After the launch of Adobe Creative Cloud, the studio at First 10 decided to upgrade on the first day of its official Launch. A couple of the guys were already rocking CS6 but for me I made the jump from CS5, so I noticed plenty of new features across the entire suite. After reading a lot of debates regarding Adobe’s turn to cloud based software, I thought it would be worth sharing my experiences and opinions of Adobe’s latest design software.
1. All Adobe Apps just a click away
An obvious benefit of any cloud based service, but it has never been easier to (legitimately) get your hands on any bit of the Adobe Creative Suite. Which is why, for me, this is the best perk.
I am guessing anyone who only uses Photoshop is going to disagree with me. Adobe’s price of £17.58 per month/per app is ridiculous. But an extra +£9.76* for the full Creative Cloud suite means it’s a bargain. If you are umm’ing and arr’ing about the fact you only really use Photoshop, I would take those prices as a sign you should expand your horizons, buy the full suite and learn some new shizz! I’m loving the fact everything is just a click away.
* £9.76 is the upgrade offer only available until July, extra +£29.34 after that.
2. One membership = 2 computers
I also have Creative Cloud at home… for FREE! You do need a pretty cool boss for this to work, any deep pocketed boss could quite easily abuse this perk by buying 1 subscription and activating on 2 office based computers. If your boss isn’t so kind, try these arguments to change his thinking:
- “I am always messing on Adobe software at home, and the more hours I rack up on Creative Cloud the better designer I will become.”
- “Google proved that your best work happens in your free time, their 20 percent time program has resulted in some of their most popular products. If you let me, I could create stuff like Google…”
- “If the is snowfall is as bad as last year I can stay at home and work. And because I got up early to commute to work, you will get an extra *60 minutes* out of me… I definitely won’t be playing outside, sledging or making snowmen… I promise”
* insert commuting time here.
3. Photoshop will recognise and remove #’s from a colour HEX!
Sometimes it’s the simple things that are the most pleasing. Copying hex colour codes from websites to Photoshop has always meant you only copied the code and not the #. If the # was included in your clipboard, Photoshop didn’t recognised your colour!!! That has been annoying me for years! Now Photoshop smartly removes the # and picks your colour… shame it doesn’t work in Illustrator, but its a start.
4. Gradient Strokes in both Illustrator and Photoshop!
This is another simple tweak that has been long overdue. Until now Illustrator didn’t allow you to switch a gradient fill to a gradient stroke! Finally you can and still have a fully flexible stroke (adjustable weights/arrow heads/dashed lines etc.)
4.2. Illustrator: Fill / Stroke switch straight from in colour window, not just the toolbox.
I am going to add a slight extension to number 4, the colour window now has the ability to switch the fill/stroke. No more picking you swatch in the top right of your screen to realise you have to switch them in the bottom left.
5. Individual rounded corners for rectangles in Photoshop
The Properties window adds Illustrator like capabilities to vector shapes in Photoshop. I would recommend taking a few minutes to get familiar with all its features. The best feature, for me, rounded corners for rectangles. Not only do you have pixel perfect control over every corner, but you can also control each corner independently, similar to borders in CSS. A great addition to any web or UX designers.
Not so awesome features :’(
1. Just the tip of the Iceberg
It feels to me like Adobe have taken CS6 and made it easy to download. Its more of a re-brand from CS to CC than an entirely new product suite.
This being said, the new web apps look awesome and Adobe has announced a few new features that aren’t quite ready yet. Here is a few I’m looking forwards too:
- A dropbox like service. Currently available but all browser based, nowhere near as good as Google Drive or Dropbox. Adobe have a lot of catching up to do.
- Typekit fonts available on your local computer. Yes a load of free fonts! (…only as long as you’re still a registered CC subscriber.)
- “Deep integration between Edge Reflow and Photoshop Creative Cloud will provide seamless web design workflow in the future.” – Sounds interesting.
But why aren’t these ready for launch? And why didn’t Adobe just do an iTunes 11 and delay launch. As long as they explain, “it will be awesome, but it’s not ready just yet,” I would prefer an explanation and a wait rather than a half finished product suite.
2. Poor SYNCING between computers
If you used my tips from Awesome Features #2 and your boss allowed you to install Creative Cloud at home, you will notice that Creative Cloud supports syncing settings over both your computers, sounds pretty neat and should make working between 2 computers a dream… but in actual fact this feature is pretty poor. It’s doesn’t sync custom keyboard shortcuts, workspaces, brushes so on… it does however remember whether you used the rectangle or circle tool last… hmm not so awesome.
If you do want to copy workspaces or keyboard shortcuts between 2 computers it is possible, you will just have to a manually copy them.
3. Annoying Creative Cloud app in my menu bar
This will only be an issue for Mac users. More specifically Mac users who use multiple workspaces. Unfortunately I’m a am one of those specific Mac users.
Everytime I change workspaces the crappy Creative Cloud app opens in the top of my screen. I don’t even see much point of this app taking up a space in my menu bar, I would prefer it just ran in the background silently.
4. Photoshop presets!
Why force the new layouts on people!? Sync settings from an old version should do just that and set up your workspace, keyboard shortcuts and preferences. I hate photoshop tabs as default, I much prefer to use that feature at my discretion. I’m not impressed that every time I upgrade I still get changes forced upon me, and the new version doesn’t remember old preferences. Photoshop is now 20 shades darker… concentrate you resources on something more creative please Adobe.
5. Bridge now becomes even more pointless than it already was.
CS3 changed the way contact sheets were output. It forced users to use Bridge’s Output Module rather than Photoshops Contact Sheet II. This was actually a smart move, because Bridge offered previews for contact sheets making it easier and more effective. Adobe seems to have backtracked, Contact Sheet II is now back in Photoshop, exactly the same as before, without any improvements… but it has been removed Output Module from Bridge. Its safe to say, I will probably never use Bridge ever again. Adobe’s advice… “use Lightroom” is not what I wanted to hear.