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OS X 10.2 Compatibility Report: Adobe Photoshop 7.0

Results of functionality and performance tests By Dave Nagel
If there's one thing creative professionals don't need, it's to upgrade to a new operating system only to find out that applications don't behave as they're supposed to anymore. After all, you can't undo an OS upgrade with a simple Command-Z. Nevertheless, OS X 10.2 (Jaguar) offers some compelling reasons to upgrade. So, beginning today, DMN will publish compatibility tests with major software titles that affect the visual arts market. Today we take a look at the most ubiquitous tool for creative professionals, Adobe Photoshop.

For this compatibility test, we used both Photoshop 7.0 and Photoshop 7.0.1 running on a dual-processor 1 GHz G4 (non-DDR memory) with a GeForce4 MX graphics card and 1.5 GB of memory.

In terms of functionality, Photoshop is not impacted at all by the switch to Mac OS X 10.2. In tests, every filter and menu-accessible function worked as expected. It also functioned as expected in its various color modes, with multiple-layer files and with combinations of various text, path and raster elements.

Also tested were several third-party filters, including several from Alien Skin, Digital Anarchy, Digital Film Tools, Flaming Pear and Optipix. All worked as expected except for one in the area of performance, noted below.

In terms of performance, both Photoshop 7 and 7.0.1 gain ever so slightly over performance in Mac OS X 10.1.5. Over the course of six tests that previously took 106 seconds, Photoshop 7 in Mac OS X 10.2 took 104.5 seconds, while Photoshop 7.0.1 took 105.

Noticeable areas of performance degradation were in interactively transforming text using the Transform > Scale function, where Photoshop seemed to lag considerably. This lagged occurred using Smooth, Sharp and Crisp antialiasing on text, but not when using Strong or None. The problem seemed to affect PostScript and TrueType fonts equally. There was also performance degradation in the area of rendering one particular third-party filter--Flaming Pear's SuperBladePro--for which, of course, Photoshop can't be held accountable.

In the category of miscellaneous quirks, when left in the background for a while, switching back to Photoshop can cause the new OS X 10.2 spinning lollipop cursor to pop up for several seconds.

Overall, though it did see a few minor oddities, Photoshop 7.0.x passes the OS X 10.2 compatibility test.

Contact the author: Dave Nagel is the producer of Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; host of several World Wide User Groups, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, Adobe LiveMotion, Creative Mac and Digital Media Designer; and executive producer of the Digital Media Net family of publications. You can reach him at [email protected].

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