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Software Review:Adobe Photoshop 4.0

But is is only for graphics professionals? We all know that graphics professionals can do wonders with Photoshop, but how about us non-pros out there? After spending quite a while learning the immediate functions of the tool, I came to several conclusions. If you have a purpose in mind when you use the tool...say you want to crop part of an image out, and use a certain colored background, or merge two images together, then you probably won't have any problem learning that particular function with the manual at hand. A Web professional wouldn't have any problems learning the functions which apply to him or her, however to be a true graphics wizard with the tool you must work with it practically every day. While there are functions which will allow me to size my image, or convert it to a different format, or increase the image compression, a simple utility such as NetGraphics Studio's Optimizer is faster to load, easier to do what you want--and just what you want--and much easier to operate. And Ulead's PhotoImpact4 is, for $99.95, cheaper, much easier to learn, and has many one-click methods of doing what would take--with Photoshop--the creation of an "Action" to accomplish the same task with one click. Bottom line--if you're already a graphics wizard, then Photoshop 4.0 is without a doubt the tool for you. Someone that is familiar with Photoshop could do things that the rest of us can only dream about...but the rest of us graphically-challenged Web developers would be better off sticking to tools like PhotoImpact or NetGraphics Studio. If you are thinking about purchasing Photoshop, you'll definitely want to check out the demo version: Don't give up on Adobe, as they may soon be back in the game with an even stronger graphics offering. Stay tuned next week for a review of Adobe's newest image tool--developed especially for Web designers.
This article first appeared in April, 1998.


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