Mastering the Adobe Creative Suite

Getting the Most Out of Adobe CS5

Like Hoover the term Photoshop has entered our natural language to describe a particular action rather than just the product itself. For a commercial product to become verbalised it has to be an absolute leader and thought of as a standard within its field, which is why it is strange that Photoshop is merely one part of greater package which are also used to achieve many of the instances of graphical wizardry that we are now capable of producing.

Adobe’s Creative Suite (CS, currently on version CS5) contains several different image creation, editing and manipulation programs all used for different purposes. So while Photoshop is by far the most well known of them all it might not necessarily be the right bit of kit to achieve the desired effects you are after. Because of this, we take a look at three of the major graphical programs in CS5; Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign.

Adobe Photoshop

While the best known its main speciality is, unsurprisingly, photo editing. Through being able accurately manipulate and edit mapped pixel files such as bitmap files (.bmp suffixed files). The higher the resolution of a picture the more pixels crammed into it there are, allowing you greater depth to your image.

The amount of tools that Photoshop comes with to edit and completely re-imagine your image with is quite astonishing. Being able to make minor adjustments such as sharpen colours, applying filters or changing lighting sources can easily be achieved, while you can completely overhaul images using tools such as content aware fill which will allowing you to remove sections from images, replacing it with the background, without having to spend painstaking hours in order to remove one undesired part of your image.

Adobe Illustrator

Rather than just using bitmap’s individual pixel map approach of building images, Adobe Illustrator specialises in vector images, images which are made up of mathematically defined lines and points. These images are typically are simpler and bolder than your average Photoshop image, being used to design things such as logos, signs and print.

Vector images have the advantage of being incredibly scaleable due to the mathematical way by which the image is composed, so images hold up very well when blown up of when under detailed magnification.

Adobe InDesign

Bringing everything together is Adobe InDesign. Popular in the world of print media, InDesign is a publishing program which allows you to make your own page layouts. It is also here where you can add your own text and copy, with users typically creating the images for the literature they are putting together in one (or more) of the other CS collection, using InDesign to put everything together to create the final article.

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