Is Photoshop CS2 worth the upgrade? You bet it is! Here are just 10 things you can do with this fantastic new version of Photoshop that were impossible (or difficult) to do with previous versions:
1. Manipulate objects in the Adobe Bridge
This new generation of file browser enables you to look at photographs and artwork in detail before you open the file, process multiple Camera Raw images, flip through pages in PDF documents, size, rate and organise your work in a convenient and highly user-friendly way. Goes way beyond the capabilities of the File Browser introduced in Photoshop 7.
2. Get rid of imperfections with the Spot Healing Bush
The Spot Healing brush enables you to get rid of slight imperfections - like dust or scratches at the click of a mouse. Unlike the Healing Brush or Patch tools, you don't have to find a source point first.
3. Remove “red-eye" in an instant.
With older versions of Photoshop, removing red-eye and pet-eye was possible, but it wasn't easy. Now, one click of the Red Eye removal tool can remove pet-eye and red-eye from your photographs, in less time than it takes your subject to say “cheese!".
4. Perform non-destructive scaling with Smart Objects.
You know how it is: You try to make an imported object larger, and it goes all blurry and pixelated. With Smart Objects, that's a thing of the past, because you can scale, warp and rotate vector graphics in a non-destructive way.
5. Do neat things in perspective with the new Vanishing Point feature.
With Vanishing point you can cut and paste in perspective. Now you're able to turn a photograph of a wall into a “virtual art gallery" with all the pictures correctly skewed, or move a window from one side of a building to another and, because the perspective is correct, have it look like it's always been there. You can also draw lines that taper off into the distance - wide nearest the camera, narrow further away - just like in “real life".
6. Get more accurate printing.
With Photoshop CS2, the people at Adobe have improved the printing workflow. Now it's even easier to configure your inkjet printer to get more accurate colour printing.
7. Customise menus and workspaces.
Photoshop CS2 lets you highlight commonly used menu items, and set up custom menus and workspaces. Now all the power of Photoshop is (literally) at your command, and can be tailored to your requirements.
8. See what each font looks like before you use it.
Finally! Photoshop gets a WYSIWYG font drop-down menu. Now you don't have to keep text highlighted while you cycle through all the fonts until you get to the right one!
9. Manipulate images with Image Warp.
Image Warp allows you to bend, peel, and stretch images the same way as type. Now you can put an image on a mug or soda can with ease.
10. See what video graphics will look like, while you're doing them.
If you're a video professional like me, you'll know how frustrating it can be: You make a graphic that looks fantastic on a flat computer monitor, but when you import the . psd file into your Avid timeline, and look at it on the TV screen, it's not quite what you had in mind. You then have to go back into Photoshop and make your artwork look “wrong", so it will look right on a video monitor. With Photoshop CS2 you can preview your images on a video monitor directly from the software, and see exactly how they're going to look in your video, even if your editing software is on a different computer. Neat eh?
Shaun Pearce is a writer and video maker. His latest production, “Photoshop Master", is an interactive video tutorial. It shows you how to get the most from Photoshop, and can be downloaded from http://www.learnphotoshopfast.com?=art05