This week, Adobe announced its eighth generation of Photoshop Elements for both PC and Mac, and this time Mac users need to wait only a month for the latest version.
Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows and MacOS includes a number of new photo-editing goodies including Photomerge Exposure, Recompose, and better quick fixes for common photo problems. For more about what's new, why MacOS users won't mind waiting a bit longer for their version, and how to try PSE8 for free, join us after the jump.
Adobe's new Photoshop Elements 8 for Windows adds a number of features for easier photo editing, including:
Photomerge Exposure, which builds upon the powerful Photomerge feature in earlier versions of PE to enable you to combine the properly-exposed areas in two otherwise-identical photos into a "single, perfectly-lit photo." The example Adobe demonstrates uses two photos of friends posing in front of a floodlit building, one with and without flash. It'll be interesting to see how Photomerge Exposure does with a pair of RAW images optimized for bright and dark areas.
Recompose, which allows you to intelligently stretch a photo to fit in a particular frame without distorting the main subject. The example Adobe uses converts a landscape-format photo into a square photo, but inquiring minds (like mine) are wondering about converting 4:3 photos into 16:9 photos (and vice-versa).
Smarter, faster quick fixes for exposure, teeth whitening, bluer skies, contrast, and more with better previews.
Read on to find out what else is new in Elements 8.
Do you hate Adobe AIR? I sometimes do. While the applications based on Adobe's framework can be pretty neat to use, there's something about their similar look and shared frameworks, not to mention features, that just can just drive me up the wall. Plus, every new Adobe AIR-based application has to be installed and run through Adobe AIR itself. While it's a handy way to make sure that you're running the most up-to-date version of the application, the Adobe AIR platform isn't very conducive to portable use. Actually, you can't stick AIR-based applications on a USB key and run them at all--the host computer would still need Adobe AIR for these apps to function.
That's but one minor complaint about the AIR platform. There are more, but this week's freeware roundup isn't intended to be a slam on these Adobe apps. Rather, I'll be taking a look at some of Adobe AIR's more popular applications and offering up unique freeware alternatives that don't require use of the AIR platform to work. Not all of the listed applications will support portable use out-of-the-box, but you can use the popular Mojopac Free program to store and access all of these apps on any USB device of your choosing.
Put your trigger-finger on the uninstaller button for Adobe AIR, then click the jump!
How jacked up is your keyboard? Do you have one of those super-fancy, 800+ button, LCD-screen, lit-up, wheeled contraptions that's less an input device, more a control panel at a nuclear power plant? If so, you're probably the kind of person who doesn't need the apps I'm about to list out in this week's freeware roundup. Unless, that is, you're also one of those people (including yours truly) who have a ton of buttons and options to play with, yet no resolve to actually go about mapping this to that.
And if you're just rocking a plain ol' keyboard, I hope you're sitting down because you're in for a world of difference. The applications I'm profiling today are all keyboard-focused, and they all seek to add some kind of additional, awesome functionality to (or based on) your default button layouts. Launch programs! Use your keyboard media buttons to control all of your media players! Look up every Adobe-related shortcut within the span of seconds!
Suffice it to say, I have the keyboard krazies today. Join me after the jump to get your hands on some of the cooler keyboard-related freeware and open-source apps on the Internet!
For many, TweetDeck is the desktop app of choice when tweeting and keeping track of other’s updates. And, with the latest version about to release, the Adobe AIR program will add some support for everyone’s favorite forgotten social network, MySpace.
The new version will also come with stronger bit.ly integration, automatic and instant conversion of long links into shorter ones as you type them, the ability to drag photos directly into TweetDeck and post them to Facebook, and even the capacity to click a hashtag and then open up a new column showing what folks are saying.
Have you always wished you could merge, encrypt or just manipulate a PDF file? Editing PDFs has always been possible with Adobe’s software, but not everyone can afford the steep price of Adobe’s professional suite. But there are actually several pieces of software that will let you deftly manipulate Adobe’s proprietary Portable Document Format. In this guide, we will show you a few ways you can manipulate a PDF file without investing in Acrobat Professional. To start, here’s an overview of the free software that you’ll need.
PDF Split and Merge
As the name implies, this program allows you to split and merge a PDF. However, it has a few limitations. This program will not split or merge protected PDF files (which are password-protected). If you want to split and merge PDFs that you have created, the program should work fine.
Adobe has announced it is discontinuing its Photoshop Album Starter Edition software, which resides at the bottom of Adobe's image-editing products. No new product is taking its place, and instead Adobe is encouraging users to move their photos to the company's online Photoshop.com web portal.
"As part of our commitment to providing customers with a free photo-editing solution, we have created Photoshop.com, an exciting new online service that lets you upload, organize, edit, store (up to 2GB free), and share your photos," Adobe wrote in a note to its customers.
Then note went on to list steps for exporting photos from Photoshop Album Starter Edition to Photoshop.com, as well as asked customers to "consider an upgrade to Adobe Photoshop Elements 7," essentially a stripped-down version of Photoshop CSx with a much lower price tag.
Adobe this week anounced two open-source initiatives designed to help media companies and publishers build better Flash applications.
The first is the Open Source Media Framework (OSMF), which paves the way for more sophisticated media players to run Adobe Flash content. Formerly known as Strobe, the OSMF offers advanced playback and navigation controls, as well as plug-ins for advertising and tracking. It can also work with any kind of Flash content.
The other open-source project is the Text Layout Framework (TLF), which will help developers add advanced typography and font layouts to their Flash applications. When combined with the new text engine in Flash Player 10, TLF makes possible vertical and bidirectional text, flowing text around images, and multiple language support.
As Microsoft's Silverlight continues to gain traction and HTML 5 adding another dimension to the Web 2.0 war, don't be surprised to see an even bigger push from Adobe in expanding upon Flash's capabilities.
Get Robert Stack on the phone! In what could be the greatest tech unsolved mystery since the disappearance of Intel’s Tejas, someone has kidnapped Premiere Elements 5.0 and 6.0!
Just kidding. There’s no crime here unless you believe that it’s flat-out wrong for Adobe to jump from version 4.0 to version 7.0 just to ensure that Premiere Elements matches version numbers with Photoshop Elements 7.0.
One thing we hoped for that’s definitely not present: three full upgrades’ worth of new features and improvements. Adobe continues to use its dumbed-down interface, which we initially viewed with disgust. Oddly enough, the more we’ve used it, the more forgiving we’ve become; we’ve grown quite fond of the newb-friendly front end, despite the fact that it’s basically unchanged. The menus and titling in the consumer video editor continue to be top-notch, as well.
Much has been made recently over HTML 5, the next major revision of the web's core language and what some refer to as the second coming of the web. But will HTML 5 be the the death knell for rich Internet application (RIA) technologies like Adobe's Flash? Not happening, says Adobe.
"I think the challenge for HTML 5 will continue to be how do you get a consistent display of HTML 5 across browsers. And when you think about when the rollout plans that are currently being talked about, they feel like it might be a decade before HTML 5 sees standardization across the number of browsers that are going to be out there," Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen said during a quarterly financial call.
Not only does Adobe feel HTML 5 is a decade away from having any kind of real impact, but Adobe says HTML 5 will benefit Flash, just as "Silverlight's launch helped to boost the popularity of Flash." According to Adobe, the recent publicity surrounding HTML 5 brings RIA technologies to the forefront of everyone's mind, putting Adobe's Flash in a position to "deliver on those heightened expectations."
In October of this year, Adobe will release a beta version of its Flash Player 10 for mobiles, Adobe CEO Shantanu Naraye told investors. Supported OSes will include Google's Android, Nokia Symbian, Palm Web OS, and Windows Mobile powered devices.
"We are bringing Flash Player 10 to smartphone class devices to enable the latest web browsing experiences," Naraye said. "Multiple partners have already received early version of this release and we expect to release a beta version for developers at our Max conference in October."
As it currently stands, only Flash light can be found running on some platforms, a result of engineering challenges for high performance Flash and issues of control, VentureBeat says. To get that high performance, Flash needs to run in the lower layers of the OS or phone, something Android, Palm WeOS, Winmo, and Symbian are open to, but the same can't be said for RIM's BlackBerry and Apple's iPhone.