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Exploring Workspaces in Adobe CS4

Adobe Illustrator's workspace selector with preset workspaces

Adobe Illustrator's workspace selector.

With the release of Adobe’s CS4 lineup, one of the new features in many of the applications have a feature for the user interface known as Workspaces. Workspaces are pre-configured perspectives with a handful of windows and panels that pertain to the theme of the workspace. By using and understanding workspaces, you have the potential of increasing overall productivity with the preset workspaces included in all of Adobe’s applications.

The default workspace set up on each Adobe application is the Essentials workspace. Most novice to intermediate users that are creating a project for a class or maybe for their own products (such as labels, tags, etc.) can easily be satisfied with the Essentials workspace, but for those who may be more savvy, or at least prone to working with more than one Adobe application, workspaces in Illustrator CS4 such as Like InDesign or Like Photoshop. Each of these workspaces resemble the respective applications in their titles and make it easier for a user to switch back and forth or transition from one application to the next.

For those using an application for something more specific and narrowed down, such as Adobe Illustrator for a typography oriented project, Adobe has provided users with more specific workspaces such as Printing and Proofing and Typography.  These workspaces are designed with the said specific project in mind. The nice thing with workspaces is that they can be changed at any time and are fully customizable.

Custom Workspaces

If a designer has a specific way they work on a wide range of projects that gives them the tools and panels necessary in a more comfortable and productive manner, they have the ability of creating a custom workspace by saving their current panel setup and giving it a name.  For example, if I created a workspace for a trendy product label that utilizes the Brushes, Color, Swatches, and a handful of other panels, all I have to do is go under the workspace selector and click on Save Workspace. I will then be prompted to give my workspace a name. I’d name it something along the lines of Label Workspace or Label Project to remember the workspace’s intended purpose. If I create too many workspaces and would like to remove a few of them, I would go under the Manage Workspaces option under the workspace selector to remove (or add more) custom workspaces.

Workspaces in the Adobe CS4 lineup are not only a good way to transition and/or give emphasis to certain tasks, but they are also great at learning some of the new (or newly discovered) features that Adobe has to offer in their current suite.  By creating and managing your own workspaces, you’ll never lose that custom workspace you’ve adopted as your own default workspace ever again!  Happy designing. 🙂

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