Those of us already using Photoshop 5.5 or 6.0 are asking a different question: Is version 7 worth the upgrade? With its arsenal of new features, Adobe gives more practical control to the user, along with a few fun tricks and clever tools. We've broken down the new features below, to let you judge for yourself if it's worth swinging the $149 price tage for an upgrade.
The Photoshop File Browser
File Browser lets you browse your image files visually without opening them, so it's easy to explore, retrive and organize your images quickly. Within the file browser window, there are four customizable panes: the File tree, the Thumbnail pane, the Preview pane, and the Metadata section. No longer do you need programs like Polyview to help you keep track of your photos and graphics.... Photoshop lets you create, rename, copy and move files, and establish a rank order for your images; you can organize them by date, size, color profile, and resolution. Quickly rotate, sort, and batch rename images, as well as view EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) information from digital cameras. We had trouble imagining why a remarkable feature like File Browser had been left out of previous Photoshop versions!
Expanded Brushes Selection
The new painting engine brings some of artistic power of programs like Corel Paint into Photoshop, allowing users to simulate traditional painting techniques. You'll find a host of new brushes to choose from, including dry and wet brush effects. The new tools are great for adding special effects to your images.
Auto Color Adjustment
The new AutoColor command does for your hues and tones what AutoContrast has always done for brightness and density: making your images look better without hassle. It's that much easier to adjust the color balance of new diginal camera photos, or even scans of 50-year old snapshots.
The new Healing Brush feature simplifies the photo retouching process by allowing users to effortlessly remove dust, scratches, blemishes, wrinkles, and other flaws. It has the reproductive power of the Clone Stamp, but also preserves the shading, lighting, and texture of an original image. You almost have to play with it to believe it. Welcome to the next level of AI: Airbrush Intelligence.
Spell Checker in a Graphics Program?
With the new spell-checker, you can search, replace text, and check spelling in multiple languages within the same file. Correct spelling on one text layer or all text layers in the same document. Another great tool we never new we needed.
Pricing and Availability
Adobe Photoshop 7.0 is now available in the United States and Canada for an estimated street price of U.S. $609. Registered users of earlier versions of Photoshop can upgrade to version 7.0 for U.S. $149, (and well-worth it, in our opinon). Information about other language versions, as well as pricing, upgrade and support policies for other countries, is available on Adobe's Web site at http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshop.
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