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Graphic design & publishing software Reviews
15,609 Reviews

Adobe Photoshop CS4 review

£547 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Adobe

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Adobe Photoshop CS4, the latest version of Adobe's flagship image-editing program, will hit the streets practically on the heels of Photoshop CS3, which debuted a little less than 18 months ago.

Adobe Photoshop CS4, the latest version of Adobe's flagship image-editing program, will hit the streets practically on the heels of Photoshop CS3, which debuted a little less than 18 months ago. See also: Adobe Photoshop CS6 review.

What kind of features could Photoshop CS4 have now that it didn't have slightly over a year ago? As it turns out, the Photoshop product managers have barely slept since herding CS3 out the door and the answer is, "Quite a lot, thank you". Photoshop CS4 sports an overhauled workspace, OpenGL features such as a rotating canvas, new panels for Masks and Adjustments, on-image controls for some adjustments (a la Photoshop LightRoom), a 3-D engine, and that's just for starters.

Here's what to expect from the latest version of Photoshop when CS4 ships in October. See also: Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) review

Workspace overhaul

In an attempt to significantly streamline your work environment and lessen window clutter, the new Application Frame was born. It confines all things Photoshop to a single resizable and movable window. You can grab the whole mess - documents and all - and move it to the side of your screen (or better yet, to another monitor) so it's out of the way. If you open more than one document, they're displayed in tabs (just like in your web browser).

The new application frame consolidates your workspace, allowing you to work with documents in a tabbed environment. On the right you can see the new Adjustments panel, which houses the dialog boxes for all of your adjustment layers.

At the very top of the frame, you'll notice a new row of tools called the Application Bar. Here you've got one-click access to handy stuff such as Extras (grids, rulers, guides), zoom percentages, and more. The real gems, though, are the new Rotate Canvas and Arrange Documents menus. Rotate Canvas will make tablet users squeal with delight because it creates a more natural way to paint or draw. The Arrange Documents menu lets you view several open documents side by side, which is handy for before/after evaluations or just managing a bunch of open windows.

NEXT PAGE: new masks and adjustments panels

See also:

Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) review

Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0 review

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2.0 review

INDIVIDUAL CS4 APPS REVIEWED IN DETAIL:

Adobe InDesign CS4 review

Adobe Photoshop CS4 review

Adobe Illustrator CS4 review

Adobe After Effects CS4 review

Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 review

Adobe Flash Professional CS4 review

Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 review

Adobe InCopy CS4 review

Adobe Version Cue CS4 review

Adobe Contribute CS4 review

Adobe Soundbooth CS4 review

Adobe Fireworks CS4 review

THE SIX ADOBE CS4 SUITES REVIEWED:

Adobe CS4 Master Collection review

Adobe CS4 Production Premium review

Adobe CS4 Web Premium review

Adobe CS4 Web Standard review

Adobe CS4 Design Standard review

Adobe CS4 Design Premium review

PLUS:

Adobe Photoshop CS4 Expert Verdict »
1.8GHz or faster processor
Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended) or Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (certified for 32-bit Windows XP and 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista)
512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
1GB of available hard-disk space for installation
additional free space required during installation (cannot install on flash-based storage devices)
1,024x768 display (1,280x800 recommended) with 16-bit video card
Some GPU-accelerated features require graphics support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0
DVD-ROM drive
QuickTime 7.2 software required for multimedia features
Broadband Internet connection required for online services
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

Do the updates to Photoshop Creative Suite 4 represent big changes? You betcha. Will they take some getting used to? Heck yes. Will you like Adobe Photoshop CS4? For the most part, the answer is a resounding yes.

There are currently no price comparisons for this product.
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    Adobe Fireworks

    New features in Adobe Fireworks CS4 provide designers with advanced tools to create websites, applications, and interactive designs.

  • Adobe Soundbooth CS4 review

    Adobe Soundbooth CS4

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