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Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 Standard review: Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 Standard

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MSRP: $899.00

The Good Overall, better integration; new Photoshop supports high-end image formats; new Illustrator converts line drawings to vector-based graphics.

The Bad Requires fast hardware; some file incompatibility within InDesign; ImageReady still not fully integrated within Photoshop.

The Bottom Line Intended for photo and design specialists working on print projects, Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 Standard is a worthy upgrade.

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8.0 Overall
  • Setup 8
  • Features 9
  • Support 7

Review Sections

Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 Standard

With Creative Suite 2.0 Standard (CS2S), Adobe integrates its photo and design environment components into one versatile package so that print-based graphic designers can share files more easily among applications. Included are updated versions of Photoshop (photo editor), Illustrator (graphic illustrator), and InDesign (layout designer)--all of which are available separately.The main advantage of this suite, however, is its ability to share images produced in one app with another app. Version Cue 2.0, a file-management app, maintains version control, while Adobe Bridge, a new app, allows designers to synchronize color settings throughout the suite and preview images from within any Creative Suite program, regardless of which app you used to create them. The suite also includes access to Adobe's library of stock images. If you have used any of the individual products in the past, we think CS2S is a worthy upgrade. Designers and those who need to prepare artwork for print publication should buy Adobe Creative Suite 2.0, but hobbyists will find Corel Graphics Suite 12.0 a better bargain.

New to Photoshop CS2 are Vanishing Point, a visual adjustment tool; Smart Objects, a feature that allows for nondestructive editing of images; and Camera Raw 3.0, a plug-in that provides access to a variety of popular digital-imaging formats. Illustrator CS2 ships with Live Trace, a tool that coverts scanned line art or bit-mapped images into vector-based drawings for editing. InDesign CS2 features better control of rich black and CYMK (cyan, yellow, magenta, black) values.

Unfortunately, Adobe still hasn't fully integrated ImageReady CS2 within Photoshop CS2, which means some tools remain orphaned within ImageReady. As in Photoshop, you can set customized work spaces within Illustrator CS2; but unlike with Photoshop CS2, no preset work spaces are provided within Illustrator CS2, so you'll have to create them all from scratch. We noticed a slight file incompatibility between InDesign CS files and InDesign CS2 files that prevented us from being able to work on older files. Finally, the Creative Suite 2.0 package is not for old hardware: you'll need a pretty powerful PC to run everything.

That said, for design teams working in print formats, Creative Suite 2.0 Standard provides the tools you'll need.

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