Read Adobe ImageReady 1.0 New Feature Highlights text version

Windows® 95/Windows NT® 4.0/Power Macintosh


Adobe ImageReady




New Product Highlights

Streamlined image processing for the Web professional

The demand for Web graphics is exploding, but so far, the tools to refine these graphics have not kept pace. Instead, Web designers have had to cobble together a production process using a variety of different software programs that often don't work well together and that require designers to move graphics files from program to program to process and optimise them. Adobe Systems is introducing Adobe ImageReady 1.0 software to eliminate this problem and provide designers with a comprehensive environment in which to prepare optimal Web graphics. With Web graphics, designers must think about a wide variety of factors that affect on-screen display. They need to: · constantly assess and balance the tradeoffs between file size and image quality. · create specialised Web graphics, including animations, image maps, and transparent graphics. · ensure that graphics display well in different browsers, including checking for browser dither or the graphical effects of screen-brightness differences between Macintosh and Windows systems. · automate their Web production processes to support the content demands of many Web sites. Adobe ImageReady addresses all of these needs in a single, integrated program. With Adobe ImageReady, designers can look at original and Web-optimised views of their images in one place, and assess how compression settings affect the final quality and size of their image. They can use powerful new tools to create animations, image maps, and transparency with ease. They can instantly preview and fix problems caused by browser dither or different screen gammas. They can even check out how images appear in different browsers instantly. In addition, Adobe ImageReady lets designers automate production processes easily through scriptable Actions and an innovative automation feature called Droplets. With these tools, designers can, for example, apply compression settings to hundreds of images in a simple drag-and-drop process. Adobe ImageReady works seamlessly with Adobe Photoshop® and Adobe Illustrator® software to make it easy for users to produce Web graphics or repurpose print production graphics for the Web. ImageReady offers a similar look and feel as these other Adobe products, so designers can move easily among the programs. Designers can create original artwork for any print or online medium in Photoshop and Illustrator, and then work with ImageReady to prepare the best-looking, most efficient files possible for the Web. Together these tools provide complete image-editing, illustration, and production support from creative concept to final display on a Web site. The Web continues to grow, stimulating a strong demand for eye-catching Web sites. With this demand comes the need for more specialised, Web-focused graphics production tools. Adobe ImageReady delivers the right tools, offering designers a single, cross-platform program for processing high-quality Web graphics.



Realtime Image Compression

Adobe ImageReady offers designers a simple, elegant way to weigh the tradeoffs between file size and image quality. ImageReady software includes the LiveView window for interactively viewing compression effects and file size and the Optimize palette for applying and adjusting compression settings. With these tools, designers can weigh the merits of using different file formats (GIF, JPEG, or PNG) to prepare different types of images. If designers spot problems, they can easily fix them with the powerful tools built into ImageReady. Balance image quality and file size in the LiveView window. Web designers must constantly assess image quality against file size to achieve just the right balance of design and efficiency for their Web sites. This process typically involves compressing the image in one application, previewing the image quality in another, and then repeating the round-trip between them as many times as necessary to get the right final results. This trial-and-error process can be both time-consuming and frustrating. Adobe ImageReady streamlines this process by offering a dual-document LiveView window, which displays two versions of a file--for example, the original 24-bit RGB image and the final compressed image. Users can click on tabs in this window to switch back and forth between the original and optimised images, and preview how the compression settings affect the display quality.

Original image

Optimised image

The LiveView window also lets designers see at a glance what the file size will be given the current compression settings and what the estimated download time will be at several modem speeds. Experiment with different compression settings using the Optimize palette. Adobe ImageReady presents compression options for the GIF, JPEG, PNG-8, and PNG-24 file formats in a floating palette, called the Optimize palette. This handy palette places all the format-specific options users need right at their fingertips, freeing them to focus on the images they're evaluating. Some of the options for GIF and PNG-8 files include: · a choice of colour palettes, including Adaptive, which creates a custom palette optimised for each image; Perceptual, which uses an advanced adaptive palette technique to weight colours for human sensitivity, often producing superior results; Web, which generates a standard 216-colour Web-safe palette; and Custom, which offers Windows system, MacOS system, and any palettes that the designer has saved. · a colours control for setting the number of colours in an image (2­256 with presets at 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256). Minimising the number of colours in a palette is a key step in making GIF and PNG-8 files as small as possible.

The Optimize palette

· a transparency option, which uses layer transparency to define transparency on a Web page. The optimised image will be transparent wherever the transparency checkerboard appears.


· a set of controls that let users convert colours to Web palette equivalents, or set files to download in interlaced mode (a low-resolution image downloads first followed by higher-quality, interlaced data). · a matte colour control, which lets the designer specify a background colour against which the GIF file can blend. (In GIF files, partially transparent pixels blend with this background colour.) This option helps designers eliminate the halo effect that sometimes appears around the edges of transparent graphics. The JPEG file format offers these options: · a slider control for setting the image quality level. · an Optimized option, which generates a JPEG file using a newer version of the JPEG standard. · a Progressive option, which is equivalent to the interlaced feature in GIF files. In a Progressive JPEG file, a low-resolution image downloads first, and then progressively more detail appears in several passes. Apply high-quality blending to PNG image edges using advanced alpha transparency feature. Adobe ImageReady is one of the first image-editing programs to support an exciting new feature in PNG files--alpha transparency. This feature allows partially transparent pixels along an image edge to blend with the Web-page background color when that image displays in a browser. This capability means that designers no longer need to know what the background colour is before they can prepare their graphics (nor do they have to update all the images if the background colour changes). It even means that designers can produce soft-edge blending over a patterned background. Adobe expects that the leading Web browsers will support alpha transparency in their next releases, so designers can start taking advantage of this feature.

Superior Colour Control

Adobe ImageReady gives designers exacting control over the colour palette for each image, thus ensuring the on-screen quality of an image while reducing its final file size. The program also provides easy preview modes for viewing the effects of browser dither and alternative system gammas, so designers can correct any problems early in the production cycle. Easily manage colour palettes. Adobe ImageReady software provides a floating palette that displays the colour table associated with 8-bit colour images. This palette offers a powerful and easy way for Web designers to view, edit, and manage image colours in these 8-bit files for optimal on-screen display. For example, a designer can select a colour and switch it automatically to the closest colour in the standard 216-colour Web-safe palette (this step is particularly useful to manage on-screen dithering in 8-bit display mode). Designers can also lock colours, so they don't get eliminated when the palette is reduced, and add or delete colours. The palette even allows designers to open custom palettes and to add MacOS or Windows standard colours to a palette automatically.

Simulate browser dithering instantly. Adobe ImageReady offers Web designers a simple and effective way to check how browser dithering will affect their graphics on an 8-bit display. Most Web designers work with 24-bit monitors that can display millions of colours. The problem is that these monitors give designers a different view from end users who predominantly use 8-bit monitors. To see exactly what the final users will see, designers have come to rely on the 216-colour Web-safe palette for all of their graphics (this palette is supported by the two most prominent browsers, Netscape Navigator® and Microsoft® Internet Explorer). However, this palette penalises those viewers who have 24-bit displays. So another option is emerging--using Adaptive or Perceptual palettes (8-bit palettes customised to the


images), and then allowing the browser to dither colours as necessary. Designers can then use a wider range of colours while still supporting 8-bit displays. But how do designers check the effect of browser dithering? In the past, Web designers typically had to switch to 8-bit monitor mode and load the graphic in a browser to make sure it was usable. Adobe ImageReady saves designers this lengthy step by providing the View Browser Dither feature. This on-screen preview lets designers simulate dithering quickly in the LiveView window and then adjust settings to ensure the quality they want. They can then modify colors in the colour palettes for GIF or PNG-8 files to reduce dithering and preview the results again.

View browser dithering instantly.

Preview and correct gamma settings for cross-platform display. Web designers must also consider how their graphics will look across platforms. Macintosh and Windows systems use different gamma values to determine how graphics display on-screen. The bottom line is that graphics look noticeably darker on Windows systems than they do on Macintosh systems. Adobe ImageReady provides a built-in control for assessing and correcting gamma values in individual images directly in the LiveView window. This control eliminates the laborious and repetitive cycle of moving graphics to different systems to check, and then editing and rechecking those that look too dark or light.

Animation and Other Web Features

The design of Adobe ImageReady shows the same attention to fine detail that has always distinguished Adobe products. In addition to all of the powerful productivity features built into the program, designers gain an elegant tool for creating animated GIF files and for generating client-side images maps. They can also preview their final images in their Web browser to ensure the final production quality. Create and edit animated GIF files easily with the Animation palette. The Animation palette in Adobe ImageReady makes it simple for designers to create and edit animated GIF files. Each layer in an image becomes an independent actor or cel for the animation. Designers can then reposition these cels in each frame of the animation. For example, a designer could open an image that contains a company logo on a background, and then move the logo frame by frame against the same background to create the animation. The designer could even use the Tween feature to specify the logo position in two keyframes and then automatically generate the intervening frames between them. An animation is easy to edit because any changes made to the original cel (layer) automatically appear in all the frames that use that cel. In our example, the designer could change the color of the logo, or even substitute a new logo, and update the animation instantly. By contrast, other programs force designers to compress individual images and then animate them as frames. To edit the animation, the designer then has to go back to each affected frame, make the change, and rebuild the animated file. Designers can also review and tweak the compression settings for animated GIFs in the LiveView window with the same ease that they preview images. When the designer outputs the animated GIF, ImageReady analyses the differences between frames and only includes changed areas to optimise the file size. ImageReady also intelligently enforces consistency between frames to prevent flickering, which is common in animated GIFs.

The Animation palette


Preview in an actual browser for a final quality check. Often, the last step in the design process is to view the image in a browser and make sure it's picture perfect. Adobe ImageReady once again offers a streamlined approach by providing the Preview In Browser command. This command automatically writes a snippet of HTML code, saves the optimised image and HTML snippet to the hard disk, launches the designer's choice of browsers, and opens the HTML file. The designer can then view the graphic in place, and more importantly, view key information such as image size (IMG SRC parameters), compression settings, and ALT string text (if defined) in the browser without having to view the source. These HTML files are temporary files, intended only to speed up this review process. However, designers can choose to save the HTML snippet (or copy it to the Clipboard) for use in their Web authoring process. Produce client-side image maps in a few quick steps. Designers can easily create image maps for graphical navigation. The designer can assign a URL to each layer in an image, as well as an ALT tag to be displayed when the cursor moves over the hot spot. All image map information is included in the HTML snippet and is available for testing through the Preview in Browser command or by saving or copying the snippet to the Clipboard.

Superior Image Editing

Adobe ImageReady incorporates a subset of Photoshop tools, commands, palettes and plug-ins to provide the core image-editing capabilities that Web designers need. The program also looks and feels like Photoshop and Illustrator, so longtime Adobe product users can get to work immediately. By combining these basic image-editing capabilities with the ability to interactively preview the effect of compression settings, ImageReady delivers an effective production solution for Web graphics. Get started quickly with familiar Adobe product interface. Adobe ImageReady software offers the award-winning look and feel of Adobe's professional products, familiar to longtime Photoshop and Illustrator users. In particular, ImageReady will provide floating palettes, similar menus and dialog boxes, and a toolbox that includes a subset of the standard Photoshop tools. Wherever possible, ImageReady shares common keyboard shortcuts as well. Work with core set of image-editing tools. Adobe ImageReady delivers a subset of Photoshop software image-editing capabilities that serve--or have been slightly modified to serve--the Web-graphics development process. These key capabilities include: · Tools, such as the marquee, lasso, eraser, pencil, paintbrush, and eyedropper tools. ImageReady also features a new tool, the magic eraser tool (for details, see "Create transparencies automatically" below). · Resizing commands, such as Image Size and Canvas Size. · Image adjustment commands, such as Auto Levels, Gamma/Contrast, and Hue/Saturation. · Filters, such as Unsharp Mask and Gaussian Blur. (ImageReady also works with any Photoshop-compatible plug-in.) Edit text with ease. Adobe ImageReady offers a flexible type tool that lets users enter, format, move, and change text easily. When a designer clicks the type tool on an image, ImageReady creates a special type layer and opens the Type Tool dialogue box. The designer can then enter text, specify font and size, preview how it appears in the image, and apply kerning, leading, and tracking. ImageReady also provides a Type palette for changing font, point size, and text alignment attributes. The type layer tracks the text and formatting information and automatically updates the text when the user edits it.


Undo and redo multiple steps with the History palette. ImageReady supports multiple undo through keyboard shortcuts and a convenient History palette, which tracks changes to an image in a list (the number of undo steps ImageReady can track depends on how much RAM the user has available and how many steps they specify). Designers simply click any step in the History palette to revert to that state. With this palette, designers can correct mistakes and easily recover their images. Create transparency automatically with the magic eraser tool. Adobe ImageReady software includes a new tool, called the magic eraser, which makes it a snap for designers to create transparency based on colour similarities in GIF and PNG files. Designers simply select the tool and click on a pixel. The tool automatically makes similar pixels transparent by deleting them. Incorporate any Photoshop-compatible filter, import, or export plug-in. Adobe ImageReady takes advantage of the many plug-ins that have been created for Adobe Photoshop by providing a Photoshop plug-in adapter. This adapter lets designers work with a wide range of Photoshopcompatible filter, import, and export modules. Furthermore, it can load these plug-ins from the Photoshop plug-ins folder, so users don't need to store them in two locations.

The History palette

Automation and Batch Processing

Web development can be a repetitious and labor-intensive process. The more tools designers have to automate these repetitive tasks, the more productive they will be in their work. Adobe ImageReady is designed to reduce the amount of manual effort involved in Web design and to free designers to focus on what matters most to them--their creative process. ImageReady accomplishes this goal through easy-to-use automation tools, including new Droplets technology that supports batch processing and an Actions palette that works similarly to the one in Adobe Photoshop software. Work with user-friendly batch-processing Droplets. Adobe ImageReady delivers an innovative, easy-to-use approach to batch processing images for the Web. This approach relies on Droplets, which are small routines that start ImageReady (if necessary) and initiate a batch process, such as compressing images. A designer can create Droplets with drag-and-drop ease from the Optimize or Actions palette. A designer then drags an image or folder of images onto the Droplet icon to initiate the batch process. To create a compression Droplet, for example, the designer simply selects the desired combination of compression options in the Optimize palette, and then drags the Droplet script icon onto the desktop (alternatively, the user could double-click the icon or choose an Optimize palette menu command). This action instantly saves this combination of settings in a Droplet. Anytime the designer wants to compress images using that particular combination of settings, he or she simply drags an image, group of images, or folder onto the Droplet. The rest happens automatically. In addition, designers can save Actions as Droplets and then run them as necessary. (ImageReady provides the same Actions functionality that first appeared in Photoshop 4.0 software. See the next section for details.) The designer records the Action and then saves it as a Droplet. The designer can even specify standard options for this batch process, such as how to handle duplicate file names, where to store the processed images, and how to modify file names to prevent problems on different operating systems. Droplets present the easiest imaginable approach to streamlining Web graphics production. More inexperienced users can work with the efficiency that scripting offers without a thought about learning a scripting language. And more advanced users can take advantage of this quick approach, while still retaining control over important details, such as file renaming. Droplets can even be shared cross-platform among users.


Record, save, and replay a sequence of steps to streamline production using the Actions palette. First introduced in Adobe Photoshop 4.0 software, Actions enable users to record a sequence of editing steps using simple VCR-like controls and then apply that sequence to another image or even to hundreds of images in a batch process. Adobe ImageReady incorporates this same functionality into its Web-editing toolkit, so Web designers can have the same access to efficient scripts without having to learn a scripting language. As noted in the previous section, designers can also save their Actions as Droplets that appear on the desktop or in a folder. Then, anytime they want to activate the action, the designer simply drags images on top of the Droplet. Action Droplets can automate a lot of repetitious tasks in Web graphics design, which will have a dramatic and beneficial effect on the Web production process.

The Actions palette

Seamless File Support

Adobe ImageReady opens and saves a wide variety of formats. In particular, ImageReady provides superb integration with Adobe Photoshop, the image-editing tool of choice for more than 2 million designers worldwide, and with Adobe Illustrator®, the industry standard in illustration software. The program also offers a complete cross-platform solution for designers working with Windows and Macintosh systems. Integrate seamlessly with an Adobe Photoshop workflow. Adobe ImageReady opens any Photoshop file, while preserving any layers, layer masks, adjustment layers, transparency, and clipping groups. This support allows ImageReady to fit smoothly into an Adobe Photoshop workflow. Designers can, for example, prepare Photoshop files for print and then repurpose them for the Web using the Web-focused toolset in ImageReady; or they can move files back and forth between the programs as necessary to use the specialized features in each. In addition, Photoshop preserves certain settings that are unique to ImageReady files, including compression parameters or frame data and layer IDs for animations. Work smoothly with Adobe Illustrator EPS files and with PDF files. Designers can also integrate ImageReady with an Adobe Illustrator workflow because the program can import and rasterise Encapsulated PostScript ® (EPS) files. Designers could, for example, create typographically rich designs in Illustrator and then drop them easily into ImageReady for output to the Web. ImageReady also converts Portable Document Format (PDF) files to raster images. Enjoy a complete cross-platform solution. Adobe ImageReady software works identically across platforms and can share Droplets and other files back and forth. More and more, Web designers are working in groups with a mix of operating systems, so this cross-platform support provides a smooth transfer of files and product knowledge within any group. In addition, ImageReady provides intelligent cross-platform controls for file names, gamma values, and other operating-system-specific attributes. Open and save a variety of file formats. Adobe ImageReady opens PSD, GIF, JPG, PNG, BMP, PCX, PXR, TGA, TIF, PICT, Photo CDTM, AI, EPS, and PDF files. It saves PSD, GIF, JPG, PNG, BMP, PCX, PXR, TGA, TIF, and PICT files. (PICT support on Macintosh only.)

Availability and Pricing

Adobe ImageReady 1.0 for Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, and the Power Macintosh is expected to ship in July 1998 for £155 + VAT from the Adobe Shop on 0131 458 6842. The software program is available only on CD-ROM.


System Configurations

Windows 95/Windows NT 4.0 System requirements · Intel® Pentium® processor · Microsoft Windows 95, Windows NT 4.0, or later operating system · 16 MB of RAM (Windows 95), 32 MB of RAM (Windows NT) · CD-ROM drive Recommendations · 32 MB or more of RAM · 24-bit video display adapter card Power Macintosh System requirements · PowerPC® processor · MacOS Software 7.5.5 or greater · 8 MB of application RAM · CD-ROM drive Recommendations · MacOS Software 8.0 · 16 MB or more of application RAM · 24-bit video display adapter card

Contact Information

Public Relations Susanne Sturton, Public Relations Manager T: 0181 606 4039 (for reviewers only, not for publication) E-mail: [email protected]

About Adobe Systems

Adobe Systems Incorporated, the award-winning provider of graphics and publishing solutions, gives you the power to make your ideas stand out exactly as you intend. Whether you work in a design studio, an office, or at home, Adobe's software, images, type, and printing technologies offer you a seamless workflow for creating and distributing graphically rich communications in print and electronic media.

Adobe Systems Incorporated 345 Park Avenue San Jose, CA 95110-2704 USA Adobe Systems Europe Limited Adobe House, Mid New Cultins Edinburgh EH11 4DU Scotland, United Kingdom Adobe Systems Co., Ltd. Yebisu Garden Place Tower 4-20-3 Ebisu, Shibuya-ku Tokyo 150 Japan World Wide Web

This document was created with Adobe PageMaker® software and font software from the Adobe Type Library. Adobe, the Adobe logo, Illustrator, ImageReady, PageMaker, and Photoshop are trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated. Apple, Macintosh, and Power Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. registered in the United States and other countries. Photo CD is a trademark of Eastman Kodak Company. PowerPC is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. Microsoft, Windows, and Windows NT are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. © 1998 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Printed in the USA. 2/98


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