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    Russell Viers is a Transition Expert in the publishing world. Since 1997 he has helped newspapers and magazines adapt to changes in the industry. Read more...

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  • Creative Suite 2.3

    November 20th, 2006 by Russell Viers

    New Creative Suite? Well almost.
    Adobe has announced the release of Creative Suite 2.3, which includes something old, something new, something bought and something…well, I’m not sure if there’s anything really blue, but you get the idea.
    What’s old? InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Bridge and VersionCue all come over from the previous CS2 release…don’t expect anything new in this department until the release of CS3.
    What’s new? Acrobat 8.0. Yep, it’s that time of year again.
    I know for some it is frustrating that Acrobat is on a different upgrade schedule than the rest of the Creative Suite, and it’s not named Acrobat CS or Acrobat CS2.
    We’ll just have to get over that, since Acrobat has a much larger audience outside the print/publishing/design world we live in.
    As for the new version, however, we’ll talk more about how it impacts our industry in future discussions. For now I’ll just say that there are a few interesting new features for us like improved Color Management, shared Transparency Presets, Preflight improvements, Booklet Printing and some new Meta Data stuff.
    Today’s discussion focuses on when to buy Acrobat 8.0.
    So…when do you buy Acrobat 8.0?
    As a trainer and consultant, I have to get the software immediately and it’s just something I have to deal with.
    As a printer receiving PDFs from clients who might have Acrobat 8, you have to get the software immediately and it’s just something you’ll have to deal with. Unless you have the luxury of communicating with your clients and asking them to make their files compatible with previous versions.
    For those of us in a situation where we need the new software now, we possibly end up with more copies of software than we need. So I bought Acrobat 8, but I know I’m going to buy the Creative Suite 3 Premium when it comes out, which will give me another copy of Acrobat I won’t need.
    I could purchase the Creative Suite 3 Standard, which doesn’t include Acrobat, but I will want the web creation tool, as well, and to buy it separately would cost more than just getting the premium and having an extra Acrobat.
    So what’s the damage? Since Adobe has always been so kind with it’s upgrade pricing, those of us who buy the upgrade to Acrobat 8 professional are only set back $150. Not too much of an investment to have the software now, instead of waiting until the CS3 upgrade comes out in the spring.
    If you look at the new features and they’re worth 150 smackers, go for it and enjoy new productivity immediately. Otherwise, you may be better off to wait for CS and get your new version then.
    What’s bought? Dreamweaver is part of the MacroMedia package Adobe acquired recently and they are including it in the new Suite.
    As for the web creation tool, it seems the writing is on the wall regarding the future of the Creative Suite. I can’t imagine Adobe would release this CS2.3 with Dreamweaver then release CS3 with GoLive again. There is a greater plan in the works and I’m guessing we’ll see Dreamweaver 9 in the next CS3.
    What does that mean to me? I have to learn a new piece of software. Yabb-Adobe-Doo is created in GoLive since it integrates with the other Adobe products so well. Now that Adobe owns Dreamweaver, I hope to see the same happen with the new version.
    Regardless, I will be converting this site over to Dreamweaver in the near future and we’ll have discussions as to how well that works.
    What if you don’t own InDesign, yet? The longer you wait to get on board, the longer you will be working too hard and wasting time creating documents in other applications. My suggestion is to look at CS2.3 and consider joining the revolution. Even though there is an announced CS3 around the corner, it’s still far enough away that if you have projects to get out, you should be able to recoup your investment easily with improved productivity. If you don’t have much work in the next few months, it might be a good time to take advantage of a slow season and get up to speed on the software so you’re ready for your busy season.
    Here’s something else to consider: The CS2.3 upgrade is only $159. The Acrobat 8.0 upgrade is $159. So for the cost of the upgrade to Acrobat you can get Creative Suite 2.3 upgrade which gives you Dreamweaver for free. Hmmm…
    So what are you gonna do?

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