CS3 vs CS4


So, I’ve been trying to buy a MacPro laptop and the Adobe design programs (Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign) ever since I graduated. Of course, I didn’t have the money to buy it while I was in school, so I can’t get the student discount now that I am out of school and have money…You would think in this recession that the prices would go down. I also find it hilarious that I can buy a MacPro Laptop with memory upgrades for less than the programs. Software is a scam. <—just my thoughts! lol The problem, not including the poor factor, is that I have always used CS3 at school but now there’s CS4. I’m doing some research on the differences of the programs and have to say, CS4 is looking pretty good. Here’s what’s new and enhanced with the design programs.

Illustrator CS4:

  1. Multiple artboards
  2. In-panel appearance editing
  3. Transparency in gradients
  4. Refined graphic styles
  5. Blob Brush tool
  6. Gradients exposed
  7. Clipping masks demystified
  8. Separations Preview
  9. Integration and delivery
  10. Enhanced user experience


Photoshop CS4:

  1. Revolutionary 3D painting and compositing
  2. Adjustments panel
  3. 3D object and property editing
  4. Masks panel
  5. Fluid canvas rotation
  6. Extended depth of field
  7. Smoother panning and zooming
  8. Auto-alignment of layers
  9. Content-Aware Scaling
  10. Auto-blending of images
  11. Enhanced motion graphics editing
  12. More powerful printing options
  13. Better raw image processing
  14. Integration with other Adobe software
  15. Industry-leading color correction
  16. Improved Adobe Photoshop Lightroom workflow
  17. File display options
  18. Extensibility


InDesign CS4:

  1. Live Preflight
  2. Conditional text
  3. Page transitions in SWF and PDF files
  4. Customizable Links panel
  5. Export to Adobe Flash CS4 Professional (XFL)
  6. Cross-references
  7. Smart Guides
  8. Interactive document design with SWF file export
  9. Spread rotation
  10. Smart Text Reflow


I’m trying to pull as much info together for people as I can so let me know if you have any further questions on the differences.

Is the CS4 worth it? Here are my thoughts. No. Now wait! No, if you are not a dedicated Graphic Designer. If Graphic Design is your future and you want to be the best in the industry, then you should consider buying CS4. If you are not and you just want to play around with design, CS3 will be just fine for you (even something lower). It will save you a lot of money in the long run. You can always upgrade your CS3 if you find that you really want to do this for a living.

Now, how to save money!? I can buy the software on their main site: http://store.apple.com/us or I can buy the programs off another site and save a few hundred $$. Here’s the only problem, to each their own, some sites are not to be trusted. If you find an offer too good to be true, it probably is. Do some research on the site before giving out any information.


I have read too many complaints about https://www.softwaresurplus.com/Guaranteed/Low.Prices? They don’t have a number for you to call if you have complaints. That is always a bad sign on a site.

If anyone needs more information, just let me know.


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