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April 4, 2005 8:10 AM   Subscribe

Adobe announces new round of design applications. Inspring groans from designers everywhere who just got used to the CS apps, Adobe announced today CS2, 18 months after the last version. Included in the updates are Photoshop, Indesign, Illustrator, Golive and a new component called Bridge. The only hitch in the planned obsolescence model is that all the applications will now require product activation, thereby inspiring crackers everywhere to get busy.
posted by jeremias (57 comments total)

 
Is there a point at which an app is mature enough to not need any more updates or so-called upgrades? Is CS2 serving anything other than Adobe's bottom line? Are there really any important things CS2 will do that Photoshop 5 can not (Other than run natively on OS X)? Are posts made up of rhetorical questions always annoying?

Seriously: I've not been a Photoshop/Illustrator monkey for a number of years, but I really gotta wonder: Do all y'all out there really see this as a gotta-have-it release?
posted by docgonzo at 8:18 AM on April 4, 2005


Dear Adobe,

I'd like to pay big for some bloat, please. And could you make it as hard to install as possible? Thanks, and remember that I'm your bitch.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:19 AM on April 4, 2005


In other news, "gimpshop" the photoshop-ization of Gimp menus, is coming along nicely and pretty much works.
posted by mecran01 at 8:20 AM on April 4, 2005


Are there really any important things CS2 will do that Photoshop 5 can not (Other than run natively on OS X)

I agree with you that 5 was the latest innovative release. And they can have Illustrator 9 when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:21 AM on April 4, 2005


$1,199.00 ??
posted by R. Mutt at 8:22 AM on April 4, 2005


CS1 needed product activation when I installed it 17 months ago. How is this different?

on preview: ooh, built-in stock photos!
posted by greensweater at 8:22 AM on April 4, 2005


gimp shop. Wonder if they'll get sued.
posted by mecran01 at 8:25 AM on April 4, 2005


jeremias posted "thereby inspiring crackers everywhere to get busy."


Or inspiring people everywhere not to migrate? I am really confused about people getting frenetic everytime a company "upgrades" its products. Except in very few cases (previously immature products, rare breakthrough innovations in stable products), all "new" features are useless to almost everybody. Some bug corrections are sometimes necessary (but shouldn't they be included in the original price?). But there is very little room fro real innovation in products like Photoshop, Word or Excel. Isn't it high time we stop thinking something very bad will happen if we don't have the latest and greatest version of Whatever?

Curiosity: my wife tried Office XP some time ago and downgraded back to 2000 (I, oth, started using OpenOffice in one of the early 0.x betas and never looked back). The GIMP fill all our non-professional graphic needs. For professional graphic needs we hire professionals who use whatever they want.
posted by nkyad at 8:26 AM on April 4, 2005


Photoshop CS and CS2 allow native suport for camera RAW files.
posted by snowsuit at 8:29 AM on April 4, 2005


If they continue to screw with the backward compatibility of Illustrator sooner or later they'll force the unwilling to upgrade out of sheer frustration. Yes, you can technically work with older file versions and even save to them after a fashion, but there are catches. Lots of them. Adobe ceased to meaningfully innovate a good five or six years ago and is now fully focused on using their market position to do a hostile takeover on your wallet. Rather like Microsoft Office. If Macromedia would just focus a little more attention to Freehand and perhaps add proper CMYK support to Fireworks they could easily eat Adobe's lunch.
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:30 AM on April 4, 2005


If anything, Adobe's recent obsession with piracy instead of product engineering has led to a good number of users either sticking with older versions or going with alternatives.

If they can start focusing on the product again, I may rethink my position, but for now the Gimp does a pretty damn good job for whatever I have to do.
posted by clevershark at 8:32 AM on April 4, 2005


As computers get faster, design products add features and capabilities. Get over it.

Five years ago, my Photoshop couldn't do a ton of things I now use it for every day. Five years from now, I hope that between my processor and my company's willingness to pay obscene prices for software, I'll be able to do even MORE stuff with PhotoshopCS4.

As a designer, I can't live without Photoshop, but I encourage almost everyone else to go for Gimp. Most people who have Photoshop don't need its pricey features; Gimp does everything necessary.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 8:34 AM on April 4, 2005


5 was the latest innovative release

5.5, 7 and CS all have decent improvements. But my employer pays for them, so YMMV.
posted by yerfatma at 8:36 AM on April 4, 2005


I am really confused about people getting frenetic everytime a company "upgrades" its products.

Software for years has been like this, no one wants to be associated with older versions, it's a hard fact for example that many employers will filter out resumes that indicate your latest experience is one step 'back' from whatever they're currently using. Absurd but true.

Photoshop is similar to Windows this way, it's really a very mature product and yeah, one wonders if it's most innovative ground-breaking days aren't behind it. Sure camera raw is a solid new feature but that's all it is, a new feature, not a revolutionary change in how people work or some such.
posted by scheptech at 8:43 AM on April 4, 2005



CS1 needed product activation when I installed it 17 months ago. How is this different?


The difference is that now each application requires product activation even if purchased separately. With CS the only standalone product that required activation was Photoshop on Windows platform. (I think.)

Adobe's take on the activation is that they're merely enforcing the license agreement that's been around forever, you can use the same activation on two different machines, as well as deactivate a machine if needed. FWIW, Macromedia now does this too.
posted by jeremias at 8:44 AM on April 4, 2005


FWIW, Macromedia now does this too.

Yep, they sure do. I think you get up to 3 installations for each product code?
posted by NoMich at 8:51 AM on April 4, 2005


I haven't found anything lacking from Photoshop Elements that I've needed yet. Can't beat $99 (at least until someone ports GIMP natively to OSX so that I don't have to run an X server).
posted by mrbill at 8:55 AM on April 4, 2005


Anybody know someone (besides work or school) with a legitimately purchased copy of any of their core products? I do not.
posted by Hildago at 9:00 AM on April 4, 2005


FWIW, Macromedia now does this too.

Yep, they sure do. I think you get up to 3 installations for each product code?


And, if you ask nicely enough, you can get more than 3 installation our of a product code...after several XP crashes and various Homesite reinstalls, I had to send a sobbing email to the product folks at Macromedia...to which they "refreshed" my product code. Very swell.
posted by tpl1212 at 9:03 AM on April 4, 2005


I'm still waiting for some kind of Adobe OmniTool, which basically combines PhotoShop, Illustrator, and AfterEffects into the same program. Why they haven't made better AI-PS compatibility is beyond me.

And I'm a little confused with the "5 was the last good one" stuff. I haven't noticed a major change from 7 to CS, but 7 is leaps and bounds better than 5 for me.

I'm more suprised with the decline of Macromedia's interfaces, honestly. Flash MX is annoying enough versus Flash 5's GUI, but Dreamweaver MX is the first product I ever deleted and reverted to a previous version just becuase of how awful the useability was.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:04 AM on April 4, 2005


5.5, 7 and CS all have decent improvements. But my employer pays for them, so YMMV.

Yeah, that's definitely where the mileage varies. I pay out of pocket, so upgrading to CS to get text-to-path isn't worth the price when I can do workarounds with importing pixels from Illustrator.

CS can also handle monster sizes, but that's only attractive in theory because I've yet to need it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:05 AM on April 4, 2005


Full camera raw support and true 16-bit support are why this will be worth the price of admission for most of us pros. Unlike MS, I feel that Adobe is adding value to each of the updates by supporting things that professional photogs need. I'll say this - with the exception of the digital sensor, nothing else has changed how I make my living like Photoshop. Even the digital sensor I mentioned came about due to the migration from dark rooms to film scanners via Photoshop. There's been one constant in my life over the last 15 years and it hasn't been my wife - it's been Adobe. :)

The thing I don't like about this release and I think is a bizaaro form of bloat is the ASMP photographer directory that is usable from within Photoshop. Last I checked, editors, agents and art buyers don't touch Photoshop so why would they spend several hundreds of $$ to buy a list of photographers when one exists on their desk and is called a Rolodex?!

Anyway, the fact that my fingers are no longer brown from fixer and my liver doesn't ache due to licking the selenium off my fingers is reason enough to buy the CS update.
posted by photoslob at 9:08 AM on April 4, 2005


Here's the first preview I've seen of photoshop CS2 beta. It looks like they added tons of photo tweaking tools. I wonder how much I'd use it though, I already do a bit of correction on photos, but it looks like small adjustment features turned into huge things.

Looks like an upgrade for digital photographers that work professionally, judging by the "darkroom" type features added.
posted by mathowie at 9:12 AM on April 4, 2005


Unless you a lot of image correction you don't need the new PC. For normal design & webwork PS7 has been more then enough.

Actually most 'older' versions of all desktop publishing tools still offer all the functions you need to your work. Remember - it's still the artist - not the tool that matters.

Only for web publishing we will continue to need real upgrades, since there are so many new technical gimmicks and so called standards older versions have problems with.
posted by homodigitalis at 9:26 AM on April 4, 2005


all the applications will now require product activation, thereby inspiring crackers everywhere to get busy.

Another software giant committed to pissing-off its loyal user base in the name of slowing down the pirates by, say, 5 minutes.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:26 AM on April 4, 2005


I'm still waiting for some kind of Adobe OmniTool, which basically combines PhotoShop, Illustrator, and AfterEffects into the same program.

Little things that point to Photoshop CS2 heading in that direction:

There's the bastard child of Photoshop called Imageready that noone ever talks about. They've moved the Animation palette from Imageready to Photoshop. (Scroll up).Wouldn't be surprised if Imageready just got absorbed into Photoshop someday.

Menus themselves are starting to be customizable, i.e. if you just use Photoshop to make titles for video you can ditch all the stuff from the menu interface that you never use.
posted by jeremias at 9:28 AM on April 4, 2005


I'm, as always, wondering why, if we aren't actually buying these products outright (and most of us think we are), why can't we take them out of a library, or rent them at a video store?
posted by amberglow at 9:58 AM on April 4, 2005


Amber: Because you might forget to delete it once you were done... Of course, I've been known to burn a CD or two from the library.

I like CS, but I can't imagine buying the new one... I'll just wait around until someone has an extra academic copy and burn it like that.
I think I'll spend my money on a high quality medium format negative scanner before I do anymore software upgrades... Or maybe a decent computer...
posted by klangklangston at 10:12 AM on April 4, 2005


why can't we take them out of a library, or rent them at a video store?

Because you'd copy it and help the terrorists. Admit it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:15 AM on April 4, 2005


XQUZYPHYR - I agree with you. When PS7 came out, the improvements were substantial. I still use 7 everyday at work and knowing this cheap department, will continue to do so for a while. But it sucks they've trashed the browser feature in PS and moved it to a new app (bridge). Sounds like a pop-up ad wrapped in an app.

It's one thing to have to upgrade apps due to operating system changes but this release strikes me as not-needed.
posted by j.p. Hung at 10:16 AM on April 4, 2005


All I want from Illustrator CS2 is some damn bug fixes, and I don't see anything about that. Illustrator CS is barely usable under OS X: kludgy, non-standard dialog boxes, frequent crashes, and buggy features that just don't work as advertised. In short, it quacks like a Windows port.

Yet there hasn't been a single update to address any of these issues, and now they're throwing a new heap of goofy features into the mix. Oy. Adobe's getting almost as bad as Quark.

Strangely, though, the new versions of Photoshop always seem to run more smoothly and add useful features.
posted by designbot at 10:23 AM on April 4, 2005


It looks like they added tons of photo tweaking tools.

... which most likely suck. Are there any designers who actually use the "heal" and "extract" tools? Or "red eye" filters -- please! But then AFAIC anything past layers, levels, clone stamps, feathers & vectors is bloat. The Bridge app appears to be basically a browser with some pay-for-play stock photo commerce added in. And let's not talk about Go Live (does anyone?). Bottom line, there's nothing here that's gotta-have-it worthy.

Isn't it high time we stop thinking something very bad will happen if we don't have the latest and greatest version of Whatever?

Adobe pulls their software through print houses. It is very bad for them when they can't run plates on the next $100k job because they don't have the upgrade. Remember the Quark OSX debacle? That sort of thing has become part of the job. I'm your bitch, indeed.

If Macromedia would just focus a little more attention to Freehand and perhaps add proper CMYK support to Fireworks they could easily eat Adobe's lunch.

Not a chance with their pathetic excuses for color management.
posted by greensweater at 10:28 AM on April 4, 2005


Indesign CS was a huge advance, with some incredible new typography tools and tremendous support for opentype. I don't know if I am allowed to say whether or not I was a CS2 beta tester, so I won't. But from what I understand, ID CS2 isn't really much of an improvement, although it does have some nice bells and whistles. As far as I understand, though, it does solve many of the lingering bugs that were never fixed in CS.

One thing it doesn't do, which I would really love: font mapping! Many foundries don't style link their faces, which means you can't use their type for book typography ... at least not easily, although there are some stylesheet workarounds. It would be great if you could actually link italic / bold / smallcap variants INSIDE ID CS2 directly to whatever font you wanted used. That would be pure 100% awesome. I'd buy it just for that (or if you could assign the default italic/bold/smallcaps keyboard shortcuts to styles that assigned those conditions, that'd be cool too).
posted by luriete at 10:35 AM on April 4, 2005


i just wish they'd get some consistancy between apps. i can drag and drop a file into indesign. I can't in Illustrator. shortcuts are different. Indesign saves caches of the files in case of crash, the other two do not. And indesign can save backwards! hurrah!

Maybe if they paid a couple extra people to work on that instead of new leaf graphics...

It's humorous that they are touting the red eye as a reason to upgrade. But the Live Trace could be interesting. If it works at all - remember streamline?
posted by grimley at 10:36 AM on April 4, 2005


luriete: is the 32 character link bug fixed yet? I love getting links renamed to a random number.
posted by grimley at 10:37 AM on April 4, 2005


Anybody know someone (besides work or school) with a legitimately purchased copy of any of their core products? I do not

Yep - me. Call it morals, but I don't own any pirated software. God knows it's cost me a small fortune over the years, but I own legit copies of all my Macromedia (DW, FW, Flash) and Adobe (Photoshop, Illustrator, Acrobat) products. Luckily at the moment I qualify as a student so can get some fat discounts.
posted by TheDonF at 10:38 AM on April 4, 2005


Somebody wake me when ps7 and Illustrator 9 quit working. Until then I'll pass.
posted by damnitkage at 10:38 AM on April 4, 2005


I did appreciate the general idea of the Creative Suite and think it has done some positive things. Mainly this is due to Version Cue, as others have mentioned certain apps don't really mesh more intuitively no matter what they do with them - I'm thinking of Illustrator & GoLive specifically. I do find the RAW support worth it in and of itself for PS8, but I wasn't very impressed with any of the other application upgrades and considered most of the features rather gimmicky (3D effects in Illustrator... totally half-baked). I use these tools mainly for print design work and I definately don't see CS2 as a must have upgrade.
posted by prostyle at 10:44 AM on April 4, 2005


Anybody know someone (besides work or school) with a legitimately purchased copy of any of their core products? I do not.

I have a legitimate copy of the Adobe CS Suite, although I purchased the academic version.
posted by bshort at 10:48 AM on April 4, 2005


This isn't a snark but an honest question:

Five years ago, my Photoshop couldn't do a ton of things I now use it for every day.

Like what? I'm curious.
posted by docgonzo at 10:50 AM on April 4, 2005


I'm still waiting for some kind of Adobe OmniTool, which basically combines PhotoShop, Illustrator, and AfterEffects into the same program.

I'vr seen this, it's usually in cheap colour printed case, comes from Shanghai or Hong Kong or Thailand, and is titled "Adobe Essentials" or something like that. It seems to be some weird law of Asian travel that upon returning all developers in the office must display their warez discs and crow about how little they cost. And then never actually use the programs, of course.
posted by meehawl at 11:10 AM on April 4, 2005


Hey, a bit off-topic: Is there any way to manipulate a selection manually in PSCS after the selection has been made? I'm not talking about shrinking the whole thing or growing it or whatever, but rather trimming off a little bit from a specific place. Do I have to do the damn polygon select thing all over again? I wish that the "magic lasso" thing would let me move those individual points that it selects... The box distort thing is lame.
posted by klangklangston at 11:13 AM on April 4, 2005


CS2, I couldn't care less about. But Flash 8? Quite excited. I wonder what kind of innovation Adobe could churn out if they had a vertical monooly. That is, if they had ownership of all print shops and were the developer of all image viewers.

klangklangston--have you tired the reduction modes for selection tools? Or perhaps I misunderstand you.
posted by catachresoid at 11:26 AM on April 4, 2005


klangglangston

All you have to do with the selection is choose the lasso tool, press and hold down the option key, and trim off the part you want to remove by drawing around it.
posted by jeremias at 11:45 AM on April 4, 2005


But the Live Trace could be interesting. If it works at all - remember streamline?

Since I may or may not have seen a preview of Illustrator CS2, I am not allowed to talk about anything, ever. It may or may not say so in the confidentiality agreement that I may or may not have signed.

But! The Livetrace thing? Awesome. Streamline was a huge pain, what with the trace-check-undo-retrace dance. I actually turned to Flash for tracing bitmaps, which was a nightmare.

This new built-in feature (may or may not) rule.

Suddenly I feel like I'm posting on /.
posted by ImJustRick at 11:46 AM on April 4, 2005


Most people who have Photoshop don't need its pricey features; Gimp does everything necessary.

Agreed. I'm amazed at the number of people who use photoshop. Everywhere you go, including here, photoshop is what the majority of people use, or so they say when the questions comes up. It has to be just to say they're using photoshop. What percentage actually need it? 5%?
posted by justgary at 12:02 PM on April 4, 2005


Justgary: That's because it's easy to scam a copy. And because it's so ludicrously overpriced, no one thinks twice about burning another one (especially if you split the cost with a pal).

Jeremias: Thanks, I'll try that.
posted by klangklangston at 12:56 PM on April 4, 2005


Just a thought, but I think the upgrade deal is pretty sweet.

I got Photoshop LE bundled with a scanner I bought years ago and have upgraded to Photoshop 5, then 7 (and when I have a moment, CS2) on the cheap.

For £663 I can get Illustrator, InDesign, GoLive and Acrobat (oh yes, and Bridge -- whatever), which I think is pretty cool.
posted by Lleyam at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2005


For me something new would be scripting for actions, i.e. fork one way if the image is higher than wide, another if it's wider than high. Just that would save me a load of time.

Also, why still no text along a path in Photoshop?

(Still using 7 here)
posted by ModestyBCatt at 1:46 PM on April 4, 2005


I'll probably buy the Photoshop upgrade. It looks like it has enough cool stuff in it to play with. How many of you people have spent more than $150 on games over the last few months? And Photoshop is more fun than any game I've ever played. Seems reasonable to me.

Modesty: They didn't add type-on-path in Photoshop CS2 because they already added it in Photoshop CS. Also, what you want to do with actions is trivial using either of the scripting languages supported by Photoshop CS. But you probably don't need it as much as you think you do. For example, I used to think I needed a script for resizing images differently depending on whether they were landscape or portrait. What I actually needed was File > Automate > Fit Image, which IIRC was new in CS. Much better solution.
posted by kindall at 1:54 PM on April 4, 2005


wow, I'm still on ps6. I doubt I will upgrade beyond this version, ever. Here at work photoshop is open all day, the ten or so artists are whacking away in it constantly, half of us are still on 6, the rest on seven and nobody on CS. That says alot, I think, given that the industry experience here is pretty extensive; we have dudes here that have been using ps prior to the introduction of layers! Yikes.
posted by undule at 3:24 PM on April 4, 2005


Meh, I'll stick with 7.
posted by delmoi at 3:51 PM on April 4, 2005


I think I'll upgrade. I'm looking forward to seeing these new releases.
posted by sjvilla79 at 4:53 PM on April 4, 2005


I haven't really seen an added feature that I'd regularly use since they added undo history/multiple undo steps...what version was that? 5 I think.
posted by juv3nal at 4:58 PM on April 4, 2005


Is there any way to manipulate a selection manually in PSCS after the selection has been made?

klangklangston: In addition to the tip from catachresoid, you can also use the Quick Mask mode. This converts the selection to a mask layer you can then paint over to add or remove parts of the selection. Then you switch back out of Quick Mask, and that gives you the modified selection.
posted by macrone at 5:04 PM on April 4, 2005


Well, the only significant feature I saw in the CS package was that I upgraded to new versions of Illustrator and Photoshop but was stuck with the same pig Acrobat 6. Then I hear new CS packages will get 7, and now 7 is going to be packaged with CS2? Great. If I could rid myself of that hunk of resource-hogging crap I would. Not for that price though.

I do have to say that the new version of Illustrator doesn't seem to crap out on me as much as 8 did though. InDesign is also a huge hit with me; I used to make presentation posters in Illustrator because it was what I had. It worked, but it was a pain. InDesign on the other hand makes the whole thing a breeze.

They do have a toolbar add-on for InDesign that I found to be incredibly useful. I think it was ported in from another app when they did the upgrade. As amazingly useful as this toolbar is (there are options there that do not appear on any other menus!) I can't understand why it wasn't made as part of the program to begin with. Willing to bet that it isn't available in the next version.

Is VersionCue really worth it? I haven't actually ever even opened the damn thing. It just sits there in my system tray, taking up space.

Finally, if Adobe really wants to make me happy, the real upgrade they should be making is to add a "reclaim file type" feature in Windows versions. Every goddamn program that gets installed seems to want to steal graphics file formats from Photoshop, and I'm sick of editing the damn registry manually to restore them. I've gone so far as to export registry entries after a clean PS install and re-import them after running into lost filetypes... Every other (free, cheap, etc.) program out there has this sort of functionality. Why doesn't Photoshop?

(I'll upgrade just like I did the last time: if and when I find a volume licensed copy in my department. As much as I like Photoshop et. al., I'd rather have a copy that uses a legit code than a copy of questionable legality that must have its auto-update feature disabled to be used. It's self-serving rather than morality though. Legit codes can be used for upgrade purposes; cracked copies quite often cannot.)
posted by caution live frogs at 5:59 AM on April 6, 2005


Oh, yeah - the toolbar add-on for InDesign - I think it was a PageMaker toolbar. That sounds right.
posted by caution live frogs at 6:00 AM on April 6, 2005


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