>> Adobe recently took the wraps off their new Creative Suite 3. That means new versions of Photoshop, Dream Weaver, Illustrator, Flash and a whole lot more and that's great if you've got thousands of dollars to spend. Hi, I'm Tom Merritt, Editor from CNET.com. On this edition of Insider Secret, I'll show you how to roll your own alternative to Adobe Creative Suite 3 without dropping a single Benjamin.
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First there's Photoshop. A graphic editing program that has it's own verb. Rather than pirate it, try this free and legal alternative. The Gimp. The Gimp has gotten easier to use over the years. I use it because it has nearly as much functionality as Photoshop and a huge community of users who provide free plug ins and tutorials to help you make the most of it. For instance, Gimp Shop is a modification that makes the Gimp work a little more like Photoshop. If you just need to crop and make basic image tweaks, try Paint.net. It's simpler to use than the Gimp. Okay, so Photoshop's replaced. Total cost? Nothing. Next, Adobe Flash. That's gotta be tricky right? You may know Flash from such online apps as games, cartoons, even CNET TV. For making animations, try the free Cin Fig. Like Flash, Cin Fig uses tweening to fill in the graphics between frames to produce animations quicker and easier. The freeware project Live Swif, also lets you create flash movies using a key frame animation and basic support for action script. CS3 also includes Dream Weaver. A powerful website editor. It offers visual or code layouts, complete CSS support and integration with flash video. Komposer with a K, is built on the open source NVU architecture and offers Wizzy Wig web editing for free, including a site manager and one click publishing options. It doesn't integrate with Flash, but it's a lot smaller than Dream Weaver so it eats up a lot less space on your hard drive. Plus, three apps replaced. Total cost? Still nothing. Surely it's gonna be harder to replace Acrobat. No? You can replace Acrobat Reader with Fox It Reader. Although, Acrobat Reader is free anyway. For making pdf's, try Primo PDF. It adds a print to pdf feature to the file applications like Word and Excel. You can also customize the security level or add meta data to your creations. So far we've replaced four main portions of Adobe Creative Suite 3 and your total cost, tip board says, nothing but your time. But it doesn't end there. To replace Illustrator try Inkscape. For In Design try Scrydus [assumed spelling]. And for Adobe's Premier, give Joshaka [assumed spelling] a shot. If you want more details on any of these programs, visit the Daily Download Blog. It's seen at Download.com. Seth Rosenblack can help you put all this freedom into action. That's it for this edition of Insider Secrets. I'm Tom Merritt for CNET.com. Go enjoy your savings. Be proud to be cheap.