Archive for category Reviews

Adobe Photoshop CS3 Unleashed…

photoshop_cs3.gifAfter installing Vista Ultimate, for some odd reason I was unable to install Adobe Photoshop CS 2. Tried in vain to reinstall, only led to frustration. While looking for a solution on March 27 Adobe have unleashed the creative suite 3 product Line. What a coincidence? And it specifically says that it supports Vista, hmm… Can’t wait to try this.

Starting way back in 1997 when messing with friends faces was a miracle, I have been using Photoshop, lets say I am an addict. I have worked on all versions. I will humbly agree that there is nothing like Photoshop, as far as image editing is concerned. Its final product quality and creative possibilities are limitless. It is as smart and creative product as the user…

The newer Photoshop CS3 comes in two flavors, the standard CS3 and the CS3 Extended. The only difference is the extended version have additional tools for 3D editing and motion-based contents and performing image analysis… It is rather a mixture of Photoshop, Premier and a bit of web, scientific and architect needs, added from here and there.

For right now, I will be concentrating on Photoshop CS3. Similar to early versions Photoshop do not introduce any mind boggling differences between versions. Again, there is only a handful of new features. Including smart filters, quick selection, refine edge tools, improved vanishing point and black and white conversion. For details of these new features visit the adobe website.

 I am already doped for the mere thought of it. Only very few enjoyments are comparable to few hours of digital image manipulations with Photoshop.

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It’s same as free beer

I wonder how many people uses Openoffice? OK, you have never heard of OpenOffice?
OpenOffice.org is an open source version of Sun’s Star Office Suite. OpenOffice.org 2.1 is freely available and redistributable, and supports seven platforms: Windows, Linux x86 and PowerPC, Solaris x86 and SPARC, Mac OS X and FreeBSD. It offers a word processor (Writer), spreadsheet manager (Calc), multimedia presenter (Impress), simple to 3D illustrator (Draw), database manipulator (Base) and a tool to create mathematical equations (Math).

OpenOffice.org: Writer
Among the most significant features includes the file format, open office 2.1 used OASIS OpenDocument, a standardized and well documented file format, an initiative to support global exchange of data. It’s design is focused on improving interoperability with MSOffice package. Which means it can read MSOffice files along with similarities in the GUI. The Openoffice PDF feature is a genuine highlight that makes OpenOffice a powerful tool for creating PDF distributions like documents and forms.

OpenOffice.org: Calc
If you are not addicted to the MS Office Package’s Outlook, InfoPath, OneNote, Groove and Publisher then this is a valid alternative. I would suggest for home users, small businesses and educational facilities on super-tight budgets to make the move today.
So if you want more information or download visit OpenOffice.org website

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A cool toolbar on your desktop

Desktop cluttering was an annoyance until I found the RocketDock by Punk Software. A small nifty customizable toolbar with icons of programs, files, and paths that you use frequently. No more desktop icons and quicklaunch. I have a necessity to open multiple programs at the same time and now they are at a simple click away. You can customize the programs on the bar, the size, the zooming, the background style and position (even in which monitor to display in dual monitors setup).
If you are like me with more than 40 installed programs with 20 of them in constant demand you definitely need to give RocketDock a try http://www.punksoftware.com/

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What is new in MSOffice 2007?

A personally summarized list of new feature in Microsoft Office Word & Excel 2007. I may have missed a couple of features so don’t take this as a comprehensive list. I have listed the most salient features that I found to be worth listing (I might go in depth along with my experiences at a later stage).

The most obvious change is the user interface and you have no option to go back to the previous look and feel. It is true this new look and feel is much easier as it is entirely based on visual guides. At first you might feel a little bit complex, i did. But after playing around for a while you are sure to feel comfortable. Compared to the graphical look and feel the package is rather fast, responsive and stable. The closing and opening is surprisingly fast compared to early versions.

New features common to MS Office Package

  • The previous versions toolbar is now referred to as the ribbons, they are huge and you will not miss.
  • The ribbon is huge and take a lot of space on the screen, however, a simple double clicks on a tab hides and shows the ribbon.
  • Once you select any text item you get a quick access bar right near your mouse pointer and you can customize this bar to have the most frequently used commands.
  • Shortcuts are changed except for those starts with CTRL key, like CTRL + C for copy. However the new shortcuts are not difficult to grasp. Just press Alt once and you will be visually shown what key to press to access. Just try it, this version requires practice.
  • The previous file menu is gone, you have to click a huge office logo at the top left hand site to visual get the open, print and save commands.
  • Zoom In and Zoom out is at a click away at the lower right hand corner.
  • The spelling and grammar check is placed on the review panel, and it has been improved tremendously.
  • All page setup dialogue settings like margins, orientation and size are now in a tab in the ribbon.
  • Built in ability to convert to PDF
  • A new file format to make files safer, anti-corruption and smaller. It also support new smart art graphic, Math equations & themes. Now the extension for office is now .docx and for excel is .xlsx. The additional x represents XML.
  • Personally I did found the format picker, styles, inserting pictures and view settings much easier to use.

     

New Features in Word 2007

  • A lot easier to format and manager formatting. It is all click, click and click. With a lot of preformatted elements in a simple click away.
  • Image/Graphic effects like transparency, shadow and other effects.
  • A lot easier way to compare documents.
  • The ability to find and remove hidden meta-tags and personal information stored with the document.
  • A final version can be set to not allow and additional changed when marked as final.
  • You can publish to your blog straight from Word 2007, in fact this post including the photos is published straight from MS Word 2007.
  • Ability to add digital signatures

New Features in Excel 2007

  • 1,048,576 rows by 16,384 columns, that makes the columns end at XFD. The formatting is changed from 4 thousand to unlimited. The memory management has been changed from 1 GB to 2 GB. And the calculations are much faster. Office 2007 also supports 16 million colors now.
  • The formatting can be changed at a click using themes.
  • The multiple conditional formatting rules
  • A resizable formula bar, Function AutoComplete, Structured references
  • Improved sorting and filtering notably by color.
  • Table header rows now can be turned on and off
  • Calculated column which need to enter one formula which is automatically mimics to other rows. No need to copy or fill the formula anymore.
  • We can use table header name in formula
  • In a total row we can now use custom formulas and text.
  • Table formatting is at a click away.
  • Charts are improved including visual chart elements to change every element of a chart with a simple click. Anything we can do with an Office Art now can be done to charts. More colors are provided for charts.

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