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Master Photoshop CS4's new design tools

Sam Hampton-Smith brings you up to speed with all the latest innovations in Adobe's design software.

Photoshop CS4 is here, and it's laden with new functionality that will increase your productivity and make common tasks easier. There are a few entirely new functions thrown in, as well as a refined interface, GPU acceleration and even support for online screen sharing via Adobe's Connect Now technology.

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CS4 is an evolutionary upgrade from CS3 rather than a revolution, but the sum of all the improvements and enhancements makes it a worthwhile purchase. Top of the must-have list, surprisingly, is the new GPU acceleration. While it might not sound like something that will make any difference to the program, it entirely alters the way you interact with Photoshop. Zooming and panning are now a joy, rendering is much faster, and you can even rotate your view of the canvas seamlessly without having to wait for Photoshop to re-draw the image.

In this project, we're going to very briefly touch on each of the major changes found within the new version of Photoshop; you'll get just enough of a taster to whet your appetite - and pick up some tricks along the way.

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