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Adobe CS5 Rolls Out Today

The latest version of Adobe’s flagship software suite rolls out today. As AP notes, “Bad timing hurt sales of the previous version, Creative Suite 4, which went on sale in the fall of 2008 just as the financial crisis hit. As a result, many customers — which range from small design shops and Web developers to large ad agencies — held back on buying upgrades.”

So will online designers, along with photo and video editors switch to CS5? AP adds:

Overall, the latest update of Creative Suite aims to make it easier for its users to include interactive elements in their designs. A new tool called Flash Catalyst, for example, lets traditional designers create interactive Web content without knowing how to code software. It uses drop-down menus that can turn boxes on a screen into buttons, for instance.

“It can take traditional print designers and help them get into interactivity,” said Chris Kitchener, a senior product manager at Adobe.

This is also the first time Creative Suite includes services from Omniture, a company Adobe bought last fall for $1.8 billion. Omniture’s technology helps companies measure the ways people interact with Web sites, ads and online applications.

Creative Suite 5 includes an upgrade of the Photoshop software that makes it easier to detect the borders of images within a photograph, among other new features. This could come in handy when trying to delete or move an image of a person from a photograph. Typically, detecting just where a person’s hair strands end and the background begins is a painstaking process.

CS5 will cost between $1,299 and $2,599. It will ship in the next 30 days and will be available in “major languages,” which in the past meant English, French, German and Japanese, by June 4, the end of Adobe’s fiscal second quarter.

Plug-in manufacturers such as video-oriented Red Giant are already gearing up to support the new platform.

(Written by Ed Driscoll.)