Photoshop CS3

May 21st, 2007 | Posted in General


Regular readers may remember a month or two ago I wrote about the announced release of Adobe‘s Photoshop CS3, and how I was planning on not caving into the pressure to upgrade right away. I was planning on waiting for any bugs to be worked out and for prices to possibly drop a bit for the upgrade.

Well, I caved.

I got the Adobe Creative Suite 3 Deign Standard upgrade, with CS3 versions of Illustrator, Indesign Photoshop and the latest Acrobat a few weeks ago. I used it to do some illustration work for an ad job last week, which included a fully painted illustration. I’ve also been using it for prepping references for my current MAD job and other typical tasks.

I don’t have time for a thorough review right now, but briefly I can say it was well worth the upgrade costs in performance alone when using an Intel based Mac. The need to use Rosetta (the PowerPC emulator that allows legacy PowerPC programs to run on Intel Macs) to run Photoshop CS2 and earlier versions hampered the program in many ways. For example, I often simultaneously open up many dozen JPEG images I’ve downloaded from the web to use as references for a job, which I place into large master sheets and print out on Super B size paper. With CS2, after the first 10 open the program slows down considerably, and it takes forever to work with these images. It was so bad I had to only open a few at a time. The new CS3 is a “Universal” program, meaning it works on both platforms but is designed for the Intel Mac. Opening that many images is lightning fast and there is no delay in working with them. Saving files seems faster, dialog boxes pop up instantly and filters process much faster as well. The program itself loads much faster. I also noticed that there is no longer any point while painting that Photoshop needs to ‘catch up’ to the Cintiq, which often happened when using things like the smudge tool.

The placement of palettes and the way they are used is a little different, but not too far away from the old way to require a lot of relearning. When I went from Photoshop 5 to CS (I skipped 6) I had to go back to 5 several times to do certain things. No so with this update. I’m going to trash CS2 when I get a chance to save hard drive space. Digging deeper into the new version, however, reveals a lot of undates and upgrades that will doubtless prove to be powerful tools for Photoshop experts. Personally I am far from an expert, only using the program to do what I need to do and not delving to much farther into it’s many levels of capabilities.

Another thing that I’ve noticed is improved in CS3 is printing. I had a terrible time getting my prints to turn out on my Epson, which sometimes would print things terribly heavy on magenta or with colors way off. I supposed there was some setting I had wrong somewhere, but if so CS3 makes it easier to set and I have had no problems with bad prints.

Sometime soon I will post a fuller review of Photshop CS3 and it’s pros and cons over CS2 (there are some cons… my scanner doesn’t have a plug in yet for CS3, and I have to scan outside the program and bring it in). So far I’m glad I did it.


  1. SteveH says:

    This is encouraging! I shall upgrade later on this year. God Bless Adobe!

  2. Justin says:

    I also caved and upgraded this week. I went for the Web Premium edition as I do lots of Flash work. Photoshop is much better and also runs quicker than ever on my system. And Illustrator now has the ability to save artwork as Flash symbols. Awesome!!! Just need to find the time to tinker under the bonnet and see what else it can do.

  3. shawn says:

    Looking forward to your thoughts. I upgraded to CS3 Design Premium today. Fun toys!


New profile pic courtesy of my self-caricature for the Scott Maiko penned article “Gotcha! Mug Shots of Common (but Despicable) Criminals” from MAD 550

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