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Adobe Announces CS4

Well, it was bound to happen, sooner or later. The CS3 announcement caused quite a fuss – I know, I was part of it – and Adobe are not letting us settle down for long, as they have just taken the wraps off of the upcoming release of CS4.

There is much reading to be done on the subject, but a few pages in particular got my interest.

The official announcement is at Adobe Introduces Creative Suite 4 Product Family.

John Nack is always open about the progress of Photoshop, and he has written CS4: Sweating the Details to inform readers of the little details that have been handles in Photoshop CS4. Even though it doesn’t cover the big new features, it’s still an impressive list. PhotoshopSupport.com has a big list that touches on all the notable new changes.

Illustrator has gotten its fair share of coverage too. The updates are covered in various places, including Creative Curio and Vectips. There is an official listing on the Illustrator blog.

Apparently Flash gets an all-new animation model – it now works in a different way than before.

Dreamweaver is probably the one that would have interested me the most, but there’s not enough new features there either. The live view now uses the WebKit engine (same as Safari uses), which would be an improvement over the lousy one in CS3. But I already use web browsers for reviewing the work, so live view is no use to me. Then there is the Subversion integration into the site manager. I could have used that long ago, but TortoiseSVN only takes an extra couple clicks, so no big deal.

Visual changes include updated splash screens and icons – those are still in the periodic table fashion introduced in CS3, just changed a bit. The applications also have new window chrome, meaning they are slightly less obtrusive than they were previously. Incidentally, disregarding the default Windows and Mac window styles along the way. I’m undecided about the appearance, can’t decide whether I like it or not. I do like that the apps have finally been visually unified, since Dreamweaver and Fireworks did not gte the CS3 look at that time.

Ars Technica has a nice summary of key changes to all the applications in Adobe launches CS4 suite of applications

My take after all of this reading is that CS4 looks like an interesting upgrade. I say interesting in that it does not seem as appealing as the CS3 upgrade was, but that was a big upgrade for me in multiple ways. Heck, I’m still trying to get it all figured out, as evidenced by my incomplete list of CS3 reviews (near the bottom). It’s coming along though, I am working on Flash and Fireworks concurrently. Hope to have those reviews done real soon. That the features of this upgrade are not as appealing to me, coupled with the price, and the fact that I am happy with CS3, makes me think I will be skipping CS4 and waiting for the next release. Should give me enough time to get those reviews done…

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