Cool things in Adobe CS3 • 20 September 2007 • The SnowBlog

Cool things in Adobe CS3

          Probably more for my benefit than anyone's, here's my Top Ten list of cool things that the new (well, new to me after they took the best part of a year to deliver it) Adobe CS3 does. Geeks only, read on. 

device.jpg 1) Share swatches across applications - so now a swatch library in Indesign can be used in Photoshop and Illustrator. Create a set of swatches, then choose Save Swatches for Exchange. The .ase file containing the swatches is saved to the Presets> Swatches folder where you can load it from into other applications. 

2) Adobe Bridge can be used to ensure colour consistency across applications. I never use Bridge because it takes ages to start but it seems to be fixed in CS3. Bridge's batching functions are also double-plus cool - batch Live Trace, anyone? 

3) Preview work as they'll look on mobile devices in Device Central. In PS, go to File>Save for Web and Devices>Device Central. Makes me salivate, I'm afraid to say. (See picture)

4)  Create pdfs from webpages in Acrobat 8. It's not a brand new feature, but it works a charm. And want to hear the commercial application of that? A buyer at a certain massive retailer told me this morning that our latest sales materials knock other publishers' into a cocked hat. My words, not his, but I was mighty pleased. 

5) Export Indesign content as XHTML. Yes, you heard me right. 

6) Multi file place in Indesign. No more placing 900 individual files. Thank you, god of indesign, thank you.

7) I don't use Dreamweaver, but some of the things it says it can do, like integrating data into web pages using XML (i.e. ONIX) from an RSS feed sound so tantalising. That's booked in for a post-Frankfurt weekend when I have a bit of time to explore!

8) Object styles! Saved my neck on City Cycling - and that's the first book I've done that is so immaculately laid out, if I deleted all the pages and autoflowed it from scratch it would come out exactly the same. It makes me happy. 

9) Creating interactive documents. Oh, if only I had the time! Imagine an e-book (pdf) where if you hover over a paragraph, an audio file reads it out to you, or if you click on a picture it runs a video that enhances the text. It's all there, easy as anything to do with tools that cost less than a modest print run. Now all I have to do is find the time... 

10) Built in Adobe Time machine. From Bridge, go to Tools>Distort>Fabric of Space Time. Optimise your working hours by including one 100-hour day every fortnight. Never miss deadlines again! 

There are still annoying things that I bet they have a fix for, but won't release this time round because, heck, how will they be able to release and charge for another edition next year? Indexing, for instance, is still a rather stone-age feature. And the US/UK pricing debacle still rankles. But that aside - CS3 is an astonishing bargain and enables micro publishers like us to operate a business that is as professional and slick as the multinationals. 


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