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Review of Adobe Creative Suite 5 204

Barence writes "Adobe today updated its Creative Suite software to version 5, and PC Pro has an absolutely massive collection of reviews. Along with an overview of the entire suite, from Design to Web to Production bundles, every individual component gets the full in-depth treatment. It includes video demonstrations of Photoshop CS5's fabulous Content-Aware fill trick and new Puppet Warp function; a long-awaited step up to 64-bit for Premiere Pro CS5; and big updates to Dreamweaver CS5, After Effects CS5, and the rest."
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Review of Adobe Creative Suite 5

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  • Nuts. (Score:5, Funny)

    by tsm_sf ( 545316 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @09:43AM (#31816200) Journal
    Aw man, my CS4 torrent had just finally finished.
  • by Blakey Rat ( 99501 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @09:47AM (#31816242)

    It's not an overview, it's a gushing, excited press release. And it doesn't even drop one word on my most important concern: is Adobe continuing their trend of writing awful, inconsistent, ugly, usually-slow UIs?

    The fact that that, after Macromedia's was acquired, I'd actually pay extra to get Flash 8's UI back... well, that tells you something. How the hell do you write a UI worse than Macromedia's? That takes the kind of talent only Adobe can offer I guess... IBM should hire these guys to do Lotus Notes next. ;)

    • by jollyreaper ( 513215 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @09:51AM (#31816286)

      I've been dabbling with these products for years now and it just never seems like the extra bloat and resource hogging provides enough additional return to make it worth the effort.

      • I watched the pre-release video, and the context- or content- or whatever it's called -aware fill knocked my socks off. I mean, literally. I can't even find them now. I may have to photoshop some into my pictures in the future to avoid looking like Don Johnson. Photoshop CS5 is a game-changer if this feature works half as well as it did in the demo.

      • maybe it's just difference in *how* i get my work done, or the type of work i use it for, but i've never understood all the people who yell and scream about the u.i. in adobe products. i've spent the last ten years or so in production art rooms; photoshop and illustrator are my daily tools (indesign from time to time as well) and i'm perfectly happy with the interface. nowadays i do most of my work on a 13" laptop screen, and even with this little real-estate i can always find the tools i need when i need t

      • Out of curiousity, which Adobe product is the ideal mix for you? On the Mac side, I didn't think CS4 brought much over CS3, but I haven't noticed any significant resource hogging in CS4 vs CS3. The thing is, Adobe isn't interested in making dabblers happy. Adobe is interested in selling the suite to professionals and making money on it. They have Adobe Elements for the masses, and that doesn't seam bloated or resource hogging for me.
    • by PenguSven ( 988769 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @10:02AM (#31816380)

      is Adobe continuing their trend of writing awful, inconsistent, ugly, usually-slow UIs?

      This came up a while ago, on John Nack (PS product manager)'s blog. Basically they think their custom UI stuff for CS is the beez knees, and you unlucky shmoes who "have to use" CS will be getting MORE not less of their crap in future (including CS5) versions.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by rinoid ( 451982 )

        They also blame all bugs on Apple or in the case of not being able to save file error "Could not save (file name) because the file is already in use or left open" ...

        Seriously. Check out this thread. The only app on any Mac or Windows computer I use (and that's a handful) which gives this kind of error and Adobe blames the OS vendors. All those other apps which save files never report this problem, EVER!

        What is Adobe's reply? It's outside of Photoshop, it's NOT ADOBE's problem.
        Check out the thread at Adobe

        • by anss123 ( 985305 )

          The only app on any Mac or Windows computer I use (and that's a handful) which gives this kind of error and Adobe blames the OS vendors.

          I've gotten that with MS Excel but only on networked drives. Had to save as another file and then log off/on because I couldn't simply unmap the drive "while a file is in use". Sigh.

          • by pyrr ( 1170465 )

            net use (drive letter): /d /y

            The Windows GUI has some limitations, the CLI still has its place, since it can do things that the GUI designers determined you wouldn't need to do or "shouldn't" do.

        • It's also standard for them to abstain for accepting responsibility for flash bugs. : /
    • CS5 comes with content-aware fill also known as magic. Every review of it will be entranced. Seriously, that shit is crazy.
    • The fact that that, after Macromedia's was acquired...

      Adobe stopped caring because they didn't have any real competition and thus could simply coast along because, really, who were they going to lose customers to? I'm kind of surprised that buyout was allowed given that it completely removed any hint of competition in the graphics software market. And, as I said, since that buyout, the quality of Adobe's software has taken a dramatic downturn showing they know they don't have to try as hard, any more.

      And my guess is, so long as the patent system functions a

    • by BlackPignouf ( 1017012 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @10:25AM (#31816600)

      PROTIP: Stop caring about the UI, learn some keyboard shortcuts every day, and use Photoshop in fullscreen mode with as few panels as possible (e.g. histogram, layers and layers adjustments)

      • The only part of the suite I use is Flash, which is why the UI stuff annoys me. Flash's UI was poor before, now it's godawful. And this is one app the keyboard can't save you from.

        The good news is that I can edit ActionScript in another IDE. The bad news is that Flash has zero integration with external tools.

      • Yes, that's right. Photoshop is a terrible choice for casual users, not only because of the UI but because the power and sophistication make it difficult to learn. The UI is actually not a problem at all for experienced, professional users.
      • learn some keyboard shortcuts every day

        Yeah, right. Learn them everyday, because you will have to relearn them when Adobe decides to change them. Not mentioning ignoring that shortcuts may already be in use by the OS ...

    • please no. lotus is bad enough as it is. I'd use thunderbird instantly if our work approved it.

    • I've been using Adobe software for a while now and I've only found the UI somewhat inconsistent and uncomfortable when it comes to manipulating vector art, I can see how coming from using Macromedia software that might affect you.
      On the whole though it seems pretty consistent and simple to me.
      If you want to see a real UI clusterfuck take a look at Autodesk Maya, it's like a makeshift rusty skeleton covered with cruft sticking out every which way.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Blakey Rat ( 99501 )

        I can't comment on Maya (maybe it's worse, I dunno), but Adobe's current set of projects are pretty damned horrible.

        Take a look at this blog (not mine): [] Even ignoring the stuff that plain does not work at all (the majority of the Fireworks entries), there are tons of extremely obvious errors in the UI.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      is Adobe continuing their trend of writing awful, inconsistent, ugly, usually-slow UIs?

      I could not agree more, maybe Adobe could learn from the proven UI of similar Open [] Source [] apps.

    • by cusco ( 717999 )
      You forgot to mention 'security-free'. I wonder how many brand new gaping security holes will be discovered in this version, how many years they'll go unaddressed, and how many of the existing ones won't have been patched.

      One of the first things we have to do for several of our clients after unpacking a server is uninstall everything that says Adobe on it.
    • It is an overview. Overview: "a general summary of a subject." Going into how the Ui is performing and whether or not it is consistent fast or attractive would be an in-depth review. Very different form an overview, actually.

      What I have found is that Adobe's UI is much like Democracy. An innefficient, nasty, worst sort of thing except for all other things tried. What should photoshop's UI look like (for instance)? And although the UI is not perfect, that is not the deciding factor for me getting a
      • True, but two points:

        1) The Slashdot summary says "Review", which is clearly wrong.
        2) Even for an overview, it was disappointing. They could have dropped a single sentence saying, "the CS4 interface is back in all apps" and I'd have been satisfied.

        Everyone who knows the Adobe Suite doesn't use the UI that much anyway. They know the keyboard shortcuts.

        As long as you ignore that Flash is part of the Adobe Suite, I'm with you-- unfortunately, it is, it requires a mouse, and it sucks shit. Even worse than Macro

        • Well you do have me there. The Macromedia parts have been not as nice as the rest of it. Here's hoping that has been cleaned up.
  • I just purchased Dreamweaver CS4 3 weeks ago. I wonder what their upgrade policy is?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 12, 2010 @09:57AM (#31816342)

      I just purchased Dreamweaver CS4 3 weeks ago. I wonder what their upgrade policy is?

      I'd imagine their upgrade policy is "Yes, we want you to buy the upgrade as well."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Aladrin ( 926209 )

      According to everything I read on the web, if you purchase it after the announcement (which is today) then they'll give you a free upgrade. But before that, you get bupkis.

      • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

        What do you mean? An African or European bupkis?

        • What do you mean? An African or European bupkis?

          AMERICAN bupkis, you commie pinko! Go clack your coconuts together somewhere else...

      • by sehryan ( 412731 )

        And no offense, but it has been known for the last month at least that CS5 was getting ready to launch. If you went ahead and purchased CS4, and could have waited those few weeks, well, you have no one to blame but yourself.

      • by raddan ( 519638 ) *
        Actually, there's one other scenario that you can get a "free" upgrade, which is if you pay up for their protection racket, er... "software maintenance" fee, then you get upgrades within a certain window. I believe this is only available to volume license customers, i.e., enterprises.

        Considering that our IT staff just got our CS3 folks upgraded to CS4 last week, this is very irritating. Adobe has been spinning the upgrade treadmill faster and faster since the Macromedia acquisition. And don't get me s
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Check out KB article from Adobe. Maybe it will answer your question? []

      At my work we always get the 24 month upgrade plan with any software we purchase from the Creative Suite. We buy Design Premium for $320 and the upgrade plan only costs an extra $120, although we do get the software at educational pricing so I'm not sure how much it would be for others.

    • You might want to check with local laws. In the UK, for example, you are still within the time period when you can return any goods (in their original packaging) without having to justify it. It will probably be cheaper to return it and by CS5 than pay for an upgrade.
      • Software is exempt from that, otherwise everyone would buy the software, install it, and send it back for a refund.

    • Their policy is "Thanks for buying that. Now give us $799 for the new version."

      What you bought still functions just as good today as it did yesterday when CS5 wasn't available, so they will not feel any compulsion to give you a break on upgrading, especially since they have no competition for you to run away to.

  • Aaaaargghh (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MoleyGhost ( 1065694 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @09:51AM (#31816284)
    I TOLD my company to wait a couple months, but noooo, they just HAD to go and buy CS4 last week...
  • by LifesABeach ( 234436 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @10:09AM (#31816450) Homepage
    I think a Bench Marks applied here would be most telling.
  • I predict (Score:3, Insightful)

    by KnownIssues ( 1612961 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @10:09AM (#31816456)
    I predict a flood of funny photos on the Interwebz using Content-Aware Fill and Puppet Warp – probably with silly captions. More practical applications: removing an ex from all your photos, adding a secret crush to all your photos, and of course implausible uses in movies like removing the hero from live feeds so he can sneak past security cameras.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      removing an ex from all your photos

      ..and pasting her into pictures with hardcore porn. Pictures which then are posted on 4chan.

  • by bchernicoff ( 788760 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @10:13AM (#31816496)
    I cannot wait until poor applications of puppet warp show up on magazine covers and movie posters! []
  • Waste of time... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Roogna ( 9643 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @10:21AM (#31816568)

    Sadly after their ridiculous always broken DRM in CS3 I stopped buying Adobe products. The only unfortunate thing is that I've still yet to find a replacement for Illustrator since Freehand was killed. Ahh well...

    • Re:Waste of time... (Score:4, Informative)

      by Devout_IPUite ( 1284636 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @10:29AM (#31816656)
      Have you played with Inkscape? If not, check it out. If yes, shucks.
    • by zalas ( 682627 )

      I didn't find the DRM in CS3 all that annoying from a practical point of view, but the installer itself was really terrible. It used up a lot of resources and took forever to copy over files. Furthermore, if your installation botched in the middle (like it did with mine; got a blue screen halfway through), you have to delete everything and reinstall. If you don't, it'll happily continue installing a half-broken package. Even some of the Adobe devs complain about the installer...

  • Seriously, how could the design team at Adobe not realize there's a problem when they put all of their names on the splash screen, and each program loads slowly enough that the user can actually read them ALL?

    I'll view it as substantial progress if Adobe ever just cleans-up the disaster that is their CS product to the degree that each app is no more than 10x the size of GIMP. It just never ceases to amaze me how a company can be so violently oblivious to the needs of its customers that it will say, "Go sc

  • ... did Adobe pay to have this thread here?
  • I expected to see a LOT of Adobe hate here... And wasn't disappointed. Let's just use one example: Dreamweaver This is about the most unintuitive piece of overpriced trash I have ever used. I have never liked Dreamweaver and sadly it has only gotten worse over time. I suspect that they have a very rough future ahead. Flash is doomed IMHO. Someone needs to go slap the Adobe execs several times and yell "WAKE UP" until they realize how badly they're screwing themselves. /rant
  • Cause if they haven't, then it's still the same PoS as before. IMO, the entire CS suite has become nothing more than another glorified MS Office release. Lot's of stuff...nothing new.

  • The most important questions are:

    1. Will it work correctly when the user doesn't have administrative rights.
    2. Will they have a network license system.

  • by psydeshow ( 154300 ) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:08PM (#31818866) Homepage

    Unbundle the fscking apps already.

    Even Microsoft lets you buy "just Word" for less than the price of Office.

    All I want is Photoshop, so why am I paying for all of those other marquee apps as well? I'm using them on a Mac mini which cost less than the price of the suite.

    Wait... don't tell me... that IS the price for Photoshop, and you just get all the other apps for free. I knew it! Damn you, Adobe!

    • by pyrr ( 1170465 )

      It gets better. If you install the whole suite, and then try to run Acrobat (because that's all you wanted, anyway), the previous two versions, and no doubt CS5 too, will present you with a warning after you wait many, many seconds for Acrobat to load, which informs you that "Acrobat was purchased as part of a suite, and you can't use it now. Run another of the programs first". What manner of foolishness is that? This is very confusing for many of my easily-confused end users, and it's utterly unnecessary.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by djlemma ( 1053860 )
      Who ever said you couldn't buy Photoshop by itself? It costs about $700, but it's a lot less than the full creative suite.
      Try looking at amazon [] next time.
  • I've beet a tester since CS3 and a user since CS1. If you haven't used their applications in a while the biggest improvements you'll see are the tabbed interface, more uniform interface across application, cross-application work-flows, better responsiveness, 64bit support, tons of support for content publishing across all sorts of mediums with a particular focus on mobile and web, and GPU acceleration. Premiere, After Effects and InDesign have been improved by leaps and bounds. Streamline is now a feature o

They are called computers simply because computation is the only significant job that has so far been given to them.