The bottom line: Photoshop CS5 greatly expands the toolset that Adobe offers in its flagship product, charting new ways to make image manipulation easier while making older tools work better than before. Don't worry about the lack of a new interface; the new ways to get your project done make this version a must.
Photoshop has been in the English lexicon as a term to edit images for a long time, but the latest version of Adobe's flagship program stretches the canvas of manipulation much further than ever before. The look of the program has changed so little from Photoshop CS4 that users of that version should be instantly comfortable with this major update, but Photoshop Creative Suite 5 Extended gives photographers, artists, designers, and LOLcats obsessives a stunning array of new tools. Among the new features in Adobe's flagship image-editing software are automatic lens corrections, High Dynamic Range toning, automated editing tools, and significant improvements to creating 3D images.
Adobe Photoshop CS5
Installation and setup
Photoshop installation is straightforward, although it does require an Adobe account. You can choose to purchase a license key immediately, which you will receive by e-mail, or try out the program for 30 days. When you receive your key, you can copy and paste the entire string directly from your e-mail into the first dialog box, and the other boxes will automatically populate. Both Photoshop CS 5 and the Extended come from the same 980MB installer for Windows, or 1.1GB on a Mac.
Depending on your Internet connection, Adobe says that users can expect download times of anywhere from 14 minutes on a corporate LAN to nearly 90 minutes on slower connections. On a Windows 7 computer with 2GB of RAM and a 2GHz processor on a T1, the download took around 40 minutes.
The Adobe installation process doesn't play well with Mozilla programs such as Firefox and Thunderbird, so those must be shut down before the installation can be finished. You can use other programs while installing, but CPU slowdowns are likely on many computers.
Adobe still refuses to have a Windows installation process that's respectful of standard program installation behavior. Associated program icons do not install into an Adobe folder in your Start menu, but are rather unceremoniously dumped into your Start menu's All Programs pane. First-time upgraders should note that Adobe will not override your previous installation of Photoshop, so you'll have to remove it manually. This may be annoying to some, but it's actually reasonable behavior given the cost of the program and the desire of many users to fully explore the trial. It would be nice if Photoshop came with a utility for removing previous versions, instead of having to go through the imperfect Windows uninstallation tool.