Adobe Flash CS3 Professional review: Adobe Flash CS3 Professional

  • 1

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Setup and interface: 8.0
  • Features: 9.0
  • Service and support: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Adobe's improved Creative Suite 3 integration has improved the work flow, performance, and work space in Flash, enabling it to import Photoshop and Illustrator layers, convert animation to open-source ActionScript 3, and render faster.

The Bad Flash remains tricky to learn. While Adobe has focused on useful cross-application integration, some annoying ease-of-use quirks remain.

The Bottom Line Adobe has improved the speed of Flash and its integration with other CS3 apps, although flashy new features are few. Plus, Flash now works natively on Intel-based Macs.

CNET Editors' Choice Apr '07

Don't Miss

Flash remains the champ of professional vector software for the Web. However, creating Web pages, interactive games, and videos in Flash CS3 is no one-two punch; the complexity remains a barrier for new learners. That said, you won't find all of what Flash offers elsewhere. The strength of its many features as well as its convenient integration within the rich Creative Suite 3 make Flash an alluring and practical tool.

Most notable in this version of Flash is its improved integration with the other Adobe design tools, made possible by Adobe's merger with Macromedia. Macromedia Flash 8 introduced polished bitmap-handling and green-screen video capabilities that enhance the wow factor for viewers and users of the animation, videos, and games Flash creates, but the CS3 update focuses mostly on improvements for designers and developers.

We installed Adobe Flash CS3 as part of the Web suite on a Windows XP computer in about 40 minutes. (Unfortunately, some testers who had been running Flash CS3 beta software spent many frustrating hours unsuccessfully installing the final code.) Flash CS3 runs on Windows XP SP2 or Vista--and now both Intel-based and PowerPC-based Macs with at least 512MB of RAM and 2.5GB free.


You can now move around Flash CS3's panels of tools and even dock them outside the main workspace.

Interface
Once you start Flash CS3, the interface is more customizable than in the past; you can choose where to dock the timeline and other panels, letting them float outside the main Flash window, while you can drag features to the toolbar.

As with most of the other CS3 applications, unfortunately, we don't find the interface intuitive at all unless you have prior knowledge of Flash. Some of the functions to achieve the simplest effects are frustratingly complex. For instance, if you're using Flash to create a banner ad with a surface area that will link to a Web site, why can't you quickly add that link, as you can in Dreamweaver's Properties box? Instead, Flash requires that you invoke ActionScript.

Features
Flash CS3 introduces the time-saving capability of importing the layers of both Photoshop and Illustrator files. While importing a PSD file, you also can match the stage size and compression settings and turn layers into either movie clips or key frames. While you could bring in PSD and AI images in the past, now there's no more need to convert and name one layer at a time.

Don't Miss

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See all prices

Adobe Flash CS3 Professional

Part Number: 38039481
Low Price: $499.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Category creativity application
  • Compatibility PC