Adobe Creative Suite 2

When Adobe upgrades its creative suite of compelling publishing, graphic, and Web design productivity tools, educators take notice. Adobe Creative Suite 2 consists of five tightly integrated applications representing some of the most popular software products for Macs and PCs. Suite applications include Adobe Photoshop CS2 with ImageReady CS2 to finesse image editing; InDesign CS2 for page layout and desktop publishing; Illustrator CS2 for vector and bitmap graphic drawing; GoLive CS2 to produce and publish Web content; and Acrobat 7.0 Professional to create, read, print, and edit PDF files.

The CS2 bundle comes in two versions. The Premium edition has GoLive CS2 and Acrobat 7.0 Professional; the Standard edition has neither. Both editions include Adobe Version Cue-which tracks historical and alternate versions of a document so you can revert to previous document iterations or try out different document versions to experiment with design scenarios-and Adobe Bridge, a new navigational control center that provides file management, workflow automation, and centralized access to CS2 project files, applications, and color settings.

Photoshop CS2 has several new features including a Noise filter with options to add or reduce wanted or unwanted color pixels, a Vanishing Point tool to copy or move objects in an image while safeguarding the original visual perspective, and a Spot Healing Brush to retouch an imperfection (even across layers). There's even a new Animation palette to help with creating and editing animated Web pictures. Each product in the suite boasts several improvements and new tools.

Other bundled CS2 features include a training video; PDF user guides; templates, optional plug-ins, and textures; open-type fonts, clip art, and practice files in stock photo format; and Illustrator.

Carol S. Holzberg is district technology coordinator for Greenfield Public Schools in Massachusetts.

Company:Adobe Systems

System Requirements: Mac PowerPC G4 (OS X 10.2.8) or PC (Windows 2000 or Windows XP) with Pentium III or P4; 384 MB RAM; 4 GB hard-disk space

Price: $399 (Premium Education, single user); site licenses available

Pros: Five popular titles in one integrated package; common interface elements help users master suite quickly

Cons: Limited printed documentation

Adobe Creative Suite 2 lets users design pages, edit photos, work with PDFs, and publish content to the Web.