Adobe Creative Suite 4. It’s coming!

Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) is the planned successor to Adobe Creative Suite 3. It is currently being developed by Adobe Systems. Public betas of some applications (Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Soundbooth) were released on May 27, 2008.[1]

Currently, little is known about the development of CS4. However, Adobe’s web site claims that they will be announcing CS4 via webcast on September 23rd. [2] Registration for this webcast is available here.

New versions of Photoshop and Flash are known to be in development, and have been released to select beta testers. Other applications from previous versions of Adobe Creative Suite are also assumed to be in development. CS4 will be available as both 32-bit and 64-bit applications for Windows, but only 32-bit for OS X.[3]

Adobe plans to host a webcast through istreamplanet.com on September 23, 2008.

Although Adobe has not made any formal announcement about the new features to be introduced in CS4, some new features have been shown in beta tests and demonstrations. Visually, the suite is undergoing a new UI overhaul to standardize look and feel across all CS4 applications, similar to how Office 2007 included a reworked interface.

* Dreamweaver – Many new features aimed towards improving workflow and ease of use:[8]

o Live View – The ability to view a web page under standards-based browser conditions, while still retaining direct access to the code

o Related Files – Manage related files more easily; all files related to the currently displayed page will be displayed in a toolbar

o Code Navigator – Displays all code sources that affect the current selection in a window

o CSS – Help information to be displayed to the user while editing CSS

o Code hinting for Ajax and Javascript

o Improved spry widgets and HTML datasets

o Increased compatibility with Photoshop

* Fireworks – There are several new features included in the Fireworks beta:[9]

o Increased compatibility with Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash

o Web design and CSS export – allows graphical design of web pages, which can then be exported with standards-compliant CSS sheets created automatically

o PDF export ability

o Live style updates – when a style is updated, all elements using the style are also updated

o Adobe Type Engine – enhanced typesetting abilities, similar to that already seen in current versions of Photoshop and Illustrator

o Live gradients [10]

* Flash – It is believed that Adobe will be performing a substantial overhaul of Flash for CS4. Possible changes include:[11]

o Pixel Bender

o Keyframes no longer necessary for tweens or motion

o Inverse kinematics[12]

o “Mobile Convergence”, making it easier to make Flash content for mobile devices

o Object-based tween modeling

o 3D rotation

* Photoshop

o Compatibility fixes for Microsoft Windows Vista [7]

o There has been speculation about Photoshop having Content Aware Image Resizing due to Adobe hiring one of its inventors

o Further integrates Bridge into one menu bar at the top

o Options for using greyscale application icons

* Soundbooth – According to Adobe Labs, several new features are available in the beta release:[13]

o Arranging audio files on multiple tracks

o Making quick edits and applying fades

o Matching volume levels with a single command

o Removing unwanted noises and background sounds

o Adjusting tempo and pitch

o Recording and polishing voice-overs

o Adding effects and filters

o Previewing MP3 compression quality

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