So I just loaded Photoshop 7 onto my girlfriend's laptop, because I have an old installation disc and there's no activation/security malarky like on the CS+ versions. I have since bought legit versions of CS2 and CS3. But I was playing around with v7 for a bit and... damn, this thing runs great. It loads SO much faster than CS2 and especially CS3 (which has a major lag for me between opening the program and opening the file i doubleclicked on). Like lightnin'! I poked through the menus and the filter options and stuff, refreshing my memory, and for the life of me I can't figure out why CS2 or CS3 is even worth the bother of using. Nothing except for menu design seems to have really changed, but the CSs just seem slower and more bloated. And I opened up some CS3-created PSDs in 7 and they open fine... text doesn't do anything weird or anything. What's really improved over the last bunch of versions? I really can't think of anything worthwhile from my daily workflow other than the color prefs that run thru the whole CS suite.
I realize people use that program a 100 different ways, but man. It handles layers, it's got unsharp mask and curves. It opens all the file formats I need it to open. I think I might go backwards.
Yeah, it's a funny product, really. They need to make it seem like it's new and improved and needed every couple of years, but
1. they can't take away too many old features, because users will bitch
2. they can't add too many new features, because there are only so many alt, shift and cmd options you can squeeze into a program
3. everything the program did a decade ago is still useful and it still makes files that are acceptable to other designers/printers/clients all over the world.
Really all they can do is improve workflow, make it look prettier, and keep piling on filters.
my observations over the weekend, because I know deep down you really care:
1. PS7 doesn't allow for selecting multiple layers, but there is the old link layer function which i sort of forgot about. so to merge multiple layers, you link em and them Merge Linked, which is only slightly more involved than Ctrl+selecting layers and Merging.
2. The different views with the F command don't let you move the canvas wherever you want, which is actually a big pain, I think. The Cs's got that shit right.
So maybe PS7 wouldn't be a perfect step backwards. But it is still pretty okay.