Photoshop CS3 Features - Wow Factor

The whole Photoshop CS3 Icon issue aside, I'm very impressed with what Adobe have done with this latest incarnation of what is really quite a wonderful application. This Public Beta is very usable. I've already utilized it for several non critical projects. I like many of the new features and have used it for several images already. The improvements go quite beyond what I was exposed to, when I was working with Adobe on a UI project last year, well done...

Many of the features they were experimenting with have made their way into the product and even more have appeared, with a definite and overwhelming nod from many beta respondents and reviewers as being both intuitive and real time savers.

I am especially a fan of the new drop down presets in many of the dialogs (I guess I'm greedy, as I'd like to see more presets) and also the other enhancements to capabilities like the new Curves and Black and White conversion dialogs, both of which are extremely powerful.

There have been improvements in the performance of the application with faster start ups, better support of the Intel based Macs with the addition of Universal Binary Support. A new UI and vastly improved printing capabilities, are only some of the many reasons to want to upgrade, when it is finally released.

Other feature enhancements for Photoshop CS3 include improvements in Camera Raw, the versatile and powerful Quick Selection Tool, Improved Cloning and Healing and the smart filter capability.

I especially like the Refine Edges feature, which affords you even more control over the selection capabilities. With this new feature you can further refine any selections made by simply tweaking a slider and some settings. Quick, easy and painless.

They've even added the capability for in document notation, which will make any art director and editing team extremely happy. Even better is the capability to add audio notes ... reminder to oneself to warn you about the possibilities for abuse with this feature, instruct your staff not to leave rude or obnoxious messages or noises here...

The new interface design is the biggest change, with differences jumping out at you immediately upon opening the app. A tools palette which can change from double to single column modes. Palettes which are tabbed and dockable and which are easily accessed through a quick button click and afford you more flexibility over how you access the many powerful features in Photoshop CS3.

The upgrade of Adobe Camera RAW and Bridge make this new version more versatile and powerful and in many ways echo many of the features found in the new Lightroom product.
The inclusion of a histogram in the curves dialog is a much sought after and often requested feature. As is the inclusion of a presets drop down in this dialog. I especially like the fact that you can see the individuals curves for each colour channel once you've made adjustments.

The Black and White adjustment Dialog is a beauty offering you many ways to modify your image to better affect how you image is converted to Black and White.

Another excellent enhancement is the clone source palette which is a welcome addition and allows you to accurately overlay image so that you can more easily clone elements for image repairs and other uses. You can now select the source layer from which to work which greatly enhance its usefulness.

On a final note, the history pallette, also logs the time spent on a project ... an extremely useful feature for logging whats billable and doing productivity assessments.

All told there are many excellent improvements to an already powerful application and all of which will be well worth the cost of the upgrade. The combination of Photoshop CS3, Bridge 2.0 and Adobe Camera RAW 4.0 will leave you itching to get your hands on the final versions.