application’s new interface (shown below) as a step backwards. Information from entire screens and dialog boxes is now fitted to a small palette with the goal of making the interface look consistent with the other applications, they say.

The new version of Photoshop will also feature a Flash services panel, natural canvas rotation, content aware image resizing and deliver 64-bit support for Windows users.

InDesign CS4

One of the big features of InDesign CS4 will be a new Flash export option, but those familiar with the product say the feature is somewhat impractical, given that text can only be edited one line at a time after it’s exported. InDesign files exported to Flash may also not contain any multimedia content such as movies because they’ll get stripped out in the conversion process and need to be re-added using Flash.

Unlike the new Photoshop interface (detailed below), InDesign CS4 uses a more conventional layout, with a standard document window and Office-style floating palette menus.

Adobe CS4

Flash CS4

Among the new features of Flash CS4 are a completely new “and proper” timeline dubbed Motion Editor, as well as a new object-based motion tween model. While some have praised the Flash’s new animation model as “the best thing” to happen to the software, others believe it may present a new learning curve that further fragments the Flash community.

“The reengineered file format means that the Flash community, still split between ActionScript 2 and 3, will now be split with new source file formats,” one person said.

Screen Sharing

Another big push behind CS4 will be collaboration. Leveraging its web conferencing business and Connect software, Adobe has built a new feature into all CS4 applications that will allow users to initiate a screen-sharing sessions from the File Menu.

Kuler Correction

Kuler, Adobe’s color creation and sharing product, will also be available across all the CS4 programs, and each product in the suite will ship with a feature called Adobe Drive to help share files between programs.

New Tabbed Window Interface

The user interface for each application will also see minor changes. The most notable differences include a tabbed interface to switch between open documents, and a workspace switching menu to choose which menus and palettes are displayed.

Also somewhat controversial is Adobe’s effort to rework the title bar on both Windows and the Mac to a new design that doesn’t follow the human interface guidelines of either, although this is only carried forward in specific applications in the suite.

In a confidential note to beta testers, Adobe wrote “the advantages of this new unifying App bar are: On Windows, it saves vertical real estate by combining title bar, main menu bar, and windowing controls in a single row; emphasizes task-based workspaces; up-levels and exposes commonly used View controls (currently hidden in bottom status bars or in menus); allows for cross-suite common controls such as UI Search and Multiple Monitor controls; unifies user experience across the CS applications.”

“On the Mac,” Adobe said, “the main menus are not moving to the Application bar but instead remain at the top of the main monitor.”

Photoshop CS4 (below) shows the new title bar with tools adjacent to the close, minimize, and zoom buttons, as well as the tabbed document interface, 3D menu, and other pulldowns.

Adobe CS4


People familiar with Adobe’s plans say the company will continue to offer multiple versions of the Creative Suite, continuing with the same suite configurations. Upgrades for the most popular suite, Design Premium, are expected to be priced at $699.


Adobe CS4

3 09 2008

Adobe plans to offer its customers the first overview of Creative Suite 4.0 later this month and could be ready to deliver the software to market as early as this fall, according to those close to the company.

The Mountain View, Calif-based software maker released public betas of CS4-bound applications Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Soundbooth in late May, but has kept secret its plans for some of the suite’s more prominent components, namely Photoshop and Flash.

That’s about to change. The company this week began notifying its customers that it intends to host a webcast covering its next-generation software bundle at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time on Tuesday, September 23rd.

“Are you ready for something brilliant?,” the company wrote on the digital registration form for the presentation. “Be one of the first to see Adobe Creative Suite 4.0 in a special web broadcast.”

Word of the event comes amid an increasing number of reports from Adobe’s partners who say the company is aiming for a near 18-month refresh cycle of its bread and butter software suite, with a release as early as October. This comes despite earlier claims of an October release that were hotly contested by company representatives.

Adobe Flash Player 10 beta Updated

4 07 2008

Flash Player 10 beta updated

Adobe this week has released Flash Player 10 beta 2, a new test version of its major animation plugin update.

The latest beta addresses a number of minor bugs and new features but is touted primarily for its speed on Mac OS X. The Apple platform has been characteristically slow in some browsers but runs at least three times faster in benchmarks thanks to a new drawing engine and hardware video acceleration, according to Adobe developers.

Version 10 also adds 3D effects, custom filters, and dynamic Internet streams that can lower or raise quality depending on the speed of the viewer’s Internet connection.

Beta 2 represents late development and should translate to a final release soon.

Adobe Reader 9

2 07 2008

Adobe Systems has posted Adobe Reader 9, the newest version of its PDF reader software for Mac OS X. The free software is available from Adobe’s Web site.

Adobe’s Web site may default to Reader 8.1.2 — simply click on the “Different language or operating system?” link and select Mac OS X 10.4.11 – 10.5.3 to download Adobe Reader 9.

Acrobat 9 is the latest major release of Adobe’s PDF creation software. It features native support for Adobe Flash, so PDF documents can now contain Flash video and other multimedia content. “PDF Portfolios” are now supported — these compressed PDF files can contain multiple media types, including documents, video, audio and 3D content. Acrobat 9 also introduces the ability to collaborate live online with other users using Adobe’s Web site.

System requirements call for Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later, G4 or later (including Intel), 128MB RAM, 405MB hard disk space and Safari 2.0.4 or later.

PDFs Are Now An ISO Standard!

2 07 2008

At long last, the PDF (portable document format) has become recognized as an ISO standard.

Click Here for the official ISO announcement.

Google And Yahoo SWF Search

1 07 2008

Adobe announced Tuesday that Google and Yahoo are adding search capabilities that will enable users to look inside the content of files encoded in Adobe’s Flash file format — SWF.

The content inside SWF files has heretofore been ignored by the search engine giants, but Adobe has worked with both companies to make sure that their search engine technology can now look inside existing and future SWF content, including text, hyperlinks, audio and video content.

“End users will be getting more accurate search results because there’s a lot of information in SWF files that will now be fully indexed, including more information in Rich Internet Applications (RIAs),” said Justin Everett-Church, senior product manager for Adobe Flash Player, Platform BU.

“And content producers are now able to put Flash files online and know that they’re going to bring more users through organic search. The good thing is that they don’t have to do anything to enable this capability — it works on any SWF file,” Everett-Church told Macworld.

Google is already beginning to offer search results including data inside Flash files, and Yahoo will follow suit with an update to its Yahoo Search engine, according to Adobe.