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If you're on the fence about upgrading...here's your answer. CREATIVE SUITE 6 DIGITAL CLASSROOM: A Critical Review.
on August 3, 2012
We own a boutique graphic art and publishing studio. A little more than 6 years ago, we upgraded our system and went to a total Apple platform and we invested in Adobe CS3. We also invested several hundred dollars in printed 3rd party publications from reference books, step-by-step technique and classroom-in-a-book. We made the decision to upgrade from CS3 to CS6, in part, because there wasn't enough advancement in the subsequent Adobe releases to justify the cost. It was not until, strangely enough, CS5.5 and the vast improvement with Adobe InDesign and the streamlined ebook and e-zine integration. At this point, we just decided that waiting for CS6 would be prudent for our needs and our budget.
One of the books we bought was the Dummies All In One Reference by Jennifer Smith, the same author of this new Digital Classroom for CS6. But, of all of the different kinds of books we bought, without question, the MOST useful was the classroom-in-a-book.
DC-CS6 combines all of the strengths of the different kinds of instructions books.
DC-CS6 is a massive 800-page softcover book, divided by colored tabs. Like all of the better books, each chapter has bullet points at the start of each page is fully illustrated and, in most cases, multiple screenshot accompany very clear and precise instructions.
Each chapter is separated by subject and makes it easy to thumb through. Classroom lessons aka, "Follow along" are on the accompanying DVD that's in the back of the book. (We've, traditionally, replaced the original DVD once we've copied the contents because if the disc gets damaged the lessons begin to lose some appeal.)
Starting Up: pp's 1-10
[Adobe] Bridge Lesson 1: pp's11-40
Photoshop Lesson 1: pp's 41-62
Photoshop Lesson 2: pp's 63-90
Photoshop Lesson 3: pp's 91-110
Photoshop Lesson 4: pp's 11-146
Photoshop Lesson 5: pp's 147-186
Photoshop Lesson 6: pp's 187-220
Dreamweaver Lesson 1: pp's 221-250
Dreamweaver Lesson 2: pp's 251-274
Dreamweaver Lesson 3: pp's 275-304
Dreamweaver Lesson 4: pp's 305-338
Dreamweaver Lesson 5: pp's 339-370
Flash Lesson 1: pp's 371-406
Flash Lesson 2: pp's 407-454
Flash Lesson 3: pp's 455-492
Flash Lesson 4: pp's 493-518
Fireworks Lesson 1: pp's 519-556
Illustrator Lesson 1: pp's 557-586
Illustrator Lesson 2: pp's 587-609
Illustrator Lesson 3: pp's 611-640
InDesign Lesson 1: pp's 641-678
InDesign Lesson 2: pp's 679-708
InDesign Lesson 3: pp's 709-768
InDesign Lesson 4: pp's 769-792
InDesign Lesson 5: pp's 793-832
All in all, I'd recommend this book for beginners through intermediate Adobe Suite professionals. You'll definitely NEED this book if you have new graphic designers who have never used all of the app's together in a suite. And, those of us who have previous versions, in particular, would greatly benefit from the improvements that Adobe has finally made to upgrade from the earlier versions of the CS suite.
DC-CS6--- 5 stars all the way.