Author and Macintosh technical expert George M Engel kicks the tires and shares his joy in the latest upgrade from Adobe. . .
Was it worth the wait? Yes, oh yes...
I finally have Photoshop CS2 in my sweaty palms. Was it worth the wait? Yes, oh yes, oh Heavenly yes. What a piece of software. So let me tell you a little about it. I say a little, because there's going to be lots of books about this little puppy; entire books! There's so much to write about, from the install, right down to the little things that you probably won't notice right away. So let's begin.
The first thing you probably won't notice is the little 'read me' that I actually read and didn't think about, which caused me some trouble, and a phone call to Adobe to wake me up. After the quick install and 'Photoshop actuation' procedure with Adobe, you can play the 'what's new' tutorials to get you a little up to speed on the new CS2. I'd recommend this highly for you. Then you register your new Photoshop CS2 over the Internet. When you register, you have your choice of a complimentary free product. You have a choice of two issues of a Photoshop magazine, or a download of Adobe's new 'Garamond Premier Pro' font. While I like the Photoshop magazines, I'd be likely to use the new Garamond Premiere Pro font for years to come. So, I downloaded the font and promptly installed the same with no problems.
Now comes the problem which I'm going to tell you about. Read the damn 'read me,' folks! After I installed the Photoshop CS2 software, and even before I started playing with it, I just knew that I had to bring over lots of my actions, styles, shapes and brushes from my 'old' Photoshop CS into my 'new' Photoshop CS2. I mean, this was a given. Most of the add-ons I've installed are just great and I don't want to be without them. So I carefully added my CS plug-ins folder to be attached to the CS2 plug-ins folder, in the new 'Preferences' window. That's one of the first places you want to be, folks. You tell Photoshop how you want to work. You tell it if you have prior plug-ins folders; your scratch disks; how and if you want guides and grids; units and rulers; memory and cache; and type, just to name a few items.
Then I restarted Photoshop CS2, and it came up with a dialog box "This application has failed to start" etc., followed with two more 'failed to start' dialog boxes with different errors. What the hell? So I restarted again, with the same errors. I then uninstalled Photoshop CS2, keeping the preferences (which includes the serial numbers) on the hard drive. I then re-installed 'CS2' and started it up with the old serial number preferences. Same problem. I then called Adobe which led me to the problem. He asked me if I read the 'read-me.' Ding dong! The light came on.
The problem is that Photoshop CS2 does not read all the old plug-ins that CS did. Some, yes, but not all. When I told CS2 to also read the additional plug-ins folder from CS, which had some Photoshop 7 plug-ins installed, it said 'no way' and failed to load them. That was the problem. The only solution is to use newer plug-ins, actions, styles and brushes designed to run with CS2. If you really like the plug-in, load then one at a time and restart CS2 each time to try it out. If you get a dialog box, then remove it, because it doesn't work.
Now that it's working great, with lots of added plug-ins from CS (lots of trial and errors,) I restarted and found a great new sandbox to play in. People, this is dynamite software. To begin with, your old File Browser is gone! I mean gone. It's now replaced with Adobe Bridge, a new application which can build thumbnails of your images while you're working with images in Photoshop. 'Bridge' also integrates flawlessly with Illustrator CS2, InDesign CS2 and the other Adobe apps.
In 'Bridge' you can Flag and Rate your images; and review, rate and label those images with a slideshow mode. You can even click on a movie and it'll play in its own window. Same with a PDF document. You can adjust those little thumbnail pictures with just a click of your mouse into full-size pictures with a new scale-able preview. You can now search for file names and even metadata in the metadata window, and then save that search profile. There's a new 'filmstrip' mode, which is real cool. The new multi-format file support is great, allowing you to look through PDF, Illustrator and InDesign files, and also to see the font usage and which Pantone colors they used. What a great idea!
One of the things I saw in my first trials was when I went to the text tool to try creating a nice text banner for a layout I was doing. "What the heck;" the text is now WYSIWYG! The typeface is now visually sampled in front of you. No more remembering that font by name, as we all used to do in Photoshop. What a timesaver that is.
The next tool I looked at was 'Vanishing Point.' You will not understand it just by looking at it. Look at the tutorial first. Then you'll see just how powerful this tool really is. Like Copying, Pasting, Coloring, and even moving items around corners, all in a perspective mode. This is a real innovation, even for Adobe.
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About the author: George Engel has been a computer guru probably longer than he will admit -- as a computer expert, he authored The Naked Serviceman book, about his journey through the history of Apple's Macintosh as owner/founder of an authorized Apple Service Center. He owned one of the first Apple II computers as well as one of the first Macintosh 128s. He hangs out with the Lakeland User Group in sunny Florida
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