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Adobe CS4 Design Standard review

£1512.76 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Adobe

Adobe CS4 Design Standard suite features InDesign CS4, Photoshop CS4, Illustrator CS4 and Acrobat 9 Pro, along with new versions of Bridge, Device Central, and Version Cue.

Adobe CS4 Design Standard suite features InDesign CS4, Photoshop CS4, Illustrator CS4 and Acrobat 9 Pro, along with new versions of Bridge, Device Central, and Version Cue.

Among the highlights of Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) are a simplified workflow system, new tools for integrating Flash animations into projects, and expanded support for community features.

INDIVIDUAL CS4 DESIGN STANDARD APPS REVIEWED IN DETAIL:

Adobe InDesign CS4 review

Adobe Photoshop CS4 review

Adobe Illustrator CS4 review

Adobe Version Cue CS4 review

Creative Suite 4 remains a cornucopia of individual applications, most of which are sold independently, too. But with CS4, Adobe tightens the links among the applications - evidence that the company recognises designers' need to switch seamlessly between programs without leaving a project. Adobe addresses this need with a newly simplified workflow, which will permit users to design across media more efficiently and to complete common tasks more easily.

For example, an expanded version of Dynamic Link in CS4 Production Premium will enable designers to move content between After Effects, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth, and Encore, and to see their updates instantly without rendering.

Illustrator CS4 now lets designers work from multiple art boards at once. Designers can pull up art boards from within InDesign, and can then drag and drop elements from those boards into page layouts. This tool has promise: it can be especially helpful for coordinating illustration and text for books or pamphlets, for example.

InDesign CS4 also includes a Live Preflight tool to help designers catch production errors, and a customisable Links panel for placing files.

The new Content-Aware Scaling tool in Photoshop automatically recomposes an image as it is resized, preserving vital areas as the image conforms to new dimensions. Photoshop CS4 also will have 3D capabilities, which will enable you to take a 2D image and wrap it around a 3D wireframe, such as a sphere.

With this latest iteration, Adobe promises a more intuitive process for creating what it calls "life-like" animations in Flash CS4. The new version has the ability to apply tweens to objects rather than to keyframes, giving designers greater control over animation attributes. And the Bones tool helps create more realistic animations between linked objects. These new Flash features allow designers to directly produce animations.

NEXT PAGE: collaboration tools and pricing

See also: Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) review

Adobe Creative Suite 4 Expert Verdict »

2GHz or faster processor
Microsoft Windows XP SP2/SP3, Windows Vista Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (certified for 32-bit Windows XP and Windows Vista)
1GB RAM
9.3GB 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
Some features in Adobe Bridge rely on a DirectX 9.0–capable graphics card with at least 64MB of VRAM
DVD-ROM drive
QuickTime 7.4.5 software required for multimedia features
broadband internet connection required for online services

Adobe CS4 Design Standard suite features InDesign CS4, Photoshop CS4, Illustrator CS4 and Acrobat 9 Pro, along with new versions of Bridge, Device Central, and Version Cue.

  • Adobe CS4 Design Premium review

    Adobe CS4 Design Premium

    Adobe's Design Premium CS4 suite features InDesign CS4, Photoshop CS4, Illustrator CS4 and Acrobat 9 Pro, along with new versions of Bridge, Device Central, and Version Cue (although it replaces the standard version of Photoshop with Photoshop CS4 Extended) and adds Flash, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks.

  • Adobe Flash Professional review

    Adobe Flash Professional

    Flash CS4 features a radically revised animation environment.

  • Adobe Illustrator CS4 review

    Adobe Illustrator CS4

    Illustrator Creative Suite 4 (CS4) enjoys a revamped interface, new gradient tools and much, much more.

  • Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) review

    Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4)

    Among the highlights of Adobe Creative Suite 4 are a simplified workflow system, new tools for integrating Flash animations into projects. CS4 also enjoys expanded support for community features.

  • Adobe CS4 Master Collection review

    Adobe CS4 Master Collection

    Adobe Creative Suite CS 4 Master Collection features all of Adobe's CS4 updates.


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