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Adobe Photoshop CS4 – Beta Preview

Improvements to Bridge
As well as major improvements to the main program, Photoshop’s integrated file browser has also seen a major overhaul. It is now much quicker to load, and also quicker to open photos into Photoshop.

It has new navigation controls, a complete file path in the document bar, direct camera import, and the ability to output web-ready galleries in a number of formats, including PDF, Flash and HTML, and a wide range of pre-set and customisable appearance and performance settings. You can even input your FTP settings so you can upload and update your web galleries directly from Bridge. There’s no doubt that Bridge was already a very useful program, but it has now become, in my opinion, by far the best image browsing program available.

I’ve already used Bridge to upload a web gallery to my own website, and I was so pleased with the result that I will certainly be using it from now on. If you’d like to see the gallery go to www.cliffsmith.co.uk, click on the “Friends” link, and then on “Aeon Festival 2008”. Creating and uploading the gallery took under 15 minutes.

Other Features
There are many other new and improved features which I will expand on when I review the full retail version of CS4 hopefully next month. These include improved Camera Raw, enhanced motion graphics including the ability to merge 3D and moving images, something called volume rendering that I’m going to have to find out more about, and even some improvements to the humble old printing options. There’s a lot to cover, so keep and eye out for my review, it’s going to be a big one.

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