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Adobe updates Illustrator, GoLive
LOS ANGELES (IDG) -- Adobe Systems is integrating its products with one another and with the Web. The latest examples are Adobe's updates to the GoLive Web authoring tool and the Illustrator graphics program, unveiled at the Internet World show here this week.
GoLive 5 is scheduled to ship in the second quarter and is priced at $299. The program adds a multimedia editor and productivity tools, and it can now import and edit objects created in Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and LiveMotion.
Illustrator 9, also due in second quarter, sings of Adobe's integration trends by adding a Photoshop imaging engine. The update, priced at $399, adds a pixel preview and other Web tools to move Illustrator beyond print graphics.
Keeping the faithful
GoLive competes against Macromedia's popular Dreamweaver 3. Adobe is adding a number of customer-requested features to retain GoLive fans.
"In the graphics world, you can't guess how to design a feature," says Jeffrey Tarter, publisher of Softletter. "It's clear Adobe is talking to customers."
One complaint about GoLive was its problem handling code, says George Arriola, product manager of Adobe Internet products. Dreamweaver updates code in the HTML editor immediately when you change graphics.
"And Dreamweaver doesn't change code written in another HTML editor," says Beth Burke Davis, director of product marketing for Dreamweaver.
GoLive 5 is much smarter than prior versions, Tarter says. "If it sees [code] it doesn't understand, it leaves it alone."
You can easily shift between GoLive's visual editor and any HTML editor, Arriola says. With its multimedia editor, you can edit and export in QuickTime 4 format. When you map the flow of a site, GoLive generates the site's directory structure.
Adobe Web suite?
Although Illustrator is a vector graphics tool for print, the program adds more Web features with each release. Version 9 lets you export Flash (.swf), .svg, .jpg, .png, and .gif files. And there's a pixel preview so can see what graphics will look like on the Web, says Ted Alspach, Illustrator product manager.
Illustrator 9 blurs the line between pixel and vector, he says. You can apply pixel-based Photoshop filters or vector effects and save your work as a style, so you can apply it to any number of objects.
The program now includes the Photoshop 5.5 imaging engine. This guarantees consistency when files are moved and edited. Also, Illustrator 9 has an improved Layers palette that supports thumbnail views.
Adobe wants to leverage Illustrator's capabilities and extend them for use on the Web, suggests Noel Stiers, an instructor at the Graphics Art Institute. "But if I'm going to do vector work for the Web, I'm going to go with Flash." Macromedia's competing tool is designed specifically for Web animation.
Adobe recently unveiled its own Web animation tool, LiveMotion. But Stiers says, "Flash has too big a head start."
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