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Adobe To Release Photoshop CS3 Beta Tomorrow

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12.14.2006—For the first time ever, Adobe will release a public beta of an upcoming full version of Photoshop. Tomorrow morning, Dec. 15, the company will unveil the Photoshop CS3 beta and make it available for anyone with a valid Photoshop CS2 serial number. (See the link below for download information.)

The new release of Photoshop is the first version of Adobe's flagship image editing tool to offer Universal Binary support, allowing it to run natively on Intel-base Mac hardware. It will also support Windows XP/SP 2 and Windows Vista. (Mac and Windows versions of the beta will be released simultaneously.)

Adobe cautions that the new version is not a final release candidate; it does not offer complete functionality; and it may not be stable for some workflows. However, it is fully functional to the extent any beta could be. The company says it's offering this beta primarily to allow Mac users the opportunity to get up to speed, at it were, with performance enhancements built into the new version. Prior versions of Photoshop did not run natively on Intel-based Mac hardware, causing a significant lag in performance compared with similarly equipped PowerPC-based Macs. The new version will run up to 40 percent faster on Intel-based Macs for common operations.

New features in Photoshop CS3 range from editing and compositing tools to workflow and interface improvements. Highlights include:

  • New non-destructive "Smart Filters;"
  • Improvements to Vanishing Point, such as the ability to manipulate the angles of the perspective planes interactively;
  • Black and white conversion;
  • Improvements to Curves adjustments;
  • Adjustable cloning with a preview overlay;
  • Adjustable healing with a preview overlay;
  • A new "Quick Selection Tool" for masking;
  • A "Refine Edge" function for improving selection outlines, including feathering, contraction and expansion, mask previews and other features;
  • Automatic layer alignment and blending (for compositing and for merging photos)
  • Enhanced "Merge to 32-bit HDR"
  • A streamlined interface, with collapsible palettes;
  • An update to Camera Raw;
  • Integration with Photoshop Lightroom;
  • A new version of Adobe Bridge, which includes support for filters and the stacking of images, a new loupe tool and previous of Flash content; and
  • Improvements to printing.

Aside from these changes, Photoshop CS3—including the beta—will ship with a new application called Device Central to help designers build content for mobile devices.

Mac system requirements: The Photoshop CS3 beta requires a PowerPC G4 or G5 processor or an Intel chip; Mac OS X 10.4.8; 512 MB RAM; 1.5 GB available hard disk space; and a 1,024 x 768 resolution monitor with 64 MB video RAM. The download is approximately 750 MB.

Windows system requirements: Photoshop CS3 requires an Intel Xeon, Xeon Dual, Centrino or Pentium 4 processor; Windows XP/SP 2 or Windows Vista; 512 MB RAM; 650 MB available hard disk space; and a 1,024 x 768 resolution monitor with a 16-bit graphics card and 64 MB video RAM. The Windows download is about 450 MB.

The Photoshop CS3 beta will be available tomorrow morning. See the link below for download information. The full version of Photoshop CS3, along with the rest of the new Creative Suite, is still scheduled for a spring 2007 release.

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About the author: Dave Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's educational technology online publications and electronic newsletters. He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com.

Have any additional questions? Want to share your story? Want to pass along a news tip? Contact Dave Nagel, executive editor, at dnagel@1105media.com.

About the Author

Executive Producer David Nagel heads up the editorial department for 1105 Media's education publications — which include two daily sites, a variety of newsletters and two monthly digital magazines covering technology in both K-12 and higher education.

A 21-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at dnagel@1105media.com. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/profile/view?id=10390192 or follow him on Twitter at @THEJournalDave (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education). A selection of David Nagel's articles can be found on this site.


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