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Consumer level photo editing

With an impressive collection of flexible tools, Adobe Photoshop Elements is one of the most powerful consumer-level photo editors around. Batch processing, image layering, cloning, and Web optimization are just a few of the software's time-saving tools.

It's taken a while for Elements to crawl out from the shadow of its celebrity sibling, Photoshop, but these days you'd be hard-pressed to find similarities between the two. There's the occasional familiar dialog box and a handful of traditional Photoshop interface quirks that may elude newbies, but if Photoshop CS is the "pro" version, Elements is … Read more

By CBS Interactive staff

Light and easy

To put it gently, Adobe Reader is a real pain in the hindquarters.

It's monstrously large, slow to load, and includes many features most users will hardly ever need. Foxit PDF Reader 2.0 omits these widgets and throws in some neat features, such as annotation tools, while still allowing you to read PDF documents.

The interface mimics Adobe's, so you won't have to change your reading habits. In our test, the text readability wasn't much inferior to Acrobat's. The 1.6MB program starts surprisingly fast compared to Acrobat. You might need to fiddle a … Read more

By CBS Interactive staff

Take your best shot

Capturing screenshots may not be glamorous, but at least SnagIt makes it simple. SnagIt lets you capture any part of your screen, from a partial image to the entire contents of a scrolling window. You can grab images of Web sites and software applications or pictures from scanners and digital cameras. You even can capture video and record screen action in AVI format.

Editing tools let you manipulate and enhance captures using effects (such as Brightness, Hue, and Saturation), filters, and borders. You can add arrows, substitute colors in the captured image, or create dark or light backgrounds with a … Read more

By CBS Interactive staff

Dream a bigger dream

Adobe Dreamweaver CS3 is the first rollout of this Web design application since Adobe acquired Macromedia. Is it the same Dreamweaver as before?

Installation time has doubled, not including Adobe's mandatory registration process. Once installed, Dreamweaver looks more like Adobe's other products, but it will be familiar to users of previous versions. There are some new, dockable palettes for new features, but the Welcome screen, toolbars, and main window are largely unchanged.

CSS support now features a large array of templates and new tools to help manage styles, and commentary on how best to use the CSS--including Internet … Read more

By CBS Interactive staff

No shortcuts with Flash CS3

Flash remains the champ of professional vector software for the Web. However, creating Web pages, interactive games, and videos in Flash CS3 is no one-two punch; the complexity remains a barrier for new learners.

Most notable in this version of Flash is its improved integration with the other Adobe products. You can now save time by importing layers from Photoshop and Illustrator files, so there's no need to convert and name one layer at a time. The customizable interface lets you choose where to dock the time line and other panels, and you can drag features to the toolbar. … Read more

By CBS Interactive staff

Tweak your digital images

With an impressive collection of flexible tools, Adobe Photoshop Elements is one of the most powerful consumer-level photo editors around. Batch processing, image layering, cloning, and Web optimization are just a few of the software's time-saving tools.

It's taken a while for Elements to crawl out from the shadow of its celebrity sibling, Photoshop, but these days you'd be hard-pressed to find similarities between the two. There's the occasional familiar dialog box and a handful of traditional Photoshop interface quirks that may elude newbies, but if Photoshop CS is the "pro" version, Elements is … Read more

By CBS Interactive staff

Take your best shot

Capturing screenshots may not be glamorous, but at least SnagIt makes it simple. SnagIt lets you capture any part of your screen, from a partial image to the entire contents of a scrolling window. You can grab images of Web sites and software applications or pictures from scanners and digital cameras. You even can capture video and record screen action in AVI format.

Editing tools let you manipulate and enhance captures using effects (such as Brightness, Hue, and Saturation), filters, and borders. You can add arrows, substitute colors in the captured image, or create dark or light backgrounds with a … Read more

By CBS Interactive staff

Light and easy

To put it gently, Adobe Reader is a real pain in the hindquarters.

It's monstrously large, slow to load, and includes many features most users will hardly ever need. Foxit PDF Reader 2.0 omits these widgets and throws in some neat features, such as annotation tools, while still allowing you to read PDF documents.

The interface mimics Adobe's, so you won't have to change your reading habits. In our test, the text readability wasn't much inferior to Acrobat's. The 1.6MB program starts surprisingly fast compared to Acrobat. You might need to fiddle a … Read more

By CBS Interactive staff

Trial for dedicated PDF users

Adobe's Acrobat PDF creator is the industry standard, and with good reason. A comprehensive list of powerful tools, combined with a work environment capable of handling huge files and a well-designed interface make it the go-to program for PDFs.

Some of the newer features that impressed us include a range of annotation options; password and encryption for security; several signature preferences for making digital documents more official; automatically recognizing form fields; the ability to download entire Web sites and import them as PDFs; support for complex AutoCAD drawings; and a well-designed icon-based wizard to help the user figure out … Read more

By CBS Interactive staff

Light and easy

To put it gently, Adobe Reader is a real pain in the hindquarters.

It's monstrously large, slow to load, and includes many features most users will hardly ever need. Foxit PDF Reader 2.0 omits these widgets and throws in some neat features, such as annotation tools, while still allowing you to read PDF documents.

The interface mimics Adobe's, so you won't have to change your reading habits. In our test, the text readability wasn't much inferior to Acrobat's. The 1.6MB program starts surprisingly fast compared to Acrobat. You might need to fiddle a … Read more

By CBS Interactive staff