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Adobe Photoshop CS4

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      30.08.2011 14:56
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      The only thing letting it down is the price (and the lack of support for .ico files)

      Photoshop has been an industry-standard graphics editing program for as long as I can remember. It's kind of like the iPhone of the software industry...although there are no 'killers' that come anywhere close to being as good.

      Photoshop, despite its name, isn't just for photos. You can do practically any kind of image creation and editing in it, which is one of the reasons for its hefty price tag. CS4 isn't the latest version; the current version is CS5, and the release cycle is every 18 months or so. At the moment you can buy Photoshop CS4 from Amazon for £475, with CS5 clocking in at a hefty £700. This isn't a 'I'll give it a go and see what I think' kind of purchase (trials are available if you're looking for that), but a professional grade editing and creation tool. If you're on a budget, then Photoshop Elements is pretty amazing for the much cheaper price of around £50 (even the people at Adobe say that this is an absolute bargain, considering).

      To get the cheapest legal copy of Photoshop that you can, find somewhere that offers student discount (and get a student if you need one!) and then make sure you upgrade in the small window between versions where they offer existing customers a much cheaper upgrade.

      Unless you're a designer or a web creative, you're probably going to be underwhelmed when you open up the software. Adobe CS4 has stricter piracy procedures in place than previous versions, and will check to see if it's a legitimate version every time you open the software. This does add valuable seconds to the start up time, and unless you have a plenty of RAM, you'll probably want to minimise the other programs you have open whilst you're running Photoshop, especially if you're working with high resolution images.

      Once loaded, you'll get a grey screen with toolbars on the left and right, and a row of menus above. CS4 has a kind of built in tabbing effect, which means when you open or create images, they'll appear next to each other and you just click the tabs to navigate between them, or close them or save them as you wish.

      Each version of Photoshop builds on the previous version, which means that a lot of features stay the same or have minor additions, and then you have a series of new features on top of that. This is great for people who work with different versions of the software or are upgrading from an earlier version as it means you don't have to 'relearn' the software and the placement of the tools from scratch. There are plenty of books available on learning Photoshop, and plenty of videos and written tutorials available for free online too. The best thing you can do though, is just familiarise yourself with the program on your own. Simply open a photo or other image and play around with all the effects on offer. Once you have an understanding of how you can adjust your images, and use layers and masks, then you can move on to more complicated effects. All you really need is a lot of time and some patience. I'd recommend avoiding some of the amazing examples of things you do can with Photoshop (particularly advanced tutorials) as you'll quickly feel frustrated and out of your depth.

      Some examples of tools (and consequent effects) include:

      - The crop tool - A basic tool to make your images smaller and remove bits. This tool is found in all image editing programs, and even things like MS Word.

      - The selection tool - You can select text, parts of images and whole images with this to do things like remove backgrounds from images, create borders, and copy and paste images.

      - Various text effects - You can do things like make your text 3D, add shadows, add different colours, create textured text and much more.

      - Colour picker - Using this dropper you can identify the exact name/number of a specific colour within your image so you can use it elsewhere.

      - Grid tool - Use this to align different layers on an image, to position things accurately, find dead centre of an image and so on.

      One of the things I love about Photoshop is that there are so many things you can add to it. There are plenty of brushes you can download from the internet to give you lots of design shortcuts. You can use all the fonts on your computer in your images. You can also make use of patterns and textures to add to your images.

      Photoshop supports a huge range of file types, so you can save your images as the standard .gif, .jpg, .png, and hundreds more. The only one I've ever missed is .ico, as Photoshop CS4 doesn't support that particular format.

      There are plenty of cheap and free alternatives to Photoshop, but anyone who says they are 'just as good' clearly hasn't used (or needed to use) Photoshop to its full potential. It's got a hefty price tag but there's nothing quite like it. If you're a light user try Elements first because it's so much cheaper, but if you're a designer or a photographer then Photoshop is essential, and CS4 is a great option because it has almost the same functionality as CS5 for a lot less money.

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        04.08.2009 14:17
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        The market leader in graphics editing

        Photoshop has become the daddy in graphic editing whether you are in the industry or just playing about at home. Nothing comes even close, the only one that even dents the power of PS is Picasa on Linux.

        CS4 is one of the newest editions, and offers a clean and crisp interface while maintaining all the power and features of previous versions. People can be put off by the price but considering the extent to which Photoshop dominates the market, the price could be a lot higher as Adobe almost have a monopoly.

        People can get confused between Illustrator and Photoshop, IL is for the creation of new designs, PS is for editing current photos or images and tweaking them. There is certainly some cross over, but make sure you choose the correct application for your needs.

        All I can say is, buy Photoshop and just start playing around as that is the best way to learn!

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          31.07.2009 02:37
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          Give Photoshop a go - even learning to use it is fun!

          Everyone has heard of Photoshop! While most people have probably never used the program before, they all know what you mean when you see a fake-looking picture and say "that's clearly been Photoshopped."

          For those that have used it, however, well... I'm sure we all have a lot of respect for Photoshop. It can be used used for editing pictures in almost any way, and also for creating your own images. Personally, I've used it for many different projects - creating logos & website designs, editing photos, getting rid of watermarks on photos, adding watermarks to photos... It has thousands of uses.
          At first Photoshop may be quite daunting to a new user, however with a quick Google search, tutorials for doing almost anything can be found online. I learnt all the basics from tutorials, then sort of experimented on my own to find loads of extra features and things to do with Photoshop. The best thing is that I probably still haven't even found half the cool features that it has!

          It was very easy to install - I installed it along with all the other programs in Adobe CS4 and had it up and running within 15 minutes of the installation disk arriving. The program uses quite a lot of my computer's resources, but that's okay, as I usually don't run many other programs at the same time as Photoshop or else I get too distracted to use it properly.

          Once you've learned to use Photoshop, you kind of adopt an intuition that tells you how to do what you want with the application, and this is just brilliant as it allows creativity to flow from you without any kind of hindrance. You can easily save or export your pictures in any kind of format, either for sending via the Internet, publishing on a website, or printing.
          Everything that you need to do can be done in Photoshop - either with the help of Adobe's support system, or tutorials found via Google.

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          11.07.2009 14:17
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          Go and buy it!

          Having recently bought photoshop to aid me with editing my photos and touching them up i have to say that it is a very powerful piece of software that is worth a buy.

          Although it may be seen by those who are inexperienced as hard to use at times, there are so many possibilities for your photos using photoshop. It easily has the most options for editing photos out of any of the pieces of software that i have tried out.

          Whether you are a professional or just an amateur photographer who would like his photos to look better it is definently a piece of software for you. The pricetag is big but what do you expect for such a good piece of software.

          As well as being used for editing photos i have also been creating wallpapers and such like for my computer using this software and it is so easy to do. Anyone can use this software (although some may find it hard at times).

          Overall i would rate this a must have piece of software for your computer.

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          30.06.2009 13:30
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          A must for designers, amazing program packed with features

          Having recently reviewed Quark on here I thought I should also give a review on Photoshop as it is another program that I use on a daily basis.

          Photoshop is a photo editing program which again as with quark I started when I was 17 (long time ago now) and at college studying Graphic Design, being young and having never used the program before I thought it was amazing, I didn't realize that there where programs out there that could do so much to pictures.

          How times have changed, this program has been re-released several times since I first started using it and it has come on in leaps and bounds, it is now an even more amazing program which is packed full of features, you can pretty much do anything you like to a picture, it certainly makes me think twice when I see a picture in a newspaper or magazine, you never know what could have been done to adjust it.

          At first this program looks like it could be very complicated to use, but once you spend a bit of time playing with it you will be amazed at how quickly you pick it up. It is a program designed for professionals but I also think its ideal for home use as well.

          It has a very basic layout to it, you have all of you options along the top (file, edit, images, layer, select etc), you click on these to find all of your sub categories so you can adjust the size of you canvas, the colour, add layers and filters. Now the filters are the interesting bit (I use these a lot), in this section you can completely change the look of a photo, for example if you want a photo to look like a water painting then you can do it here or you can even make it look like a photocopy (the list is endless). I have a lot of funs with the filters, I love putting my mates heads on various cartoon characters, it very amusing.

          You also have various windows with tools in, to you left is the main tool box, which has all of the drawing tools in (pen, pencil rubber etc) and to your right you have the layers window, history, colour etc. You can select which ones you want to see, I only tend to have a couple showing as it can get a bit cluttered.

          After using this program for over 10 years now I still find myself learning new things about it on a weekly basis so don't expect to learn how to use very aspect of this program in a few hours. If you are new to the program though it has some very helpful tutorials which teach you all about using the tools and layers etc and there are also some very handy websites which give you step by step instructions on how to create certain effects (I even use these sometimes), just Google search Photoshop tutorials and it brings up loads of free websites to help you along you way.

          Like other professional programs this on is not cheap, you are looking at paying around £600 for it, but I think its well worth the price tag. You can get a demo of this program so you can try before you buy.

          This program is very easy to install, its available for either a PC or Mac, and roughly takes around 10 minutes to install.

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            19.06.2009 16:39
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            High priced but still good.

            Since i started taking photography seriously (rather than just holiday snap shots) I have used a version of photoshop, starting with elements then CS2 and now I have upgraded to photoshop CS4 and I am so glad I spent the money on doing so. I never used the inbetween CS3 but the step up from CS2 is quite remarkable.

            CS4 offers improved selection tools (magic wand, quick wand etc) over CS2 use of shich is far more reliable on selecting the areas you require, but it i the new features of the spot healing and patch healing tools that I now find invaluable!

            And the Content aware scaling is brilliant when trying to play with image sizes etc. I have recently started taking a few panoramas and sometimes you need to stretch the overall hight of a photo while maintaining the subject at its given size (eg extending the sky but not the pier), well content aware scaling allows this, and does so very cleanly.

            However whilst it is a wonderful piece of software I am yet to be convinced that Adobe can justify the extremely high price, a full version is as costly as an entry level Digital SLR

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              09.06.2009 10:15
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              The only solution for designers of all media

              Adobe Photoshop is a program I have been using for many years now and CS4 is bay far the best version so far. I first started using Photoshop way back at version 6 and have been competent in it ever since, so to have this new version was, or so I thought, just an update that may make life easier. However, after using it for a while alongside Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe Flash and Adobe Bridge to help with my web coding, I soon discovered that Photoshop CS4 had gone way beyond just a design for print program.

              Added to the now familiar photo manipulation and cool graphics creation elements in the former versions, are new and easy to use sub menus and web related features. Web is the future of mainstream design and Photoshop CS4 is clearly ready for it.

              My experiences of this version of Photoshop have been purely web related now and for that reason I can only really say that the usual print related features are there as you would expect. Now, when it comes to web, the options are amazing and the editing you can do alongside Flash and Dreamweaver to create stunning looking web pages are excellent. I am fairly new to web design so needed something easy to use and something that would enable me to quickly flick between Dreamweaver and my chosen image editor to make life much simpler and Photoshop delivers on all scores.

              The help menus and tutorials are very intuative and offer solutions to pretty much any Photoshop related questions you may have as you learn the software. The overall structure of the program is new and fresh, whilst at the same time feeling familiar enough to not fix what is not broken.

              The installation process was quick and very easy and activation was done online and with no fuss. You can be up and running in around 10 minutes on a good PC. Photoshop CS4 comes as part of the Design Pack, Web Pack and Master Pack. Basically, you need it for everything design related and I wouldn't be without it now.

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                04.06.2009 23:37
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                professional software for photo editing and graphic design.

                For any type of photo editing or graphic design you know you can't go wrong with Photoshop!
                CS4 is the latest version that has even more to offer than previosu versions. Including a major layout change. The customisation of the palettes displayed and creating you're own workspace hasn't been easier.

                I'm not someone to fully use all the features photoshop has, as i have no real purpose to use it. But for a hobby i do enjoy experimenting and graphic design.

                For general use, touching up photos, adding effects, creating simple graphics, photoshop does the job and isn't too hard to use. At a first glance it can seem complicated and put you off using the program immediately as, after all it is designed for professional use. But once you learn the basics and get the hang of the tools it would definitly be worth it.

                One thing i didn't like about CS4 in comparison to previouse versions was the the removal of Image Ready. For creating animated graphics this was a must! The idea may be to move people onto using Flash? This is annoying for those comfortable with Image Ready like myself!
                Another downer is the lack of options under the 'image' catagory. It seems they have removed some of these 'quick fix' options.

                I have yet to explore more of CS4 including the 3D aspect and i'm sure to update this review when i have.

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                  04.06.2009 18:23

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                  Take a class to get full advantage

                  As a amatuer photographer, I use photoshop just to mess around with my travel photos. I trained in a dark room in high school and at uni, and I have found photoshop to be pretty intuitive for people who learned the old fashioned way. Photoshop, of course, goes way beyond the burning and dodging and filters you use in the darkroom. I was playing around the other day with some photos I had recently taken that were both under and over developed, and was able to sort it out evenly through-out the picture. Even though I figured out the basic basics on my own, I would recommend taking a short course in photoshop soon after buying it, you will be amazed at the things you didn't know you didn't know! My course was just four evenings, but it really opened up all the possibilities photoshop has; its an excellent programme for everyone from beginners to professionals.

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                  19.05.2009 21:55
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                  Good first time purchase if you need photoshop

                  After using Photoshop for a long time, as graphic designer i was really looking forward to getting the new version. I was hoping for a few more added features but was pleased with the overall software. It is a lot of money to part with if you are just upgrading. I would advise unless you need it for buisnesses purposes/design purposes not to bother. If you are looking to buy photoshop for the first time i would personally go with CS4 as intergrates very well with the other Adobe sofware and you have the latest version. This easy to install and does not take very long to install and set up. Even if you have not used Adobe software before you will be able to install this. I would suggest looking over the Adobe tutorials online if you any problems and the help feature within the software is actually usefull.

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                    19.05.2009 09:27

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                    What a softwrae package

                    I bought my copy after contenplating weather it was truly worth it. Tested the demo versions and other smilar products. I am happy to say its been the best photo editing softwrae that ive used. These more features and tools for every editing need. In a way too powerfull for my needs, but its good to have the extra functionality just incase.
                    Currently using my version to render and manulupate web images, that have proven priceless with brilliant effects.
                    The only downside for me was that with all of the functions that they have incorporated within the softwrae, it took a while to fully unerstand what they do and to implenet the tools to have the greatest effect.
                    Im still far from being a expert, but the more i use the more i learn and still impresses me. Would recommend for anyone willing to spend the money or need a high quality photo editing softwrae package. I woud reccomend GIMP (free program) if you dont want to pay. Not as pwerfull but free

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                    09.05.2009 17:39
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                    A truly brilliant program, Adobe will always have this to be proud of.

                    I've been using photoshop for quite some years now, and I'll admit that I was slightly excited about the release of CS4.

                    First things first, this program is extremely expensive: £555, not many people would be willing to pay that much. That is why it is the most pirated program on the internet. I, was not willing to pay the price, I was given it for work reasons.
                    So, price aside, what is this infamous editing suite like?

                    The Good:
                    This is the most comprehensive image editing suite on the market, the features are too long to list. Adobe invented the layers interface for image editing and they do it the best- order of objects, merging, vector masks- they all work perfectly.
                    New in CS4 are a few new user-friendly tweaks: an image dependent scaling tool is very interesting. The idea is that images can be stretched in various ways and still retain the main focus' aspect ratio. I was very skeptical at first, but it works brilliantly. You can see all the new features here http://bit.ly/aptshop
                    The other 'hot' new feature is the compatibility with 3D files, this is very useful and is a very powerful tool which give great professionalism to your photos.

                    The Bad:
                    Sadly, getting to know photoshop takes a long time, a crash- course could take a few months. With the multitude of features available, it would be amazing if anyone fully knew the program. Also, the 3D engine does require a good specification computer, otherwise you should expect a long wait ever minute or so.

                    Overall, this is by far the best image editor ever made, and is a genuine improvement on the CS3 version

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                    10.04.2009 00:18
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                    Fantastic fantastic fantastic - try the free 30 day trial available from the adobe site!

                    Adobe have again managed to surprise by cramming yet more amazing features into a programme that already seemed to have it all. This will NOT leave you disappointed!

                    I am not going to list all the system requirements etc. as that's all available on the adobe website, where you can also download a free 30 day trial version of their software, which in my opinion will be hugely useful in a decision to purchase such an expensive tool (photoshop cs4 extended is 699 dollars on the website I believe - a little out of my price range, I have the trial version which is about to expire *sad face*).

                    ***So what's so good about this version***
                    Firstly, the inclusion of the 'merge to HDR' feature which isn't found in some of the older versions. This enables you to create fantastic HDR images (which involves layering overexposed and underexposed shots) quickly and easily. However, I discovered that you need a fair bit of memory free for this to work properly, my first few attempts crashed the computer as I had too little free space.

                    The 3D features of this version are also incredible, enabling you to paint directly onto a 3D object and then rotate the whole object, paint included, to a different angle or view. Healing brushes and history brushes are fantastic for touching up photos, and the number of extra downloads of pattern tools, custom shapes and different brushes that are available on the internet make this software second to none in my opinion.

                    This is a huge programme tool-wise and I could write thousands of words on the different tools that it offers and bore you all silly, but my recommendation is to watch the tutorials and download the free trial from adobe and try it for yourself. It is a complex programme, but there are billions of tutorials out there and it's easy to get the hang of... but you will be discovering new things you can do all the time. A real learning curve is involved but it is totally worth it. I LOVE photoshop!

                    ***Any downsides?***
                    Well, for some of the tools to work you must have specific system requirements but this is all detailed on the website. Also I find that the selection tools, although better than any other programme I have tried, could still do with work. However if you use a graphics tab and pen this is never such a problem. Other than the complexity of the programme, and the price, I can't name any real faults with this programme and I will definitely be buying the full version as soon as I can afford it! However, seeking extra tool downloads on the internet to suit your individual requirements will make your experience of this product even more spectacular

                    Try it!

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                      29.03.2009 03:30
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                      Adobe Photoshop CS4 - a short review

                      Review of Adobe Photoshop CS4
                      ----------------------------------------------------

                      1.) product informations
                      --------------------------------------
                      Price: about 700$
                      Shareware: 30 day trail version
                      Suitable for: graphic designer

                      2.) system requirements for Microsoft Windows:
                      ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
                      2.1.) 1.8GHz or faster processor
                      2.2.) Microsoft Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3
                      recommended) or Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business,
                      Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1
                      2.3.) 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
                      2.4.) 1GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional
                      free space required during installation
                      (cannot install on flash-based storage devices)
                      2.5.) 1,024x768 display (1,280x800 recommended) with 16-bit video card
                      2.6.) Some GPU-accelerated features require graphics support for
                      Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0
                      2.7.) DVD-ROM) drive
                      2.8.) QuickTime 7.2 software required for multimedia features
                      2.9.) Broadband Internet connection required for online services*



                      3.) review:
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                      Adobe Photoshop CS4 is an awesome program for graphic designer and photographer.With a little bit of exercise Photoshop is an uncomplicated,easy to understand and very reliable program for the every day use.Unfortunately the installation process takes a long time because the program checks the system requirements and the available space. After the installation is done you can start the program. When you create a new project you can decide which measurements your paper should have and you can choose between Pixel,cm,mm,inch,Pica,DIN,US-paper or photo.Then you can choose between the color mode (Bitmap,gray scale,RGB colors,CYMK colors and Lab colors) and the background color (white, color or transparent).
                      When you finished all this settings you are ready to go. Of course it depends what you want to do (for example you can chose to edit a photo).

                      3.1.) tools for editing:
                      -----------------------------------
                      This program offers you a huge variety of tools what you can use to edit your pictures . You can choose tools like brushes , gradient tools, filling tools, text tools and much more.

                      3.2.) colors:
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                      You can choose from a great color selection or you can decide to create your own colors.

                      3.3.) filters:
                      -------------------
                      There are a lot of filters to choose from and you can create stunning effects with them.

                      3.4.) operating:
                      ---------------------------
                      Like I mentioned before the program need fate and much exercise.
                      It takes some time when you use this program for the first time, but there are a lot of tutorials on the world wide web which can you help.

                      4.) Personal Opinion:
                      --------------------------------------
                      I think it is a great tool to edit pictures and your photographs and it is also one of the best I ever have seen. Some people might thing this review is to short but it will take much more time till you know all the functions.So just try out the Shareware and explore Adobe Photoshop by yourself.The price might be also a little bit to high for some people but you really get a great program for that and I highly recommend this software.

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                  • Product Details

                    Adobe Photoshop CS4 software provides improved access to its unrivaled power through a more intuitive user experience, greater editing freedom, and significant productivity enhancements.

                    Navigate around images more naturally with fluid canvas rotation and enhanced pan and zoom tools. The DNG format helps promote archival confidence, since digital-imaging software solutions will be able to open your raw files more easily in the future.