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With the release of Photoshop 5.5, Adobe has once again ensured its position as the world-standard for image editing. Not to be left behind, Adobe has tightly integrated two great programs, Photoshop 5.0 and ImageReady 2.0, to produce a software package that is the Web developer's dream, allowing you to take your images from creation to print to the Web while achieving the highest quality in both media.

The joining of these two great programs empowers Web developers to perform advanced Web-production tasks such as JavaScript rollovers, animations, sliced images and image maps with the advanced features of ImageReady. Not only that, but ImageReady will write the JavaScript and HTML to make your task even easier!

Adobe-standard User Interface

Photoshop and ImageReady are seamlessly integrated. The menu structure, tool boxes and palettes common to all of Adobe's professional graphics programs are present. This eases the learning curve, thus allowing the user to concentrate on creating graphics.

Workflow is enhanced with the addition of a nifty little Jump To icon on the toolbox of both programs. The Jump To button whisks both you and your graphic between programs while preserving all edits, effects, layers, attributes and history. Edits in one program may be easily undone in the other via the preserved history palette.

Powerful JavaScript Rollover Effects

Complex rollover effects are a snap in ImageReady. ImageReady's built in Actions will add instant rollover effects creating interactive buttons for an entire navigation system in a matter of minutes. And again, it will write the HTML and the JavaScript; no need for you to write a single line of JavaScript code. Make some changes to your buttons after you've saved the HTML file? Not a problem, the Update HTML feature is all you need to put a new image and updated HTML at your fingertips. ImageReady has even integrated an easy "view in browser" feature to make checking your work easier.


Adobe, not to be left behind in the race to conquer the Web (or at least the developers behind the Web), has included a powerful animation tool with this release.

You can create a multiple frame animation using the Animation and Layers palettes. Frames may be edited, copied and pasted, flattened into layers and arranged into a new sequence. Layer changes may be applied to single or multiple frames. Set the delay value for each frame individually or as a group, rearrange frames, add or delete frames, and optimize the animation all from within the Animation Palette.

Save for the Web

The Web designer's goal is to pair the best looking images possible with optimal download and display times. Add to that mix the need to check how the images appear in other browsers on other operating systems, and a simple image can become quite a task. Photoshop 5.5 includes comprehensive controls transforming these tasks from time-consuming drudgery to...dare I say it?...something quick and easy! Oh, OK. Maybe not quick and easy, but a long sight better than storing numerous browsers on the hard drive of two different operating systems.

Preset GIF and JPG combinations offer quick optimization in both Photoshop 5.5's Save for the Web and ImageReady's onscreen Optimize Palette. You can also add custom combinations to the Optimization Named settings.

Magic Eraser

The Magic eraser tool erases all similar pixels to transparency with a click of the mouse. You may erase contiguous pixels, restricting the selection to areas connected to the area clicked, or de-select the contiguous option to select all similar pixels in the current layer. Setting the tolerance level adjusts how closely other color values must be for the magic eraser to have an effect on them.

Background Eraser

The Background eraser tool is effective in generating transparencies around hard-edged objects. This does not necessarily mean straight lines and geometric shapes, just not wisps or poorly defined edges. Rather than a single click, this tool works by dragging on the area to be erased. One major benefit of this tool is its ability to tidy up the fringing of leftover pixels by making them partially transparent.

Extract Command

The Extract command is an advanced masking feature designed to isolate objects with airy, intricate, or undefined edges from their background. What previously was a difficult, if not impossible, task is accomplished with a minimum of work with this tool. In the Extract tool dialog box, simply highlight the objects edges, fill the interior, preview and refine, all before the final extraction.

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As A Technology, It Is Called Multimedia As a technology, it is called multimedia. As a revolution, it is the sum of many revolutions wrapped into one: A revolution in communication that combines the audio visual power of television, the publishing power of the printing press, and the interactive power of the computer. Multimedia is the convergence of these different professions, once thought independent of one another, coming together to form a new technological approach to the way information and ideas are shared. What will society look like under the evolving institutions of interactive multimedia technologies? Well, if the 1980's were a time for media tycoons, the 1990's will be for the self-styled visionaries. These gurus see a dawning digital age in which the humble television will mutate into a two-way medium for a vast amount of information and entertainment. We can expect to see: movies-on-demand, video games, databases, educational programming, home shopping, telephone services, telebanking, teleconferencing, even the complex simulations of virtual reality. This souped-up television will itself be a powerful computer. This, many believe, will be the world's biggest media group, letting consumers tune into anything, anywhere, anytime. The most extraordinary thing about the multimedia boom, is that so many moguls are spending such vast sums to develop digital technologies, for the delivering of programs and services which are still largely hypothetical. So what is behind such grand prophecies? Primarily, two technological advances known as digitization (including digital compression), and fibre optics. Both are indispensable to the high-speed networks that will deliver dynamic new services to homes and offices. Digitization means translating information,



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