Adobe CS Shortcomings

I recieved my copy of Adobe CS Standard this past tuesday. I payed for expedient shipping, and I sure did not get it, as I know others who got their boxes 3 to 4 business days before I got mine. I am just glad to finally have it, I am really looking forward to the new features in all the new apps (sans GoLive, I am a Dreamweaver type of person). PRINTED MANUAL? If you buy the new Adobe CS applications separately, you will get the printed manual in the box. If you get the Adobe CS Standard or Premium, you do not get printed manuals. You get a 92 page booklet that has 2 pages of "what's new" content, and a bunch of lessons such as "how to make a brochure." All I have to say is WTF? I guess Adobe thinks it would make the CS suite too expensive to include the manuals, yet they are available from the Adobe Store. This is total BS. There are reports on MacInTouch about the printed manuals. Some people called Adobe Customer Support about the lack of manuals, and they got the line that I just described. You see I like having the printed manuals. Apparently I am not the only one. Having a PDF manual is nice to be able to do a keyword search on, but for all intents and purposes, I would much rather read about things in a book, I burn out my retina enough as it is. Hey Adobe! You made a bad choice here. Why include the manuals in the single application boxes and not the entire suite? If I pay $1,229.00 for a suite of apps, I expect printed documentation, and not 2 pages of "what's new" and a stupid bunch of tutorials. I also like the tri-fold Quick Reference Card with all the tools, palette options, and keyboard shortcuts. I cannot see how printed materials are too expensive for someone like Adobe. Odd thing though, I got a different story when I called the Adobe Tech. line. I was also told the manuals ship with the single application boxes, but they were not yet available for purchase. Also they would cost $50 a piece. This is not true at all. They cost $30 a piece, and are available for purchase right now. They are also available in a Standard and Premium bundle for $49 and $59 respectively. I have half a notion to call back and hope I get a different tech. on the phone to see if I get a different answer, the correct answer. Other people have been told they can buy the manuals online, after all. I bought the books for the Adobe CS Standard, that cost $67.38 after all is said and done. Tack on another $10 if you get the Premium set, which adds the manual for GoLive CS and the Getting Started Guide for Acrobat 6. Talking about Acrobat, it has not had a printed manual, I don't think ever. I have bought Acrobat since 3.0 and it has never came with anything substantial in the printed form. And for that matter there is no manual installed in PDF form with Acrobat 6 Professional. Why not? I don't understand why Adobe does not use the Mac OS X Help architecture for its online help. Macromedia does. Many other developers do. Its nice to have everything in the Help Viewer app. Acrobat 6 help is in its own interface inside the app. Photoshop CS opens in a web page, same with Illustrator CS, and InDesign CS. I am willing to bet its the same thing for the GoLive CS help. I know from doing it myself that it takes little time to get your online help into the Help Viewer application when you already have it in HTML. This is because Help Viewer in a sense is a web browser. I do not understand why Adobe does not go the extra mile to put their online help into the Help Viewer. And then there is Acrobat, the odd ball. It has its own Help within the app. I wonder if the Adobe CS help is in the standard Windows Help UI. I have a lot of "why didn't they go the extra mile" questions for the Adobe CS suite of apps. More on that in a minute. Lets put things into perspective, and not just point the finger at Adobe. I also bought the Macromedia Studio MX 2004 suite for $1000, and all I got by means of printed documentation was the same type of 90 some pages of "what's new" and "how to" projects. Macromedia also sells the manuals in print on their site. Of course I am the type of person that buys the Macromedia API reference manuals as well, as I like writing extensions for Dreamweaver. Quark did the same thing. For Student Publications I ordered a lab pack 15 seat license of Quark 6 which came with no printed materials what so ever. I cannot find a manual for purchase on the Quark site. Quark 6 online help is in the Help Viewer, just like the Macromedia apps help files are. I am already disappointed in Adobe for not including printed manuals. This is not like them. But of course this is a growing trend that only irritates customers. I wonder why developers like Adobe, Quark, and Macromedia, etc, etc, don't seem to care. UPGRADE COST? Also, if you do the math on the upgrade you will be scratching your head. $169 a piece for the new Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign (the three apps in the Standard CS suite) is less then the upgrade cost of $550. CS INTEGRATION? These apps are supposed to be even more integrated as ever. First they need to be consistent, then they can be integrated. The new features in Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator are great and in some cases numerous, but I am not going to talk about them. I think Macworld did a great job of explaining the "best of" the new features. I might highlight some of my favorite new bells and whistles, but I am not going to go in-depth on anything. Adobe claims that the new Adobe CS is integrated more then ever. There are some glaring omissions IMO to this integrated package Adobe calls Creative Suite. Lets start with the New Document dialog. Photoshop and InDesign allows you to make custom document sizes. Which is nice, now you don't have to edit a text file to make a custom entry in the Preset drop down menu. But there is no such custom preset feature in ImageReady or in Illustrator. Why not? I am not seeing integration here. The Keyboard Presets editor in Photoshop is really nice. It allows you to change keys for the menus, tools, and even the palettes. You can also save out an HTML file of the shortcuts (although it tries to open this file in InDesign CS, I do not understand that). The HTML file that is exported is nice though. This Summerize feature is not in InDesign, Illustrator, or ImageReady. Illustrator will export a very poorly formatted text file. InDesign exports a better formatted text file. ImageReady has no such Keyboard Shortcut editor. At least ImageReady still allows you to select "Use System Shortcuts" so Command + H hides ImageReady. This is more than can be said for InDesign though, the Keyboard Shortcut editor in InDesign, which does not look changed from version 2.0, does not allow you to change the 'Hide InDesign' menu command. So there is no Command + H (to hide the app) in InDesign. Photoshop has the most robust Keyboard Shortcut editor in the suite, with distinct sections for Application Menus, Palette Menus, and Tools. InDesign will let you customize all but the tools, and of course the Hide command. Illustrator allows you to change Tools and Menu command keys, but not Palette Menu keys. ImageReady lacks a customizable keyboard shortcuts editor all together. How about it Adobe? How about the same UI for keyboard shortcut customization. The HTML page exported by Photoshop CS is very nice, it is a shame that you cannot export the same looking file from the entire CS suite. On a rather comical note, be sure to check out my poll on this subject :) More is yet to come... there are more things that annoy me, but I don't have time to finish this now.

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