Guidance on migrating from ImageReady

ImageReady is dead; long live ImageReady.

The Web optimization companion to Photoshop has reached the end of its road with the arrival of CS3.  ImageReady 1.0 introduced great new capabilities in 1998 (cutting literally hours per project from the Photoshop->DeBabelizer->GIFBuilder process my shop had been using)–something for which I’ll always be grateful.  In the time since then, however, customers made it clear that they wanted IR’s functionality inside Photoshop*.

The vast majority of what debuted in ImageReady (slicing, N-up optimization, multi-layer selection, variables, animation, frames to layers, etc.) has, by popular demand, been integrated into Photoshop.  A few remaining things (image-based rollovers, Web content palette, SWF export) haven’t made the journey.  Therefore Adobe tech support has created a document that details what is & isn’t in Photoshop CS3, noting where to find things & suggesting alternate ways to get certain functionality (e.g. rollovers).

*Incidentally, for the conspiracy-minded out there, it’s worth noting that we decided to migrate IR into Photoshop & to discontinue it as a standalone app right after the CS1 cycle (late 2003)–and not, in other words, because of Adobe acquiring Macromedia and Fireworks.

0 thoughts on “Guidance on migrating from ImageReady

  1. I loved ImageReady, specifically the conditions when using actions. However, I don’t see that feature listed in the CS3 migration guide you linked to. Is this available in PS CS3 now or has it been orphaned?
    [It’s not in PS. You might try this script-based solution instead.
    Also, I should probably make it clearer that if you’re using IR now and like what it offers, there’s no reason you have to stop using it. Installing and running CS3 doesn’t delete or otherwise impair IR. –J.]

  2. Though I will miss Imageready, I have found I use it less and less in the recent years as PS has consumed it’s features and I produce less animated gifs and more flash banners/buttons.
    One thing I have always liked about IR is the easy process of creating and using droplets. The process of creating and using them with PS has never been as easy for me. Especially things like “Constrain to 350wide and save out as a 45 quality JPEG” or similar… The Photoshop droplets I seem to make always want input by the user, confirmation of dialogs or other sorts of intervention in order to use them, kind of defeating their purpose… any tips?
    [I’m afraid I don’t offhand. Droplets are one of those parts of the app that haven’t been touched in a long, long time and are probably seriously overdue for an overhaul. There are just too many other fish to fry, though, and we have to trade this against other ways of improving Photoshop automation. –J.]

  3. John, how about considering adding the following to the next release of Photoshop.
    1. Add in the remaining items from ImageReady that are not in Photoshop CS3 for the CS4 release, like Rollovers.
    [I don’t anticipate adding rollovers. It wasn’t worth sacrificing any of the work we did in CS3 in trade for rollovers, and I don’t imagine that situation changing as we move forward. I honestly can’t tell you the last time I encountered an image-based rollover. That’s not to say they have no uses, but I don’t see them as important enough to trump something else. –J.]
    2. Make Photoshop have rollovers that will work with Fireworks and Vise-versa so you can do that in either app, also make the slices from Photoshop compatible with Firework’s that way round tripping improves and for simple rollovers you don’t need to jump over to Fireworks. A way to do this might be to have a Behaviors panel in Photoshop that will work with slices and maybe incorporate the Web Layer from Fireworks.
    [Fireworks is better equipped to do rollovers because it has actual, discreet objects (not just layers) that can include multiple states. We’re on a path to supporting a more object-based system in Photoshop, but in the meantime FW has a leg up. The IR system had potential to trip people up, which is another reason we didn’t want to just re-implement it in PS. –J.]
    3. Get more involved with the Fireworks team and make it so the next version of Fireworks can open Photoshop documents flawlessly, this version of Fireworks isn’t acceptable at doing that.
    [Are you using CS3? From what I can tell they’ve improved quite a lot in this release, adding support for nested layers and more. It would be helpful to know what isn’t working. –J.]
    Also make it so any change that happens in Fireworks could be saved out as a PSD file with all changes and slices incorporated so both programs work better together. Maybe make .psd as Fireworks file format too that way it can share all of what photoshop can do and have Photoshop add the web layers from Fireworks into the psd file format.
    I also have other ideas for how all of this can work and have thought it out for a while, and would like to discuss it with you offline at some point. Please email me so we can discuss this further.
    [Will do. –J.]

  4. I almost never used ImageReady, but it was nice to know I could use it to create or edit an animated GIF. I know that I can create an animated GIF from CS3, but it can’t edit an existing animated GIF that hasn’t been saved as a PSD. The document you linked doesn’t make that clear.
    [Good point; we should add a note to that effect. –J.]

  5. John, the technote doesn’t appear to address the creation of animated JPGs as SWFs, would it be possible to add something to cover (a) the routes to do this, and (b) the pros/cons of each approach? Ideally, something that works in the same vein as sending PS’s layers to IR.
    [Good point, and I’ll try to get that into the queue for a revision. It might be worth looking at Illustrator, which can import PSD layers and export its own layers as SWF frames. Or, you could check out an inexpensive SWF animation package like SWiSH. –J.]
    Firing up After Effects for a simple web banner seems like taking a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Although perhaps that’s just a perception problem that will fade with time.
    [I doubt it; that does strike me as gross overkill. –J.]

    I honestly can’t tell you the last time I encountered an image-based rollover.

    I’m confused by this. Do you mean different images swapped with code? If so, they’re as common as muck. Not that I’m complaining about the placement of this functionality elsewhere, since I write my own rollover code anyway, but I’m not quite sure what you were referring to.
    [I’m referring to different images swapped with code. I’m looking back through my browser’s history, and yet I don’t see an example of one of these among the sites I visit. That didn’t used to be the case, and it seems clear that the popularity of this technique has faded. Therefore, given that there are several other ways to make such rollovers using Adobe tools, we decided to punt the feature from the PS package. –J.]

  6. John,
    There’s another big item that I used very often in ImageReady and which is not mentioned in the TechNote, nor integrated into Photoshop CS3:
    “Group Slices into Table”
    This was a great option that allowed you to highlight a group of slices in ImageReady and convert them to a nested table. For those of us that aren’t gung-ho about strict CSS layout for websites and instead still prefer table based layout, this feature made things MUCH easier to layout.
    This feature, along with rollovers, is the reason I now have to keep ImageReady around, even though I have moved to CS3. And of course, going back and forth between CS3 and CS2 isn’t fun since ImageReady is clueless about many CS3 elements (and never even understood what to do with CS2 Smart Objects).
    Very frustrating.
    [Sorry that it’s frustrating, Josh. I hear you, and I’ve been really disappointed that all the Web content tools we added in IRCS didn’t get noticed or used by a significant number of people.
    It would be reasonable to think that once something is built, the investment has been made and that we could therefore just keep it around at little/no cost; unfortunately, however, maintenance of existing features sucks up resources, so the ones for which we can’t find significant usage are liable to be cut. This is one of those cases. –J.]

  7. As far as droplets go, I’m not familiar with what automation is available in Vista, but with Mac OS X, there are a bunch of options for doing just that. You can save Automator Actions (See Ben Long’s free Photoshop Automator Actions for Photoshop – hopefully there will be a CS3 verison available shortly) as Finder Plug-ins that you can right click a file and run whatever actions you want. Or you can attache the action to a folder (just like a droplet) and you can run Javascript or Applescripts in Photoshop to do all sorts of things.
    One may not be able to do things exactly as you have before, but you can come up with a new workflow that does things, and it might just work better for you in the long run. There are all sorts of Photoshop automation sites on the web, do a bit of exploring and I bet those who miss IR won’t any more. (And who wants to run a Rosetta app now that CS3 is Intel Mac native?)

  8. I always thought it was too much trouble opening another app just to make roll-overs, so I got used to doing all the slicing and saving out from Photoshop itself. (Plus as you say, css positioning is the way to do roll-overs in this century anyway).
    I did, however, go to ImageReady for animated gifs. That should be easier now that Photoshop has its own animation palette. Of course, what about all the complaints about PS not being able to open up multi-framed animated gifs beyond the first frame? Even the olde GIFBuilder could do that in 1997.

  9. The only item of late that I’ve discovered is wonderful in ImageReady is the ability for it to more often than not to open up PSD files (saved in Photoshop) that it ‘thinks’ is corrupted. It would be nice to see more PSD utilities, such that you could delete specific layers that are “suspect” (chosen by user) such that you lose only 5% of the work and not 100%. Recently, I was only able to recover a CS2 PSD (140Mb) with ImageReady on a friend’s mac because my PC CS2 croaked on “scratch memory error”. Am sad to see IR go for this reason esp since his CS3 couldn’t open the file either.

  10. Is there some reason why Adobe couldn’t have just packaged the existing CS2 ImageReady with the new Photoshop? The only thing you would have needed to do was add the “jump to ImageReady” button to the PSCS3 toolbar” and change the corresponding button in ImageReady so that it would open PSCS3 instead of PSCS2. Would that have taken much more than an hour’s worth of programming time? And would’t it have been worth the trouble to avoid pissing people off ?
    [That’s a reasonable guess, but it would take sustained ongoing effort to install and test an app (as it did with IRCS2), even without adding features. Plus, sometimes you’ve got to fish or cut bait. To keep shipping IR without investing resources in compatibility enhancements would result in an experience that degraded over time. If we believe we’ve done what people want, which is to integrate the overwhelming majority of IR into Photoshop, then we should be confident about it. As for people being pissed off, it’s inevitable no matter what we do. –J.]

  11. SWiSH is a very good and capable product, and I have used it in the past when I used Windows. But I don’t think it’s available for Mac, although I’m sure that there are alternative utilities.

    I’m looking back through my browser’s history, and yet I don’t see an example of one of these among the sites I visit.

    Oddly enough, the very first site that I visited on Monday morning, sent to me as a link, used image rollovers. But this was a site for a pharmaceutical company, not a tech site per se.
    YMMV I guess! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. I think this has maybe been addressed in previous posts and I also submitted this to the beta evaluation but here it is again: add in the Save For Web engine the ability to save as swf file with transparency. This would essentially work like saving a png. Here’s why this would be helpful. We build dynamic Flash sites that let our clients update much of the content themselves and often need to update a swf that loads in to the interface. Most of these people can handle using Photoshop and save for Web but are afraid of Flash. It doesn’t seem like it would require too much effort to include that in PS. Thoughts?
    [Hmm–interesting idea, but it’ll be kind of tough sell right now given the way Flash can handle PSDs. That said, I’d love to find an easier, more transparent (no pun intended) method of interacting with Flash source files. I think that some of the ideas I’ve heard in that regard could help here. –J.]

  13. WOW I was so incredibly impressed with the new features in the new PS CS3. I made no more than 15-20 ohhh and ahh while using it (hierarchal menus while control clicking-brillant, apple select and linking via selection … nice, new pallete functions … great-love the grid, excited that IR was now NOT needed).
    Then it happened … I found out that there were no image based rollovers. I have never used FIREWORKS dont plan to … (that seems to defeat the purpose of getting rid of imageready doesn’t it?)
    HOW is this missing from the PS3 release? Economics cant be that much at fault because on the Adobe forums people are RETURNING CS3 because of no image rollovers and switching back to using IR CS or CS2? Was this a prudent decision (in hindsight?)
    I mean 90% of IR is IN PS CS3 how in the world (can a company that prides themselves on creating a masterful workflow-WHICH I think it has) forget a middle step from PS to the web? I am baffled that I will NOW have to use imageready to regain this ONE feature. Talk about a workflow missstep. I will gladly signup as a focus group participant as I have been using PS since ver. 1.
    I am just still so baffled? Please bring image based rollovers to PS CS3.1 … PLEASE! Then the product line will be almost perfect?

  14. Designing a web page using PS and ImageReady was fast and easy.. in fact, brilliant.
    Removing rollover capabilities and assigning that function to Dreamweaver is STUPID… adding a big learning curve and removing the ease of rollover slices exported from IR.
    Whoever thought this up could not possibly be a person who spends their day designing web sites.
    The whole evolution of web programs progressed to the smart and easy ImageReady.. it’s DEVO time now at adobe. Someone clearly lost their mind.
    [Why… on earth… can you not just keep using IR if you really like it? I’m just baffled by this one. That option remains perfectly valid, as do multiple other ways of creating rollovers. –J.]

  15. Why… on earth… can you not just keep using IR if you really like it? I’m just baffled by this one. That option remains perfectly valid

    I guess the loss of co-operation between PS & IR is a factor here. In PS CS2, just click the send to IR button, and hey presto! Similarly going back from IR to PS. But that’s missing from PS CS3.

  16. Hey folks building better websites is helped by knowing code – please learn Javascript for rollover type fx

  17. I’m wondering why ImageReady in CS3 does not support the imporation of *animated*.gif images ? , by this I mean keeping the entire sequence of gif image animation intact ? … ImageReady in PS2, does this…. if you try importing an ANIMATED gif in CS3
    I have read that it will only import the first frame of the animation, so the import process is basically useless. I honestly do not understand why Adobe decided to remove this feature…. Gif animations are far from dead, so why did they do this ? and now, how do you import an *animated* gif into Photoshop CS3 ?
    Thanks for any info, and or comment !
    [There is no ImageReady CS3, so you can either convert the GIF using ImageReady CS2, or you can try the following steps (posted by Scott Weichert on the Photoshop forum; haven’t tried ’em myself):
    1) File > Open from PSCS3 (Drag/drop will not work)
    2) Select the gif and choose “Quicktime video” from the format drop down.
    This opens the gif as a timeline animation
    3) from the Animation Panel flyout choose “Flatten Frames To Layer”
    4) From the flyout again choose “Make Frames From Layers”
    5) From the flyout again choose “Convert to Frame Animation”
    This will leave the first frame blank, simply delete it. It will also leave
    1 layer containing the original “video” –J.]

  18. > Removing rollover capabilities … is STUPID
    AGREED. Why the HELL didn’t you just add the rollover capabilities and code export to PS CS3???!!
    Now every legacy site I’ve made with IR is basically hosed unless I run a now non-integrated, older IR CS2. I seriously thought this was a joke the first time I read about this and my jaw dropped when I realized this stupid decision was true.
    Adobe… this was, indeed, STUPID. Add the damn rollovers to PS CS3 ASAP!!!!!!!!
    Fireworks is REDUNDANT and has a horrible interface. DITCH Fireworks and add rollovers, etc. to PS CS3!!!!

  19. Adobe’s decision not to include the ability to import animated GIFs is CS3’s biggest flop. The software is worthless junk. 0 out of 10. Good job, guys. Oh but you can fork over $299 for Firefox to import animated GIFs.. what a good solution. Nice way to cut back on features, foring users to purchase CS4 down the road. Nice strategy.

  20. There is no good logic for killing ImageReady without incorporating it’s functionality within CS3.
    [Please read what’s written here before coming in with your preconceived ideas. –J.]
    I used IR frequently and was hoping that it’s features would be folded into PS CS3. But then it gets axed? In favor of a Dreamweaver/Fireworks solution?
    [No–in favor of Photoshop, which is where 90% of ImageReady now lives. –J.]
    I hate both products and never liked them when Macromedia owned them.
    This is a serious step backwards in my view. I suspect that hordes of customer dissatisfaction will force Adobe to get real and incorporate IR functionality into CS3.
    [It will not. –J.]

  21. [Why… on earth… can you not just keep using IR if you really like it? I’m just baffled by this one. That option remains perfectly valid, as do multiple other ways of creating rollovers. –J.]

    Um, yeah, sure. Except I moved from Windows to Mac, and for some strange reason I had the idea that the Windows version of IR wouldn’t run in OS X. :p
    And no, I didn’t use it for the rollovers, but for the animated gifs. I like being able to create them directly in PS – good job on that, but I would think that opening things you create in PS in PS would make sense?
    It just seems like a really poor decision on the part of the decision makers on this one.

  22. My question is that if you want people to use Fireworks for things like rollovers, why didn’t they include it in the “Design Premium”, the collection that was supposed to be perfect for web designers?
    [Fireworks is in the Web Premium Suite, which is supposed to be perfect for Web designers. As to why there’s no configuration that includes both Fireworks and InDesign other than the Master Collection, I don’t know. –J.]

  23. I feel honored to be quoted, John ๐Ÿ™‚
    For the record, my steps above will also eliminate all transparency in the gif, So be certain your background color is set to something that can easily be selected and masked away before flattening frames into layers.
    I sorely miss the rollover features and animated GIF compatibility of IR. If these two things were built into PSCS3 there’d be no problem. I feel that CS3 was the first version since v2 that saw the LOSS of features without a new, better compatible feature added.
    No CS3 application allows a user to open an animated gif and retain both frames and transparency. This should have been built into Photoshop CS3, Imageready CS2 had it.
    Fireworks seems like a decent substitute for creating most web content that IR used to create. However, there’s no integration with Photoshop at all (or at least very very little). IR was fairly seamless. Via the jump button a user could basically toggle back and forth between IR and PS filling voids in each application with the other. Sure I still have CS2 loaded, but should I need it? Isn’t the point of an upgrade to replace older versions with the same functionality PLUS additional features? Or at the very least improvements to existing functionality? And since, obviously, IRCS2 does not support all PSCS3 features, it’s not compatible in all cases. Why did I upgrade?
    I understand that Fireworks appears to be the replacement for IR. And I also understand that Adobe did what it could with the Macromedia applications in the time they had. I would guess that the primary focus where MM apps were concerned was Flash, being MM’s flagship product. Based on performance (mainly UI) of DW and FW there clearly wasn’t an all out push to get all the MM apps to Adobe standards.
    I have hopes that CS4 will show that Adobe listens to users and will address the features they took from us with CS3. However, I know it’s bean counters that decide features, unfortunately.
    It’s just sad that a $20 shareware application can do what a $600 professional image editing application can’t.

  24. Try this for opening an animated gif into photoshop, with the animation frames intact (works in windows atleast):
    File > Import > Video Frames to Layersโ€ฆ
    In the file dialog, enter *.* for filename, that should show all files, not just the extensions selected in filetype-selection. Then just double-click the gif file, and it should open.

  25. So John, what’s your reply to Scott Weichert’s eloquent last post above? Your silence is deafening…
    John, I’ve noticed you’ve jumped on people here who maybe don’t quite understand that PSCS3 didn’t ditch ALL the IRCS2 functionality…
    But, you remain strangely silent when confronted by someone like Scott who understands the real problem… great rollover integration with PS… is now gone… (yes, that’s what we call a DOWNGRADE)
    John, if you think Adobe is so big that it doesn’t need to listen to its users and can walk all over them, you will find that those days are over…
    We WILL find alternatives. I want to give my money to a company that respects me. Adobe is losing it’s soul and you seem utterly… oblivious.
    Would it REALLY be such a bad idea to integrate rollovers into PSCS3 so all the smart objects you set up, all the effects you set up, etc., etc. aren’t exported anywhere… you just do the rollovers right there and export the images and code just like you did with IRCS2? You can’t look any of us straight in the eye and admit that’s not the best way for us, your customers, the people that help pay your salary, to get it done.
    John, if the Fireworks UI is so great, how much money would you like to bet that the UI eventually gets completely overhauled by Adobe to fix it’s UI deficiencies?
    In the meantime, WE have WORK to do… NOW.
    Bring back rollovers, put them into CS3 and respect your customers and the work we need to do.
    I’ve already lost time and money because of this bad move by Adobe and I am strongly considering looking into switching to GIMP (and other apps) and assisting the open source community with making it surpass Photoshop. If you don’t think that’s possible, you and the rest of Adobe will get what you deserve.
    Quit stomping on your customers. Show some damn respect.

  26. [Hmm–interesting idea, but it’ll be kind of tough sell right now given the way Flash can handle PSDs. That said, I’d love to find an easier, more transparent (no pun intended) method of interacting with Flash source files. I think that some of the ideas I’ve heard in that regard could help here. –J.]
    I’d like to put in a novice word.. I have graduated in some new media but have failed to be in any web or media productions ๐Ÿ™ I’m trying to follow your chat and I’ll be honest about my possible intentions, i may go back to PC.. The quote above leads me to ask- Would -something like FW be able to ‘somehow’ configue a Quicktime or whathaveyou movie or something so EVEN THRU FLASH or a video-streming ?Adobe devive not only would animated gifs/jpegs work nicely but there could be “like” an imported interactivety feature through some slick editing??
    [I’m not quite sure what you’re suggesting, but I do think there’s an opportunity to build a way for people to create Flash content more quickly and easily than they can using today’s Flash authoring tool (at least without climbing its learning curve). –J.]

  27. >I do think there’s an opportunity to build a way for people to create Flash content more quickly and easily than they can using today’s Flash authoring tool (at least without climbing its learning curve)
    Yes, for simple Flash animations it’s called *ahem* … ImageReady. But not PS, coz that functionality got jacked!
    [That’s far more primitive than what I have in mind. Just slamming a bunch of bitmaps out the door in a SWF wrapper, producing a simple linear animation, isn’t especially impressive. –J.]

  28. >producing a simple linear animation, isn’t especially impressive
    That depends on the purpose and the (client’s) audience, doesn’t it? Not everything has to be bleedin’ edge techno-wizardry to be valid in context.
    [True, though I’d suggest that in the case you mention, Flash isn’t buying you much (anything?) that a simple animted GIF wouldn’t also provide. In any case, with “not impressive” I was referring more to the challenge of building an authoring tool. I would imagine Adobe being able to offer something that enables the creation of simple interactivity (the stuff I used to bust out all the time in Flash 3) more easily than Flash CS3 does today. –J.]

  29. >Flash isn’t buying you much (anything?) that a simple animted GIF wouldn’t also provide
    Ha ha! Try animating photographs and similar high-colour images as a GIF, then get back to me! ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Animated GIFs – great for 256 colours or less, pants for anything more. You know that better than I do!
    >I would imagine Adobe being able to offer something that enables the creation of simple interactivity (the stuff I used to bust out all the time in Flash 3) more easily than Flash CS3 does today.
    Umm, yes, it was called LiveMotion IIRC. It would be nice to have something like that built into Illy. But that might be taking Illy too far off focus.

  30. I am just now butting heads with the loss of IR in CS3.
    It has seriously hampered my web flow process. I find this especially irritating since Adobe reps ASSURED me that upgrading our studio to CS3 would find no such problems and that PS CS3 had ALL the features of CS2.
    FIREWORKS simply, pardon my French, SUCKS for those of us who have used PS as our main web comping tool and that Adobe has been almost contemptuous of this fact is simply astounding.

  31. I found my issue with PS CS3 and Fireworks only vaguely alluded to and am hoping for a direct answer here:
    My problem has to do with image management that worked very well between the previous versions of Photoshop and ImageReady.
    When a designer created a web site comp in a PSD file, then that file could be opened in ImageReady for slicing, thus retaining all compression settings, slice naming, rollover slice naming and creation, etc. We would never use the exported HTML capabilities of ImageReady (or Fireworks for that matter).
    When that comp needed to be updated (as is always the case when dealing with clients), then the PSD file would be updated and the slices would remain intact for export.
    Now that we have CS3, when a comp is produced in PSD format it then needs to go to a Fireworks PNG format to get sliced n’ diced. When an update is done in the PSD file, then those changes will obviously not be reflected in the PNG file. We’ve lost the central file location for management of slice and rollover information.
    We are planning on trying to cut off updates to the PSD file after a PNG is created so all updates would have to be done in the more recent PNG file instead, but I know that the designers would prefer to continue using Photoshop instead of trying to figure out how to accomplish their task in a new program – Fireworks.
    What would your advice be for making up for the lost slice management capabilities of the Photoshop/ImageReady combo?

  32. This may sound harsh, and maybe i’m joining the debate a little late, but it would seem by making the jump from the old set up of IR in CS2 to the new, you force users to make the choice between keeping and using a copy of IRCS2 (and there also PSCS2) if only to maintain and update files created in those programs. Or to simply go cold turkey rebuild any older files from the ground up.
    I have no trouble with the new arrangement for the medium and long term, but for the short term i’m honestly left wondering which of PS, FW or DW is the best to make updates to files originally created by IR and PS in CS2.
    Fireworks can open them, but certain key informations seems to be lost along the way.
    New Photoshop can also, but along key information is lost, or simply don’t displayed and therefore uneditable.
    It displaying all the information from the file, along with being able to quick jump between the two like you used to be able to between PS and IR would have been enough to ensure IR users could have hit the ground running with the new setup instead of being left dazed and confused.

  33. I’m using adobe products since 20 years, and still uses these apps. I’m also facing the IR -> CS3 incompatibility, despite the promises of getting a more powerful application claiming to “freeing up my creativity”.
    Mr John, all the arguments you mention to justify Adobe’s choice to not integrate IR functions to CS3 are not honest, as we all paid for these functionalities, and the actual regression is a fact. Does Adobe wants us to buy more software to keep the same functionalities?

  34. John, my impression in Adobe leaving out IR rollover and animated GIFs has more to do with a variety of issues worth mentioning for those designers who have web capabilities but “baffled” by Adobe leaving this out. I do not work for Adobe and am not defending them, but we designers must know some factors before freaking out–rookies or advanced.
    Website design is becoming more advanced and integrated with code, this is fact and undeniable. Just look at Flash ActionScript 3.0 vs. AS2. Knowing Java is more of a prerequisite than just being able to hack around and make buttons work. Clearly the designer who knows “a little code” is getting left behind and advanced features done in the “easy-click” format are not worth developing anymore. The demarcation has been made.
    I see this as a parallel philosophy in the rollover issue. I think easy, simple, “do-it-for-me” rollovers functionality was left behind and put in the hobbyist camp (.Mac build-it-for-me-type apps) by Adobe. The presumption that the new web designer has knowledge of CSS to do this, or that web users have coding support is actually not that far fetched. Do a ton of people using Adobe products still not know how to do this, sure. But there are also a ton of people who do know how to do this and this has been adopted as the “new” way, not the necessarily the best or easiest or most popular. In fact, I kind of expect Adobe to think like this and believe that just dumping rollovers is no big deal.
    If Adobe puts out a program like PS which has histograms, raw format, and curves, then they must cater to the more advanced users. Right? I can see this same philosophy for developing newer generation web apps.
    As far as animated GIFs are concerned, if you take this same internal philosophy it might not be a far fetched prediction that the next release will not have the Animated palette either. (Isn’t the timeline based feature in PS just a transition to dumping it and making everyone buy Flash in the future?) Advanced web users would prefer to use Flash for a richer experience. It really is expected for Adobe (who now has the minds of the Flash developers and business plans in-house) to think, “Hey, animated gifs are old school.”
    Should Adobe just add these things to make people happy? Maybe (seems like it from these comments). But, we designers cannot expect Adobe, or any software company, to make what we want anymore. There are too many of us with too many opinions. Remember the new Apples without floppy drives? Man were they wrong? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Instead of freakin’ out, let’s get smart about all this and try to figure out why they aren’t doing this. Oh, by the way, I am not an Adobe thumper. Sure, they can easily be clueless: why else would they have a Mac OSX mode and Adobe mode just to save files? Are they in the OS business now or were they prepping us for Bridge? hmmm…..
    And what’s with the blank white cover on the Workflow Guide that came with my software. Can’t commit to something creative, or are we supposed to use our imagination to make our own covers?

  35. Excellent News ! –
    I just did some searching, and found out that CS3 does indeed support the opening of animated gifs.
    Go to:
    “Import video frames into layers”
    type in *.* in first field, and press enter (the filename field )
    Bingo… animated gifs are now visable, and you can now import animated gifs !
    Supposedly this was an oversight by Adobe…. hmm… ?

  36. I used Imageready to slice up layouts for the web, and I now have a pile of files with rollovers states, names, fine tuned compression settings, etc. Now Adobe throws all that in the garbage and just says “use fireworks”. So first I’ll take the time to learn Fireworks, then I’ll go through all my old files and recreate all the work I’ve already done when I need to update a layout (like 10 minutes ago). Or I could continue to use Imageready, right? I bet that plays nicely with CS3 on the same system. And I bet adobe would expect me to keep CS2 rather than pirate a copy just for the one feature they deemed unworthy of CS3.
    This is a step backwards and I’m frustrated. I’m off to learn Fireworks now, and slice up a layout for the second time…

  37. I’ve been using ImageReady 7 every working day since it first shipped. I hardly turn to Photoshop anymore, maybe two or three times a week to add a gradient here and there.
    Words cannot express my delight for this totally reliable, very able, web tool.
    I use it on both Mac and PC platforms, together with free batch image resizing applications from third parties, and the combination is astounding; I save hours of image processing time, gain more time for concentrating on web design, and, using *cough* Freehand in tandem with ImageReady, I can honestly say my business has improved as have my design and developing skills.
    And suddenly I’m having fun again.
    Merry Christmas!

  38. The point (to my previous message) is I will continue to use ImageReady and Freehand on a daily basis. My business thrives on the output from these tools.
    In the future, I might consider upgrading to Photoshop CS3 or CS4 if and when I upgrade my Mac laptop (I’m on a PowerPC G4 Titanium at the mo, having a blast).
    Adobe have this annoying habit of discontinuing perfectly good and reliable softwares, leaving the small businesses and freelancers bereft of useful AND affordable tools (LiveMotion, PageMaker, FreeHand and ImageReady 7 are thankfully still available for sale on the Internet).
    And not that anyone from Adobe is listening or reading any of this, but I think that Flash web design is dead, despite the rumors of the much overhauled, all new interface of the upcoming CS4 version of Flash. The tool has had its day AFAIC. Its presense on the web is dwindling. And I say this as one who has been relying upon Flash to bring home the bacon for three years now. Web 2.0 and AJAX are the next big thing. Until something else comes along and takes over.

  39. What special interest group has allowed an evolving integrated design platform to degrade then replace something good with an old school, non compatible rag like Fireworks? It’s the equiv. of having the CFO at Adobe suggest that they have a yard sale on Sundays on the front lawn of HQ to boost sales. Common Adobe!? Fireworks is a piece.

  40. I have been resisting upgrading to CS3 for quite a while, and now that I have I know why. Without ImageReady I have no way to update the thousands of files I have for existing web-based projects. Most of you here already know this.
    But, what really struck me today as I talked to numerous tech support people, including the Fireworks team that is under some delusion that they can work with my ImageReady files, and the Photoshop team who said the only option is to downgrade to CS2, and the home office who has people to politely take notes from frustrated customers like me that have been loyal to Adobe for years, is the fact that there is almost no one at Adobe who seems to know how ImageReady functions and why it was a useful program for web designers. It proves that Adobe is really out of touch with its users and the workflow that many of us use to create websites.
    Like many of you, I will not be able to upgrade again, unless they bring back ImageReady or its missing rollover functionality in Photoshop. I feel cheated because this was not made clear in all their upgrade materials.
    What a waste of my time and money!

  41. Opening of animated gifs in Photoshop CS3 Extended (Mac OS X Leopard): File -> Open (“Use OS Dialog”, but not “Use Adobe Dialog”) -> select your GIF -> Enable: CompuServe GIF -> Format: QuickTime Movie -> Open.
    Creating layers from frames: going to in Animation (Timeline) palette -> palette menu (to top right of palette) -> Flatten Frames Into Layers
    Sorry for my English, I’m from Russia.

  42. Here’s the thing about rollovers and IR. Nobody worth their salt used the code output by ImageReady verbatum. However the godsend aspect of IR was that it did 90% of the annoying part of making rollovers and it did it in an environment that felt almost like you were still in Photoshop (a warm, happy place). Javascript+Image rollovers is old-school now however CSS+Image rollovers is completely current. You statement that you can’t remember the last time you saw an image rollover must be a lie, otherwise you haven’t seen, or don’t understand the composition of, a lot of amazing CSS based sites that are out there. The difference now is that the image is a div background under hidden text that changes on hover to the “on” state of the rollover. It is still done with images, at least in any application where the look goes beyond the limited and often tacky-looking rollover effects CSS is currently capable of.
    When CSS alone can antialias my menu text, apply an elegant outer-bevel to the text, overlay that text with a subtle gradient, stroke the text (also with a subtle gradient), and then change all that to different values and add a non-hideous looking outer glow for the hover state of that text (without a ton of coding, cross browser issues, etc…) then I could agree with your “image rollovers are so yesterday” attitude.
    The state of the art isn’t there yet and likely will never be able to recreate, strictly from generic code-based styling, everything an image based solution can offer. Besides all that Fireworks has a totally different interface, workflow, look, feel, and focus than ImageReady had. It is a kick in the crotch to take away ImageReady and then try and foist that on us when so many of us had so deftly avoided using Fireworks in the past.
    Saying “just use CS2” is a cop out. Web designers have to stay on the cutting edge of the technology involved in their craft. A freelancer still using CS2 a year or two from now is going to have a tough time justifying that to a client asking for CS3 era features.
    Anyway I’m rambling but the gist is that ImageReady was more than just 90% of its features and Fireworks is a piss poor substitute. If I had known that buying CS3 would have meant higher program instability than I’ve ever had with an Adobe release AND the loss of ImageReady I would have definitely saved my money.

  43. I somewhat agree here
    I see this as a parallel philosophy in the rollover issue. I think easy, simple, “do-it-for-me” rollovers functionality was left behind and put in the hobbyist camp (.Mac build-it-for-me-type apps) by Adobe. The presumption that the new web designer has knowledge of CSS to do this, or that web users have coding support is actually not that far fetched. Do a ton of people using Adobe products still not know how to do this, sure. But there are also a ton of people who do know how to do this and this has been adopted as the “new” way, not the necessarily the best or easiest or most popular. In fact, I kind of expect Adobe to think like this and believe that just dumping rollovers is no big deal.
    However, it’s very important to note that IR’s rollover building features were very useful even though the code generated for them was not. It’s possible In IRCS2 to set up slices and buttons states, then with 1 command save all the necessary images. In just one step a user gets on, off, over, and click states easily. THIS is the functionality that I sorely miss in Photoshop CS3.
    As for animated GIFs… I’ve found a $20 shareware app that does it and exports to Photoshop properly. I’d just be slightly embarrassed if I were Adobe and saw this in practice.

  44. I held off “upgrading” PS 7 to CS3 as long as I could and still be on the “upgrade path”.
    I am still smarting from the sting of having IR removed from CS3. Very disappointing, but typical Adobe behavior.

  45. I am with the rest of the people here, upgraded to CS3 and when straight back to CS2 because of the loss of ‘group slices into tables’ with no function in any of the current bundle for doing this, if the function had been added to FW i wouldn’t mind so much but it has just gone from EVERYWHERE ??

  46. How to get ImageReady CS slices into Photoshop CS3?
    I have several client website interfaces designed in Photoshop CS and sliced in ImageReady. I update these sites weekly and need to work within the established slice areas. I now have Photoshop CS3 and none of the slices come with the file when opened, I assume having to do with Adobe dropping ImageReady. But I can’t imagine that existing ImageReady files with slices in them are just useless. Recreating the slices accurate to the pixel for all these interfaces would be brutal.
    Am I missing something here?
    Thank you for any help you can give. I can’t find any mention of solving this problem online.

  47. current Adobe Photoshop CS4 11 WINDOWS FULL Version comes with ImageReady ? Or FireWorks CS4? Is Fireworks CS4 similar to ImageReady?

  48. In PS CS4, is it possible to copy slice outlines and settings, eg jpg vs gif) between files? If i cut/paste slices, I get the actual content: it’s like doing a copy merged and copying actual pixels.
    I need to regenerate the same slices, with different underlying imagery. This is a pretty common production task. Imageready did this easily and intuitively, and you’d end up with all the specs of the original slices (dimensions, jpg quality, etc.)
    Is this even possible in CS4? I’ve tried importing PSDs into Fireworks, but it often loses stuff.

  49. Just finally upgraded to PS CS4 from CS1 and although I’m impressed with many new features in CS4 I was disappointed to discover no IR. While CS1 IR has some poor coding translations which I manually have to adjust, I still find it extremely useful for roll-overs and slicing. I’m just glad I can still open it in OSX 10.6! I think Adobe dumping it was a mistake. Whenever I worked in Fireworks I always found it tedious but I am curious about Fireworks CS4 and it’s intergration with PS.

  50. I’m finding out that ImageReady is being forced out of our workflow since Dreamweaver CS4 won’t accept inserting anything but Fireworks HTML files, not IR HTML files. This means I have to recreate the entire original IR file in Fireworks, complete with new rollover states.

  51. Why in the world could I not just keep using ImageReady? One very real reason is that I upgraded from Photoshop 7 on an old G4 that I used until late 2008, directly to CS3 on a new iMac. New iMac won’t use the ImageReady that came with Photoshop 7. Won’t install on an Intel machine. I’m stuck either buying an old copy of CS2 or keeping the old dying G4 around forever.

  52. I have PSCS4 and the ‘import as Quicktime Video” does NOT work.
    This is rediculous, really…Animated GIFs used to be the easiest thing in the world, now I can’t do a single thing.

  53. @ChristopherD – are you by chance on win 64bit system? “Import Video Frames as Layers” is only supported in 32bit mode. (QT API for player controller is 32bit only).

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