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DIGITAL digest

November 2003
Adobe Introduces New Application Platform

SAN JOSE, CA—Adobe Systems recently unveiled its new Adobe Creative Suite. The Premium Edition combines upgrades of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and GoLive to "CS" versions, incorporates Acrobat 6.0 Professional and introduces the Version Cue file version manager. A Standard Edition includes everything but GoLive CS and Acrobat 6.0 Professional.

In a related move, the company is eliminating the print publishing, digital video and Web software "collections" it previously offered. Each medium is still represented in the feature upgrades, with a fair number being print related.

Adobe Photoshop CS is said to increase user control with a redesigned File Browser offering enhanced search, sorting and sharing capabilities. Additional advances include: a new Histogram Palette that monitors changes in an image as they are made; Match Color, which reads color statistics to quickly achieve a consistent look across a series of photographs; Shadow/Highlight, which improves the contrast of over- or under-exposed digital images; and enhanced ImageReady CS integration. Potentially of use in creating variable data jobs is the Layer Comps function, which can be used to capture design variations within a single file, then output alternates for client review.

Adobe InDesign CS adds a Story Editor that provides integrated word processing functionality (InCopy will continue as a standalone application). New Separations Preview and Flattener Preview palettes are said to facilitate on-screen file checking to identify errors before they appear on-press. Improved workspace management allows designers to customize work areas through use of collapsible palettes, named workspaces and the new Control Palette. Palette locations can be saved as customized workspaces, which then can be loaded at any time.

Adobe Illustrator CS introduces support for 3D effects and the new Scribble Effect, which gives a loose, hand-drawn look to any image. A new unicode-based type technology is said to be more powerful, intuitive and flexible than previous versions.

Enhanced text capabilities, headlined by the new OpenType palette, provide professional typography features such as alternate glyph replacement, swash characters and small type. Illustrator CS also includes the Adobe Every-line Composer, a composition technology shared with Photoshop CS that allows text to be edited across applications.

Version Cue is a new file management system that enables users to visually scan image thumbnails in Photoshop CS, Illustrator CS, InDesign CS and GoLive CS, or search XMP metadata across version comments, keywords, author, date and other file data. It works with a dedicated file server or applications running over a local area network. Hooks to support this function are built into each application.

The Adobe Creative Suites (and individual components) are slated to be available in the fourth quarter of 2003. Current users can upgrade to the Premium Edition for an estimated street price of $749 or to the Standard Edition for $549. The estimated street prices for full editions are $1,229 and $999, respectively. (

ICC Does Work on Spec

RESTON, VA—The International Color Consortium (ICC) has launched a couple of initiatives to enhance the viability of its color management specification. For one, it has teamed up with the Technical Committee 130 (Graphic Technology) of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to draft a letter calling on vendors of profiles and profile-building software to eliminate restrictive license language that prevents customers from exchanging profiles with others or embedding them in job files.

Of concern are clauses that prohibit customers from distributing profiles to third parties. Such restrictive language can be a barrier to effective, all-digital workflows and "are therefore too restrictive for many customer workflow procedures, particularly procedures that are using file formats defined in the PDF/X family of international standards," the letter says.

The solution proposed by the two organizations is for vendors to explicitly permit customers to exchange or embed profiles "for rendering and/or processing of the specific objects to which they are related. We believe that this change will reflect business reality," the letter continues.

In addition, at its most recent meeting, ICC took key steps toward having the specification adapted into an international standard and moved toward finalization of a new version. The consortium has been working to make its specification consistent with the ISO format and other requirements to gain ISO recognition of the specification as an international standard. Meanwhile, it decided to submit Version 4.1 of the specification, incorporating a number of minor revisions, for public comment. This update is said to address ambiguities that had been noted in the specification's definition of colorimetric renderings and usage of perceptual rendering intents.

NPES The Association for Suppliers of Printing, Publishing and Converting Technologies serves as ICC's administrative secretariat. For more information about standards development, visit standards/workroom.html. (

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