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New Features of Adobe’s Creative Suite 4 (CS4 Webcast)

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Tuesday morning, Adobe followed through on a webcast that was alerted via email subscribers informing previous Adobe software customers of the newest release of Adobe Creative Suite, specifically CS4. The graphic designers and front end developers at the company I currently work for got together to watch the web cast. Here is my summary:

It was a good hour of information, with probably the most intriguing aspects relating to Dreamweaver and Illustrator. I’m working strictly from memory here, but I’ll try to summarize some of the features that were mentioned.

Dreamweaver will now be including a preview window that displays web content based on the webkit rendering engine (used by Safari and Google Chrome). So, for example, AJAX-generated dynamic content can be displayed in the preview window directly inside Dreamweaver. Also, Dreamweaver will have the ability to recognize all files associated with a particular (X)HTML document, and will have links to those files in tabs next to the open (X)HTML file. CSS files, server-side include files, and external JavaScript files will all be easily accessible instantly from tab-like links. This doesn’t mean the related files are actually open — just easier to access.

Also impressive was the capability to link an Illustrator file with Flash. I can’t remember all the details on this one, but it definitely looks interesting. One of the things that was mentioned was that Illustrator and/or Flash would allow easy editing of Flash animations similar to Adobe AfterEffects. This seems like a nice step forward, however it could easily become similar to previous features inside Flash that later were one-upped by developers who found cleaner and more customizible solutions to the exact same problems that the aforementioned features were attempting to solve.

And finally, Photoshop will have a new feature that allows an image to be scaled while the image’s most important parts would not be distorted. Thus, Photoshop figures out what pixels are important, and which ones are negligible, and it scales the image from landscape to portrait without making it look distorted. A very interesting feature, but not necessarily something that would be used very often.

It was a nice preview to another powerful developer suite (soon to be?) released by Adobe. At the time of writing this entry, Adobe still seemed to be replaying the webcast here. I’ll be researching the new features in the coming weeks, and hopefully be able to use some of the new tools in the not-too-distant future.

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