Adobe Photoshop and Bridge CS3: First impressions

I’m sure by the now the blogosphere is full of posts about the new Photoshop CS3 beta released this morning. I’ve been having too much fun playing with the new software (and working) to read what other people are saying.

For a really good overview of what’s new, visit NAPP’s website.

Quick thoughts:

I’m not in love with the new installer. For starters, it informed me that I needed to quit Firefox and my TWAIN driver (for the scanner). Fine. But the dialog box only allowed me to cancel out of the installation. Most installers offer a “retry” button, rather than forcing you to go back to the beginning. Second, the installer is slow. Very slooow. Took about as long to install Photoshop CS3 as it did to install the entire Creative Suite 2. I know this installer is common to the new CS3 apps, I hope it improves before release.

Bridge CS3 was a nice surprise in its improvements. Bridge is a stand-alone file browsing application on steroids. I use it a lot while InDesign is running as a fast way to get files in and out of my layouts. It’s also a better way to preview images before opening, run Photoshop batch commands and other goodies.

Bridge CS3, like Photoshop CS3, is fast! Now you can download photos directly into Bridge (haven’t tried that), group similar photos together, save preset views, see information about InDesign files without having to open the file (fonts, swatches, etc.). There’s also a device preview features which looks like you can get profiles for different phones and then preview (and download?) images and files to the device. Didn’t seem to be feature complete yet.

There’s one annoying bug in Bridge CS3 that hasn’t been fixed yet…

Put Bridge in compact view by clicking on the button in the toolbar as shown:


Then click the button to go to ultra compact mode:


And you end up with this nice and tiny window which you can move to a corner to keep it out of the way, sitting on top of your InDesign windows.


If you click the “Ultra-compact” button again, the window expands up. Click again, it expands back to where it was at the edge of the screen. Great.

What’s the bug? Well, if you expand the ultra compact view back to compact view, and then click to another application and back again, then click the ultra-compact button you’d expect the little window to go back to the corner like it did before. But no, the compact view window scrolls up to ultra compact view, not down. So instead of the little window sitting down at the bottom of the screen, it’s floating up your window where it can get in the way of your work. Annoying. I want ultra compact view docked to the edge when closed.

I love the interface changes in Photoshop CS3. If this is how the Creative Suite applications will look, I’m all for it. You can see where Adobe borrowed from what Macromedia started, and does it better. The edges of all the palettes are more subtle, refined. They are completely out of your way, yet accessible for when you need them. I really like this approach and I can’t wait to see how it will help InDesign and Dreamweaver which are the biggest sufferers of palette-itis in the team.

So thank you Adobe for this nice holiday gift, especially for those of us suffering through Rosetta’fied Photoshop CS2. First thing I did after I got Photoshop CS3 running was click back and forth between the Finder and Photoshop a few times just to enjoy how quick those windows popped up. 🙂