Adobe Creative Suite 6 has finally arrived… with each product in the range promising a few new features and tweaks.
If you’re thinking of getting your hands on the new versions, Adobe Creative Cloud might be an option – a newly launched Adobe Creative Suite subscription-based membership (12-month or month-to-month options) giving you access to all of the CS 6 apps (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, DreamWeaver, Premiere Pro etc), plus updates. It also includes all of Adobe’s mobile apps, as well as online collaboration and project hosting capabilities. All Adobe Creative Suite 6 products and Adobe Creative Cloud are scheduled to be available within 30 days and can be pre-ordered now. The pricing structure is as follows:
Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design Standard: $1,975
Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium: $2,886
Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection: $3,949
Adobe Creative Cloud membership for individuals is $62.99 per month based on annual membership and $94.99 per month based on month-to-month membership. A special introductory offer of $37.99 per month for CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5 individual customers is also available. Read more here.
Want to know what’s new? Here are the top features of Photoshop CS6, Illustrator CS6 and InDesign CS6. For more information on each product below and the others in the Creative Suite range, head to adobe.com.
Adobe Photoshop CS6 and CS6 Extended top features:
Extended Content-Aware family of technologies: The Content-Aware mode in the Patch tool gives you greater control when repairing images by letting you first choose the sample area from which to create the patch, and then adjust how the patch is applied. New Adaptation options let you specify more precisely how the patch is blended with the image and how much of the patch surround is included in the process.
With the Content-Aware Move tool, you can move or extend a selected object to another area of your image, and then watch as the tool automatically recomposes and blends the object. Now you can reposition awkward elements to create better compositions, interactively extend the top of an image to change its format from horizontal to vertical, or increase the size of an object to make it more dominant in a design.
New crop tool: Change the format of your images faster and with more precision using the new Crop tool. The tool has multiple overlays including Golden Ratio, Golden Spiral, Diagonal, Triangle, Grid, and Rule of Thirds, to guide your crops and help ensure that key image elements are positioned at the focal point of your layouts.
Sophisticated text formatting: Get consistent formatting of text across your designs with type styles. Use new Paragraph Styles to control the characteristics of groups of sentences or whole pages of type, and quickly specify the look of individual letters, words, or phrases with Character Styles.
New Vector layers: Use new Vector layers to create lines, shapes, and objects, and then apply custom strokes and fills to style these objects. Gain more control over the vector content you create with the added ability to select, group, unite, or subtract shapes and paths after creating them. Fill shapes with preset or user-defined gradients, colors, or patterns, and then outline the edges with custom strokes and dashed lines.
New scripted patterns: Generate a wider variety of geometric patterns faster, with new Scripted Patterns. Build sophisticated and complex pattern designs using custom swatches coupled with scripted production. Offset, scale, and/or rotate more than one image patch, along with any transparency it contains, using your own custom pattern scripts or one of the presets included with the product.
Intuitive video creation: With a new interface, an extended dedicated feature set, and hassle-free workflow, you can easily enhance any clip using the full range of familiar Photoshop tools, and then create and render entire videos utilising the power of Adobe Media Encoder.
Adaptive Wide Angle filter: Quickly straighten objects that appear curved in panoramas or photos shot with fisheye or wide-angle lenses. The new Adaptive Wide Angle filter uses the physical characteristics of individual lenses to automatically correct and straighten curved objects present in the image. Fine-tune the adjustments further with new on-canvas tools that let you identify which key objects in the scene to straighten and align vertically or horizontally.
New blur effects: Quickly create three distinct photographic blur effects using a simple new interface with intuitive, on-image controls.
Rich painting toolset: Updates and additions to the painting and drawing tools in Photoshop provide simpler painting with presets, spray-pattern effects with Airbrush tips, realistic color blends with the Mixer Brush, lifelike strokes with Erodible Tips and Bristle Tips.
3D controls at your fingertips (Photoshop CS6 Extended only): Create 3D artwork with a vastly simplified UI that offers on-canvas and in-context scene editing. Easily drag shadows into place, animate 3D objects, give 3D objects the look of sketches or cartoons, and more. And create and render artwork more quickly than ever thanks to the new Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine†.
Adobe Illustrator CS6 top features:
Mercury Performance System: the ability to work with stability on large complex files due to 64-bit support on Mac OS and Windows
Gaussian Blur enhancement: Gaussian Blur and effects such as drop shadows and glows are significantly faster than before, and interaction with the tools is improved. With Gaussian Blur, you can now set blur radius using a slider and preview instantly, directly on the artboard, rather than in an intermediate dialog box.
Image Trace: this tool allows conversion of raster images to editable vectors using a new tracing engine. You can quickly get results with image sensing that automatically applies the most appropriate preset.
Pattern Creation: Using a completely new approach, you can experiment freely with different types of repeating tiles and pattern shapes that can be edited at any time. A new Patterns Options panel provides easy access to controls for maximum creative exploration enhanced by instant previewing.
Gradients on strokes: Apply gradients to your strokes – along the length, across the width, or within the stroke itself – all with complete control over placement and opacity.
Adjustable UI brightness: New controls in Illustrator Preferences include adjustable UI brightness to keep the focus on your artwork. With smooth, continuous control of the background’s grayscale, you can quickly match the look of Adobe tools such as Adobe Photoshop and After Effects.
Adobe InDesign CS6 top features:
Alternate layout: The Alternate Layout feature makes it easier to adapt your primary InDesign layout for other orientations, page sizes, or devices while retaining complete control over the design. InDesign does the tedious work of adding pages and copying your content so that you can focus on the design.
Liquid Layout: When you need to repurpose a layout for pages with different dimensions, let Liquid Layout do some of the heavy lifting. Apply liquid page rules to individual pages in your layout. Then, when you create an alternate layout, InDesign applies those rules to arrange content in relationship to the new page size. You can still make manual changes to the design, but if you apply liquid page rules strategically, most of the content will automatically be in position when you create a new layout.
Linked content: Ensure that repeated content – whether text, images, or interactivity – remains consistent in the same document or across multiple documents. You can link anything a frame contains, including transition times and other interactive settings. When you’ve linked content, editing the original (parent) content causes InDesign to alert you that the link has been modified for every linked instance of the content, whether they’re in the same InDesign document or other documents.
Content Collector Tools: Quickly reuse text and objects in the same document or other InDesign documents using the Content Collector tools: the Content Collector tool, the Content Conveyor, and the Content Placer tool. Use the Content Collector tool to select the frame you want to grab, place it in the Content Conveyor, and then go to the location in any document where you want to use the item again. Use the Content Placer tool to place the item on the page.
PDF forms within InDesign: Creating engaging, interactive PDF forms just got easier. Now you can not only design an attractive form in InDesign, you can create the form fields exactly as you want them before you export the file to PDF.
Enhancements for digital publishing: Adobe continues to refine the digital publishing experience with several new features in InDesign CS6. You’ll find it’s easier to produce digital content, whether you’re creating .folio files to publish as tablet apps with the help of Adobe Digital Publishing Suite* or exporting EPUB documents for eBook readers.
Text-handling improvements: InDesign CS6 provides enhancements that help you compose and format text effectively: • Quickly access the fonts you’ve used recently from the top of the font list. Keep paragraphs together even when one paragraph splits or spans columns, so that you can determine how InDesign breaks text. • Map styles in linked text to control how text differs between the parent text and the child. For example, you might want the same text to be 24 points in the print version of the headline but 12 points on an iPad.