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Photoshop 7 Coming in Second Quarter

New version gets native Mac OS X support By Dave Nagel
It`s been a long time coming, but Adobe has finally announced that Photoshop will be making its way over to Mac OS X. What`s more, it will be a full version upgrade, one that incorporates significant new creative, editing and workflow tools, as well as--for the first time--support for AppleScript. It will also include ImageReady 7, an OS X-native update to Adobe`s Web graphics creation tool. Both applications will also be available for Mac OS 9 and Windows.

Photoshop 7, which should arrive in April (but no later than the end of the second quarter) will include several new and enhanced creative tools. Over the course of this week, we`ll be taking a look at the more major ones in depth, including the entirely new painting engine, which includes a vast amount of tools for controlling the ways in which paint strokes behave. The new engine also brings support for the tilt feature of Wacom`s Intuos and Intuos2 tablets, while enhancing support for the ways in which pen pressure can affect a paint stroke.

But the new and enhanced creative tools don`t end with brush strokes. The new version also adds a Pattern Maker and an enhanced "Liquify" tool, which adds zoom, pan and multiple undo capabilities.

In terms of new editing features, version 7 gets automatic color correction (which functions just like Auto Levels) and a new "Healing Brush," which is designed to help remove artifacts, such as dust, scratches, blemishes and wrinkles. Unlike the Clone Stamp Tool, the Healing Brush automatically preserves shading, lighting, texture and other attributes when cloning within one image or from one image to another. There`s also a new Patch tool, which is similar to the healing brush but works with selections.

For workflow, the big news is support for AppleScript. This is the one feature we will not be able to discuss in depth yet, as it has not yet been implemented in the beta release. Adobe says it will be implemented as a plugin and will offer the same kind of functionality that`s found in Illustrator 10. This means, essentially, a robust scripting dictionary but without support for recording.

The other major workflow enhancement is the new File Browser, which lets you search for images using thumbnails. It allows users to organize and retrieve images from hard drives, external drives, CDs and disks directly within Photoshop. It also provides metadata about the images displayed, such as date created, date modified and EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) information from digital cameras. It also allows for batch renaming, rotating, ranking and sorting images and manipulating image folders directly within the application.

Other new features include:

  • Enhanced output for the Web.
  • A spell checker that allows users to check the spelling of text and replace text in multiple languages in a single document and across multiple layers.
  • New Web galleries for outputting images for display on an HTML page, as well as automatic watermarking for security using the file name, copyright information or other parameters.
  • Ability to customize workspaces for individual users, including custom palette layouts.
  • Supports for XMP for repurposing, archiving and automating files in a workflow.

The new release also includes ImageReady 7, which incorporates several of its own new features as well. These include the ability to drive graphics with data and the ability to use dithered transparency in Web graphics.

Both programs are designed to integrate with Adobe`s other creative applications, including After Effects, Premiere, GoLive, Illustrator and InDesign.

On the mac side, Photoshop 7 requires Mac OS 9.1 or later or Mac OS X 10.1.3 running on any PowerPC processor. On the Windows side, it requires a Pentium III or better and Windows 98 or later, including XP. It adds enhanced support for multiple processors on both platforms. Adobe Photoshop 7.0 will ship in the second quarter of 2002 for all platforms for $609. Registered users of earlier versions of Photoshop can upgrade to version 7.0 for $149 (which is $50 less than the previous upgrade fee). Upgrades from Adobe Photoshop Elements and Photoshop LE are available for $499.

Be sure to stay with us all week as we explore Photoshop 7 in more depth and discuss its significance for the Mac OS X platform. For more information, visit http//

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

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