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Adobe Photoshop 6
by Rick Smith (November 28, 2000)


 

Adobe Photoshop Six. The latest version of a program that some people would fight a religious war over its virtues, while others scream that their favorite program has a better this or a better that. I admit that I am one of Photoshop’s afficionados. For two simple reasons. One - it works, and works well and two - multiple NAMED undo. Without these key features, other graphics software is just a bunch of features in a box. These two features, combined with the rest of Photoshop, helps you soar to new heights, limited only by your imagination. Now those screamers are quiet - 6.0 is here!

I’ve been using 5.5 for a little over a year and its web features really impress me, read my review. What new in 6.0 you ask? A bunch. Here’s a quick taste of some of the features that I feel are most compelling:

Tighter integration - Adobe is continuing to integrate ImageReady web features directly into Photoshop. In 5.5, only Image Ready performed “web slicing” - now this can be done directly in Photoshop, which saves time and resources. File saving is also more automated when moving between ImageReady and Photoshop.

Weighted optimization - Now you can achieve higher quality in critical areas of your web graphics because you can vary the compression settings in different areas of a single image.

Better layer management - Layers can be clustered into sets for better control. Layers can also be locked against accidental image changes or movement.

Better text capability - Now text alignment can be set at the paragraph level, with word wrap, directly on the image. And all without having to use a dialog box! You can even store written notes and even audio annotations, within a Photoshop file - much better than using abbreviations buried at the end of layer names.

Additional actions support - One of the best, and to some, “hidden” feature of Photoshop is actions. They were designed to help speed up repetitive tasks and they do a great job. Now, many people have figured out fantastic ways to use them for extremely creative tasks - I’ve seen one action create random puffy clouds on a blue sky background. Now, even tool options can be set through actions and actions can also be saved as droplets. These droplets can trigger batch operations, when folders of images are dragged on top of them.

Vector graphics - Adobe followed Jasc’s lead in vector integration and now adds its vector functionality. Vector clipping paths can be applied to each layer in a photograph and resolution-independent text can be added to photos. Crisp type quality can then be maintained in both PDF and Postscript output. Vector shapes can now be drawn, independent of output resolution.

OS Support shift - Support for Windows 2000 and ME has been added, 98 and NT 4.0 remains and Windows 95 is now dropped. (8.5, 8.6 and 9.0 for Macs).

That’s a quick summary. I’ll let you know how these key features work and elaborate about them in greater detail during our upcoming product review. Other new web features are:

Dynamic layer based slices - JavaScript rollovers can more easily be created simply by assigning an effect to a layer and letting ImageReady make the slices.

Easier image maps - Use rectangle, ellipse and polygon tools to create map areas and define rollover states.

Rollover styles - Effects of rollovers and their states can be saved as ImageReady styles. These styles can help you replicate this faster to other portions of your graphics to produced dynamic effects more quickly.

Slice sets - Like layer sets, slices can also be clustered into sets, for easier output

Faster buttons - With the vector tools and layer styles, buttons and bars are quicker to create.

Copyright © 2006 Rick Smith All rights reserved.

   
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