Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Adobe CS3 : Suite Inconsistencies

One the new features that I'm loving in Photoshop is the new compact panel system. When not in use panels appear as a cluster of grouped buttons on the right hand edge of the interface. Selecting a panels button (i.e Layers) opens that panel for use. Selecting a different panel will close the current one. It also seems to have enough intelligence to know when you're likely to want to keep it open. So far I haven't found any annoyances using this system in Photoshop. In fact more than once I've been heard to exclaim loudly how much I love it.

The same system is used in Flash and Illustrator. But hasn't been added to Fireworks and Dreamweaver. This adds a significant inconsistency between applications within the suite. Sure this is a minor gripe. Theses applications were originally released by two companies in two completely unrelated suites. So it's not a surprise that both suites of software aren't fully integrated in this first post merger release. But that doesn't mean I can't be working in Fireworks wishing I had that great compact panel system that they have in Photoshop.

The one post-Macromedia product that does have the compact menu is Flash. But the system is no where near as stable and intelligent as the Photoshop implementation. The problem seems to mostly effect the larger panels like Help and Actions. The Help panel in particular seems to be very flakey in it's behaviour. I guess we'll need to wait for CS4 to see these things sorted out.


Jason said...

Wow, you've really saved me a blog entry there... I couldn't agree with you more. I am familiar with the Studio 8 interface, but I love the new panels in Photoshop and Flash. And without understanding the underlying complexities of using a panel system, I am amazed that the "suite" isn't more consistent across programs.

I currently use 3 monitors for both Flash and Dreamweaver and the new panel system in Flash will hopefully allow me to get back to a more mobile 2 screen setup. Unfortunately the version 8 panel system in Dreamweaver may put a stop to my screen downsizing operation.

geekglue said...

Three screens. Thats a serious addiction you have there. We are using two screens at work. But for personal use I'm down to one screen. So anything that helps is greatly appreciated.