Mid- to high-level graphics professionals will like this package, but it's overkill for just touching up photos and drawing organizational charts.
Nero 8 shows off a new interface for getting started that makes the many tools easier to find from the get-go. Some welcome new features include HD support, although this rich suite can still confuse.
Photoshop CS remains the choice for professional image editing, and it's worth the upgrade, although some new features could be better implemented.
QuarkXPress 4.1 is a superior layout application equipped with the best set of illustration and text tools on the market. It's not for amateurs, but if you're a professional print designer, you'd better own a copy.
Quark is at the top of the desktop publishing food chain, and we recommend it for high-end projects. For a less expensive, nonprofessional solution, try Microsoft Publisher.
Best for coding and design pros, Adobe Dreamweaver CS4 is perhaps the sharpest, swiftest tool for developing and editing dynamic Web sites.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 adds even more power to an already top-flight image editor/organizer package. Equipped with a chic interface and a fantastic toolbox, Elements is the best choice for digital photographers who want to put their photo collection in order and share with others.
An excellent tool for Web graphic designers who have to deal with many different file formats.
Great for anyone who wants to jump straight into Flash animation without becoming an expert in or needing the benefits of advanced scripting or complex interactivity.
Flash becomes friendlier and more fun to explore as CS4 introduces a faster approach to animation, making this a worthwhile upgrade for both beginners and seasoned programmers.
Kudos to Adobe--the second version of Photoshop Album is a notable improvement over the first.
McAfee Internet Security Suite 2006 packs a powerful protection arsenal--but it's far too slow. Loyal McAfee users should upgrade for the automatic spyware and phishing blockers, but the rest of us should seek security elsewhere, such as ZoneAlarm Internet Security Suite 6.
Nero 7 adds significant new features to this already impressive suite, furthering its reach to the living room and giving users a true bargain.
This is a great tool for experimentalists who want to tweak under the hood for more power and better performance.
If you're a professional or ambitious amateur digital artist, we highly recommend Adobe Photoshop CS2.
Faster, easier to use, and more powerful than the previous version, Dreamweaver 8 is a worthy upgrade for professionals, but amateurs should stick with a less complicated app, such as HomeSite.
Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5
Adobe Lightroom 6/CC remains a fine photo-editing and organizing tool, but the new version doesn't rise much past its predecessor.