Adobe Creative Cloud 2015 – What Web Designers Will Like

Adobe has announced a bunch of updates to the Adobe Creative Cloud. The biggest changes are that they are releasing updates to 15 apps within the Creative Cloud as well as including a new service: Adobe Stock.

If you had Creative Cloud last year, you may remember the day when your hard drive space was sucked up by an entire new copy of all your Adobe applications. If you had a gigantic hard drive, you may not have noticed, but if your laptop is like mine, the 40GB you had free was suddenly not nearly enough. Yes, I appreciated the ability to check things in the old version of Photoshop CC and Dreamweaver CC, but when I couldn’t save any files because my hard drive was full, the duplicate copies of the apps got annoying. This year, Adobe has learned from that mistake and is making the way you install the new version an option. In other words, if you want the old version side-by-side with the new, you can do that. But if you just want your current version to update to the latest version, you can do that instead. Thanks for listening Adobe!

Adobe Enters the Stock Photo Business

Adobe StockThe big news of interest to web designers is that Adobe is now entering the stock photo business. Last year they purchased Folia, and now they are integrating that service into the Creative Cloud in the form of Adobe Stock. With this service, Adobe customers will be able to purchase stock photos and illustrations right from within the Creative Cloud products. Plus, as a Creative Cloud member, you will get access to reduced prices on the images.

If you are a photographer or illustrator you will be pleased to learn that Adobe will also be paying for stock photos and illustrations. They plan to offer competitive royalties for creatives that add to the Adobe Stock library. This is great news for designers who also sell photographs or illustrations.

Android Apps Finally Available

If you use an Android device you will finally be able to use Brush, Shape, and Color on your devices. This has been a long wait, but these apps as well as the new app, Hue, are available on the Android store.

Changes to Dreamweaver

Dreamweaver CC (2015) adds some new features. Nothing really groundbreaking, but will make some web development tasks a bit easier. Some of the new features include:

  • Integration with Adobe Stock
    You can now find the perfect images for the websites you are building from right within Dreamweaver. Adobe Stock is new with this release, but there are already over 40 million images to choose from. Single images are not cheap, but if you’re already a Creative Cloud member, you can get 10 images a month for around $3 an image (10 per month for $29.99). Plus, if you use less than your 10 in a month, they roll over up to 120 images.
  • Preview on Any Device
    As long as your devices are all on the same WiFi network, you can use either a QR code or type in a URL on your devices to view your Dreamweaver pages on them. You can also inpect the elements on the devices and preview on multiple devices at once. When you make changes in Dreamweaver, they are instantly updated on the devices.
  • Bootstrap Starter Templates
    You can now create responsive websites with Bootstrap components using built in Bootstrap starter templates.
  • Batch Extract from PSDs
    Batch Extract
    With the Extract feature, you could extract images from a Photoshop file. But now you can extract multiple images at once using the batch extract feature. This will make getting production-ready images that much faster.
  • Code editor tab completion even more robust
    Code Editor Improvements
    Now you can use shortcuts to create common, complex blocks of code. Things like nav>ul>li.link{Link $}*5 turns into a 5-element unordered list each with a class of “link” e.g.
  • Shortcuts in CSS too
    I used to use TextExpander for all my CSS and HTML shortcuts, but now Dreamweaver has a bunch built in. This will make it that much faster to write HTML and CSS in the code editor. They use Emmet for code completion and there are lots of shortcuts you can learn.
  • Link checks your code for you
    As you type your HTML and CSS, Lint inside Dreamweaver CC (2015) checks your code and validates that it is correct. It will highlight incorrect lines in red, and if you click on them you will get more information about what the problem is so you can fix it.

There are lots of other small features added to Dreamweaver, but those are the highlights.

Changes to Muse

Adobe Muse has also been updated in the 2015 release. Like Dreamweaver, you can now get stock photos from Adobe Stock right inside Muse CC (2015). You can also get Adobe Typekit fonts right from within Muse.

The widgets panel now includes shopping carts and RSS blog feeds. You can even style the feeds you pull in. There are lots of widgets both free and paid that you can use to improve your site.
Add a Blog
I am happy to say that you can finally add radio buttons and checkboxes to contact forms in Muse. This makes it easier to get more accurate information from your form submissions.
Muse Contact Form Updates

CC 2015 Release is Pretty Exciting

CreativeSync is a very useful tool to keep your files and images up-to-date across all your computers and devices. I have already created documents on my laptop and then finished them on my desktop as well as worked with images on my iPad that I finished on my laptop or desktop. It’s a very convenient feature.

There are updates to the following apps in Creative Cloud (2015):

  • AfterEffects
  • Audition
  • Dreamweaver
  • Edge Animate
  • Flash
  • Illustrator
  • InCopy
  • InDesign
  • Lightroom
  • Media Encoder
  • Muse
  • Photoshop
  • Prelude
  • Premiere Pro
  • SpeedGrade

Updates from Adobe – a Fun New Adobe App

Adobe released a number of new apps and features today at the MAX convention. There are some new features in Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, and Premiere Pro CC. But the ones I found most interesting were the changes to Muse CC, Dreamweaver CC, and the new free Apps for iOS.

Muse CC

Muse finally has secure FTP support which I find very important. In fact some of the servers I work on don’t allow any connection other than secure FTP – which meant until now I couldn’t use Muse for them.
It also now has Find and Replace. This is a critical feature for web editors as when you’re working on a large site it can be difficult to know you’ve found all the instances you need to change if you have to do it by hand. For one site I worked on, we had to provide discounts to customers because one page listed the price from the previous year, and we didn’t catch it when we updated the site with the new price.
Another great new feature of Muse CC is the SVG import. Now you can create your images as vector graphics and import them directly into your web page. This is great for doing prototyping in Illustrator and then moving directly to the website. SVG images give you so many options beyond the standard web images.

Dreamweaver CC

Dreamweaver CC doesn’t have a lot of updates this time, but there are a few that are interesting. It has 64-bit support, plus they updated Live View. You can now edit while in Live View – which is a huge improvement. I hardly ever leave Live View now. I love that you can drag and drop images into Live View—so much easier to do! There are also a bunch of new starter templates you can use to create different kinds of pages including Responsive Web Designs.

Mobile Apps

But beyond Dreamweaver and Muse, Adobe now offers a bunch of mobile apps that all connect with your Creative Cloud account to allow you access to your creations from any device. There are three new apps in this release:

  • Adobe Premiere Clip
  • Brush CC
  • Shape CC

The one I’m most interested in is Brush CC.

Brush CC

Brush is a new app that will help you create your own custom brushes right on your iPad or iPhone. You start by creating a line or shape or whatever you want as a brush. Then you can modify it so that it displays exactly as you want it to. You can adjust things like:

  • display as a ribbon, or just a scattering of marks
  • color or black and white
  • have it repeat linearly, mirrored, or stretch to fit the space
  • crop it to make it a seamless brush or your own dotted line
  • add transparency
  • have the ends fade in and out or taper

My first simple brushThere are endless ways to create your brushes.

Then, once you’ve created your brush, you can save it to your Creative Cloud library and use it in Photoshop CC and other connected applications. I can see myself spending a lot of time in this app.

Download Brush CC from iTunes

Shape CC

my brushes and shapesThis is another new app that looks like it could be a lot of fun. However in my first attempt at using it, I found it fairly difficult. There is no image stabilization, so I found it difficult to focus on just the item I wanted. It also took me a while to figure out how to edit my shapes, and when the vectors were too connected, it was difficult to get just the lines I wanted and none that I didn’t. However, I then imported my shape into Illustrator without an issue.

There are no pre-defined shapes in Shape CC but it is reasonably easy to use other than the above concerns, I created two new shapes very quickly.

Download Shape CC from iTunes

Sorry for the delay — I didn’t forget the giveaway

Life just got the better of me for a while there. I’m happy to say that I’m nearly caught up. Now that school has started I might have a little more time. 🙂 But you don’t care about that, you want to know who won!

Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 on Demand by Perspection Inc. and Steve Johnson
Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 on Demand by Perspection Inc. and Steve Johnson

The following people won a copy of the book Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 on Demand:

  • Leigh C-M
  • Janet
  • Sunday ayodele
  • Lisa Vincent
  • Karen

and…

Adobe Muse on Demand by Ted LoCascio
Adobe Muse on Demand by Ted LoCascio

The following people won a copy of the book Adobe Muse on Demand:

  • Aggrey
  • Yussuf Olawale Afeez
  • Sudheer Marath
  • Kenny SILVA
  • Deb Tilton

I’ll be contacting you directly to get your mailing address and get it off to my editor. If you don’t hear from me within 10 hours, please contact me directly.

Tools to Write HTML5 and Another Giveaway

I’ve been building web pages since 1995 or 1996, and as such I am very comfortable inside the HTML. And when I started building pages, at first there were no editors dedicated to writing HTML, and then when they came along, they were text editors. Writing web pages visually, like in a word processor, was unheard of.

When visual web editors came on the market, they produced HTML that was a tangled mess of tags and characters, and they were very difficult to decipher. Plus, they would often not work as well outside the editor (i.e. inside a customer’s web browser) as they did in. So, I, like most designers of that time, quickly learned to distrust WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editors.

But, if you do the math, that was over 15 years ago. And the market is starting to catch up. In fact, Adobe has two products that create great HTML5 web pages without any or with very little interaction with the HTML code: Adobe Muse and Adobe Dreamweaver. I have tried out both of these products, and while they are definitely aimed at different markets, they are both great.

These two books will help you get started with these tools:

Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 On Demand and Adobe Muse On Demand

Before you decide if these books are useful to you, you should check out a free chapter:

Another Giveaway!

If you are interested in either of these books, post a comment detailing which book you are interested in and why. I have 5 copies of each book to give away. I will close comments on August 27th and pick the winners on the 28th. If you want a second chance to win, you can subscribe to this blog (in the sidebar). All subscriptions that added before the 27th will be given a second entry in the giveaway. And the benefit of subscribing is that you also get my posts about HTML5 directly in your email as soon as they go live. You can’t lose!