1. Technology

Choosing Between Adobe Creative Suite Editions

How to Find the Best Creative Suite Edition for Your Needs


Adobe Creative Suite is a great tool for Web designers and Web developers. It offers extremely high-quality Web development and graphics tools. But how do you decide which edition you need? I was tempted by the Master Collection, just so I didn't have to decide, but it's really expensive. On the other hand, price isn't the only reason to choose your edition. This list shows you the best editions for Web designers and Web developers and how to choose between them. What is in the different Creative Suite editions?

Updated April 12, 2010, for CS5.

1. Adobe Creative Suite Web Premium

Adobe Creative Suite 5 Web Premium
Image courtesy Adobe
Creative Suite 5 Web Premium is the best suite for Web designers who do it all on the Web - such as 1-person freelance shops. It offers a great combination of graphics programs (Photoshop® CS5 extended, Fireworks® CS5, and Illustrator® CS5), Web programs (Dreamweaver® CS5), multimedia applications (Flash® Pro CS5, Flash® Catalyst�™ CS5, and Flash® Builder�™ 4) and additional support programs (Acrobat® 9 Pro, Business Catalyst, and Device Central CS5). This is the suite that I prefer of the Creative Suite editions as it provides me with all the tools I need without a lot of extra features.
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2. Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium

Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium
Image courtesy Adobe
If you are a graphic artist and then a Web designer you should consider Creative Suite Design Premium CS5. Unlike Design Standard which doesn't include Dreamweaver, Design Premium gives you InDesign® CS5, Photoshop® CS5 Extended, Illustrator® CS5, Flash® Pro CS5, Flash® Catalyst�™ CS5, Dreamweaver® CS5, Fireworks® CS5, and Acrobat® 9 Pro. Because it includes Dreamweaver it includes all the power you need to build Web pages. But Web designers who focus more on multimedia (graphics and sound) and less on the purely HTML aspects of the job will appreciate this suite for the extra graphic features included in it.
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3. Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection

Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection
Image courtesy Adobe
Creative Suite 5 Master Collection is the ultimate in creativity suites, and the price reflects that. It includes all of the Adobe design products including Dreamweaver® CS5, Photoshop® CS5 extended, Fireworks® CS5, Illustrator® CS5, Flash® Pro CS5, Flash® Catalyst�™ CS5, Flash® Builder�™ 4, InDesign® CS5, Acrobat® 9 Pro, Contribute® CS5. Plus all the production products like After Effects®, Premiere®, Soundbooth®, Encore®, and OnLocation®. If you plan to do video editing along with your Web design, you might want to look at this suite to get them all bundled together. But it might be less expensive to buy only the exact products you need. The Master Collection has everything you need to build a full-featured website.
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4. Other Adobe Creative Suite Collections

Adobe Creative Suite 5 also comes in a Production Premium edition. This edition include products like AfterEffects CS5, Soundbooth CS5, and Premiere Pro CS5, as well as graphics programs (like Photoshop extended and Illustrator). They don't come with Dreamweaver, so I don't believe they make good Web design tools. If you need to do video or sound editing for your Web sites, you might want to look at purchasing the products you need separately, or looking again at the Master Collection.
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Which Version of Creative Suite Do You Use?

Do you own a version of Creative Suite? Which one did you get, and why? If you don't own a version of Creative Suite, which one would you want to use?

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