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Adobe CS6 launched

Ben Pitt
23 Apr 2012
Adobe CS6
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Latest version of Creative Suite now available to empty the wallets of media types

Adobe has formally announced the latest version of its media-production behemoth, Creative Suite CS6. That means new versions of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash Pro, Premiere Pro and After Effects.

The general theme is cross-platform, where a printed publication also has a website and native smartphone and tablet apps. InDesign has new tools for quickly reformatting content, while Dreamweaver can deploy HTML5 code as native Android and iOS apps (thanks to Adobe’s acquisition of Nitobi PhoneGap). Flash Pro adds HTML5 export, although it converts from its native format on export and many features don’t survive the transition. The cross-platform theme is less obvious in the other applications. Illustrator and After Effects’ main benefits are better performance. See our upcoming reviews of Photoshop and Premiere Pro for more on them.

There’s one less suite than before. Design Standard (£1,238 inc VAT) includes Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, along with Acrobat Pro X, which is unchanged in this release. Design/Web Premium (£1,811 inc VAT) adds Dreamweaver and Flash Pro and upgrades to Photoshop Extended. The video-centric Production Premium CS6 (£1,811 inc VAT) comprises Photoshop Extended, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Illustrator, Flash Pro, the audio editor Audition, an impressive new video colour-grading application called SpeedGrade and various video-related utilities. Master Collection (£2,667 inc VAT) bundles everything.

The biggest change is the introduction of a subscription model. Creative Cloud Membership will cost £46 inc VAT per month based on an annual contract (£69 on a rolling contract, £27 for existing CS3 and later users) and includes all of the above. It also comes with Muse and Edge, which are currently available as public betas and cover non-technical web-design and rich web authoring respectively. Muse includes hosting for five websites. The name Creative Cloud suggests a cloud-based service, but this simply refers to the 20GB online storage provided, with previews of CS documents appearing in the browser. Applications are installed locally on up to two computers.

We'll be putting up comprehensive reviews of two of the biggest applications - Photoshop and Premiere Pro - later today.

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