It is a shame that the only other reviewer of this book panned it because it was very similar to the previous version. Unfortunately, this is a very, very common method of constructing a book that has been written for previous versions of the same program. The amount of material that is new to a version is far outweighed by the amount of material that remains the same. That is why Ben Willmores Photoshop CS2 Up To Speed which contains only material that is new to CS2 is a very, very small book. If you go to his series, Photoshop X (pick the version) Studio Techniques, the books look like carbon copies of each other. Anyway, I would like to review this book as someone new to this series of Photoshop: Essential Skills. I Love it and I have a huge Photoshop library to compare this book to. The layout is very well thought out, the book is methodical. It is beautifully illustrated and covers everything you need to really get your teeth into CS2 and Photoshop in general. It is a very comfortable read and I find myself going back to this book all the time. The examples are very good and every image is included on the enclosed CD so the reader can work through the examples. Also on the CD are 4 hours of QuickTime video tutorials, camera raw files, free extra chapters and a lot of goodies (free layer styles, shapes, gradients, etc.) I think the CD by itself justifies the price of this book and as Photoshop books go this is not an expensive one. I feel that any buyer of this book gets a lot for their dollar. I would just advise the unhappy first reviewer that this is a common phenomenon in the Photoshop field- to recycle material from book to book so he may want to skip a few versions and not buy the same series back to back. Give it a few cycles to really change. As someone who has owned an awful lot of Photoshop books, before I purchase the "new version" of a book, I first browse through it to see just how much repitition there is. Recently, one book was such a carbon copy of the previous version that I had to struggle to find new sections or even new images. You could place the two versions side by side and they were identical. It turned into a challenge to find the difference. Anyone, as I said, I am new to this series and I find this book to be very worthful and a great investment but like all other Photoshop series, I won't automatically buy the next version without browsing it first. That's just good practice in Photoshop books that are series. Even Martin Evenings's new Photoshop book for his series is almost a ditto copy of the previous version. The covers are so similar that the bookstore and I both got them confused. I mean they didn't even go to the trouble to really change the cover much at all, so in general, beware but for first timers of this series- Photoshop:Essential Skills by Mark Galer, buy this book-it's a good one and the reviewer must have really liked the previous one to blindly buy this new version. That says something about the quality of the material, doesn't it?
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