Adobe CS3 at last

This morning, I had a bad scare with Laini’s blood test results. Everything’s fine, but it took an hysterical phone call to the pediatrician’s office to calm me down. After my heart returned to its normal rhythm, I did what I’ve been known to do when life caves in a bit…shop tech. Always does the trick. I’m just grateful I’m no longer a stress eater or I’d be 400 lbs. by now.

I had Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium upgrade on order at Amazon. It was due to ship today and arrive on Tuesday. It hadn’t shipped yet, so I canceled that order and downloaded it from Adobe instead. Not much difference price-wise.

2.52 GB download! Remember when it would take an hour to download a few megabytes? Nonetheless, the Adobe hamsters are running wildly on their wheels, because it took just under an hour to get the whole thing.

I had the Photoshop CS3 public beta, and I was beta testing Fireworks so I had some housekeeping to do before installing the package. I’ll be honest, I was very nervous about Adobe’s new installer while testing. It’s not exactly fast and it was prone to some strange errors. But Adobe pulled it out, because the final version installer worked just fine. I do miss the little teaser splash screens that used to come up while the applications were installing in CS2, though. The new installer is nothing to look at.

Overall, I’m pleased with the CS3 applications. I love the new interface in the Adobe Adobe applications (Dreamweaver and Fireworks still look like Macromedia). Since I know InDesign best, I’ve spent the most amount of time getting familiar with its changes. The control panel is much improved. In CS2, you were constantly switching between the character and paragraph sections of the palette. In CS3, you can change the font even if you’re on the paragraph side, and you can change the alignment even if you’re on the character side. The difference in speed on my Intel Mac is incredible. Launching and quitting no longer take an eternity.

There are a few things that I had hoped would make it into CS3, but didn’t. This isn’t meant to be a whine…it’s still a great suite…but…

In Fireworks, I was hoping for more Adobe-like interface improvements…such as the ability to change values by clicking on the field’s label and then using the keyboard arrow keys. Or moving an object 25 pixels to the left by appending “-25px” to whatever number is in the “X” field on the properties bar. Font handling in Fireworks still leaves a lot to be desired. I use Fireworks to comp web layouts and optimize graphics, so none of the new features are all that interesting to me. Maybe I’ll be more excited about Fireworks CS4. For now, I’m just glad that the application survived and is Mac Intel-native, and I’ll be satisfied with that.

In InDesign, I was hoping for better integration with Adobe Acrobat review and commenting features. I can’t be the only one who exports layouts to PDF, then uses Acrobat’s Shared Review feature to send a PDF out to colleagues for comments/editing on our WebDAV server. They use the free Adobe Reader to mark up their comments/changes. When they save the file, it publishes their changes back to the server. I then have a file with all the comments in a layer over the PDF. It would be cool if I could take that comment layer and bring it in to InDesign so I can make the changes right in the file, instead of having to bounce back and forth between the marked up PDF and the InDesign document in two completely different applications.

In Illustrator, I’m disappointed that there’s still no “rubber band” for the pen tool. Photoshop has it. Makes no sense to me that the application that “invented” the pen tool doesn’t. What am I talking about? When you use the pen tool for bezier paths, a rubber band feature shows you where the path will land before you actually commit to it. You spend far less time correcting your drawing, especially when you’re tracing around something.

Just in time for C3’s Summer 2007 newsletter that I’m starting to lay out this week.


One response to “Adobe CS3 at last”

  1. About the rubber band in Illy: hold the space bar after you create a point with the Pen Tool and drag until it looks the way you want it; then release the space bar.