Technology eReport
Volume 6, Number 4  •  October 2007
Table of Contents  |   Past Issues

Adobe Creative Suite 3

Reviewed by Jeffrey Allen

Adobe’s Creative Suite 3 (CS3) makes substantial upgrades and improvements to its predecessor. Without attempting to compare itself to a well-known hamburger franchise, in releasing CS3, Adobe tried very had to let you have it your way. In addition to continuing to support both the Mac OS X and the Windows platforms, Adobe created several iterations of CS3, allowing you to pick the package best suited to your needs. Adobe’s basic division of the CS3 packages addresses Web creation versus print production. Adobe named the version created for print CS3 Design and the Web version CS3 Web. Both the Design and the Web versions come in a standard and premium configuration.

Design Standard lists for $1,199, while Design Premium lists for $1,799. Design Standard comes with new versions of InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, and Acrobat. The Premium version of the suite integrates Web design by adding Dreamweaver and Flash to the Standard package.

Web Standard lists for $999, while Web Premium lists for $1,599. The Standard version includes Flash, Dreamweaver, Adobe Contribute, Fireworks, Bridge, Version Cue, Device Central, Stock Photos, and Acrobat Connect. Premium adds non-Web specific design apps Photoshop Extended, Illustrator, and Acrobat.

Adobe also has two other versions of CS3: Production Premium, which sells for $1,699 new and $799 as an upgrade, and includes most of the CS3 programs; and the Master Collection, which sells for $2,499 new and $1,399 as an upgrade, and includes every single one of the CS3 programs. Both of these iterations so far exceed what you might reasonably use in a law office that I will not further address them in this review. Adobe created those iterations for design professionals.

Adobe makes CS3 for both the Windows and the Mac OS. The Mac version comes as a universal binary, so that it will run native on both a PowerPC and an Intel processor. Avoiding Rosetta and running native on an Intel processor creates a significant speed gain over CS2 for those using it on a newer Macintosh computer that has an Intel processor.

Adobe has created a CS3 division on its website. You can go there for a more detailed description of each package and every component.

Adobe’s acquisition of Macromedia allowed Adobe to modify the configuration of CS3 in several respects. CS3 now includes the strongest programs from each of the two companies, with Macromedia products replacing weaker Adobe products in the mix. Most significantly, in CS3, Adobe managed to create a very well-integrated package using the mixture of products from its own stable with those acquired in the Macromedia transaction.

Understanding the significance of this release requires looking at the individual components included and then recognizing that one of the most significant upgrades associated with this release relates to the integration of the individual programs to create a cohesive package. Adobe Bridge provides strong integration features to CS3. Bridge gives you a browser-style media management tool to organize, browse, and locate media for use within CS3. Limitations of time and space preclude a full discussion of each component of CS3; so I will focus on those that I consider the most significant.

Photoshop has enjoyed the pre-eminent position as a post-camera tool to correct problems in or otherwise improve photographs for some time. The release of the CS3 version ensures that Photoshop will retain that position for the foreseeable future. Adobe has created two versions of Photoshop CS3: Photoshop CS3 (new purchase $649/upgrade $199) and Photoshop Extended (new purchase $999/upgrade $349). The standard version provides features for professional and serious amateur photographers. The Extended version includes all the features of the standard version and then some as it includes features for the professional and or serious amateur photographer aimed toward film, video, and multimedia professionals. Photoshop also integrates well with the newly included Flash.

Acrobat Professional comes as a part of Design Standard and Design Premium. It also comes with Web Premium. We have evaluated Acrobat 8 Professional separately and recommended it highly for law office use. I will not repeat our earlier review of Acrobat 8 Professional here, but will instead refer you to it for further information respecting the program. For the purposes of reviewing the CSA3 suite, suffice it to say that Acrobat Professional 8 includes several features designed to help lawyers (including built-in Bates numbering and true redaction). The ability to create a searchable PDF within the program carries forward from earlier versions, but Adobe has improved the performance of the OCR software, both in terms of accuracy and speed. The ability to add pages to or delete pages from an PDF file also comes in handy in a law office setting. For security reasons, you really do want to send files out of your office as PDF files in most cases. Converting a file to PDF will strip out most of the file’s metadata. The only criticism that I have of Acrobat 8 relates to the OCR process. Hopefully, one day soon, Adobe will upgrade that process with a better and faster OCR engine.

So, what do I conclude about CS3? First, Adobe has outdone itself. CS3 is a truly outstanding and well-integrated set of tools. Second, most law offices will have little need for the full suite, even in its basic configurations. Nevertheless, for some of you, it will make sense to consider getting the full suite anyway as the cost for the full suite may become nominal to you.

Adobe Illustrator has held a position as one of the top drawing programs on the market for some time. Adobe has decided that its own program, Illustrator, will continue to exist and has dropped Macromedia’s Freehand drawing program. In the CS3 version, Adobe created a good integration of Illustrator and Macromedia’s Flash, strengthening both and expanding their utility. Flash lacked good image building tools, and Illustrator benefits from the integration as well. Illustrator formatting and structure moves with an image into Flash, allowing you to use Illustrator to create images for Flash.

Dreamweaver CS3 comes to Adobe via the Macromedia acquisition. Adobe dropped its own GoLive program in favor of the stronger and more robust Dreamweaver software. Dreamweaver has enjoyed considerable popularity as a Web design program, residing at the top of the chart for some time. The new version does not offer a great many significant changes, but it does offer integration with Photoshop and it proved relatively easy to use as a design tool.

Every law office should consider Acrobat 8 Professional a must-have piece of software. Photoshop belongs in the computer of all semi-serious photographers. If you need Acrobat Professional (new acquisition cost $449/upgrade cost $159) and want Photoshop (new acquisition cost $649/upgrade cost $199 for Standard and $999/$349 for Extended), your acquisition cost new comes to $1,098 with Photoshop Standard and $1,448 with Photoshop Extended. Upgrade cost for the two programs comes to $358 with Photoshop Standard and $508 with Photoshop Extended. CS3 Design Standard costs $1,199 new and $399 as an upgrade, while CS3 Design Premium costs $1,799 new and $599 as an upgrade. The bottom line is that if you are going to get both Photoshop and Acrobat Professional, either as a new purchase or an upgrade, the full CS3 Suite becomes a nominal amount more than you will pay for Acrobat Professional and Photoshop. For the extra few dollars, it makes sense to get the rest of the Suite. Even if you will use it only a little, it is too good a buy to pass up.

HP 2605dn Color Laserjet

Reviewed by Alan Pearlman

Add brilliant color to spice up business documents ranging from data sheets to law office brochures with the affordable Color LaserJet 2605dn. At a price point of just $399.99 after an instant $100.00 HP rebate (online), you can own and operate a Color LaserJet! Give your brochures and flyers a competitive edge with HP’s image-enhancing Image Ret 2400 color technology. As a duplex printer, the 2605dn can print both sides of the page for you without any hassle or inconvenience on your part.
The machine produces up to 10 pages per minute in color and 12 in black and white. HP’s instant on technology allows the machine to pint the first color page in less than 20 seconds from a cold start. The printer comes with 80 scalable True-Type fonts.

Manage printing of documents that contain text, images, and graphics with the 300MHz processor and 64MB of memory. Easily monitor printing status and supplies via the convenient front-panel with two-line display. Access to cartridges through a single door makes cartridge replacement easy. To allow a group to share the printer, it has a built-in print server that connects to a 10/100Base-TX Ethernet/Fast Ethernet network.

HP recommends the 2605dn for uses that will generate 500–1,500 pages per month. If you print more than that (or even toward the top of that range), you should look for a printer with a higher use recommendation for optimum performance.

All in all the HP 2605dn Color LaserJet makes for a wonderful addition to your office or home with capabilities that have until now only been found in high-priced color laser printers. This is a machine that should give you years of trouble-free printing and lots of high quality printed materials at a reasonable cost, due in no small part to the fact that it uses new color cartridges cost much less than in the past. The printer uses a laser technology and requires four separate color cartridges (one each of black, cyan, magenta, and yellow). The black cartridge lists for $75 and carries a rated yield of 2,500 pages. The cyan, magenta and yellow cartridges each cost $82.99 and carry yield ratings of 2,000 pages each.

The 2605dn comes with a single paper tray that holds 250 sheets. Its sibling, the 2605dtn, has all the features of the 2605dn, but comes with two trays and a 500-sheet capacity, and costs $549 (after a $150 on line rebate). The 2605 models will not accept more than two trays.

Jeffrey Allen is the principal in the law firm of Graves & Allen with a general practice that, since 1973, has emphasized negotiation, structuring, and documentation of real estate acquisitions, loans and other business transactions, receiverships, related litigation, and bankruptcy. Graves & Allen is a small firm in Oakland, California. Allen also works extensively as an arbitrator and a mediator. He serves as the editor of the Technology eReport and the Technology & Practice Guide issues of GPSolo Magazine . He regularly presents at substantive law and technology-oriented programs for attorneys and writes for several legal trade magazines. In addition to being licensed as an attorney in California, Jeffrey has been admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of England and Wales. He holds faculty positions at California State University of the East Bay and the University of Phoenix. You can contact Jeffrey via email at .

Alan Pearlman, the “Electronic Lawyer,” practices family and criminal law in Illinois. He also serves as a technology consultant and a frequent author of articles on technology and the law. His email address is .

Neither the ABA nor ABA Sections endorse non-ABA products or services, and the product reviews in the Technology eReport should not be so construed.

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