Design suite top of its league
If Adobe Systems were in a professional sports league, its Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition could easily match the all-star rosters of football powerhouses such as Real Madrid or Barcelona.
The package combines new full-version upgrades of the company's market-leading professional creative software - Adobe Photoshop CS, Adobe Illustrator CS, Adobe InDesign CS and Adobe GoLive CS. It also incorporates Acrobat 6.0 Professional, Version Cue file version manager and Adobe PageMaker Plug-in Pack.
A standard edition, excluding GoLive CS and Acrobat 6.0 Professional, was released last October.
The premium edition is a complete design platform-in-a-box that gives professionals, business users and educators everything they need to publish content for print and the Web.
About a year since it was first released, it has become as important an all-in-one product as Microsoft's Office productivity suite.
All the programs in suite share core technologies, including Adobe's Colour Engine and OpenType support, which enable users to deliver consistent results across applications.
Tight integration in one platform also results in a smoother workflow. Built-in support for the Adobe PDF (portable document format) standard across the suite allows a user to streamline review cycles and avoid costly production mishaps.
Photoshop CS offers more precise image editing and retouching capabilities.
ImageReady CS helps designers prepare graphics for the Web faster and more efficiently.
Illustrator CS offers new three-dimensional effects. Users can take a vector shape (a mathematical definition of an image), spin it out to full 3D, and add light sources and reflections.
InDesign CS is a page layout and design program. Users can export their projects to standard formats such as PDF, jpeg or SVG (scalable vector graphics) for the Web. The website authoring application, GoLive CS, uses Smart Object technology to put PDF, Photoshop and Illustrator files directly on to webpages.
Adobe Creative Suite is anchored by Version Cue, an innovative file management system that lets designers scan image thumbnails in Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, InDesign CS and GoLive CS, or search across version comments, keywords and other relevant data.
Adobe Creative Suite Premium Edition
Pros: Single installation for all essential editing, design and publishing programs
Cons: Steep learning curve for GoLive CS, even for veteran Adobe users