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What Are The Adobe Suite Programs' Foci?

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All righty... I love the potential of the Adobe program suites but I'm still confused as to the differences between and the purpose for some of them.


Take the Master Collection for instance. In it, we have:

Adobe Bridge CS3

This seems like a media file manager for all of your projects, images, videos, and audio files that you create with the Adobe suite as well as your other images, videos, and audio files that you already have.

Adobe Version Cue CS3

Apparently, it's a file system geared towards collective projects that involve networking with other people in completing the finished product... which means that you can use this to keep everyone on the same page and easily access shared project files, so to speak. Useless to the average user.

Adove Device Central CS3

This looks like an emulator to preview how projects will look on hand-held devices, such as portable video players (PVPs), cell phones, and portable digital assistants (PDAs). Basically, it's supposed to help you see how things would look without having to put it on the device itself (especially if you don't have a variety of portable devices readily available to preview your work on). Useful only if you work on projects geared towards usage and viewable on portable devices.

Adobe Stock Photos

Basically, a glorified stock photo and clip art gallery.

Adobe Acrobat Connect

I'm guessing this is a glorified instant-messaging and teleconferencing program geared towards show-casing Adobe projects. Useful only for project managers and people who need to show their work to others in a commercial environment.

Adobe Dynamic Link

Apparently this allows you to work with After Effects and Premiere without the hassle of fully-rendering the results to see the final production. I'm confused as to why you would want to do this unless you were only doing rudimentary changes or experiments to see how things would basically look.

Adobe InDesign CS3

From what I understand, this program is a much more powerful version of Word as it incorporates the design aspect of publishing paper products with elements and other graphical enhancements. Basically, I think this is good for making brochures, magazines, and even books and flyers.

Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended

The famous image manipulator. Great for creating and manipulating images and photos, adding special effects and retouching tools for your photos and/or images. You can also create images using the draw tools within Photoshop, but as I will explain below Illustrator is better suited at that task. Regardless, a lot of general users still use Photoshop to create images. Geared for a wider general audience.

Adobe Illustrator CS3

The often-overlooked image vector-based program. People like to argue the Photoshop vs. Illustrator case, but in all reality they are two different programs in the aspect of how they draw elements. Geared towards a more professional application as vector-based images do not become pixelated when having to utilize images for larger, higher-resolution uses. This is good for web design applications, creating logos and simple images with a bit of Web 2.0 design flair. :D

Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional

The creator of PDFs. This almost seems identical to InDesign except for the fact that it has more of a focus delivering publications in the digitized PDF format as opposed to publishing hard copies on physical paper.

Adobe Flash CS3

The famous Shockwave Flash program. For web design only to create interactive online applications, movies, and applets.

Adobe Dreamweaver CS3

Another well-known application for web design. It looks like a WYSIWYG editor, giving you the power to edit web pages with no knowledge of HTML or CSS.

Adobe Fireworks CS3

This is another program that confuses me. Why Photoshop, Illustrator, and now Fireworks? What's the difference? Photoshop is an image manipulator [primarily] and Illustrator is a vector-based image creator [primarily]... I hear Fireworks is the in-between, but why would you want it?

Adobe Contribute CS3

Apparently this is a direct-edit website editor. I suppose this would be desired for the technically-deficient that don't wish to use Dreamweaver or for people that do quick edits on-the-go (typos, etc.), but I don't see the significance of this program.

Adobe After Effects CS3 Professional

This LOOKS like a program that adds effects (animation and special effects to your Flash and Premiere projects and... additional? effects to your images in Photoshop). Great if you work with Flash or Premiere... but what can After Effects do that Photoshop can't?

Adobe Premiere Pro CS3

I'm just learning this program myself, and it looks to be a powerful video editing program. Compile clips, transition effects, audio, and whatnot, and with After Effects, you have a heck of a program here.

Adobe Soundbooth CS3

Sound editing. Looks good, but I haven't delved into it much as of yet.

Adobe Encore CS3

Encore is another seeming non-essential. Basically, you can do Blu-Ray authoring and SWF movie publishing with your existing projects. Not a great deal, if you ask me.

Adobe OnLocation CS3

This depends what kind of video authoring you do. Apparently this program allows for direct-to-hard-drive video recording, which is great if you want to skip the middle media, but I don't see what is so great about this when you can import your clips and whatnot from your other mediums and then use Premiere to edit your work.

Adobe Ultra CS3

This just looks neat as an addition to Premiere. You know all those green and blue screen deals that Hollywood uses to take elements out of a video to superimpose them in places they shouldn't be? That's what this program looks like it does. :D


Above are my GUESSES or knowledge as to what the program does. I primarily use Photoshop and Flash but I'm also exploring Premiere and Illustrator and After Effects. I'm posting this for your information simply because the Adobe site is VERY vague when it comes to describing what the program does.


Take for instance the description for InDesign:


Explore more creative possibilities and experience new levels of productivity using Adobe? InDesign? CS3 page layout software. Built for demanding workflows, InDesign integrates smoothly with Adobe Photoshop?, Illustrator?, Acrobat?, InCopy?, and Dreamweaver? software; offers powerful features for creating richer, more complex documents; and reliably outputs pages to multiple media. With its sophisticated design features and enhanced productivity tools for streamlining repetitive tasks, InDesign CS3 lets you work faster and better than ever.

The only key words that jumped out at me as to clue me in was "page layout software."


If anyone can provide insight or further descriptions as to what each program does, throw your thoughts here. :o

Edited by rayzoredge (see edit history)

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Well I can help solve some of questions and provide some more detail for each application that I have from the web premium package of the Adobe CS3 suite I got.




The keyword is bridge as it pretty much connects you to everything on your computer. You could say that it is a business CMS in the sense you can can have your creative team be all connected and can go over your projects and what not. Very useful if your team is spread out and you can't physically walk to them to a board meeting. Also another neat thing about bridge is that with images you don't need to save them in jpg order to see them it actually generates the thumbnail from the psd file itself.


Adobe Device Central CS3


Pretty much, but also if you have photoshop, illustrator, or flash you can create your images or flash programs at that size as well. So basically this is how it down in creating wallpapers, and interactive backgrounds for cell phones.


Adobe Illustrator CS3


You are correct that web 2.0 is loosely base on this software, however illustrator is gear more towards hi-res print (such as advertisements and posters), also vector design is based on a type of math so thats why it is completely different from photoshop because of that one difference. Of course this is the ultimate program for creating art, and if you visit deviantart you see that its about 95% illustrator, and 5% photoshop.


Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional


Pretty much but also you can convert pretty much everything in PDF format, even websites. With website conversion though it gets a bit tricky since it makes an exact copy of everything, including links, you have to go through and trim the stuff you don't want. I did that with tutorials I posted on trap as it sure saved me some times with copying images and redoing links, but another neat thing about this software is that it helps create forms as well. With its form maker you can create your customize layout for a business through adobe instead of spending time creating it through word.


Adobe Contribute CS3


It has huge significance, and the web editor is just a small part of that, because it saves you the time of having to open your web page editor, open the document, edit it, save it, open ftp software, and then upload it to make an update. So you see your basically cutting down 2-3 minutes in updating a website page. Of course its the key component for bloggers as it really saves them time in going through the process of getting their daily blog up. So you could say it is a fancy FTP software with a small editing features, and a mini browser.


Adobe InDesign CS3


I haven't used it myself however, I believe this software is used towards designing product pages for either the web or magazines thus the use of tables, typography. Of course there are many other great programs such as LiveCycle which is another form maker with the use of xml which means this would use to submit data of various kinds.

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thanks for solving some of the queries. i was wondering too. why adobe has created so much of the software stuffs. do people use all of them? let me know how many of you use all of adobe programs?

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As a graphic design student the programs that I have to use on a regular basis are Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Bridge. Illustrator is usually how i end up composing any poster or print work I do because it handles type so well. Photoshop is only used when I need to edit the image itself, and then I format it correctly and place it into illustrator anyway. InDesign has an interface similar to illustrator and is a tool for multi-page layouts. Editorials, catalog's, book-spreads are usually done in In Design.I like to use Bridge to view and organize my photographs as it gives options to rename photos in batches and to open them between programs which can be very useful.I actually have not even tried to look at the other programs, but I'm sure one of these days I will. :o

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