Announcing the Photoshop CS3 Beta

"Be bold, and mighty forces will come to your aid." – Goethe

I could not be more delighted to announce that Adobe is making the beta release of Photoshop CS3 available for download via Adobe Labs.  (In fact, I’ve been bouncing off the walls since 4am, waiting to share the news.)  This has been a major effort for a lot of folks at Adobe, but we felt passionately that it’s the right thing to do for our customers.  By the time this is posted, details should be available in the Adobe press room, along with the official FAQ.

In a nutshell, the beta of Photoshop CS3 will be posted on Labs & made available for download in the next 24 hours.  It’s for Mac and Windows, and it runs (er, screams) natively on the latest Intel hardware. I’ll be posting plenty of details & videos over the days and weeks ahead.

As luck would have it, I’m meeting with the press in LA today and won’t be online until this evening.  In the meantime, I expect tons of good info to be available from, PhotoshopNews,, Macworld, and many other outlets. (I’ll update links as they appear.)

Anyway, I hope you’re even half as excited as we are.  This is a big day for Adobe & a big first in the way we handle our flagship applications, but extraordinary times called for extraordinary measures.

[Update: If you’re having serial number-related problems, please read this post.]

0 thoughts on “Announcing the Photoshop CS3 Beta

  1. I was a pansy at MAX, and slept through a lot of keynote stuff. Therefore, I have no clue what stuff is in there for Flash / Flex, if anything.
    Can’t find keywords in the press release; any info you can point us too?
    [Offhand, you can put SWF interfaces onto Photoshop scripts, and you can export high-res imagery via Zoomify. –J.]

  2. Yeo!
    I love companies that are open with their users _(via blogs like this) and through beta programs… especially when it’s for a big hitter such as photoshop.
    Yet another reason why Adobe will be getting my money for CS3 as soon as it is available.

  3. Maybe this is not the right place or the right blog to ask, but I’m curious about how will the next generation of Adobe software be branded. If it’s indeed CS3, will we get Flash 9 as “Adobe Flash CS3”? Will Flash be included on the CS package?

  4. John:
    Will there be an updated SDK (that works with xcode) available?
    [Yep, we’re working on posting that as we speak. It’s essential that we help developers update their plug-ins ASAP. –J.]

  5. I have a problem. I downloaded it, but it won’t accept my CS2 key.
    How can I fix this?
    [I’m not sure what you downloaded, but CS3 isn’t yet available on Labs. I’ll let you know when it is. –J.]

  6. I would like to know if CS3 will run on Windows Vista with 64-bit processing? Furthermore, will CS3 be able to access more RAM? I would like to see the limit removed. Are there any specs available yet?
    [Nothing has changed in this department. –J.]

  7. Please tell me the splash screen and toolbox graphics are temporary. Please.
    [They are not. This is the new branding system devised by the former MM guys. When taken together I think the apps look good, with the whole periodic table thing happening. –J.]

  8. Same here, it won’t accept my CS2 key. fyi., mine is a volume license key.
    [What site are you guys talking about? As of 7am PST on Friday, the Labs page isn’t yet live. If there’s another with which people are getting confused, I’d like to know & set the story straight. –J.]

  9. Great job on CS3.
    Is CS2’s Web Gallery history?
    [Almost certainly. We’d like to replace it with something better. –J.]
    PS…I like the periodic table “look”

  10. John and Adobe: many thanks for this outstanding act of graciousness to the Macintel community. God bless us, every one.

  11. >>[Nothing has changed in this department. –J.]
    Well…quite honestly, this sucks! I work on extremely large images and more RAM is a necessity. I have the RAM maxed out in my computer and yet my images exceed this amount. What am I to do?

  12. A *beta* that’s only good for two days usage? Yippie skippie.
    [Please try reading the actual announcement. This is a service to CS2 customers. –J.]
    Microsoft didn’t require users of the Windows Vista beta to be registered users of Windows XP. What Gives?
    I’ve often wondered how Adobe justifies the obscene $600.00 price for Photoshop.
    Most of the people I know who use it aren’t “creative professionals” and can’t afford that price, yet they still get the software.
    I guess the $600.00 covers the cost of the 8 out of 10 copies out there that are cracked or pirated.
    Been on any P2P networks lately?
    Me, I’ll just stay honest and use the GIMP and Paint Shop Pro.

  13. Why can’t PS CS users try this out? You’re cutting out a lot of users.
    [There are benefits to keeping current. –J.]
    When CS3 ships will you be able to upgrade from CS or will Adobe be like the Evil Quark and require you to have each incremntal upgrade
    [When have we ever required that? Adobe is as generous with our upgrade policy as any company I’ve ever encountered. You can upgrade PS1 to PSCS2. So, there’s no admonishment necessary, thanks. –J.]

  14. (obviously, the points below refer to the mac version ๐Ÿ™‚
    1) The installer refuses to run while other apps are active, it even recognizes what apps are running. While I think that this is a bit on the archaic side, it’s not a biggie. What I do find weird however is that it doesn’t recognize the fact that I’ve quit the app(s) in question and forces me to quit/restart the installer.
    [The installer has been a big challenge this cycle as we’ve worked to unite the technology used by Adobe & former Macromedia apps. There remains work to be done, though I don’t know for certain whether this is part of it. –J.]
    2) Using “Save for Web” to export PNGs still embeds the gamma value in the exported file. Thanks to Firefox being the only browser to actually use this gamma value to render graphics, files created on a Mac will appear too light. I realize Photoshop behaves in accordance with the PNG specs here but an option to turn off embedding gamma values would have been nice. (This is actually my single largest pet peeve with Photoshop since it forces me to use a second app (GraphicConverter) to re-save all my PNGs I plan on using in web projects – a real PITA.)
    [I’ll investigate. –J.]
    3) When saving a file via “Save for Web” to any location (e.g., the Desktop), dragging it to the trash in the Finder and then going back to Photoshop to save another file for web use, it still offers “.trash” as the default save location in the dialog box – that’s not acceptable application behavior.
    4) “Hide Photoshop” and “Preferences” still use non-standard keyboard shortcuts. Again, no biggie since they can be customized quite easily but it can’t be that difficult to stick with the most basic of OS conventions, no?
    [Photoshop and the other Adobe apps had stanardized on conventions years before Apple, er, appropriated them for the Mac OS. So, which convention should we break? You can use Cmd-Ctrl-H (and M) to hide and minimize on the Mac, or you can change the shortcuts yourself. –J.]
    5) Zooming out files to 33.3% / 66.7% still looks terrible, I had hoped this would be fixed.
    6) I like the single column tool box palette and the collapsible palettes – very nice when working on a laptop while on the road.
    Overall, and while I’m not blown away, I do like the performance of the Intel-native version on my Macbook Pro (2GHz, 2GB), nice job ๐Ÿ™‚
    And a quick note re: Scott’s comment upthread from 10:16am … if you neither like, own or use Photoshop, why take the time out of your busy day to comment here?

  15. Frank – re: “Using “Save for Web” to export PNGs still embeds the gamma value in the exported file.”
    We have fixed this in Save for Web for CS3.
    The problem you’re seeing is a new, different bug in Save For Web in CS3 that we’re aware of. Save for Web in CS3 now auto-converts to sRGB, but it’s currently doing it wrong.
    The workaround is to convert to profile to sRGB in PS rather than in Save For Web. Then you will see that we do indeed not put the gamma value info in the file.
    [Thanks for jumping in with info, Jeff. –J.]

  16. Any idea how far behind the creative suite CS3 will be? I have CS Premium CS1.3, and was about to take the plunge to upgrade to CS2.3, for $530. If Suite CS3 is just a few months off — and because of the bundle I can’t upgrade just Photoshop — perhaps I should hold off…
    [The apps are due next Spring. –J.]

  17. In bridge, the loupe tool skews images when upside down. Meaning when you bring the loupe down to end of the preview window and it turns around the image gets a little distorted.
    Love the blog and the new stuff!
    Adobe Rocks!
    [Thanks for the feedback, and for the kind words. I know the Bridge guys are working on loupe issues and have likely already fixed what you’re seeing, but I’ll forward this to them. –J.]

  18. To anyone who intends to install the beta of Photoshop CS3 concurrently with their legitimate version of CS2:
    Unless you are planning not to go back to your CS2 after 30 days (when the beta expires) think twice about installing the trial! I have just uninstalled the beta (I wasn’t wowed by it, and I didn’t like the sureptituous way it installed certain services – e.g. Bonjour – on my machine) and now I find that all my file associations have been screwed up (and the “restore default associations” button doesn’t work anymore) and, even worse, the link between Adobe Bridge and CS2 has been totally fowled! I am unable to launch Bridge from Photoshop, or Photoshop from Bridge. Before I find any more nasty surprises, I’m in the process of completely uninstalling CS2 and Bridge 1.0, before reloading the lot. What a waste of an evening!
    This is well below the usually excellent level of service I have come to expect from Adobe.
    You have been warned!

  19. I noticed that in CS3 Beta, you can not extend the current picture window outside the main CS3 overall window. You can do this in CS2 and I like that ability.

  20. Am I the only person who thinks smart filters haven’t been very well thought out?
    [They’ve been meticulously thought out, actually, and solutions that seem more intuitive up front (e.g. filters as adjustment layers) don’t work well, for non-obvious reasons. I plan to post a thorough write-up on this soon. I hope that when you see more of the big picture emerging, this functionality will make more sense. –J.]

  21. What is replacement for CS2 Web Gallery, when will it be available, and will it be integrated w/Bridge?
    [Yes, there will be a replacement & it’ll be in Bridge. I don’t have an ETA for it. –J.]

  22. I hope the new web gallery has way more flexibility in terms of the template or even more sources for templates.
    [Check out what’s in Lightroom for a preview. –J.]

  23. I’m really outraged by your clandestine installation of Bonjour Services, and by the way CS3 alters previously established file associations.
    Further, my firewall (Zone Alarm) tells me that Bonjour is attempting to access the **Internet**, not just the local network. Until I went into XP and disabled the “Service,” I was interrupted by a firewall alert during almost every boot and almost every time I opened CS3.
    [I’m gathering info from the Version Cue team about Bonjour and hope to be able to post it soon.
    As for file associations, please be more specific. Photoshop has always, by default, associated itself with PSD and other formats. –J.]

  24. Just installed PS CS3 Beta. It will not save any file processed, as .psd or .jpg, with or w/o renaming, in any directory. Message: “—because file is already in use or left open.” I hope I can go back to CS2 until fixed.
    [I’ll pass that along to QE, but it would be nice to know more system details, thanks. –J.]
    Oh, and thanks for Bonjour and friends. Not
    [What a nice way to put it. –J.]

  25. Nice work on bringing out PS-CS3 in beta (havenโ€™t actually installed it yet). I love the Lightroom Beta and I will be buying it this spring.
    That said, my comment is actually on all the flaming comments from other posters. Do you not understand what a Beta is? If you see a bug post it. If it screws up your preferences I guess you get what you paid for. If it didnโ€™t have bugs they would be charging for it.
    As for CS3 can you please adopt the macromedia installer and not the installer that you used on CS2. Once installed it worked great, but I had to do it 4 times. It took hours. Other than that, itโ€™s great.

  26. (Working on a Dual PPC Desktop Mac)
    Even on a PPC, CS3 seems to launch and quit faster. And the palettes… WOW! Palettes integration is a total beauty.
    To answer someone above, yes, Photoshop is an expensive piece of software. But this is PRO software, a complex, easy to use app, much better than anything else on the market.
    And in CS3, some new tools will justify the upgrade price (how much?). The quick selection tool… mamma mia. Idem for the Smart filters. I won’t go back to CS2.
    [Cool–glad you’re liking it overall. –J.]
    A few points though, guys:
    1. Give us Command-H by default on Macs. Come on, guys, this is not a battle to be won by Apple or Adobe, it’s a matter of being user-friendly for Mac users on their own tools.
    [It’s not a chest-thumping contest between Apple & Adobe (despite the Cmd-H shortcut having been used for at least a decade before OS X appropriated it). Rather, it’s a tradeoff: do we break a long-standing (and cross-app) convention, and if so do we do the same on Windows (and if not, do we just live with the new inconsistency); or do we stick with what we’ve had & let people change it if they’d like? We’ve opted for the latter, and by default we also support Ctrl-Cmd-H for hiding the app. I dunno; there’s no clearly right answer here, in my opinion. –J.]
    2. Allow to export EXIF data and such in text only. I now use EXIF Viewer to do that.
    [Bridge scripting can enable that now. We need to do a better job of shipping & publicizing script-based tools that can do this kind of useful operation. –J.]
    3. I reinstalled Web Gallery in CS3. For those who miss it, it works, as a temporary substitute.
    [It’ll be back, in its long-standing form, for CS3. And we’ll keep working to build something newer and more flexible. –J.]
    Beautiful job on the whole. ๐Ÿ™‚ –RogerG
    [Thanks again. ๐Ÿ™‚ –J.]

  27. PeterW – just did a google search, and heres what I found. I have yet to try it myself, but I’m about to give it a go – seems like it should work.
    “#n/a: Mac/Win: The Adobe Media Gallery (available in the File > Automate menu) is non-operational
    1) Move the CS2 Presets from Adobe Photoshop CS2 > Presets > Web Photo Gallery to Adobe Photoshop CS3 > Presets
    2) Move the WebContactSheetII.plugin from Adobe Photoshop CS2 > Plug- Ins > Adobe Photoshop Only > Automate to Adobe Photoshop CS3 > Plug- Ins > Automate
    3) (Intel-based Macs) Select the Photoshop CS3 app and do Get Info on it and select โ€œOpen using Rosettaโ€
    4) Launch Photoshop and choose Web Photo Gallery from the File > Automate menu”

  28. Hello,
    I downloaded the CS3 file and the application does not appear. All other elements, i.e., Bridge do, but not Photoshop CS3 itself. I can’t find it for the life of me!
    I am on a Mac 10.4 (higher) on G5.
    I would try idea #3 under Workaround, but there isn’t a Photoshop CS3 app.
    Thank you.
    [I’m afraid I really can’t answer these tech support questions. I keep posting the link to the Labs forum in hopes that people will go there. –J.]

  29. I haven’t yet fully replicated it but it’s looking like install of ps3 beta *before* installing any CS2 apps breaks the CS2 installer(s). They crash out with segfaults (in the install.log) when attempting to do various preflight and postflight bits during install of adobe shared/common components. I suspect some CS3 bits which the CS2 installer can’t cope with/mistakes for its own but the structures are different.
    [ on intel 17″ imac, attempting to install inDesign CS2 specifically ].
    Had no problems with PS3 *after* CS2 already in .
    [I haven’t heard reports like this before, but I’ll let QE know. Thanks for the heads-up. –J.]

  30. I like the new version, but I am wondering if anyone else is having this problem…when I use “save for web and devices”, the image is displayed as mostly transparent and looks like a “blueprint”. This never happened in CS2, and I can’t find a setting to show the full color version in the preview area. This happens on both the “original” and “optimized” tab. Any suggestions? Thanks!
    [I’ll investigate & try to provide more info. It could be that this is a known problem with “S4W” in the beta. –J.]

  31. Hey I just shelled out some major $$ for the web bundle Mac version this week! I get my software today and install it only to find that version cue does not work on Macs with intel based processors (the update failure note clued me in). I found a note on a blog that said that CS3 will clear this all up and so I’m thinking “Why wasn’t there some disclaimer, faq, or heads-up from my friendly neighborhood adobe salesperson?”
    Big J, am I going to end up paying more for the upgrade than I would have paid for the whole CS3 shooting match (the features of which reportedly ALL work with my processor) in a few weeks?? Because if the salesperson would have advised me I’d have waited. I know, I know… Caveat Emptor!

  32. obviously a Beta bug but I simply restarted CS3 and problem gone.
    I like CS3 so far. File sizes seem big but maybe that will be fixed.

  33. Hi Maybe you can help me.
    Both my photoshop and illustrator programs are playing uo at the moment and I can’t seem to be able to save anything. Everything I savea file it is incredibly small, like 200kb instead of the usual 2-5Mb. No one else I send files to can open them. It’s like only a shell of the file is being saved.
    I haven’t changed anything in either of the programs and can’t understand what has happend or how to change it back.
    Grateful for any help
    [I’m afraid I don’t have any ideas/suggestions. I recommend calling tech support and/or going to the Photoshop forum on –J.]

  34. I noticed that in CS3 Beta, you can not extend the current picture window outside the main CS3 overall window. You can do this in CS2 and I like that ability.

  35. havenโ€™t seen any comments yet on whether Adobe is going to offer a reasonable upgrade path from CS2 to CS3.
    I have a student license since Iโ€™m in school right now, but am going to purchase full CS2 for the new Mac Iโ€™m getting so there will be no question of using a student license and doing commercial work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *