Adobe CS3: What You Get

Apr 27, 2007
Adobe CS3: What You Get

Which bundle is right for you? We break down some of their key new tools, suite by suite.

It's difficult to overstate the importance of the apps included in Adobe's Creative Suite line. Adobe puts out some of the most indispensable design, Web, and production titles - Photoshop , Dreamweaver and After Effects, to name but a few - for pros and amateurs alike.

The release of Creative Suite 3 (CS3) marks the largest product rollout in Adobe's 25-year history. The suite will be released in six different versions: Design Standard, Design Premium, Production Premium, Web Standard, Web Premium, and the Master Collection, which combines all of the apps offered in the other suites into one premium package. All of the suites began shipping on April 16, save for Production Premium and the Master Collection, which are set for release this summer.

The apps have all received a collective facelift from Adobe, across the board. There are plenty of new features worth highlighting, not the least of which is support for Windows Vista and MacIntel systems. The real keyword for this latest Creative Suite, however, is "integration." The first Creative Suite to be released since Adobe acquired Macromedia back in 2005, CS3 users will find a level of compatibility between tradition Adobe apps like Photoshop and Illustrator, and formerly Macromedia-branded apps, such as Dreamweaver and Flash.

To help you figure out which one of these bundles may be right for your needs, we've broken down some of their key new tools, suite by suite.

Adobe Creative Suite (CS3) Design Standard ($1,199)
Adobe Creative Suite (CS3) Design Premium ($1,799)

Created with print professionals in mind, Adobe's Design suites include new versions of InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat . Design workflow has been improved to include the mobile and Web spaces. The Premium version of the suite integrates Web design, by adding Dreamweaver and Flash into the mix. InDesign users will be able to export layouts as XHTML or XML for publishing in Dreamweaver. Flash's interface has been redesigned to take on a more Adobe-esque appearance. Multi-layered Photoshop files can also be quickly imported into Flash for easy animation. In the mobile space, Illustrator and Photoshop Extended (Extended is available only in the Premium version of the suite) allow users to code pages from mobile displays. Adobe's new Device Central app has a quick preview of mobile pages in a wide variety of handset environments.

Adobe Creative Suite (CS3) Web Standard ($999)
Adobe Creative Suite (CS3) Web Premium ($1,599)

The standard version of the CS3 Web suite includes Flash, Dreamweaver, Adobe Contribute, Fireworks, Bridge, Version Cue, Device Central, Stock Photos, and Acrobat Connect. Premium adds non-Web specific design apps Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, and Acrobat. Photoshop and Dreamweaver have a new level of support for Web design tools, such as CSS and AJaX. Streaming content creation via Flash has been enhanced, and Flash now boasts a video encoder, embedded cue points, video import support, QuickTime import, and closed-captioning. Mobile content authoring has also been enhanced with Device Central in this version, as well.

Adobe Creative Suite (CS3) Production Premium ($1,699)
Set for release this summer, Adobe's Production Premium suite bundles new versions of Photoshop (Extended), Illustrator, Flash, After Effects, Premiere, Soundbooth, Encore, Bridge, Device Central, Dynamic Link, OnLocation, Ultra, Stock Photos, and Acrobat Connect. After Effects includes new animation tools, such as the Puppet tool, and improved integration with Photoshop. Illustrator features new document profiles for video, and Flash FLV videos can be exported with cue points from After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Adobe Soundbooth.

Adobe Creative Suite (CS3) Master Collection ($2,499)
Available this summer, the Master Collection pretty much has it all, featuring all of the tools available in the Design, Web, and Production suites. For those who can't wait, Adobe is offering a trade up program, allowing users to purchase any of the four suites currently available, and upgrade to the Master Collection, once it's available.

Copyright 2007 by Ziff Davis Media, Distributed by United Press International

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