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Adobe Ships Photoshop 7.0

Adobe Systems Inc. Tuesday began shipping version 7.0 of Adobe Photoshop, its popular flagship photo publishing application for both PCs and Macintosh computers.

Adobe Photoshop 7.0 includes a number of upgrades over previous versions, including File Browser, which allows users to browse image thumbnails, rotate, sort and batch rename images, and view Exchangeable Image File information from digital cameras.

7.0 also features a new Healing Brush that lets photo enthusiasts remove flaws such as dust or scratches from digital images. Users can also simulate real painting techniques with the new Painting Engine tool.

Also in the mix is a new Scripting Support plug-in, which essentially eliminates tedious manual tasks, letting users manage both simple items and multiple documents without manipulating them directly by hand. Adobe has also licensed Viewpoint Corp.'s ZoomView technology, which allows customers to send large images online.

One digital photography expert praised the new features in Photoshop 7.0.

"... many features are offered that directly address the growing market of digital photographers," said Ed Lee, director of Digital Photography Advisory Service at Lyra Research. "The extended functionality in Photoshop 7.0 demonstrates Adobe's commitment to their customers."

San Diego's Adobe is stressing Photoshop 7.0 availability for both Apple Computer Inc.'s Mac OS 10 and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP, but it is perhaps the Macintosh community, with its majority of graphics designers, that could stand to benefit most from the revised software.

"The release of Photoshop for Mac OS X is a major milestone for both Adobe and Mac OS X," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO. "We have a lot of joint customers who can't wait to get their hands on the unprecedented graphics capabilities and power that Photoshop 7.0 on Mac OS X provides."

Photoshop 7.0 is also shipping with ImageReady 7.0 software, which helps Web publishers create "highly sophisticated" Web graphics and animations. The new Photoshop is now available in the United States and Canada for about U.S. $609. Current Photoshop customers can upgrade to version 7.0 for U.S. $149.