Adobe readies new Pagemaker, Photoshop releases

Adobe's next Pagemaker release, version 6.5, sounds worthy of being named version 7.

Last year when Adobe released Pagemaker 6.0, one reviewer complained that the changes only really justified a version 5.5. If version 6.5 lives up to what has been claimed we could see the reverse of that situation--a bevy of new features deserving of a full iteration in themselves.

Apart from optimisation for 32-bit operation, version 6.5 will include a new document-wide layers feature which allows users to place objects on different layers within a publication for the creation of multiple versions, annotations and multilingual documents for print and online.

When users change columns, margins, page sizes or master pages, automatic layout adjustment will reflow text into columns, resize graphics and reposition objects on the page, eliminating the need to perform these steps manually.

PageMaker 6.5 is promised to look and work more like Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, with new standard Adobe menus, keyboard shortcuts and a revamped interface with interactive tabbed palettes to organise the on-screen work space.

HTML authoring is to be streamlined as PageMaker will preserve hyperlinks and automatically convert graphics to JPEG and GIF file formats. Users also can drag and drop PageMaker elements into Adobe PageMill and Adobe SiteMill for further HTML authoring. New online importing options include drag and drop of hyperlinks from browsers into PageMaker and import of HTML content with hyperlinks preserved.

Pagemaker 6.5 will be released for the Macintosh, Power Macintosh, Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 Workstation platforms.

Adobe Photoshop 4.0 will also be optimised for 32-bit operation. It will include an Actions feature with the ability to automate editing functions, streamlining tasks such as image retouching and downsampling, file conversion, filter operations and batch processing of multiple images. Actions allow users to process one image, or multiple images by recording functions as an "action list."

The Guides and Grids feature in version 4.0 is designed to provide greater accuracy in placing and aligning images. Also, when working with large images, Photoshop users should notice improvements in responsiveness with version 4.0 when scrolling, zooming, moving selections, and compositing layers.

New file format support will include Portable Network Graphics (PNG), progressive JPEG and the Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF).

PageMaker 6.5 is expected in New Zealand by December 1996. The suggested retail price will be $1438 (excluding GST). Customers who buy it after September 9 are eligible for a free upgrade to version 6.5.

Adobe Photoshop version 4.0 will support Windows 3.1, Windows 95, Windows NT, Macintosh and Power Macintosh. The new version is expected to ship in December for the suggested retail price of $1438 (ex GST). Registered owners of any previous full version can buy the version 4.0 upgrade for $441 ex GST.

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