Adobe has another update to its popular Creative Suite Collections and the Master Collection that contains all of Adobe’s popular and high end design and production software.
Ease of Use, Performance: 20/25
Look & Feel: 23/25
How much I enjoy 23/25
Adobe is the leader for production and design software for Flash, Dreamweaver and Photoshop to name a few but the entire collection with the top 15 applications dealing with design and production in the digital realm.
Photoshop CS5 Extended
Acrobat 9 Pro
Flash Catalyst CS5
Flash Professional CS5
Flash Builder 4 Standard
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5
After Effects CS5
Adobe OnLocation CS5
Device Central CS5
All the applications are worthwhile for some type of productivity and Adobe has really outdone itself with the choices available in suites of software from the lower end to the Master Collection. If a company or individual only needs the tools for web design or other specific productivity types they can choose one of the three lower suites.
The Master Collection may be overkill when you consider the wealth of applications but for many web designers and other businesses it contains everything you could want and need with a little extra for future expansion. The main parts I have been using and playing with since receiving the Master Collection are Photoshop and Dreamweaver with the installation and components that use several applications from Adobe.
The applications all have their specific use like image editing from Photoshop or PDF creation with Acrobat but components like Bridge, Device Central and Dynamic Link have cross application uses. These also have uses outside the applications or connect, Bridge, applications to make working from one to another a better and easier experience.
I have been using Photoshop and Photoshop Elements since my first forays onto computers at home in 2004 and have been reviewing them since receiving my first Photoshop program in 2007. The program does all I could ask and going through several versions has shown me how much Adobe has worked toward making things better for the user.
The last collection of programs I received for reviewing was Creative Suite 4 Web Premium and with this year’s release of Creative Suite 5 I am getting the full Master Collection to check out. The Creative Suite 5 Master Collection has several major updates for all the applications and even a few extras thrown in like CS Live, Adobe Story, Adobe BrowserLab and Adobe CS Review.
Adobe has some new services online that will help people who use Adobe applications on a day to day basis while integrating jobs from one person to another and more. Adobe Review is an online collaboration service that allows people to comment and critique parts of projects for Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator.
CS Live is an online service for people in a project to collaborate, share and comment on a project to keep projects at various locations in touch and working smoothly. Adobe Story keeps people working on Premiere Pro projects in touch the same way the others do with the ability to go online and comment or share about Premiere projects.
All these services are online live services that allow users to go from inside their application and show people working on the same project their work. They allow secure ways for people to work together on a single project from various locations while inside the applications but with the same.
Adobe BrowserLab allows you to work on a project in Dreamweaver and view or check out features in various website browsers without having to leave Dreamweaver. This service integrates into Dreamweaver CS5 and gives you live browser views of the site your working on with the latest browser of your choice.
Each of these new services mean one thing to the user, better working application inside and out for projects between people at different locations or at different times. The BrowserLab also adds the functionality of up to date views of your site project without leaving Dreamweaver and being able to view them in a wide variety and different versions of browsers.
Adobe has been working, and working very hard, at listening to users and trying to give those users the tools and improvements they want to work better at the jobs they have. Adobe has given this edition of Creative Suite not only updates to the applications but services and integration between the applications.
These new services make projects go smoothly even when people are not at the same location but working on the same project using the same applications. All the new features come from people wanting ways to better work on their projects and Adobe has listened and given what users want.
Now that I have covered the really new stuff in services I will move on to installation and my first two applications, installation should not take too long but a clean computer is always recommended. You should back up your system with a restore point and back up any important information before installing major software like this.
I generally do that as well as check the software information about removing other older versions and I always shut off my antivirus and security software during installations. Installation went very smoothly without having to uninstall the previous versions of any Adobe products, I did not even have to deactivate the previous editions according to the instructions that come with the Master Collection.
Once installed I simply started using the programs with a little snooping around for familiarization but this was not very much needed for both Photoshop and Dreamweaver. I did have to do some adjustments and research for Photoshop and its customizable tools panel that I use when image editing.
I use Photoshop and Dreamweaver on a daily basis for updating my website and editing my review product shots so these are the two programs I am most familiar with. The updates are not that substantial when you first start using the newest edition of these two applications.
Using them is the same, or even easier in the case of Dreamweaver as it automatically gets your site information and plugs it into the Site Manager feature. On starting up Dreamweaver CS5 I was going to add my site information using the Site Manager but it was already there from my previous installation of Dreamweaver CS4.
Other integration between application editions include things like the user created tools panel that was easy to load up in Photoshop without having to do anything other than the previous edition. Photoshop and Dreamweaver are almost the same in interface and windows with a few differences in just the looks but not functionality.
New features for Photoshop are Camera RAW noise reduction and other adjustments, smarter masking and selection tools, a new Content Aware Fill, better and more brushes plus more. The changes amount to a lot for the image editor that has been and continues to be the leader in image editing software but not enough to change the program at its heart.
The new tools work well and are nicely integrated into Photoshop which is one of the main changes to Photoshop, better workflow through easier access to what you need. Adobe has done a lot to make things easier on users of all their software and any changes they have made in this edition are for the good.
The Content Aware Fill tool is probably the only major tool that has been added that may not be all that great for many users, it is a very specific tool that has its limited uses. It does a great job of filling in what is behind an object when removing that object in an image but it does have its limitations.
I tried this on a few different photos and it does work but sometimes it does have a hard time when the background is not one common item or color. I used a picture of my home and had little problem getting a home next to it to disappear and be filled in with foliage, grass and trees.
After performing the Content Aware Fill doing some fixing and cloning is of course necessary but this is a part of any image editing changes. The Content Aware Fill works well but may not be a main feature for everyone looking to upgrade or buy this suite. but it does add some fun toys if nothing else.
The main features of all the programs like new integration between each application, new live services and smaller application tweaks make the programs better for everyday work. Overall picking the upgrade for Adobes suite of programs is well worth it to get the new features and getting the whole Master Collection if you need more than a few of the applications just makes money sense.
The newest edition of Adobe’s Master Collection has some very good new features and several good fixes to existing features that add up to a much better program for those that need it. This is one upgrade that would be well worth the cost if you use your suite of Adobe applications a lot for its added integration and cross application services.
Adobe’s Creative Suite 5 and the Master Collection are a great way to get your work done and ones I highly recommend you check out whether upgrading or looking at for the first time.