Some Love and Links from the Adobe CS5 Workshop Event

Let’s face it, we all (secretly, or not so secretly) want the new Adobe CS5 software. I’ve been practically salivating ever since I saw the video on the content aware fill feature.  Even though I don’t have the new software yet, I’m glad I attended the workshop on June 18th to learn more about the features – not only the cool ones, but practical ones as well that should make my day a little smoother.

There was so much that Claudia, the instructor, provided that day, but here are a few that I personally took note of (warning: long list follows)

  • Photoshop: Using the “refine edges” feature in the option bar, then using “smart radius” really will help you create better masks (I can’t wait to try this!).
  • Photoshop: In addition to the ever popular content aware fill, this is also an option on the spot healing brush. This selection is also made in the option bar at the top of the screen, and clearly, I need to be using this bar more.
  • Photoshop: Puppet warp. Cool. Enough said. While maybe not something I need everyday, I can’t wait to test this manipulation feature. I’m sure the first couple of times will require a little experimentation with the nodes to get it right.
  • Photoshop: I love experimental photo manipulation, but have never been brave enough to try HDR. You’ll locate this under Image > Adjustments > HDR Toning. I predict that we’ll see an onslaught of imagery over the next year using this effect.
  • Illustrator: Manipulating the widths on lines does seem very useful, especially since the underlying path is still intact. I very much like the freedom this gives since you don’t have to commit to a shape first in order to experiment.
  • InDesign: The page-specific modes are greatly enhanced, and I like not being locked into one page size per document – not that this has ever prevented that before (there are lots of hacks to bypass this), but I think Adobe has just finally acknowledged that this is the way we work. Think about it. You can now put the spine of a book in the same file as the actual book without resorting to tricks. Sounds simple, but is long overdue.
  • InDesign: The column tools will reduce lots of guessing. This is something I foresee using quite a bit. To intermix columns spans more easily without drawing separate text boxes is much cleaner. The WYSIWYG gap tool (the space between the columns) can now be visually manipulated tool. Very cool.
  • InDesign: Live corners is a concept in its infancy, but is certainly a good place to start. You can now break the boxes more easily than before by option-clicking on the corners to get alternative shapes (before, you might have had to do this by switching back and forth with Illustrator). I do think this helps from a time standpoint, but this tool is not quite powerful enough yet to really make it self contained.

See, that was a long list! Claudia also reminded all of us to always work non-destructively, which really is the best advice overall. No matter the application you’re in, all of the tools provide the ability to always retain editable originals when applying filters or features. I’ll never kill an innocent pixel again, thanks to that reminder.

Claudia provided the resource list she presented at the end of the workshop, which was compiled by Noha Edell of Adobe Systems. It’s a great “one-stop-shopping” resource for information.

Learn on Your Time

Join a Group

The instructor, Claudia McCue has actually been to Houston before, and we were glad to have her back. Based on a quick poll at the event, she estimated that about 20% of the attendees were CS5 users, which is higher that she usually sees at other cities. (Way to go, Houston!) You can view her information: Read her blogs at and For training, visit

The attendee who won the door prize was Eduardo Castro. So, congratulations to Eduardo on his new copy of Adobe CS5 Design Suite Premium. A very premium door prize. I am very jealous. 🙂

What do you think of the new CS5? Are there any features you are excited about that you’d like to share?

By Robin Tooms
Published June 27, 2010
AIGA encourages thoughtful, responsible discourse. Please add comments judiciously, and refrain from maligning any individual, institution or body of work. Read our policy on commenting.