Macromedias Studio 8 Suite Academic Software
My first choice for HTML editors is Macromedia's Dreamweaver.
It has an easy to use, intuitive user interface and
state of the art design tools. With a customizable user
interface, you can work the way you need to. Although
the student software doesnt come with manuals,
Dreamweaver has excellent online tutorials.
You can design intricate CSS-based layouts and designs
easily with tools that allow for quick selection and
control of page and site wide style properties. There
is a built in graphics editor that uses Macromedia Fireworks
technology. Dreamweaver allows you to develop HTML,
XHTML, XML, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP, PHP, and Macromedia ColdFusion
It has a cross-browser code validation feature that
automatically checks tags and CSS rules for compatibility
across all the leading browsers and allows you to configure
browser preview for multiple browsers.
One of the nicest features is the Property Inspector
that enables quick, comprehensive property editing that
makes getting it perfect a no-brainer. This is the editor
I use to create and maintain all of my web sites. I
have used all of the professional and many of the other
HTML editors available and can say that Dreamweaver
is absolutely the best HTML editor. Since Dreamweaver
is taught in most graphic design curriculums, it inclusion
in the academic software package is needed.
Fireworks is Macromedias answer to Photoshop
and is included in the student software package. Fireworks
has all the tools a web professional needs to create
everything from simple graphical buttons to sophisticated
rollover effects. You can import, edit, and integrate
all major graphics formats, including vector and bitmap
images and easily export Fireworks images to Flash,
Dreamweaver, and third-party applications.
Besides all of the normal features you would expect
in a professional photo editing program, fireworks includes
new interactive design features and the ability to create
pop-up menus in the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) format
without the need for programming. One thing Fireworks
does exceptionally well is batch processing. I use Fireworks
batch processing all of the time to optimize entire
directories of photographs. I can resize and optimize
50 photographs in just a couple of minutes.
Macromedia Flash Pro 8
Flash is the industry leader for creation animation
and video movies for streaming over the internet. Flash
creates movies with surprising small files sizes. That
translates to quick download times and the availability
to use flash animation on slower links and mobile devices
and comes complete with tools for video creation especially
for mobile devices. Flash pro 8 provides everything
needed to create great looking videos. Since flash is
being used more frequently is essential that it be part
of an academic software package.
Contribute is Macromedia's answer to the problem of
content management. It provides the ability to change
the content of a website without having to know anything
about HTML, but does not need all the expensive software
and databases that a regular content management system
uses. Contribute allows companies to buy an inexpensive
tool that lets them provide content without messing
with the design. Contribute is a solution that is custom-made
for small to mid-sized companies that don't need all
the power of CMS, but would like some of the benefits.
Being included in the academic software package will
give students an opportunity to see how a very simple
CMS system works.
FlashPaper generates compact, fast-opening Flash documents
that can be published to any website using Macromedia
Contribute, Dreamweaver, or any other HTML tool. FlashPaper
creates Flash documents through intuitive Microsoft
Office integration and file drag and drop. Create Flash
documents that are immediately available cross-platform
on any web browser. Compact Flash documents open within
a web page, eliminating the need for a separate viewer
application. Flash documents can also be incorporated
into Flash projects. Adding this to the student software
package allows the student to experience using a very
Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 Premium Academic Software
Photoshop is the graphics industry standard and my
choice of photo editing software. I have to admit I
love Photoshop. You can create original images or modify
photos using a wide range of painting, drawing, and
retouching tools. You can work the way that's best for
you by creating personalized workspace and tool settings
and customized keyboard shortcuts.
You can achieve sophisticated results by compositing
images, text, and effects on hundreds of layers that
you control by grouping into sets, color coding, and
locking. You can simulate traditional fine-art techniques
with dry and wet brush effects, pastel, charcoal, and
more and even use brushes to add special effects such
as grass and leaves.
There are tools to improve the color, contrast, and
dynamic range of any image, easily remove dust, scratches,
blemishes, wrinkles, and other flaws with the Healing
Brush. Photoshop can give high quality output by working
with the complete raw data files from most major digital
camera models. Its great all-around imaging software.
Photoshop is taught in all graphic curriculums and had
to be included in the student software package.
Adobe Illustrator is also taught in every schools
graphic curriculum and is another essential part of
a student software package. It is also an essential
tool for anyone who needs to express ideas visually
in print, on the Web, and in any other medium. When
my clients send me a rough pencil drawing of the logo
they want for their business, I create the logo in Illustrator
then import into Photoshop to get it ready for their
Illustrator has great 3D features, advanced typographical
controls, Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) integration
and enhanced printing options. Illustrator will help
create and efficiently publish your artwork anywhere.
One of the nicest features is the ability to apply
live effects without affecting the underlying artwork,
so you can edit at any time without starting over. There
are blending modes and transparency effects similar
to those in Photoshop software but, unlike Photoshop,
Illustrator has intuitive tools such as the Pencil,
Smooth, Erase, and Pen tools.
InDesign is the best page layout software available
and is the choice of most print design professionals.
With the advent of paid subscription totally-digital
magazines, it is getting popular for laying out the
print like pages of these products.
It can integrate with both Photoshop and Adobes
Portable Document Format (PDF) file formats and supports
the multiple layer capability of Photoshop. It is an
all around necessary tool for the professional graphic
designer. Although not usually covered in most curriculums,
it is a welcome addition to any academic software package,
GoLive is Adobes answer to Dreamweaver. It has
all of the features that you can find in Dreamweaver
and is integrated directly into the rest of adobe products.
Personally, I prefer Dreamweaver but golive is an excellent
HTML editor and completes the suite for a web designer.
Although usually on touched in classes, GoLive is welcome
addition to any student software package.
Acrobat is the number one tool used to create the widely
used PDF document format. With its built in security
features that can prevent the user from copying or changing
the document and the ability to require a password to
open the document, acrobat is still one of the leading
choices for creating paid e-books. This program is an
absolute necessity for a web designer and therefore
a welcome addition to the academic software package.
Adobe Version Cue
Version Cue is a file manager that tracks the different
versions of the files you create with the graphics as
well as some others. It is a very nice tool if you have
several people collaborating on a project since you
can maintains a complete change history of the files.
About the author:
If you are a student, teacher or educational institution
that qualifies for the academic software discount price,
please visit http://www.sprysoft.com
to see what is available.