شرح لأهم مميزات الفوتوشوب 7E
السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته
Photoshop is the end all of image editing applications. No other package on the market comes close to the power, ease of use and 3rd party support that Photoshop has. Photoshop 7.0 is nearing completion and is expected to ship in the next several months. Adobe was kind enough to send us a beta and it is this beta that this review is based on.
I have been using Photoshop since version 4.0 and it is one of the few applications on my system that I use everyday. I love everything about it and know how to use it quite well, thanks in part to all of the books and tutorials I have read over the years.
What do I use Photoshop for? I use for manipulating my digital camera images, creating web page images and even web pages. I use it for desktop publishing projects, animation projects and more. Of all of the software on my system it is the only one that gives me great pleasure to use.
Since I am sure anyone reading this review already knows what Photoshop is and what its previous versions could do I am going to skip right to the juicy parts. What's new and what's improved.
Quickly Locate and Organize Images
The new File Browser lets you search for images visually rather than just by file name, saving time and effort. Using easy-to-view thumbnails, you can quickly organize and retrieve images from your hard drive, external drives, CDs, and disks directly within Photoshop. The File Browser provides metadata about the images displayed, such as date created, date modified, and EXIF (Exchangeable Image File) information from digital cameras. You can rotate, batch rename, rank, sort, and changes your files as well as manage image folders.
Customize your view-By default; the File Browser consists of four panes:
The tree view, for navigating folders and disks containing your images.
The thumbnail pane, which displays thumbnails of the image files within a selected folder or disk. The thumbnail pane provides five display size options: Small, Medium, Large, Large with Rank, and Detail. Small allows you to see the most images at once; Medium and Large display increasingly bigger thumbnails; Large with Rank allows you to see a large thumbnail along with each image's rank; and the Detail option displays the fewest number of thumbnails but provides information about each image shown, such as file name, date created and modified, copyright, file format, color mode, image size (in pixels), file size, and rank.
The preview pane, which displays a selected image larger than the thumbnail pane view. ]
The metadata pane provides information about a selected image beyond what's displayed in the thumbnail pane. The metadata pane shows keywords associated with a selected image as well as captions, resolution, and bit depth. The metadata pane also displays EXIF information about images created with digital cameras such as creation date, exposure settings, image size, and resolution.
Add ranking-Within the File Browser, you can invent your own ranking system for easily identifying and grouping images. For example, you can create a ranking for each file, such as "Proof" or "Final," then sort by those rankings to quickly differentiate which images have been approved and which ones have not.
Arrange images the way you want-In addition to rank, the File Browser lets you sort images by file name, file width and height, file size, file type, resolution, color profile, date created, date modified, and copyright. For further flexibility, you can view files by each criteria in ascending or descending order. When images are sorted by file size in ascending order, for example, the smallest files are listed first and the largest are listed last.
Manage folders and files-Create and rename folders and delete, open, move, copy, or rename image files from within the File Browser. The Batch Rename feature lets you easily rename multiple files.
Rotate images-Rotate one or multiple images at once by 90 degrees clockwise and counterclockwise or by 180 degrees.
At the time of this writing Photoshop 7 is of course in late beta and there is one problem with the file browser. As it is trying to catalog a directory of images the cursor jumps between the pointer and hour glass rapidly. This isn't a big deal if you only have a few small images in the directory, but it becomes a major problem when you have hundreds of larger images. If you can catch the cursor as an arrow you http://www.pcreviewonline.com/review...nsparancy.html
The new Healing Brush lets you effortlessly remove artifacts such as dust, scratches, blemishes, and wrinkles. Unlike the Clone Stamp tool, the Healing Brush automatically preserves shading, lighting, texture, and other attributes when cloning within one image or from one image to another. The related Patch Tool lets you be even more precise by working with selections. You can use any of the basic selection tools, including channel operations, to first define your selection. Photoshop will then automatically heal the area defined by that selection while matching the lighting and shading of the sampled pixels to the source pixels.
The Healing Brush and Patch tools are quite remarkable. While they don't work for every thing, they do a remarkable job on skin and other types of areas. One place that I found that they don't work all that well is on textures like clothing where there is a repeating pattern, like tiny polka dots or herringbone type patterns. What will happen is these areas will end up out of line with the rest of the pattern making it clear that editing has taken place. It also has a tendency to darken or lighten the area making it even more obvious. So, like with many things in life these tools are not the end all and don't always work for everything. But, when they do work like in my sample with skin it is incredible and can cut down restoration time considerably. What would have taken 30 or 40 minutes before can now be done in less than 1 minute which is how long it took me to correct the sample.
Output to the Web with Ease
Photoshop and ImageReady let you easily preview images to see how they'll look in popular Web formats. You can analyze the tradeoffs between image qualities and file size before converting your files to a Web format, saving time and effort. Web output enhancements in Photoshop 7.0 and ImageReady 7.0 allow you to:
Photoshop and ImageReady now let you make Web page elements transparent by simply clicking on the color you want to knock out. You can remap more than one color at a time and easily restore colors to their original settings.
This one will make a lot of people happy. If I had a dime for every time someone on one of the user forums asked how they do this in Photoshop 6 I would be wealthy. This feature used to be easy to do using the .GIF export feature in Photoshop and while the filter is on the Photoshop 6 CD it isn't installed by default and Save for Web didn't allow you to do this. What you had to do was design your document from the beginning with transparency or select the area with a selection tool and delete it while the image was on a non-background layer. Then do Save for Web with transparency turned on. Now it is easy to do right in side of Save for Web just by selecting a color with the eyedropper and telling Photoshop to make it transparent.
With the new dithered transparency option in Photoshop and ImageReady, you can achieve partial transparent effects. Dithered transparency applies the same principle currently used to create color in Web files. Using the dithered transparency option, Web graphics can be seamlessly blended onto any background-even patterned backgrounds-without having to first choose a matte color.
While nothing beats alpha transparency for drop shadows and such. This is a nice workaround for web designers. As we all know the PNG format supports alpha transparency however, Internet Explorer doesn't and so using PNG on your web site isn't really an option. Someday maybe Microsoft will wake up and fully support the PNG format. But, until then we have dither transparency which fakes it for things like drop shadows. It isn't perfect, but better than nothing, best of all it is automatic in Photoshop 7 with just the click of an option and the choice of dithering type.
Output sharp vector art and text to the Web
When optimizing images for the Web, you can keep vector art and text looking crisp by letting Photoshop or ImageReady automatically assign a higher priority to those areas. This lets you reduce overall file size by giving the areas you want to emphasize-vector art or text-a higher quality than other image areas.
Preview wireless device images
Photoshop and ImageReady now let you preview and save for Web in WBMP format, commonly used for displaying images on PDAs and wireless devices.
Manage Rollovers Easily
In the past, you could only see Web design behaviors such as rollovers or animations one slice at a time in ImageReady, which made it impossible to get a quick overview of all the various document states. For the first time, Web designers in ImageReady can now see all the slices, rollovers, image maps, and animations of a document in the new Rollovers palette. Having one convenient palette makes it significantly easier to author and navigate through the animations, image maps, and rollovers in a document. The Rollovers palette simplifies your work even more by allowing you to add a layer-based rollover simply by clicking a button.
Make Web Pages More Compelling
The new Workspace option in Photoshop 7.0 lets you create a personalized desktop with a preferred layout of palettes and save it as a workspace for future use. With preset workspaces, users sharing the same computer can instantly access their personalized Photoshop desktop each time they sit down to work. You can create workspaces for specific tasks as well. For example, create one workspace for painting and another for image retouching.
Customize Your Tools
Photoshop 7.0 lets you customize any tool and save your preferred settings as a new, unique tool for easy recall. For instance, you can create specific crop settings for 4 inches x 6 inches or 5 inches x 7 inches at different resolutions or create your own unique brushes and save them as tool presets. Access your presets instantly from the Tool options bar or from the new tool Presets palette, which lets you conveniently view presets for all your tools in one place.
Automatically Correct Color
Photoshop has always been an industry leader with its color correction tools. With Photoshop 7.0, you have a new option, the Auto Color Command, which provides even more reliable color correction.
This is an interesting new tool and one that is going to be nice to have. But, like Auto Levels and Auto Contrast it isn't going to work for all images. You are just going to have to try it and see. If you don't like what is has done you can always undo it. If you look at the sample on the left you can see it does work. In this case it looks like Auto Levels did a better job and depending on who you are it might have. However, I have to tell you that I took the picture and the Auto Color version looks like real-life (at the time I took the picture) and the Auto Levels version doesn't. However, if you didn't know that either would be good.
To be honest I would rather have had the Fill Flash feature Adobe put in to Elements than this Auto Color feature. But, I am sure it will get used about the same amount I use Auto Levels and Auto Contrast which is often, not always but often.
Save Time with Data-Driven Graphics
The new Variables feature in ImageReady 7.0 lets you automate the preparation of repetitive artwork with data-driven graphics. You can create visually-rich template designs and define objects in the template as variables. For example, a Web banner might use variables for a product name and company logo. The data sets can be previewed directly in ImageReady. Scripts, Web production tools such as GoLive, or dynamic image servers such as AlterCast can then link these variables to data stored in an ODBC-compliant source in order to quickly generate an unlimited number of unique variations. (See the sidebar, 'Photoshop and AlterCast,' for more information on how Photoshop works with AlterCast.)
Get Creative with Paint Tools
The new painting engine lets you create exceptional imagery that you couldn't achieve before in Photoshop. Simulate traditional painting techniques (including pastels and charcoal) with dry and wet brush effects and use brushes to add special effects, such as grass and leaves. Scan paper or canvas materials to create your own distinctive Photoshop canvases or use the canvas textures that ship with Photoshop. In addition to delivering entirely new creative possibilities, the Photoshop painting engine gives you more precise controls. Using the Brushes palette, you can adjust dozens of settings for shape, tilt, spacing, scatter, jitter, diameter, texture, shading, and other attributes and save those settings as custom brush presets. A limitless number of painting effects can be created by combining two different brushes. Take full advantage of your Wacom graphics tablet's pressure sensitivity, including tilt and airbrush thumbwheel features, for even greater control over brushstrokes.
I have to say that these new paints tools are like when Adobe added multiple undo to Photoshop. They didn't just add the basics they went whole hog. While these tools are not anywhere close to what Painter offers, they are going to be more than enough for most people. The dedicated artist that wants to mimic the real thing is going to be better off with Painter, but for image editors, web designers and such these are going to be a big help.
Photoshop and AlterCast
Adobe AlterCast is a new dynamic image server software solution designed with graphics professionals in mind. AlterCast greatly extends the power of Photoshop by linking key image parameters in Photoshop PSD files (such as text content, layer visibility, and image dimensions) to elements residing in a database or content management system. This linkage enables Web publishers and other graphics professionals to automatically generate multiple and varied iterations of PSD files using templates developed with Photoshop commands and executed by AlterCast programming scripts. In a Web imaging workflow, Web designers create pages for a site just as they normally would. The difference: Using ImageReady 7.0, Web designers assign variables to those pages that, through programming scripts created by a developer, can be dynamically updated by Alter- Cast. For example, by integrating AlterCast into a Web imaging workflow, headlines or price changes can be entered directly into a database. A batch-processing script would then locate the original PSD image file containing that text; automatically update the text while retaining effects such as drop shadows; save a new version of the graphic in GIF format with a user-defined file name and destination; and post the updated graphic to the Web. Instead of making those changes manually, the designer simply submits the new pricing information into the database; AlterCast handles the rest. To speed common production tasks, AlterCast can automatically generate every file version a company needs whenever a new image is created-from online thumbnails to low-resolution monochrome images, for mobile devices to high-resolution printer files. AlterCast delivers virtually any image in any common format to virtually any online or print device. Image modifications and enhancements such as resizing, color mode conversions and text replacement are made possible by adding Photoshop imaging controls and Adobe font technology to an enterprise-class server with industry-standard interfaces. By automating these processes, AlterCast frees designers and content creators to concentrate on doing what they do best-building compelling, visual Web page designs. For more information about AlterCast, go to http://www.adobe.com/ products/altercast/. For an online trial of AlterCast, go to http:// altercast.netxposure.com. The Brushes palette lets you preview brushes, such as the Flowing Stars brush, as stroke thumbnails, among other options.
Generate Background Patterns from Any Image
With the new Pattern Maker plug-in, you can create patterns simply by selecting a section of an image. From your selection, the plug-in randomly simulates a new pattern, applying a sophisticated analysis to avoid repetition and to seamlessly tile the image. Generate realistic and abstract patterns from everyday image elements such as grass, rocks, bark, and sand. Determine the precise size of the generated pattern, creating larger tiles from smaller tiles. With your new patterns you can create compelling Web backgrounds, enhance printed or on-screen artwork, and produce unique, stunning new images in combination with the painting engine.
Pattern Maker is going to be loved by web designers and 3D artists. However, like a lot of things it doesn't work with everything. If you try to create a pattern of a persons face you aren't going to get what you expect. But, you use something smaller like an eye, ear or nose you can get some pretty cool textures. What's more these textures are at your will added right to Photoshop's patterns palette or you can apply them to the current active image in Photoshop. Take a look at the sample on the left to get an idea of what it can do. It may not be a great thing for a lot of Photoshop user's but like I said for web designers and 3D artists it is going to be well used and liked.
Distort With Precision
The enhanced Liquify plug-in provides enhanced image warping control with zoom, pan, and multiple undo. With the ability to save meshes, you can maximize your computer's performance (and your time) by working on a low-resolution image, then applying the saved mesh to the high-resolution version of that same image later. Save meshes so you can return to an image after experimenting and start where you left off. Or experiment with the same mesh on different images-saved custom meshes will automatically resize to fit any file. The new Turbulence brush mixes up the pixels in your image, enabling you to easily distort an area into an entirely new image, such as fire or smoke. And the new Backdrop option lets you view individual layers or the flattened version of your document as a guide. As a result, you can warp one layer in context with another, which helps you be more precise with distortions.
Secure Images Before Sharing Them
Photoshop software now offers complete support for Acrobat 5.0 security settings, allowing you to add passwords and other protections to Photoshop PDF files before sharing them with others online or adding them to Adobe PDF workflows. For example, in Photoshop you can now require a password to open a Photoshop PDF image file; Acrobat 5.0 and other Photoshop 7.0 users who don't have a recognized password will be unable to open that file. You can prevent others from printing the file, adding comments, and more.
The new, built-in spell checker allows you to search and replace text; check spelling in multiple languages within the same file; and correct spelling on one text layer or across all text layers in the same document.
If you do a lot of typesetting in Photoshop and would rather do you typing in of text right in Photoshop you will love the new spell checker and search and replace feature in Photoshop 7. The only comment I have is why the spell checker isn't available from the text options bar and the text palette. It is instead accessed through the edit menu, this is probably because you can check all text layers in your document at once, but having it available in these other two places would have been nice as well.
Save Time and Money When Printing
Picture Package is designed to help you print multiple images on one page, saving time and costly printer consumables. Enhancements to Photoshop 7.0 let you print to different page sizes such as 8 inches x 10 inches, 10 inches x 16 inches, and 11 inches x 17 inches; add labels or text to each image for printing, such as copyright notices and captions; print more than one image per page; and output images as one flattened document or to separate layers.
Picture Package is much improved (see sample screen at the left) I know a lot of users asked for the ability to use multiple images in Picture package and these user's are going to be very happy. While in the dialog box simply tell it to use a folder and the first image in the folder is loaded in to all place holder in the picture package layout. Then simply click on a place holder in the preview and select a file. That file is then loaded in to that place holder. You can repeat this for each place holder. The only thing missing is the ability to have the Picture package plug-in do this automatically.
Create More Sophisticated Web Galleries
The Web Photo Gallery lets you quickly and easily showcase your work online by posting a gallery page of images. Photoshop 7.0 offers sophisticated new templates to give you more flexibility. A new security option lets you enter text or place the file name, caption, or copyright information on the image as a watermark.
Because there are so many new options in the Web Photo Gallery plug-in and I have created a dialog box animation that shows you what all of the options are. Click Here to view it.
Easily Repurpose, Archive, and Automate Files in a Workflow
Photoshop 7.0 supports XMP (Extensible Metadata Platform), a format developed by Adobe for enhancing workflows so that content can be applied seamlessly between print, Web, eBooks and other media. XMP provides Adobe applications such as Photoshop 7.0, Acrobat 5.0, Adobe InDesign 2.0 and Adobe Illustrator 10.0 with a common Extensible Markup Language (XML) framework that standardizes the creation, processing, and interchange of document metadata across publishing workflows. By adding metadata in XMP, for example, the keywords you add to your Photoshop 7.0 files can be indexed by Internet search engines, making your images more easily accessible online to potential clients. For more information about XMP, go to http://www.adobe.com/products/xmp/main.html.
Take Advantage of the Latest OS Enhancements
While fully compatible with Mac OS 9, Photoshop 7.0 also supports the newest enhancements of Mac OS X as well as Microsoft Windows XP.
Since we don't use Macs here at PC-Review Online I can't comment on the Mac enhancements. However, some of the Windows enhancements I have noticed are that all of Photoshop now complies with the new XP interface. Also, now in the save, open and other such dialog boxes you have the quick access bar on the left side that gives you quick access to the desktop, my computer, my documents, etc. This one alone I really like since I tend to save work in progress on my desktop. As for other enhancements I haven't really noticed any others OS wise. Photoshop wise the interface is now flatter and at the same time more 3D. The tool bar, option bar and palettes are flat, but the icons are now shaded and 3D just like Illustrator 10's interface, which I think is really slick looking.
Most of the things I covered above are the major features and are listed in the new features material published by Adobe have been and probably will be covered in other reviews. However, there are some little things in 7.0 that you might appreciate. Including:
Previews in filters are bigger (see sample)
Some of the color/exposure correction dialog boxes how grow/expand buttons on the lower right corner that expands them to a large size. Curves are one of these.
Option button is no longer hidden on color/exposure dialogs. In Photoshop 6 you had to hold down the Alt key to access options.
Canvas Size feature now has relative button which allows you to enter the amount by which you want to increase or decrease the size of the canvas. If want to for example increase the canvas by 10 pixels you would just select relative and put 10 in both the dimension boxes. Negative numbers also work.
Palette flyout menus now have Dock to Palette Well option.
More vector shapes are included.
Extract and Liquify filters are now on the filter menu. In 6.0 they were on the Image menu.
The brushes palette is back. However, you can still access them from the options bar if you wish.
Faux bold, italic, superscript, subscript and other settings now on the text palette.
Several new layer blending modes have been added including Color Burn, Linear Burn, Linear Dodge, Color Dodge, Vivid Light, Linear Light, and Pin Light.
The New Image dialog box new includes preset sizes for quickly creating the most common size documents including letter, legal, 4x6, 5x7, 8x10, 640x480, 800x600, 468x60 web banner, 720x540 DVD, A4, A3, B5, and more.
In addition to being able to choose from a new selection of predefined new Document sizes, you have the ability in Photoshop 7.0 to create your own. To create your own, navigate to the Presets folder in Photoshop
7.0, open the New Doc Sizes.txt file and follow the nstructions to add custom sizes. When finished making your edits, save the New Doc Sizes.txt back as a text file. Your new presets will appear at the bottom of the pre-defined (built in) list. In
addition, you can net a New Document Preset Resolution in the Units and Rulers preferences for either Print or Screen work.
Renaming a layer. Renaming layers in 6.0 wasn't as easy as it used to be. Well, I think they've finally reached a solution that will work for everyone! In Photoshop 7 you can rename a layer (or layer set) by simply double clicking on the layer name in the Layers palette and typing - right on screen. That's right, there's no longer the need to use a separate dialog box simply to rename a layer. When you're finished naming the layer press the Enter key to apply the name change. For those of you who have now become accustomed to accessing the Layer Styles dialog box by double clicking on a layer, simply add the Option (Mac)/ Alt (Win) key and double click on the layer. Finally, if you're one of those organized types and love to color code your layers, then control (Mac)/ right mouse (Win) in the layer and select "Layer Properties" from the context sensitive menu to rename a layer and choose a color at the same time. Of course, being Adobe, they had to take it one step further: any palette you can list by name (such as snapshots in the History palette, styles in the Styles palette, Swatches, etc.) are editable! Let that sink in for a second… All you have to do is set the palette to view by list.
Batch Ranking. If you are wonderingif there is a way way to rank or "tag" more than one image at a time. Certainly they can't expect you to tab through each file when you have hundreds of them!!! But alas, when I checked the menus, there didn't seem to be any way to accomplish this. The secret? Well, this option is only available using the context sensitive menus. To batch rank, select the files that you want (by clicking on one, then shift-clicking to add others that are contiguous, or use Command (Mac)/ Control (Win) for adding discontiguous images) Then, Control (Mac)/ right mouse (Win) click in one of the image thumbnails. From the context sensitive list, choose one of the rankings (A, B, C, D, or E). I know that it seems like a limited list, bur remember, the batch rank sorts files alphabetically so keep that in mind when ranking files.
One last item while we're talking about the file browser, if you rotate an image an alert message appears. The easiest thing to do here is simply turn it off by checking the Don't show again box, however I actually like to understand these types of alerts so here's what I discovered it means. When you choose to rotate the preview in the File Browser, that's all it's doing - changing the preview. This option doesn't change the file on your hard drive until you open the file in Photoshop, it rotates it (automatically) and then you choose to save the (now rotated) file. This is a good thing, I get the benefit of previewing the rotation, but I don't want Photoshop messing with my files until I say so!
Airbrush. I remember the panic I felt in Photoshop 6. I needed the line tool, and I needed it in a hurry - arrowheads and all but I couldn't find it and didn't have the foresight to look in the shape tools. Finally, I figured it out, but it took too many minutes to do so. Well, I had that same feeling when I went to look for the Airbrush in Photoshop 7.0. Only this time it wasn't nested with any of the other tools. I could feel the panic growing. Thankfully, I had the sense to look in the new Brushes palette and there it was. Yes, in Photoshop 7.0 ANY brush tool (including the History and Stamp Tools) can now include the Airbrush attribute simply by either checking the option in the Options bar or by selecting "Airbrush" on the Brushes palette.
Vector Shapes Made Easy. I know that I wasn't the only one that was confused by some of the behaviors of vector shapes in Photoshop 6.0. Well, Photoshop 7.0 has made their behavior much simpler and consistent with other tools such as the marquee and other selection tools. Additional options for the Shape tools have been added to the New and improved options for pressure sensitive devices can also be found in the Brushes palette as well including support for pen pressure, tilt and the airbrush wheel. Whew! That was a close one!
Transforming with Handles. Well, by this time, if you use the free transform feature as much as I have in Photoshop 6.0, you're probably use to zooming out a lot, or using the width and height options in the Options bar to resize those really large layers that extend outside of the visible image area. Fortunately, you no longer have to do that! In Photoshop 7.0, when you transform an image (even if it's larger than the visible image area), the transformation handles remain visible at the edge of the visible image area.
Options bar in Photoshop 7.0. These options include the ability to create new shape layer, add to, subtract from, intersect and exclude overlapping shape areas. Although these options were available in Photoshop 6.0, you had to have the tool in the correct "state" to access them. This is no longer true, the options remain available as long as you have the tool in Photoshop 7.0. In addition, the create new shape layer icon is selected by default so that Photoshop 7.0 will automatically create a new shape layer instead of adding the shape to the original layer as it did in the past. Of course, if you want to add a shape to a layer (or subtract from, intersect and exclude overlapping shapes) simply click on the appropriate icon in the options bar and proceed! This is huge. The shape tools are now your friends. In addition, you can add layer styles and change colors of shape layers at any time. The link icon on the options bar determines whether you're changing the effects on the currently selected shape layer or if you want to apply it to the next shape layer created. This allows for additional flexibility when creating shape layers with styles while targeting a shape layer. And, of course, you still have
the option to draw either a shape layer, a path or a filled bitmapped region with each of the shape tools.
Layer Clipping Masks / Vector Masks. While we're still thinking of the shape tools, let's make the transition to layer clipping masks. It should be a fairly easy one since shape layers are essentially color fill layers with layer clipping paths defining what area on the layer is visible. You remember those newly introduced masks in Photoshop 6.0 right? They're hard-edged, vector-based, and print out at the resolution of your Postscript printer. We'll they still look the same, act the same and print the same, but they've been renamed to Vector Masks. Makes sense, since that's what they are.
The Layers Palette. The Fill opacity command in the advanced blending area of the Layer Styles dialog box was so popular in Photoshop 6.0, they decided to make it more easily accessible by including it on the Layers palette in Photoshop 7.0. The Fill opacity command differs from the Layer opacity in that it only affects the inner contents of the layer. For example, if you assign a layer effect to a layer, and decrease the opacity of the layer, both the layer and the effect are changed. If, on the other hand, you decrease the Fill opacity of the layer, only the contents of the layer is affected, the layer style applied remains at full opacity.
Advanced Blending Options In the Layer Style dialog box, new options for determining how layers are blended together appear. The first new option - Transparency Shapes Layer is on by default. It determines whether the layer style is applied to the content on the layer or if it is applied to the entire layer regardless of the content (it determines content as non-transparent pixels). To have effects behave the same as in previous version of Photoshop, leave this option checked. The next two options Layer Mask Hides Effects and Vector Mask Hides Effects determines if the layer style is applied to the layer and then the mask is applied (checked) or, if the mask is applied and then the layer Style is added (unchecked). Try them both, you'll quickly see the difference.
Saving Files. When saving multi-layered files in Photoshop 7.0 you might notice an increase in file size. This is due to the fact that by default, Photoshop saves files to maximize compatibility with other applications. By doing so, it becomes necessary to not only save the layered version, but also a flattened version within the same file to be made accessible to other applications. Unfortunately this means that if you open a large file and then do something as simple as adding an adjustment or type layer to it, and re-save it, there could be a significant increase in file size. The solution, simply set the the option to Always Maximize Compatibility for Photoshop (PSD) files in the File Handling preferences dialog box. There have been additional options included for the TIFF file format. Also in the File Handling preferences dialog box is the option to Ask Before Saving Layered TIFF Files. Turn on this option to have Photoshop allow for advanced options such as layer compression when saving a layered tiff file. You can also save files with additional security when saving as a Photoshop PDF file. In the PDF Options dialog box, select the PDF Security options, click on the Security Settings button and assign the necessary restrictions on the file such as passwords and encryption levels. Finally, though technically not saving a file, you have the ability to export the cache from the File Browser as a file. If you are archiving files to a CD or DVD, this exported cache can accompany the images and, when the CD is accessed at a later time, the File Browser accesses the saved cache file, instantly propagating the File Browser with the necessary thumbnails, ranking and rotation information.
Automation. When running an action (a series of prerecorded commands) on multiple files, the File Browser can now be chosen as a "source" in the Batch dialog box. If, you have rotated files in the File Browser, when the batch command opens the files to run the action, it will automatically rotate them, eliminating the need to include recording the rotation step in an action. This is especially useful if only a select number of images in the folder need to be rotated.
Preferences. A handful of embellishments have been made to the Preferences in Photoshop 7.0. For example, smart quotes are automatically used. To turn this off, uncheck the option in the General preferences. If you Enable Workgroup Functionality (in the File Handling preferences), you can determine Photoshop's default behavior when checking out files or updating them from a server. You can modify both the color of slices as well as whether or not the slice numbers are visible in the Guides, Grid & Slices preferences and finally, customize the amount of memory assigned to Photoshop in the Memory & Image Cache preferences.
The eyedropper can now sample colors from outside of Photoshop. The forward slash key toggles on and off the shields in the crop tool. You can fade the opacity and blend mode of the Healing brush by immediately selecting Edit > Fade Healing Brush after painting. Using the Healing brush with the blending mode set to Replace makes it behave more like the Clone Stamp tool (in that it doesn't automatically try to blend the source and destination), and blends noise more effectively while cloning.
Is Photoshop 7 worth the upgrade? I don't know. For me it is. The more time I spend with it the more I like it and I like the new features and enhancements Adobe has made to it. Still, I have to say that I am disappointed in 7; it doesn't have all that many new features. Don't get me wrong the ones that are there are quite impressive and useful. But, there just don't seem to be many. This too has surprised me since I have been following the new feature request forum on Adobe's site since version 6 came out. There have been hundreds of feature requests with a fair handful being requested many times by many different people. Yet, few if any of these made it in to 7.0. One has to wonder if Adobe is even paying attention to their customers. Some of the things most often requested include…
Better 16-bit support especially adjustment layers and some of the non-artistic filters.
More robust action capabilities.
The removal of the file size limit or at the least an increase in the limit.
Overhauling of some of the filters including a better clouds filter with scaling ability, better noise filter (user selectable color and other styles), more lens flare options and the ability to apply it to an empty layer, etc.
The ability to turn the history list in to an action.
Layer groups with in groups. You can have a single group of layers, but you can have groups with in groups.
User's configurable shortcut keys like Illustrator 10 has.
The ability to delete all hidden layers in the layer palette or linked layers, etc.
Automatic document backup and recovery incase of power loss, etc.
Automatic incremental file saving while you work.
Ability to create guides from selections.
JPEG 2000 support.
Text on path.
Now I am not saying that all of these should be in Photoshop, but these are the ones that have been asked for a lot by paying Photoshop users and one has to wonder why none of these were added.
Being a very big fan of Photoshop and a heavy user I am pretty much hooked on 7.0. However, that still doesn't keep me from being disappointed. Maybe Adobe should have called this Photoshop 6.5. Whether or not upgrading to 7.0 is the right thing for you I can't tell you that. If at least one new feature in 7.0 is something you dearly want and you use Photoshop a lot then upgrading probably is the right thing to do if you are running Windows XP then upgrading is also probably a good thing as well. I can tell you that I am upgrading, but that is pretty much a given and I think it is a given for all true Photoshop junkies.
For what its worth I do have one complaint about Photoshop 7 and it is one that I won't soon forgive Adobe for. In Save for Web it now defaults to the slice select tool and not the pan/hand tool, I could just strangle whoever at Adobe thought this was a bright move. Maybe they will realize their goof and fix it before Photoshop 7 ships. I hope so!
The upgrade price for Photoshop 7 is expected to be $149. The full version price is expected to be $609.
NOTE: Because this review was written using a beta version of Photoshop 7 it is by no means written in stone and could change once we get our paws on the final shipping version of Photoshop. If we do make changes or additions to this review we will do our best to indicate that we have done so and what and why the changes have been made.
Intel Pentium class III or 4 processor o Microsoft Windows 98, Windows 98 Special Edition, Windows Millennium Edition, Windows 2000 (service pack 2), Windows NT 4.0 (service pack 6a), Windows XP
128 MB of RAM (192 MB recommended)
280 MB of available hard-disk space
Color monitor with 16-bit color video card or higher
800x600 or greater monitor resolution
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