Academic Web Design Software
Macromedia's Studio 8 Suite Academic Software Package
My first choice for HTML editors is Macromedia's Dreamweaver.
It has an easy to use, intuitive user interface and state
of the art design tools. With a customizable user interface,
you can work the way you need to. Although the student software
doesn't come with manuals, Dreamweaver has excellent online
You can design intricate CSS-based layouts and designs easily
with tools that allow for quick selection and control of page
and site wide style properties. There is a built in graphics
editor that uses Macromedia Fireworks technology. Dreamweaver
allows you to develop HTML, XHTML, XML, ASP, ASP.NET, JSP,
PHP, and Macromedia ColdFusion websites.
It has a cross-browser code validation feature that automatically
checks tags and CSS rules for compatibility across all the
leading browsers and allows you to configure browser preview
for multiple browsers.
One of the nicest features is the Property Inspector that
enables quick, comprehensive property editing that makes getting
it perfect a no-brainer. This is the editor I use to create
and maintain all of my web sites. I have used all of the professional
and many of the other HTML editors available and can say that
Dreamweaver is absolutely the best HTML editor. Since Dreamweaver
is taught in most graphic design curriculums, it inclusion
in the academic software package is needed.
Fireworks is Macromedia's answer to Photoshop and is included
in the student software package. Fireworks has all the tools
a web professional needs to create everything from simple
graphical buttons to sophisticated rollover effects. You can
import, edit, and integrate all major graphics formats, including
vector and bitmap images and easily export Fireworks images
to Flash, Dreamweaver, and third-party applications.
Besides all of the normal features you would expect in a professional
photo editing program, fireworks includes new interactive
design features and the ability to create pop-up menus in
the Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) format without the need for
programming. One thing Fireworks does exceptionally well is
batch processing. I use Fireworks batch processing all of
the time to optimize entire directories of photographs. I
can resize and optimize 50 photographs in just a couple of
Macromedia Flash Pro 8
Flash is the industry leader for creation animation and video
movies for streaming over the internet. Flash creates movies
with surprising small files sizes. That translates to quick
download times and the availability to use flash animation
on slower links and mobile devices and comes complete with
tools for video creation especially for mobile devices. Flash
pro 8 provides everything needed to create great looking videos.
Since flash is being used more frequently is essential that
it be part of an academic software package.
Contribute is Macromedia's answer to the problem of content
management. It provides the ability to change the content
of a website without having to know anything about HTML, but
does not need all the expensive software and databases that
a regular content management system uses. Contribute allows
companies to buy an inexpensive tool that lets them provide
content without messing with the design. Contribute is a solution
that is custom-made for small to mid-sized companies that
don't need all the power of CMS, but would like some of the
benefits. Being included in the academic software package
will give students an opportunity to see how a very simple
CMS system works.
FlashPaper generates compact, fast-opening Flash documents
that can be published to any website using Macromedia Contribute,
Dreamweaver, or any other HTML tool. FlashPaper creates Flash
documents through intuitive Microsoft Office integration and
file drag and drop. Create Flash documents that are immediately
available cross-platform on any web browser. Compact Flash
documents open within a web page, eliminating the need for
a separate viewer application. Flash documents can also be
incorporated into Flash projects. Adding this to the student
software package allows the student to experience using a
very handy tool.
Adobe Creative Suite 2.0 Premium Academic Software Package
Photoshop is the graphics industry standard and my choice
of photo editing software. I have to admit I love Photoshop.
You can create original images or modify photos using a wide
range of painting, drawing, and retouching tools. You can
work the way that's best for you by creating personalized
workspace and tool settings and customized keyboard shortcuts.
You can achieve sophisticated results by compositing images,
text, and effects on hundreds of layers that you control by
grouping into sets, color coding, and locking. You can simulate
traditional fine-art techniques with dry and wet brush effects,
pastel, charcoal, and more and even use brushes to add special
effects such as grass and leaves.
There are tools to improve the color, contrast, and dynamic
range of any image, easily remove dust, scratches, blemishes,
wrinkles, and other flaws with the Healing Brush. Photoshop
can give high quality output by working with the complete
raw data files from most major digital camera models. It's
great all-around imaging software. Photoshop is taught in
all graphic curriculums and had to be included in the student
Adobe Illustrator is also taught in every school's graphic
curriculum and is another essential part of a student software
package. It is also an essential tool for anyone who needs
to express ideas visually in print, on the Web, and in any
other medium. When my clients send me a rough pencil drawing
of the logo they want for their business, I create the logo
in Illustrator then import into Photoshop to get it ready
for their web page.
Illustrator has great 3D features,
advanced typographical controls, Adobe Portable Document Format
(PDF) integration and enhanced printing options. Illustrator
will help create and efficiently publish your artwork anywhere.
One of the nicest features is the ability to apply live effects
without affecting the underlying artwork, so you can edit
at any time without starting over. There are blending modes
and transparency effects similar to those in Photoshop software
but, unlike Photoshop, Illustrator has intuitive tools such
as the Pencil, Smooth, Erase, and Pen tools.
InDesign is the best page layout software available and is
the choice of most print design professionals. With the advent
of paid subscription totally-digital magazines, it is getting
popular for laying out the print like pages of these products.
It can integrate with both Photoshop and Adobe's Portable
Document Format (PDF) file formats and supports the multiple
layer capability of Photoshop. It is an all around necessary
tool for the professional graphic designer. Although not usually
covered in most curriculums, it is a welcome addition to any
academic software package,
GoLive is Adobe's answer to Dreamweaver. It has all of the
features that you can find in Dreamweaver and is integrated
directly into the rest of adobe products. Personally, I prefer
Dreamweaver but golive is an excellent HTML editor and completes
the suite for a web designer. Although usually on touched
in classes, GoLive is welcome addition to any student software
Acrobat is the number one tool used to create the widely used
PDF document format. With its built in security features that
can prevent the user from copying or changing the document
and the ability to require a password to open the document,
acrobat is still one of the leading choices for creating paid
e-books. This program is an absolute necessity for a web designer
and therefore a welcome addition to the academic software
Adobe Version Cue
Version Cue is a file manager that tracks the different versions
of the files you create with the graphics as well as some
others. It is a very nice tool if you have several people
collaborating on a project since you can maintains a complete
change history of the files.
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If you are a student, teacher or educational institution that
qualifies for the academic software discount price, please
see what is available.