Photoshop CS4 is the 11th version of Adobe's venerable and industry-standard imaging application. It's hard to imagine that Adobe can continue to make large changes to Photoshop. It seems that just about everything but the kitchen sink is already in the application, but once again, Adobe has found ways to take a mature application and improve it. In this review, I'll give you a first look at the new features you'll find in Photoshop CS4.
Ease of use
First up, and a Windows only feature, is support for very large files thanks to running in 64-bit (with a 64-bit version of Windows). Mac users will have to wait for a future release for 64-bit power.
Photoshop CS4 also supports 3D acceleration via OpenGL compatible graphics cards for faster performance with 3D operations.
User Interface Changes
Photoshop CS4 has changed the main work area and now supports tabbed documents (Figure 1). Here you can see the major changes to the UI. The main tool bar across the top of the window has changed with many of the most common tools, like selection, zoom, rotate, and views placed on the title bar for immediate access.
You can also choose to float one or more windows if you want to view images in the CS3 and earlier style, or compare images.
The panel area has also changed and includes new quick access for common actions. Panels can viewed in a docked manner or floating as before, but the small sidebar with History, Settings, Type, and Layer Comps is gone. You'll now access these via the Window menu, or if you use them frequently, you can add them to the dock.
* 1.8GHz or faster processor
* Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2 (Service Pack 3 recommended) or Windows Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (certified for 32-bit Windows XP and 32-bit and 64-bit Windows Vista)
* 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
* 1GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on flash-based storage devices)
* 1,024x768 display (1,280x800 recommended) with 16-bit video card
* Some GPU-accelerated features require graphics support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0
* DVD-ROM drive
* QuickTime 7.2 software required for multimedia features
* Broadband Internet connection required for online services
# PowerPC® G5 or multicore Intel® processor
# Mac OS X v10.4.11–10.5.4
# 512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
# 2GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation (cannot install on a volume that uses a case-sensitive file system or on flash-based storage devices)
# 1,024x768 display (1,280x800 recommended) with 16-bit video card
# Some GPU-accelerated features require graphics support for Shader Model 3.0 and OpenGL 2.0
# DVD-ROM drive
# QuickTime 7.2 software required for multimedia features
# Broadband Internet connection required for online services