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Entries in Adobe (1)

Tuesday
Sep252012

Hey, Big Spender

My credit card has been busy for two quadruple-digit reasons. The first was my new MacBook Pro, currently nestled in my lap. To date, my personal computers had always PCs, which are perfectly fine for my left-brain, engineering side that enjoys Bill Gates–step-by-step methodology. I even used Adobe CS3 on my most recent PC: a stlll-chugging Toshiba Satellite, which I not only bought from a brick-and-mortar store, but one called Circuit City.

At Syracuse University, I had my first meaningful date with Macs. Something happens when you sit in front of a design object that looks good and works effortlessly. It’s like doning a pair of Louboutins or a Prada bag—not that I own either, as this post reveals where my money goes.

You know what a MacBook Pro looks like; here’s a photo I edited using CS6 on my new MacBook Pro. I took this photo on the Highline in New York, but with CS6’s updated Content Aware, who knows what is real? (Everything is, actually.)When my Satellite started groaning each time I previewed a RAW file, I made the leap to a 13” MacBook Pro. I did not pay the extra $800 for the Retina display though I did pace at the Apple store between the withs and withouts enough times to rile up the blue-shirted geniuses. As a photographer, I thought I would surely need the Retina display. But I couldn’t justify the cost for a gratuitous feature that wouldn’t necessarily benefit my business. Who knew what my clients, print-processing labs, and friends were seeing on their screens?

I did assuage my acquiescence with a 24” HD LED external monitor, which cost much less than $800.

And what greater reason to buy a MacBook Pro than to run memory-taxing, processor-hogging design software? A legitimate (take that, Accountant!) copy of Adobe CS6 Design Standard now fills my bottom menu bar.

In early September, Adobe offered a 10% discount for its products; 10% off $1299 doesn’t stop the ache from the sucker punch, but at least it staunches the bleeding.

Adobe does offer a Cloud subscription service, but at $59 per month (or $29/month if you commit to a full year and catch the promotion), that’s still $708 a year. And you need presumably a reliable Internet connection to run the software. If I was cool enough to be a video editor and had to choose between the Cloud and the $2,599 Master Collection, then the Cloud would be a great deal. Those Adobe pricing executives know what what they’re doing.

Some people argue that Adobe price gouges its customers (even upgrades start at $275), to which Adobe responds by silently staring at the black market software on every college student’s laptop. Before venturing further in this topic, I will return to ogling my MacBook Pro and list my favorite short cuts.

Preface: For recovering PC users, the Command button is your go-to shortcut key instead of the Control button. Also, if you still mouse over to click the Go arrow in your Internet browser address bar or to hit OK in any dialogue box, please stop. Hitting Enter or Return will get you there much faster and keep your fingers on the keyboard.

I juxtapose this patronizing tone with the fact that several of my favorite MacBook Pro shortcuts occur with the Trackpad. (Note: I set my trackpad to respond to taps instead of clicks because doing a finger pushup on the pad feels like I’m denting it.) 

  • Two-finger scroll: It’s better than the space bar, arrow keys, and certainly the scroll bar because it works on nearly anything that has more information than the screen can show: including a drop-down menu, website, or table. It’s graceful and barely distracts you from your primary task. On web browsers, scrolling left and right with two fingers takes you to previously-viewed pages.
  • Three-finger upsweep: To see miniature versions of all the windows you have open, this swipe is more fun than cycling through applications with Command-Tab—though maybe not as fast.
  • Command+arrows: Up and down take you to the top and bottom of the page, left and right take you to Home and End, respectively.
  • Control+Tab: Switch between tabs in programs, such as Internet browsers (my current choice of browser is Google Chrome)
  • Command+W: Closes out the too-many windows I have opened, but not the application itself. 
  • Command+Q takes care of that. 

The one thing my PC-reflexes still seek is a Delete button to erase text from left to right (different from Backspace). Maybe it’s because I’m left handed, but I’m accustomed to deleting text in a forward motion. With the help of Google, I’ve found relief via the Fn and Delete keys. Now if only I can stop swiping fruitlessly at the trackpad on my other PC laptops.

[Note: The post has been updated to include the delete shortcut.]