When you are ready to purchase the most recent release of your graphic design or desktop publishing application to get the latest and greatest tools, make sure you know what you're paying for. We've taken a look at some of the most popular titles and provided a list of reviews from around the Web. Before you head off to the computer store, find out if the upgrade is worth the price or whether you might want to wait until the next version.
Adobe Acrobat 6 (designer-info.com)
A major overhaul of the creation and review of PDF files and new high-end design capabilities add to Acrobat's existing strengths.
Adobe Illustrator CS4 (reviews.cnet.com)
Illustrator can now handle multipage projects. That critical feature, which has been Illustrator's weak spot for generations, finally provides a reason for users of older versions to update to Illustrator CS4. True, there are some other very nice capabilities introduced in the latest iteration as well, but the simple ability to create the front and the back of a document in a single file should thrill legions of designers who've repeatedly thought about switching to CorelDraw in disgust.
Adobe InDesign 2.0 (cnet.com)
InDesign's multipurpose output and fabulous typography tools finally push it through Quark's glass ceiling.
Adobe Photoshop CS4 (Extended)(reviews.cnet.com)
If you work with 3D, Photoshop Extended is a must-have upgrade; ditto if you think you'd use more of Standard's tools if the interface were less opaque, if you need to upgrade other suite applications, or if you qualify for an academic discount. All things considered, while Adobe Photoshop CS4 makes some improvements over CS3, it might be worth skipping this generation and waiting for the next.
Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0 (macworld.com)
Those who have Photoshop experience may just conclude that Elements 2.0 has all the digital-imaging power they need, at a much more affordable price.
CorelDraw Graphics Suite 11.0 (cnet.com)
CorelDraw Graphics Suite 11.0 has applications for professional-level illustration, image editing, and Web graphics.
Macromedia Freehand 11 MX(adobe.com)
Create illustration and layout for print and web
No updates to FreeHand have been made for over four years, and Adobe has no plans to initiate development to add new features or to support Intel-based Macs and Windows Vista.
Microsoft Office 11.0 (cnet.com)
Microsoft has enhanced some of Office 2003's applications... but most Office enhancements benefit large-scale setups.
Microsoft Office X for Mac (cnet.com)
If you've been waiting for a good reason to purchase Mac OS X, Office X is it.
Microsoft Publisher 2003 (designer-info.com)
New designs, projects and output options boost Publisher's office-based publishing.
QuarkXPress 5.0 (zdnet.com)
If you've used a previous version of Quark, you'll absolutely want this upgrade.