I remember back about 2 years ago, when I was reporting to students that Adobe had just purchased Macromedia. One student, Cary-Anne Olsen, met that news with the shock and disbelief that could only go with something of such magnitude. "This is big," I think is what she proclaimed. Well, it has taken Adobe all this time to actually start delivering on the potential of the merger of the most influential and powerful print and Web design companies. They start to achieve greatness with CS3. I went to a day-long conference on the new products and features yesterday, and boy, was I blown away. Applications are fully integrated, and work together in a fluid manner. PSD's and ai's can be opened easily in Flash, retaining layers and formatting. Photoshop has added the ability to modify and delete filters (much like effects) via sublayers. Flash video works beautifully in Dreamweaver, making any other player irrelevant. InDesign documents can be converted to Web pages easily (although I didn't see what was going on under the hood, so to speak). The Adobe Bridge now is command central for handling all apps and files. In many apps, the Dynamic Linking feature allows you to change one file, effecting another that is linked.
Contribute is a program that lets you convert any Web site into something that is easily managed by business users, thus rendering anything into a content management system. And Fireworks has had some upgrades, designed to be a mock up program for creation of Web sites before going into Dreamweaver. And, it has a simple slideshow feature that I am dying to get my hands on.
There are lots of pdf improvements, designed to make customer reviews simpler and more efficient, without requiring the user to have a full Acrobat version (only the reader is necessary). You can even embed video in pdfs.
And, a whole series of new products are now available to assist with audio and video editing, Soundbooth and Encore, and Premiere is back on the Mac. Device Central lets you see how your files will look designed for a variety of mobile devices.
And, Adobe Connect is something that I saw in an online course workshop last week. It is a full video conference package, totally browser-based, using Flash technology. I'll be playing around with this soon, as we have access to a TX State license.
I don't think I can wait until we upgrade at school for the rest of the Suite! There are so many ways in which xml and css are more seamlessly integrated, promising to make workflows easier and feature rich applications achievable.
If you start using CS3, let me know how you feel about, cool things you figure out, how you use it.