Adobe's creative tools take evolutionary steps forward with enhanced integration and work space enhancements.
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The Adobe CS4 Master Collection contains all of the Creative Suite tools and costs what this reviewer paid for her reliable, comfy used Volvo. Installing a rough draft copy of the Master Collection took more than two hours in our tests. That's an improvement over CS3, which the greater part of a work day in some attempts.
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Adobe hasn't raised the cost of CS4 from CS3. System requirements are hefty for users with either Windows or Mac computers, especially if you plan to edit video. Photoshop CS4 natively supports 64-bit Vista. And Premiere, After Effects, Soundbooth, Encore, and OnLocation are certified for 64-bit Vista.
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With Creative Suite 4, Adobe has unified the interfaces of all the applications for a more seamless experience. In the Creative Suite 3, released in 2007, applications such as Dreamweaver that were created by Macromedia, which Adobe bought, still retained some of their original flavor.
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Work space adjustments to CS4 include panels that are more nimble than its predecessors, and handy pull-down menus with preset styles enable you to shift among work space layouts quickly.
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There are more options for customizing panels, which are Flash based and feel spring-loaded when opened and shut.
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Tabs also enable you to jump from one document to the next.
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In addition to the unified interfaces throughout Creative Suite 4, functional integration is enhanced. As just one of many examples, Premiere can import Photoshop files with layers intact.
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Adobe has beefed up options for working with 3D images, shown here in Photoshop.
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Premiere CS4 and Soundbooth CS4 can translate spoken words on an audio track into a text transcript.
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