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Just came across this Adobe support article - looks like they killed the activation servers last year for CS3 and Acrobat 8 around August 2017 (so much for Adobe contacting registered users informing them of this). If you have a legitimate copy of CS3 you can request a new serial number and installer (as long as you have an Adobe ID). I applied for these from the link on that page (you need your original serial number) and was successful but note that the new installer files require the "Akamai NetSession Interface" to be installed so that you can download them. :-(
 
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Huge thanks to Graham Needham for that post. I depend on Dreamweaver CS3 — and strongly dislike CS4 through CS6, with the “Photoshop style” interface (image editor interfaces are just so appropriate for text edits and page layouts).

Still waiting for a true replacement for Dreamweaver... something that doesn't clutter the page, provides rudimentary site management (really, just upload/download is enough for me), has terse code, and doesn't force me into typing raw code or using templates...
 


...looks like they killed the activation servers last year for CS3 and Acrobat 8...
Graham – nice heads-up! I apparently haven’t launched any CS3 apps in quite a while. Can you provide a bit more detail on this process? I am not sure if I will pursue this for the CS3 licenses I manage, but certainly will once this rolls up to CS6.

Is the Akamai NetSession Interface problematic? Can it be easily uninstalled once downloading is completed? Does it require an account, and, if so, how much private information is called for?

I’m also curious about whether the new non-activation version(s) are any different in the areas of user interface and features (not expecting anything new, but hoping nothing is lost). Are existing user-preferences maintained? Do third-party plug-ins still work as before? Since the replacement does not require activation, will it run on a system isolated from the internet?

What is the “amazingly low price” Adobe offers those choosing the upgrade to Creative Cloud equivalent?
 


Graham – nice heads-up! I apparently haven’t launched any CS3 apps in quite a while. Can you provide a bit more detail on this process? I am not sure if I will pursue this for the CS3 licenses I manage, but certainly will once this rolls up to CS6.
If you've already installed and activated CS3 it should still continue to run and launch without problem. But it may stop working and you will be unable to reactivate it if you change your computer by migrating your apps/data. Obviously, if you need to reinstall or install afresh on a new computer it simply won't activate. It's worth pursuing now to get the new serial number and installer while you can, as you probably don't want to be doing it in the event of a computer crash and in the middle of a reinstall/backup recovery to a new/different computer. It's worth getting the Creative Suite cleaner app too while you are at it so that it's easy to remove the old software and reinstall the new one from fresh as required.

Is the Akamai NetSession Interface problematic? Can it be easily uninstalled once downloading is completed? Does it require an account, and, if so, how much private information is called for?
I just hate having to install "download managers" - unnecessary, additional cruft and god knows what they're installing and leaving behind. It doesn't require an account. It appeared to install a preference pane which is easy to remove but I'm not sure what else it installs. Doing a quick internet search brings up this information including instructions for uninstalling.

I’m also curious about whether the new non-activation version(s) are any different in the areas of user interface and features (not expecting anything new, but hoping nothing is lost). Are existing user-preferences maintained? Do third-party plug-ins still work as before? Since the replacement does not require activation, will it run on a system isolated from the internet?
I expect there will be no difference in anything but the activation process at the end, which is managed by a separate application to the main apps. Simply, now, the activation process doesn't require the internet and just the new, special serial number. Your preferences shouldn't be affected as it's essentially the same main apps. In theory the non-activated version should run on a system isolated from the internet but I haven't tested that.

What is the “amazingly low price” Adobe offers those choosing the upgrade to Creative Cloud equivalent?
I didn't follow through on that but I expect it would be a basic discount on the Creative Cloud full subscription which most likely will last for one year.
 


Simply, now, the activation process doesn't require the internet and just the new, special serial number
I'm very pleasantly surprised to read this.

This has been one of the banes of product-activation systems (and other kinds of DRM) since they were invented. When the activation/authentication server goes away, the product stops working. Adobe's action to allow continued use and installation for such an old product is an important and unexpected act of good-will toward its customers.
 


Still waiting for a true replacement for Dreamweaver... something that doesn't clutter the page, provides rudimentary site management (really, just upload/download is enough for me), has terse code, and doesn't force me into typing raw code or using templates...
I replaced Dreamweaver with Sparkle, a visual webdesigner (https://sparkleapp.com/). It can’t do everything you can do in Dreamweaver, and it saves your website in a container of some sort before uploading (which you can do directly from the program), but for me, this program is very enjoyable to use. It has a free version to try it out.
 


It’s worth mentioning here that Little Snitch can keep your legit Adobe apps from phoning home at every opportunity. If you already have CS3 installed, I would think that Little Snitch could keep it from trying to contact the (defunct) activation server. I have found LS very useful for preventing update checks, also. I recall very buggy update behavior in the past that would bring the affected Adobe app to a screeching halt. Don’t know if that process has improved over the years, but there is no reason to allow it at all for pre-CC versions.
 


It’s worth mentioning here that Little Snitch can keep your legit Adobe apps from phoning home at every opportunity. If you already have CS3 installed, I would think that Little Snitch could keep it from trying to contact the (defunct) activation server. I have found LS very useful for preventing update checks, also. I recall very buggy update behavior in the past that would bring the affected Adobe app to a screeching halt. Don’t know if that process has improved over the years, but there is no reason to allow it at all for pre-CC versions.
Unfortunately this doesn't help with "activation". If you block it at the time of Creative Suite installation, the software will never work. If you block it with Creative Cloud, the software will work for up to 100 days, but once it fails the "compliance check", it will stop working. : -(
 


I'm very pleasantly surprised to read this.

This has been one of the banes of product-activation systems (and other kinds of DRM) since they were invented. When the activation/authentication server goes away, the product stops working. Adobe's action to allow continued use and installation for such an old product is an important and unexpected act of good-will toward its customers.
To be fair to Adobe (which is saying something - sigh), it's not totally unexpected as they did a similar thing a few years back when they killed the activation servers for Creative Suite 2 (CS2).

https://helpx.adobe.com/creative-suite/kb/creative-suite-2-activation-end-life.html
 


Unfortunately this doesn't help with "activation". If you block it at the time of Creative Suite installation, the software will never work. If you block it with Creative Cloud, the software will work for up to 100 days, but once it fails the "compliance check", it will stop working. : -(
I realize that it won’t help you activate. Should help with an existing install that has not tried to find the dead server, though?
 


It would be nice if Adobe gave advance notice of the shutdowns. As we're still using CS5.5, I'd like to know if there is a timeline for when those servers might be shut down.
 


I replaced Dreamweaver with Sparkle, a visual webdesigner (https://sparkleapp.com/). It can’t do everything you can do in Dreamweaver, and it saves your website in a container of some sort before uploading (which you can do directly from the program), but for me, this program is very enjoyable to use. It has a free version to try it out.
Thanks, Eddie. This is one of the great things about MacInTouch - it turns up little gems now and then that I've never heard of and may never have found. From a brief 10 minutes with Sparkle, it looks really interesting. Ironically I don't think its web site does it justice.
 



I realize that it won’t help you activate. Should help with an existing install that has not tried to find the dead server, though?
Yes, that should work for Creative Suite. It won't work for Creative Cloud though. Creative Cloud has a "compliance check" that requires access to Adobe's internet servers at regular intervals (every 30 days). If Creative Cloud can't contact those servers after 100 days, it will shut down and stop working.
Adobe said:
 
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Today I completed the "updating" process for my CS3 applications. The process works pretty well, though there could be better user feedback. Essentially, mine worked like this:
  1. Uninstall "old" (the "original") CS3 suite, using the uninstaller located in the Applications:Utilities:Adobe folder. The uninstall went smoothly, though slowly. When it's done, even the CS3 uninstaller was removed from my drive. After the "new" installation was complete, a new version of the CS3 uninstaller appeared again in my Applications:Utilities:Adobe folder.
  2. From the instruction page (referenced above in this thread), I copied a "new" license key from Adobe. (But I retained my "old" license key, also, just-in-case.) Incidentally, I did this three times, just to experiment whether Adobe delivers a unique new license key on each attempt; it did not. My "old" key apparently prompted the identical "new" key three times.
  3. Download two .dmg files from Adobe. This, too, went without a hitch. One file, almost 3GB, took time. But it's the "main" file containing all the CS3 applications. The other file, about 250MB, contains supplementary bits and pieces, such as documentation, fonts, and a few "stock images" which came with the original CS3 suite.
  4. Run the first installer file. I could choose which pieces of the suite should be installed, and was also given a choice about where to locate most of the files (some "shared" Adobe files are stored by default on the computer's main drive). This went smoothly. (Because I do not use Adobe Flash on any of my machines, I de-selected that package from the installed. I'll have to "discover" if Flash is a requirement to run anything, later. Of course, I fully expect not to be able to use Flash features in Dreamweaver.)
  5. After installing the "new" 2018 versions of the software, I attempted to run them. Adobe Acrobat runs fine, and did not ask me for the "new" license key, or the old one. None of the other Adobe apps runs without an old version of Java (I got messages to that effect), but I chose not to retrograde my system by installing an old Java version at this time. I presume that if I ever want to actually run these updated apps, I'll have to install the "legacy" Java version. And, perhaps, then the apps will ask me for the "new" license key.
For now, at least, I'm content to have preserved my CS3 purchase using this system, even if I rarely use it anymore. (I have CS6, also. We'll see if Adobe creates a similar update without activation for CS6 at some point in the future.)
 


None of the other Adobe apps runs without an old version of Java (I got messages to that effect), but I chose not to retrograde my system by installing an old Java version at this time. I presume that if I ever want to actually run these updated apps, I'll have to install the "legacy" Java version.
Ralph, the main apps in CS3 to CS6 (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign at least) do not require Java to run as far as I understand the situation. Graham Needham thoroughly covers the topic at his site MacStrategy. Bottom line is a work-around needs to be applied to your system in order to quiet the warning dialogs. The section of Graham's article with the how-to steps is under the subheading Workarounds For Adobe Applications That Report They Need Java v6. I have done this on probably a half dozen systems at this point and it is the charm.
 


2. From the instruction page (referenced above in this thread), I copied a "new" license key from Adobe. (But I retained my "old" license key, also, just-in-case.) Incidentally, I did this three times, just to experiment whether Adobe delivers a unique new license key on each attempt; it did not. My "old" key apparently prompted the identical "new" key three times.
Adobe doesn't "generate" unique new license keys on each attempt. There are a standard set of serial numbers hard-coded for use with each of the new installers (and hence no need for internet activation or license checking). The new serial number is specific to the installer type, i.e. Creative Suite Design Standard, Design Premium, Web Premium, Acrobat 8 Pro stand-alone, Mac vs Windows versions, etc. This is the same as what they did with Creative Suite 2 – the difference here is that, unlike CS2 where they just posted the download links and new serials online (and the whole internet went "oooooh free software" when it wasn't – technically you had to have the original license to legally use it), this time they've put access to this stuff behind Adobe ID login and original serial number check pages.

5. After installing the "new" 2018 versions of the software, I attempted to run them. Adobe Acrobat runs fine, and did not ask me for the "new" license key, or the old one. None of the other Adobe apps runs without an old version of Java (I got messages to that effect), but I chose not to retrograde my system by installing an old Java version at this time. I presume that if I ever want to actually run these updated apps, I'll have to install the "legacy" Java version. And, perhaps, then the apps will ask me for the "new" license key.
ScottBever beat me to the answer :-)

For now, at least, I'm content to have preserved my CS3 purchase using this system, even if I rarely use it anymore. (I have CS6, also. We'll see if Adobe creates a similar update without activation for CS6 at some point in the future.)
The next lot of versions that will probably have their activation servers killed are CS 4, CS 5 and CS 5.5 together, as they all use the same server mechanism, as far as I know. CS 6 will come much later, as it definitely uses another, different set of servers, because that was the first and only version of Creative Suite that required an Adobe ID and login to register and activate the software.
 
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Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Late last year, in the midst of Adobe's yearly Lightroom updates and changes, I ended up writing a post over on Complete Digital Photography about the brouhaha that ensued: The "Cost" of Software (Lightroom redux).
I just read this, and it's a good analysis. There's one additional issue that seemed to be coming up here on MacInTouch a lot, and which I am still unclear about: If you stop your CC subscription, do you lose access to your documents in any way? It's one thing to lose app functionality when you stop paying a subscription fee for the software, but if you lose access to your documents, because you can't even export them or access them from another app, then that's a bigger deal, and my sense that was the critical factor for a lot of folks. Maybe you could talk a bit about how you see that issue?

Another issue I'm not sure you addressed is failures of licensing servers and licensing processes, something else that came up in our older Adobe discussions:
 
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There's one additional issue that seemed to be coming up here on MacInTouch a lot, and which I am still unclear about: If you stop your CC subscription, do you lose access to your documents in any way?
As I understand it (and I'm sure a CC subscriber can correct me if I'm wrong), when your subscription lapses, the software refuses to run altogether.

You have your documents, which are still files on your file system, but if they are using any features that third-party apps can't import, then you really can't use them anymore.

Which is very different from the Microsoft model. When an Office365 subscription expires, the apps become viewers - you can open, view and print documents but not edit or save them. A much more user-friendly approach.

I think Adobe's attitude can be best explained by understanding their target audiences. Adobe expects that its CC subscribers are professionals using their software for business purposes. So they feel justified in forcing you to maintain an ongoing subscription to keep working with documents saved in their format. They expect that the individual users (that are not using it for commercial purposes) will use the Elements apps, which don't have a subscription pricing model.
 


I just read this, and it's a good analysis. There's one additional issue that seemed to be coming up here on MacInTouch a lot, and which I am still unclear about: If you stop your CC subscription, do you lose access to your documents in any way? It's one thing to lose app functionality when you stop paying a subscription fee for the software, but if you lose access to your documents, because you can't even export them or access them from another app, then that's a bigger deal, and my sense that was the critical factor for a lot of folks. Maybe you could talk a bit about how you see that issue?

Another issue I'm not sure you addressed is failures of licensing servers and licensing processes, something else that came up in our older Adobe discussions:
I was primarily talking about the Lightroom Classic/CC scenario, where, if you stop subscribing to the Photography plan, Lightroom Classic will continue to launch, and the Library module remains working. You can see your photos (and any edits you made to them), export them, and apply metadata, but you can't use the Develop module. I actually applaud Adobe on this front; it is a smart way to handle this issue.

Lightroom CC works in a similar fashion, but, since your photos are kept in Adobe's cloud, you will have to download them to your computer within one year of subscription cancellation. (This can be mitigated if you have the "Store copies of all originals" preference checked.)

From Adobe's Photography Plan FAQ:
What happens to my photos if I end my membership?

Lightroom CC: Adobe will continue to store your original images for one year after your membership lapses. During that time, you can continue to launch Lightroom CC to download your original files from our cloud services.
Lightroom Classic CC: You'll still have access to all your photos on your local hard drive through Lightroom for the desktop. You can continue to import and organize photos as well as output your edited photos through Export, Publish, Print, Web, or Slideshow. Access to the Develop & Map modules and Lightroom for mobile are not available after your membership ends.
For the full Adobe cloud, you have no options to get access to your work files, other than exporting them to compatible formats before your subscription expires. For some file types, the finished product is often a more compatible format generated by the app (movies, many PSDs, html/css files, ePub documents), which can be read by other apps.

Other CC file types, such as InDesign docs, aren't readable by other apps. So yes, that stinks, but again, I go back to need: if I need the app, I'll pay for it. If I don't, I'm ok. I can always get a new 30-day free trial, open any docs I might need, and export them into whatever format I might need. It would be better if I had the option—similar to the Microsoft approach mentioned above by David—to keep a stub app that would let me open and export my InDesign files.

Regarding the licensing servers, while I know that there are issues, I haven't run into any that have caused me lost work, even with connectivity in remote areas, so it wasn't something I felt the need to deal with in that piece. (I've been able to get an Adobe subscription check in the desert with a very poor 3G signal.)

[Edited to clarify the Lightroom plans.]
 
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Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Adobe is expanding its big business in marketing/profiling, etc.
Reuters said:
Adobe to buy Magento Commerce for $1.68 billion
Adobe Systems Inc said on Monday it would buy e-commerce services provider Magento Commerce from private equity firm Permira for $1.68 billion in cash, its biggest deal in nearly a decade.
... Adobe said the deal will help bolster its Experience Cloud business, which provides services including analytics, advertising and marketing.
 


I can always get a new 30-day free trial, open any docs I might need, and export them into whatever format I might need.
I would be surprised if Adobe were to allow serial or multiple trial periods. As such, a trial period makes for a limited fallback that requires some planning to make best use of.
I think Adobe's attitude can be best explained by understanding their target audiences. [...} They expect that the individual users (that are not using it for commercial purposes) will use the Elements apps, which don't have a subscription pricing model.
Where can I find the Elements version of InDesign or Illustrator? Both are quite useful for an individual's non-commercial projects, particularly if they already know how to use it. Alas, neither is available as an Elements-style non-subscription product.
 


Adobe is expanding its big business in marketing/profiling, etc.
Another quote from the Reuters article on Adobe buying Magento Commerce:
“Adobe is the only company with leadership in content creation, marketing, advertising, analytics and now commerce – enabling real-time experiences across the entire customer journey,” Brad Rencher, an executive vice president and general manager at Adobe, said in a statement.
"...enabling real-time experiences across the entire customer journey," What does that mean? Will we now be embarking on grocery shopping journeys complete with real-time experiences injected by third parties? Will these journeys be opt-in?
 


I would be surprised if Adobe were to allow serial or multiple trial periods. As such, a trial period makes for a limited fallback that requires some planning to make best use of.
I guess I just don't worry about it that much; I hope that, when I am no longer using InDesign, I won't care about those old book files. ;)

If I were planning to stop my Creative Cloud subscription next month, I would probably go through my most recent (2-4 years) InDesign documents and export the important ones in a format to preserve the content.

Most, if not all, of my older, important files have been saved as PDF, DOC, or text, and I'll use that data when I'm looking for something from the past. Recently, for example, I needed to dig up a quilt pattern created by my late wife, done in 1999 with QuarkXpress; a friend was looking to use the text for a class she wanted to teach. I still had the Xpress files, but I also had a final PDF copy. I just grabbed the text from inside Illustrator and saved it as a Pages doc for her.

Where can I find the Elements version of InDesign or Illustrator? Both are quite useful for an individual's non-commercial projects, particularly if they already know how to use it. Alas, neither is available as an Elements-style non-subscription product.
Regarding alternatives to Illustrator, I was impressed with Affinity Designer when I took a look at the last version. It's not completely there vs. Illustrator, but it does most of it, and it's only $49, which is reasonable, especially for occasional vector work.

A replacement for InDesign is more problematic, at least at the high end. The only real competitor, in terms of feature set, is of course, QuarkXpress. That said, I know plenty of folks who create great stuff in Pages or Word.
 


I would be surprised if Adobe were to allow serial or multiple trial periods. As such, a trial period makes for a limited fallback that requires some planning to make best use of.
I haven't tried their free trial lately, but the last time I did all you needed was a unique email address and a fresh macOS/Windows install (virtual machine) to get it going.

-Keith
 


I haven't tried their free trial lately, but the last time I did all you needed was a unique email address and a fresh macOS/Windows install (virtual machine) to get it going.
It also seems to reset after a new annual version comes out (at least I remember that being the case in the past).
 


As for getting rid of Adobe or using Elements versions (or CS6 being impaled on a new version of macOS), I'm ready to switch to Affinity Photo for Photoshop, Affinity Designer for Illustrator, and coming in Spring, Affinity Publisher for InDesign. I expect that this will output PDF files that printers are happy with and will not try to emulate its rubbish Microsoft namesake. I will still need to find a robust PDF editor to replace Acrobat Pro.

Although I will have to make myself switch, at the moment it is too easy to just fire up CS6. I've been an Adobe user since Photoshop about 1993, like many initially with a 'trial' version, then with paid InDesign, then my own full flavour CS and updates. They've had a lot of money from me over the years (although the money I most enjoyed giving them was buying a CS upgrade I bought in an Apple Store, Cambridge/Boston when their scurrillous pricing regime was Dollars = UK£ although the exchange rate was 2$ to the £).
 


Although I will have to make myself switch, at the moment it is too easy to just fire up CS6. I've been an Adobe user since Photoshop about 1993, like many initially with a 'trial' version, then with paid InDesign, then my own full flavour CS and updates. They've had a lot of money from me over the years (although the money I most enjoyed giving them was buying a CS upgrade I bought in an Apple Store, Cambridge/Boston when their scurrillous pricing regime was Dollars = UK£ although the exchange rate was 2$ to the £).
You might want to give Alien Skin's Exposure X3 a try. I believe it has a free trial period. That's "free" only if your time doesn't have value, of course. Trying a new photo editor is a time-consuming experience, at least for me, as I try to "grok" the way its developers expect it to be used. Topaz Studio is also worth a look, I think, especially if you might want to slip into the more artistic realm.

Beyond owning each of them I have no affiliation with either firm. And mostly I use Lightroom and Photoshop where I have years of experience.
 


As for getting rid of Adobe or using Elements versions (or CS6 being impaled on a new version of macOS), I'm ready to switch to Affinity Photo for Photoshop, Affinity Designer for Illustrator, and coming in Spring, Affinity Publisher for InDesign. I expect that this will output PDF files that printers are happy with and will not try to emulate its rubbish Microsoft namesake. I will still need to find a robust PDF editor to replace Acrobat Pro.

Although I will have to make myself switch, at the moment it is too easy to just fire up CS6. I've been an Adobe user since Photoshop about 1993, like many initially with a 'trial' version, then with paid InDesign, then my own full flavour CS and updates. They've had a lot of money from me over the years (although the money I most enjoyed giving them was buying a CS upgrade I bought in an Apple Store, Cambridge/Boston when their scurrillous pricing regime was Dollars = UK£ although the exchange rate was 2$ to the £).
I sympathize with you and am also a Photoshop veteran since 1991 or so--before it was Photoshop. I can write an observation about Affinity Photo that represented a showstopper for me. The app uses a proprietary file format that results in massive files. A 30MB raw file can balloon up to 10 times as large when you save it into Affinity's own format. Aside from that, it looks like a decent app to try if you are used to Photoshop. But it does have plenty of limitations and quirks. I have really come to like Capture One. I also like Luminar 2018 a lot for effects. Both are way different from Photoshop, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Both have extensive tutorials etc.
 


I sympathize with you and am also a Photoshop veteran since 1991 or so--before it was Photoshop. I can write an observation about Affinity Photo that represented a showstopper for me. The app uses a proprietary file format that results in massive files. A 30MB raw file can balloon up to 10 times as large when you save it into Affinity's own format. Aside from that, it looks like a decent app to try if you are used to Photoshop. But it does have plenty of limitations and quirks. I have really come to like Capture One. I also like Luminar 2018 a lot for effects. Both are way different from Photoshop, but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Both have extensive tutorials etc.
I like that fact that if you have an issue with any of the Affinity products, you can contact them, state your issue or suggestion, and they look into it. Very pro-active bunch at Serif.com
 


One way around this is to archive your raw file or original JPEG's, if that is how you shoot. I also render the final images and archive those also.

I've had drive failures, so I'm doing the 3-backup model - one on a NAS drive, a monthly backup to an external drive kept elsewhere and one in the cloud.

I also discovered why you might want to drop Apple and go to Windows. I built a hackintosh last year. Two identical SSD boot drives, two identical cache SSD drives and two identical spinning hard drives for storage. It's a Core i7 with 64GB of RAM (I do a lot of panoramas).

Ingestion of large Sony RAW files is between 5 and 6 times faster with the Windows boot, rather than MacOS. I'm using Sierra and Windows 10, all current. The Adobe software is up to date. Rendering JPEG;s is between 4 and 5 times faster in Windows. Merging photos into a panorama varies between 3 and 10 times faster in Windows! All of this is with identical hardware and configuration.
 


Ars Technica is reporting to some depth, citing Bloomberg, that Adobe will be bringing a full version of Photoshop to the iPad in 2019. The key capability highlighted is the ability to edit the same work across multiple devices... work an image on a Mac workstation <---> refine on an iPad.

I suppose it's inevitable Adobe would do this, or else get left behind. It will be interesting to see how Adobe monetizes Photoshop on iPad.

Odd that the article does not mention Affinity Photo, the iPad App of the Year, now at version 1.6.7 and still only a $20 one-time fee.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... Adobe will be bringing a full version of Photoshop to the iPad in 2019. ... I suppose it's inevitable Adobe would do this, or else get left behind. It will be interesting to see how Adobe monetizes Photoshop on iPad. Odd that the article does not mention Affinity Photo, the iPad App of the Year, now at version 1.6.7 and still only a $20 one-time fee.
Since Affinity already has its apps running on iPads, this rumored future Adobe iPad product smells like a company trying to hold off its competition. (Of course, Adobe's dark history suggests yet again buying a competitor to kill off their product.)
 


I’m starting two projects that require “publishing.” By this, I mean they will be in book format with both text and images. They will begin in digital format. The likelihood they will ever reach print is < 30%.

The first is a collaboration of mostly Sonora photographers entitled Land of Light and Sky. It is image-heavy but has a narrative stream. The second (as of yet unnamed) is my attempt to fuse 50+ years of poetry with my images that are connected, inspired, expressive of the poems. Since I’m starting work on my own “book,” it’s sort of devolved to me to lay out the collaboration.

Tools in use:

BBEdit: All text (including poetry) begins here. No other tool touches its power.

Photoshop Lightroom CC: After years of resistance, I’ve recently given in to Adobe’s “Mafiaware.” Bluntly, there isn’t anything else that functions as well. Sometimes one must suffice rather than excel. I use several other tools for development - DXO Studio, Topaz Studio, and some MacPhun products. These are all useful for “artistic” work but don’t make it for a newspaper on the deadline submissions. I have tried literally every other software that has come out in the photo development genre - nothing fits.

Affinity Design. Unlike their photo app, I’m increasingly using this nicely done tool. I never really “grokked” Adobe Illustrator, in part because it has too much “junk,” and because I don’t have a graphics eye. Affinity Design keeps the tools simple yet still powerful enough to work for me.

iStudio. It’s sort of OK, but it needs a lot of work to be a viable tool. It isn’t - at this time - capable of doing the job.

The obvious hole is page layout. I still have a legal copy of CS6, which contains InDesign. I’ve never gotten into this program as deep as I did PageMaker. (I formatted and delivered my dissertation with PageMaker - much to the chagrin of the graduate college.) I know the CC version of the program is available, but $55/month is absurd, given the specialization of my work.

CS6 InDesign still runs under macOS 10.13. Its screen resolution is, of course, not great on a current iMac. (I assume there is no workaround?) This is a distraction and potentially a problem. Also, I don’t know how much longer it will run as Apple blunders forward with its system “upgrades.”

So suggestions/questions? Is there any publishing software available? If so, what? The life expectancy of InDesign? I know we’re just guessing, but more guesses are good. I stumbled across PageMaker 7.0, which appears to be available only in Windows. Is this correct?

Have I totally missed a genre or approach? Word won’t make it. It is a kitchen sink that does nothing truly well. I only use it to format submissions for those publications that require it. Sure wish they’d all move to PDF, but then PDF - despite its claims - isn’t really a standard.

Thoughts/suggestions appreciated.
 


I’m starting two projects that require “publishing.” By this, I mean they will be in book format with both text and images. They will begin in digital format. The likelihood they will ever reach print is < 30%....
I've recently put together my first book, which is now available for sale on Amazon's site. It's a collection of images depicting pre-Katrina New Orleans with commentary about each one.

Like you, I faced the same 'What software(-s) will get this done with the smallest amount of grief and pain?' question. I finally settled on two apps for the heavy lifting.

First was Illustrator CS6 for the cover (in conjunction with Photoshop CS6 for image prep). Text and long-form layout was done using InDesign CS6. In other days I would likely have used Word 5.1 (the best version ever of Word) and PageMaker ("RageMaker"). I eventually gave up RageMaker and switched to QuarkXpress, but now InDesign has surpassed QuarkXpress - at least my 9.5.4.1 version of it.

I'm still in Snow Leopard land, and have faced the fact that it's about time to move on from there. I'm still learning about how to upgrade from Snow Leopard to El Capitan or possibly High Sierra. For now, it's still a Snow Leopard world.

All of my images were prepped in Photoshop CS6 prior to being assembled in a set of nested folders containing all images to be used. I chose to not embed the images for this version, but after several sessions which required me to do manual re-linking to images that were moved from their original location, my next volume will be embedded rather than linked.

Final output for print was a high-res .pdf (one version RGB, one version CMYK). The printing was done by CreateSpace (Amazon), and only required the RGB files.

I hope this provides a bit of help with the task ahead of you. Maybe before too long I can explore the softwares you describe (Affinity, etc.) that don't play nice with Snow Leopard. Good luck with your project.
 


39-year veteran of publishing here...

Images - for raw conversion, Capture One eats Lightroom. Final image preparation: use Photoshop or Affinity Photo, being careful to understand monitor calibration, colour space and gamut, ink weights and profiles appropriate for your printer.

Page Layout - inDesign or Quark if there's even a remote possibility of going to print.
Personally, I would stay well away from Affinity Designer and Illustrator for book work. Whilst they might be great products, they're just not the right tool for long book jobs and have been known to produce files which can choke a RIP.

My advice would be to use the InDesign you have and speak to potential printers to determine what they expect from your files. If you're looking to print on a digital press, the requirements will be very different to offset presses.

BTW, if you are not looking to go to print, then you could always consider a few of the lower-end products like Pages or even iBook Author. I'm not a huge fan of either, but they might just suit what you need if looking at digital-only output.
 


... I'm still in Snow Leopard land, and have faced the fact that it's about time to move on from there. I'm still learning about how to upgrade from Snow Leopard to El Capitan or possibly High Sierra. For now, it's still a Snow Leopard world....
Richard, depending on the value of your work, you might consider obtaining Snow Leopard Server and building a virtual machine duplicate of your current configuration.

The use of a virtual machine can isolate the preserved machine and capabilities, as Apple continues shifting the sand beneath our feet with OS upgrades combined with removal of almost anything.

And note that having no internet connection for the virtual machine acts as a pretty effective firewall for most purposes, including unwanted changes from Apple, Adobe, etc.
 



Appreciate the responses. Food for thought. I just learned that Affinity is planning to release Publisher "real soon now." I'd been told by their people some time back that they were working to provide alternatives to the Adobe big three. Looks like they're doing so.

So I may be looking at a combo of Lightroom, Photoshop, InDesign, and Affinity Publisher. Too soon to tell. I opened up InDesign yesterday. I confess, I was bothered by the screen display. Shouldn't be, but… There's going to be a learning curve as it's been a long time.

Trilo, I don't know much about the strictures of print publishing. First thing I did in InDesign was convert to inches, because I've heard of picas, ems, and such, but no clue what that is in imperial dimensions. More to the point, I don't have a connection to any publisher, so I can ask, though that might be worth investigating. Also, no argument from me on the Adobe RAW conversion. Really not much good. Whenever I want to work a photo deeply, I start with DXO. Superb conversions (camera/lens specific) then use their tools. ClearView is remarkable. From there I often end up in Photoshop.

For now I'm going to play around with InDesign, doing some mockups, experiments, etc. I, unfortunately, am mostly incapable of learning by listening or watching someone talk. I've also been more than irritated by comprehensive tomes with lousy indexes. I learn by floundering about making mistakes. When confronted with a problem I want to find the subject now.

Again, helpful as always. This is, and always has been, one of the most useful sites anywhere on the Internet. Oh, and I signed up to be a public beta tester for Affinity Publisher. If I have useful insights, I'll pass them on.
 


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