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Adobe Creative Suite 4 details emerge

post #1 of 70
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Adobe next week will unveil Creative Suite 4, a new version of its media design bundle set to ship the following month with features such as enhanced options for working with 3D objects in Photoshop, new Flash document exports from within InDesign, and a new animation model for Flash, AppleInsider has learned.

The San Jose-based software developer has confirmed the package to include new versions of Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Flash Player, InDesign, Photoshop, and Soundbooth, but will also bundle minor updates to the suite's remaining components.

Nothing revolutionary

People privy to private demonstrations of Creative Suite 4 say the update will generally be minor, with only a few new features tacked on to each application. "The lack of compelling new features has been the discussion among many employees and customers that are testing the software," one of those people said, "with many relating CS4 to a maintenance release rather than a complete new version."

Photoshop CS4

Photoshop's new 3D feature, which allows 3D objects to be imported as wireframes, stands to benefit only a small group of users such as architects, engineers, and package designers, according to those familiar with the software. Some also describe the application's new interface (shown below) as a step backwards. Information from entire screens and dialog boxes is now fitted to a small palette with the goal of making the interface look consistent with the other applications, they say.

The new version of Photoshop will also feature a Flash services panel, natural canvas rotation, content aware image resizing and deliver 64-bit support for Windows users.

InDesign CS4

One of the big features of InDesign CS4 will be a new Flash export option, but those familiar with the product say the feature is somewhat impractical, given that text can only be edited one line at a time after it's exported. InDesign files exported to Flash may also not contain any multimedia content such as movies because they'll get stripped out in the conversion process and need to be re-added using Flash.

Unlike the new Photoshop interface (detailed below), InDesign CS4 uses a more conventional layout, with a standard document window and Office-style floating palette menus.



Flash CS4

Among the new features of Flash CS4 are a completely new "and proper" timeline dubbed Motion Editor, as well as a new object-based motion tween model. While some have praised the Flash's new animation model as "the best thing" to happen to the software, others believe it may present a new learning curve that further fragments the Flash community.

"The reengineered file format means that the Flash community, still split between ActionScript 2 and 3, will now be split with new source file formats," one person said.

Screen Sharing

Another big push behind CS4 will be collaboration. Leveraging its web conferencing business and Connect software, Adobe has built a new feature into all CS4 applications that will allow users to initiate a screen-sharing sessions from the File Menu.

Kuler Correction

Kuler, Adobe's color creation and sharing product, will also be available across all the CS4 programs, and each product in the suite will ship with a feature called Adobe Drive to help share files between programs.

New Tabbed Window Interface

The user interface for each application will also see minor changes. The most notable differences include a tabbed interface to switch between open documents, and a workspace switching menu to choose which menus and palettes are displayed.

Also somewhat controversial is Adobe's effort to rework the title bar on both Windows and the Mac to a new design that doesn't follow the human interface guidelines of either, although this is only carried forward in specific applications in the suite.

In a confidential note to beta testers, Adobe wrote "the advantages of this new unifying App bar are: On Windows, it saves vertical real estate by combining title bar, main menu bar, and windowing controls in a single row; emphasizes task-based workspaces; up-levels and exposes commonly used View controls (currently hidden in bottom status bars or in menus); allows for cross-suite common controls such as UI Search and Multiple Monitor controls; unifies user experience across the CS applications."

"On the Mac," Adobe said, "the main menus are not moving to the Application bar but instead remain at the top of the main monitor."

Photoshop CS4 (below) shows the new title bar with tools adjacent to the close, minimize, and zoom buttons, as well as the tabbed document interface, 3D menu, and other pulldowns.



Pricing

People familiar with Adobe's plans say the company will continue to offer multiple versions of the Creative Suite, continuing with the same suite configurations. Upgrades for the most popular suite, Design Premium, are expected to be priced at $699. (Update: CS4 is now available here)
post #2 of 70
Well I understand why Adobe would want to create that new interface for Windows but for Mac its totally unnecessary, in fact it looks so freaking ugly.

If Im on Windows, that new Photoshop UI is welcoming (more screen space is always good) although it might need some learning curve but if Im using Mac which I am, no way I will be using that new UI, guess I can safely skip the next version of CS4 and ain't Adobe planning to drop the CS name?

Lets hope Adobe next CS version will be in Cocoa and it will has a nice and user friendly interface.
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post #3 of 70
Sounds like CS4 is one revision worth skipping. I really like my CS3 interface as is.
post #4 of 70
Doesn't have the same BOOM as CD3 did. Plus, any designer worth their weight in gold uses a Mac, why you would ignore your main audience and skip 64bit support is beyond me. We'll just wait for CS5.



Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Adobe next week will unveil Creative Suite 4, a new version of its media design bundle set to ship the following month with features such as enhanced options for working with 3D objects in Photoshop, new Flash document exports from within InDesign, and a new animation model for Flash, AppleInsider has learned.

The San Jose-based software developer has confirmed the package to include new versions of Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Flash, Flash Player, InDesign, Photoshop, and Soundbooth, but will also bundle minor updates to the suite's remaining components.

Nothing revolutionary

People privy to private demonstrations of Creative Suite 4 say the update will generally be minor, with only a few new features tacked on to each application. "The lack of compelling new features has been the discussion among many employees and customers that are testing the software," one of those people said, "with many relating CS4 to a maintenance release rather than a complete new version."

Photoshop CS4

Photoshop's new 3D feature, which allows 3D objects to be imported as wireframes, stands to benefit only a small group of users such as architects, engineers, and package designers, according to those familiar with the software. Some also describe the application's new interface (shown below) as a step backwards. Information from entire screens and dialog boxes is now fitted to a small palette with the goal of making the interface look consistent with the other applications, they say.

The new version of Photoshop will also feature a Flash services panel, natural canvas rotation, content aware image resizing and deliver 64-bit support for Windows users.

InDesign CS4

One of the big features of InDesign CS4 will be a new Flash export option, but those familiar with the product say the feature is somewhat impractical, given that text can only be edited one line at a time after it's exported. InDesign files exported to Flash may also not contain any multimedia content such as movies because they'll get stripped out in the conversion process and need to be re-added using Flash.

Unlike the new Photoshop interface (detailed below), InDesign CS4 uses a more conventional layout, with a standard document window and Office-style floating palette menus.



Flash CS4

Among the new features of Flash CS4 are a completely new "and proper" timeline dubbed Motion Editor, as well as a new object-based motion tween model. While some have praised the Flash's new animation model as "the best thing" to happen to the software, others believe it may present a new learning curve that further fragments the Flash community.

"The reengineered file format means that the Flash community, still split between ActionScript 2 and 3, will now be split with new source file formats," one person said.

Screen Sharing

Another big push behind CS4 will be collaboration. Leveraging its web conferencing business and Connect software, Adobe has built a new feature into all CS4 applications that will allow users to initiate a screen-sharing sessions from the File Menu.

Kuler Correction

Kuler, Adobe's color creation and sharing product, will also be available across all the CS4 programs, and each product in the suite will ship with a feature called Adobe Drive to help share files between programs.

New Tabbed Window Interface

The user interface for each application will also see minor changes. The most notable differences include a tabbed interface to switch between open documents, and a workspace switching menu to choose which menus and palettes are displayed.

Also somewhat controversial is Adobe's effort to rework the title bar on both Windows and the Mac to a new design that doesn't follow the human interface guidelines of either, although this is only carried forward in specific applications in the suite.

In a confidential note to beta testers, Adobe wrote "the advantages of this new unifying App bar are: On Windows, it saves vertical real estate by combining title bar, main menu bar, and windowing controls in a single row; emphasizes task-based workspaces; up-levels and exposes commonly used View controls (currently hidden in bottom status bars or in menus); allows for cross-suite common controls such as UI Search and Multiple Monitor controls; unifies user experience across the CS applications."

"On the Mac," Adobe said, "the main menus are not moving to the Application bar but instead remain at the top of the main monitor."

Photoshop CS4 (below) shows the new title bar with tools adjacent to the close, minimize, and zoom buttons, as well as the tabbed document interface, 3D menu, and other pulldowns.



Pricing

People familiar with Adobe's plans say the company will continue to offer multiple versions of the Creative Suite, continuing with the same suite configurations. Upgrades for the most popular suite, Design Premium, are expected to be priced at $699.

post #5 of 70
I agree so far CS 4 (didn't CS3 just come out) doesn't sound like a must have upgrade although all those websites and magazines that take Adobe ad money will rave about it. Unless there is really a must have feature in one of these apps save yourself some $ and wait another 18 months till CS5.
post #6 of 70
Adobe has really gone downhill. There's literally nothing in this release that would compel me to upgrade from CS3 (I use the Web Premium edition). Every addition (except for the Timeline mods to Flash) looks like a step backwards. And of course, they still use the same crappy installer and the same super crappy updater.

I now go out of my way to avoid Adobe's products in day to day work. I use Preview for PDFs, and only use Acrobat when I need to stitch PDFs together. I dropped Dreamweaver 2 years ago and now use Coda, TextMate and CSSEdit for my website development tools. For non-legacy work, I use Pixelmator now. The only app I find myself going back to still is Fireworks, because no Mac developer has produced a tool that will allow you to slice up a comp easily for web graphics. I'm hoping they add this to Pixelmator soon, or better yet, someone else produces a Mac app for this.
post #7 of 70
So pretty much Winblows users get more screen space and Mac users get less space to work.
I've been looking forward to CS4 but now that it is getting closer and more info is leaked out, I am rethinking it. Even Adobe doesn't seem that excited for it.
post #8 of 70
I am taking courses in design that use CS2 and CS3. I agree that the CS4 design looks like a step backwards. I would rather have CS3 or wait until CS5.
post #9 of 70
I don't care much for the new tab-based Photoshop layout. I'm happy with Expose on my mac - it's much quicker and clearer as far as switching documents goes - why adobe felt the need to reinvent the wheel there (with something worse) is beyond me. But in saying that, I have heard that they are still offering the old layout as an option as well. As far as palettes and tools goes, I have all that set up one click away on my second monitor, so I don't care for the palette snapping/expanding either.

I hope the 3D thing isn't being touted as THE major new Photoshop feature - as the article points out, very few would have the need for it.

I've already moved to AS3 for everything in Flash, so I suppose I might get a trial and see what all the new timeline fuss is about. But, one thing I thought was fantastic about Flash CS3 is that they had released the Flash Player 9 months before, so there was already decent penetration by the time CS3 came out. If they are reverting to releasing the new player at the same time as Flash, then there is no point using it for web work anyway for a while.

Flash Export in InDesign sounds like a load of useless crap. For an app that doesn't support a RGB HEX colour picker input (and a load of other web-oriented features like Illustrator does), why on earth do Adobe think people will use it for web content creation?

No Illustrator news? (or more InDesign?) They would need quite a few useful updates/new features (aside from application layout tweaks) to justify spending $700 on an upgrade.

Also, I hope the new suite installation is cleaner. I hate that I have a crappy old version of Opera on my computer (which for some dumb reason seems to keep stealing association for .torrent files), all because Adobe felt the need to include it their install package for use by some random compontent (Never mind all the other crap they also bundle!).

Adobe are seriously slowing down. They are reminding me of Microsoft and Internet Explorer 6, and seriously need a competition kick up the ass.
post #10 of 70
One more thing. If Adobe are seriously going to drop Carbon and use Cocoa for CS5 as they have implied they would (for 64-bit support), surely basing CS4 on some completely non-standards-compliant user interface with proprietary UI elements (and probably the usual bunch of UI hacks) is kind of shooting themselves in the foot for ongoing development?
post #11 of 70
Looks like the old braintrust from Macromedia has successfully infected Adobe with their unfocused product strategy.

Illustrator? CS4 should have incorporated the best FreeHand goodies into AI. But instead, they'll go the MM route and let AI languish like FreeHand. Way to go, Adobe.

SKIP
post #12 of 70
Wow. I hope there's a lot more to CS4 than this. This is awful.
post #13 of 70
So much for being "SOMETHING BRILLIANT"! If this is really a maintenance release, why did it have to be a major one? It makes no sense at all!

Of course, one can never tell what it will be until the unveiling, but from the looks of this article, it could be a very underwhelming day come the 23rd of this month.
post #14 of 70
How pathetic!! To say the least. No wonder piracy is the way it is.
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post #15 of 70
Totally not paying for this version. I hate it, I think, already. Who that uses InDesign as a serious print/pdf design tool gives a flying eff about flash?
Adobe has lost the touch.
post #16 of 70
*Yawn!* I use Master Collection at home on my Macs, and Master Collection at my regular job on a PC. I don't see a compelling reason to upgrade either of them. Adobe will need to come out with compelling features, or innovations that are going to significantly improve my workflow. I think I'll wait for CS5.
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post #17 of 70
And people think Apple charges too much for an upgrade to iLife!

Even though I regularly waste money keeping apps up-to-date in a useless attempt to prevent having to pay even more for a future update that has some significant value, this won't fly. This sounds like a $129 or $159 update to individual applications, not $699 for the Suite (although I would probably still pass on it since the features don't offer value for my work).

Did Tim Gill buy Adobe without anyone reporting it?
post #18 of 70
Odds are that we will be FORCED into buying CS4 for any new workstations we put online in 2009. My biggest worry is that they will again screw up the Illustrator type engine and create problems moving files between versions.
post #19 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesWyatt View Post

Looks like the old braintrust from Macromedia has successfully infected Adobe with their unfocused product strategy.

Illustrator? CS4 should have incorporated the best FreeHand goodies into AI. But instead, they'll go the MM route and let AI languish like FreeHand. Way to go, Adobe.

SKIP

As a huge fan of Freehand, I'd love for AI to adopt a great deal of Freehands features. AI does most things better but freehand has some big advantages. I still feel it's easier to draw with Freehand than AI. I still use it for the more complex illustrtions.

As a whole I'm dissapointed with what I see for CS4, I'll be using it because the Army will get me a copy but I'll hold off for it at home untill I'm sure It's worth it.

I guess the upcoming release of Painter 11 (6 months or so) is where I'll look for spending my cash.
post #20 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperMacGuy View Post

Who that uses InDesign as a serious print/pdf design tool gives a flying eff about flash?

Perhaps they believe companies who are too cheap to pay for real Flash developers will be able to get extra work from print designers. Or maybe some print designers who long to make things move will ask for the upgrade so they can back into Flash. Maybe they just want to offer it since Quark offers options to deliver interactive media.

Who knows? Just a thought... I know I tried Flash a while back, and even produced some content for my firm (CD-delivered executables that replaced a product VCR tape), but I quickly discovered I didn't have the chops to do it professionally.
post #21 of 70
I blame Adobe for many things, but nor for delayed 64-bit support. They have a HUGE and complex product, and transitioning away from Carbon is a huge undertaking. They'll get it done, but I can understand choosing not to delay CS4 by many months for that. It's a shame, but it's just fallout from the change to Intel processors--which is obviously a good move in the end.

As for the rest of CS4... I can't wait! For CS5
post #22 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by ttubbiola View Post

Odds are that we will be FORCED into buying CS4 for any new workstations we put online in 2009.

If your studio is anything like ours, you'll have to upgrade every machine to be compatible. All the vendors and freelancers are going to have to upgrade together. Adobe does need to fix some things in inDesign (text style eye dropper sampler gets broken and the hide feature issues are particularly annoying) but they are just milking the professionals because we all have to be on the same version in order to work together. What's worse is the whole CS concept. If you do print, flash and web you need the master collection. I've been using all of the apps since version 1 of each and I much preferred upgrading each app as necessary instead of the whole suite.

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post #23 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperMacGuy View Post

Totally not paying for this version. I hate it, I think, already. Who that uses InDesign as a serious print/pdf design tool gives a flying eff about flash?
Adobe has lost the touch.

Quark 8 has that feature so inDesign has to also have it.

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post #24 of 70
Rather than complaining about MAC User Interface, just modify CS4 for Mac. They becoming just like another PC software company now. After all those mergers they don't have time or power to create great software like they did with First CS.

Im loosing my hopes with Adobe.
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post #25 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony1 View Post

How pathetic!! To say the least. No wonder piracy is the way it is.

There's no justification for pirated software. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you want to learn it, either get a student edition or go to a class.

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post #26 of 70
I hope most of you commenting have actually taken the time to review the beta of Photoshop CS4. If not, let me be the first to inform you that it FLIES and has been incredibly stable for a beta product. I've been using Photoshop CS4 almost exclusively since the beta came out - and so far it has crashed only a couple of times, and when it did it was because of a known bug in the beta.

I don't know about you guys - but I can't wait for Photoshop CS4 to come out, 64 bit or not. As far as I am concerned the speed alone is plenty reason for me to upgrade.
post #27 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Adobe next week will unveil Creative Suite 4 ... upgrade ... expected to be priced at $699

Who in the world is stupid enough to pay to upgrade to this POS at that price?

For me, CS3 doesn't even work. It's buggy, it freezes constantly, it can't remember the locations of palettes and workspaces ... the list is endless. If CS4 fixes the bugs, I might "borrow a copy for testing" but I will never purchase it at that price.

Here's hoping Pixelmator gets up to a more usable level and gives us another option besides black for the UI. If they do that, I and many many others will switch overnight.
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post #28 of 70
Quote:
"On the Mac," Adobe said, "the main menus are not moving to the Application bar but instead remain at the top of the main monitor."

Now that totally sucks! I have 3x monitors attached to my new MacPro, can't they at least make that an option?? Having to always mouse over to the monitor that has the menu is annoying and counter productive. Apple should have also resolved this issue in OS X long ago, Windows resolved it in XP 8 years ago and now we have to wait and hope that Apple will even acknowledge this to be an issue.
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post #29 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Who in the world is stupid enough to pay to upgrade to this POS at that price?

For me, CS3 doesn't even work. It's buggy, it freezes constantly, it can't remember the locations of palettes and workspaces ... the list is endless.

And you're working with a PAID version of the software?

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post #30 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Now that totally sucks! I have 3x monitors attached to my new MacPro, can't they at least make that an option?? Having to always mouse over to the monitor that has the menu is annoying and counter productive. Apple should also resolve this issue in OS X long ago, Windows resolved this with Windows XP and now we have to wait and hope that Apple will even acknowledge this to be an issue.

Three monitors? You would be the exception to the rule. The vast majority of users I know are 2 monitors at max. For them to design for a fraction of 1% of their users probably wouldn't make a lot of sense.

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post #31 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

There's no justification for pirated software. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you want to learn it, either get a student edition or go to a class.

I disagree - pirating is a great way to protest against shit software.
post #32 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

And you're working with a PAID version of the software?

There are acutally a number of problems with the software - inDesign crashes on me all the time - and I have a legit copy. Countless bugs to - I had to print a 100 copies of a 20 page document off my MacBook Pro - and inDesign actually spooled the entire document 100 times, one after the other, instead of just sending it once to the rip. I called Adobe - and that was a known issue. The list goes on and on, I'd say Adobe has become almost as bad as Microsoft when it comes to quality of software.
post #33 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Three monitors? You would be the exception to the rule. The vast majority of users I know are 2 monitors at max. For them to design for a fraction of 1% of their users probably wouldn't make a lot of sense.

Even when I had the two monitors it was an annoyance. My third monitor is a Cintiq, so it's more of an drawing pad than a monitor.
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post #34 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Even when I had the two monitors it was an annoyance. My third monitor is a Cintiq, so it's more of an drawing pad than a monitor.

How do you like the Cintiq? Are you using it for illustration work?

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post #35 of 70
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

How do you like the Cintiq? Are you using it for illustration work?

With Illustrator I'd rather use a mouse, but with Photoshop and ToonBoom, there is no substitute it kicks ass even if you've never used one before. The only annoying thing on the Mac is when you have to switch screens to access your menu bar, it's not so on the Windows side.
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post #36 of 70
This does look disappointing so far, but we haven't seen the entire suite yet. Give it some time.

As for some of the comments...

Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelhot View Post

Lets hope Adobe next CS version will be in Cocoa and it will has a nice and user friendly interface.

It won't, so don't bother getting your hopes up. There's no way Adobe's ever going to rewrite their apps for Cocoa, and the UI will remain as similar as possible between Mac and Windows.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jawporta View Post

Doesn't have the same BOOM as CD3 did. Plus, any designer worth their weight in gold uses a Mac, why you would ignore your main audience and skip 64bit support is beyond me. We'll just wait for CS5.

[full AppleInsider article quoted]

Why would you quote the entire article in your reply? Learn to use the internet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zanshin View Post

And people think Apple charges too much for an upgrade to iLife!

They do? I've never heard anyone complain about that, and I can't imagine why they would.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bloggerblog View Post

Now that totally sucks! I have 3x monitors attached to my new MacPro, can't they at least make that an option?? Having to always mouse over to the monitor that has the menu is annoying and counter productive.

I'm not sure you understand basic UI design principles (start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitt%27s_law). This is how the Mac works. Why do you need to move menus around? Learn to work on a single "master" display with extra displays used for palettes or reference images, like everyone else does. If you want it to work like Windows, use Windows. Like most Mac users, I'll keep my menus at the top of the main display, where they belong, thankyouverymuch.
post #37 of 70
An even better way is to not use the software at all, and stay on a previous version. If you pirate CS4, and create content in it, and either distribute those files to output or other users for modification, you are driving the adoption of CS4.

If you want to show Adobe your dis-satisfaction, stay away from CS4 and wait (and hope) for CS5.


Quote:
Originally Posted by the cool gut View Post

I disagree - pirating is a great way to protest against shit software.
post #38 of 70
John Nack has already gone on record that they are going to have to port large parts of Photoshop to Cocoa to get 64 bit support. They acknowledge it will be a huge undertaking, but they see it's worth the effort. The CS5 version of Photoshop will be Cocoa.

http://blogs.adobe.com/jnack/2008/04...hop_lr_64.html

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormchild View Post

This does look disappointing so far, but we haven't seen the entire suite yet. Give it some time.

As for some of the comments...



It won't, so don't bother getting your hopes up. There's no way Adobe's ever going to rewrite their apps for Cocoa, and the UI will remain as similar as possible between Mac and Windows.



Why would you quote the entire article in your reply? Learn to use the internet.



They do? I've never heard anyone complain about that, and I can't imagine why they would.



I'm not sure you understand basic UI design principles (start here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fitt%27s_law). This is how the Mac works. Why do you need to move menus around? Learn to work on a single "master" display with extra displays used for palettes or reference images, like everyone else does. If you want it to work like Windows, use Windows. Like most Mac users, I'll keep my menus at the top of the main display, where they belong, thankyouverymuch.
post #39 of 70
I am horrified by this article. Adobe must be hiding new features, particularly for InDesign.

Does anyone have the price list for the current suite?
It will be useful to compare CS3 prices (which was a genuine upgrade) with the announcement next week.
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post #40 of 70
Hmmm....if Illustrator isn't being upgraded, maybe we should pickup up Lineform on sale instead.

At least it has a Mac interface.
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