/>
X
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.

Close

Photoshop 7.0

Every new version of Photoshop has delivered significant, noteworthy improvements. Photoshop 4.0 unveiled Effects Layers and Actions; Photoshop 5.0 brought us the History Palette and Layer Styles; Photoshop 6.0 introduced Shapes. So Photoshop 7.0's perfunctory, 'should-have-been-there-earlier' enhancements, such as the new file browser and updated paint engine, are a bit of a letdown. For the first time, we're not convinced that every Photoshop devotee and graphics professional must upgrade. But Photoshop is still the most sophisticated image-editing application available. If you don't own an earlier version and want the best image editor on the market (or you need it to run on OS X), then Photoshop 7.0 is the best of the bunch.
Written by Lori Grunin, Contributor on
photoshop7-thumb.jpg
8.2/10

Adobe Photoshop 7.0

Excellent
Pros
  • Revved-up paint engine
  • now saves custom tool settings much-improved GIF transparency handling.
Cons
  • Offers no major new tools some processes are more complex than they need to be.
  • Editors' Review
  • Specs

Every new version of Photoshop has delivered significant, noteworthy improvements. Photoshop 4.0 unveiled Effects Layers and Actions; Photoshop 5.0 brought us the History Palette and Layer Styles; Photoshop 6.0 introduced Shapes. So Photoshop 7.0's perfunctory, 'should-have-been-there-earlier' enhancements, such as the new file browser and updated paint engine, are a bit of a letdown. For the first time, we're not convinced that every Photoshop devotee and graphics professional must upgrade. But Photoshop is still the most sophisticated image-editing application available. If you don't own an earlier version and want the best image editor on the market (or you need it to run on OS X), then Photoshop 7.0 is the best of the bunch.

Photoshop 7.0's standard Adobe look and feel, complete with drop-down palettes and menu options, remain relatively unchanged. But Adobe has introduced a few cool improvements, including the handy Tool Presets option, which lets you change and save custom parameters for any tool to a quick-access palette. With Tool Presets you can, for instance, define a 4 by 6-in. 300dpi crop box and save it as a preset.

Along the same lines, you can now save custom tool-palette layouts as Workspaces so that you no longer have to re-customise palettes every time you open a project. A Windows Explorer-like file browser, similar to the Photoshop Elements file-management system, provides a welcome, if somewhat overdue, way to sort and locate your projects: the new browser lets you sort projects by name or date and search them via keyword rather than by fishing through thumbnails in the crowded File > Open dialog.

You'll appreciate the aforementioned Workspaces, especially once you try Photoshop's slightly updated paint engine with its full-on brushes palette. Like Corel's realistic painting implements in Procreate Painter, Photoshop's improved tools now let you vary hue, opacity and flow for standard brushes such as pastels, oils and charcoal. The result is a more real-world painting experience than before. Better still, the Brushes palette now lets you set many more brush parameters, including texture, colour and shape.

With all these improvements, Photoshop's brushes are still no match for Painter's. With Photoshop, your paint doesn't have any viscosity, so the results look fairly flat. And, despite the Brushes palette's new-found flexibility, it could use a few more improvements. For example, although Photoshop supports the Wacom Intuos2 tablet we tested it with, it could use a summary view of which tools and effects you've customized to respond to stylus pressure or tilt. Surprisingly, Photoshop also lacks a velocity control option that would allow brush size and similar parameters to respond to your painting speed.

Even so, Adobe hasn't lost sight of Photoshop's primary purpose: image editing. To that end, version 7.0 adds two interesting tools to its image-editing arsenal. The Healing Brush makes quick and seemingly magical work of erasing wrinkles, minor skin defects, and other small flaws. For instance, though we couldn't quite restore the bloom to an old photo of a rose, we easily took a few days off its age. The Auto Color adjustment tool, for its part, essentially removes colour casts from your photos, such as the green cast caused by fluorescent lights, and fixes the tonal range.

Thankfully, the new features don't require much more system overhead. In our casual tests on a dual-processor Athlon XP 1900+ system, application load time increased by about only 25 percent -- roughly six-tenths of a second. When we ran Photoshop's Web-page-builder macro (which creates an HTML document from a directory of images and saves it locally) on a directory of 77 files, we saw a 35 percent jump -- a mere 30-second difference.

Top ZDNET Reviews

Raspberry Pi 4
raspberry-pi-4-model-b-header.jpg

Top ZDNET Reviews

Raspberry Pi 4

9
Raspberry Pi 400
raspberry-pi-400-header.jpg

Top ZDNET Reviews

Raspberry Pi 400

8.5
OnePlus Watch
oneplus-watch-3.jpg

Top ZDNET Reviews

OnePlus Watch

5.7
Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro
samsung-xcover-pro-7.jpg

Top ZDNET Reviews

Samsung Galaxy Xcover Pro

8.4

Adobe's bundled sister program, ImageReady, boasts a few small improvements of its own, including updates to the Rollovers palette. ImageReady 7.0 also introduces some useful image output tools: for instance, you can now create dithered transparencies for GIF files.

Without a doubt, Photoshop remains the premier image-manipulation package in its class. If you rely heavily on some of the package's newly improved functions, such as painting, you'll want to run out and buy the new version as soon as you can. Otherwise, this upgrade is more of a luxury than a necessity.

Related

Netgear Orbi Quad-Band Mesh WiFi 6E System (RBKE963): Fast but expensive wireless mesh networking
netgear-orbi-wifi-6e-rbke963-header.jpg

Netgear Orbi Quad-Band Mesh WiFi 6E System (RBKE963): Fast but expensive wireless mesh networking

NexDock 360 Touch review: Transform your Samsung smartphone into a capable laptop
nexdock-360-5.jpg

NexDock 360 Touch review: Transform your Samsung smartphone into a capable laptop

Dell XPS 17 9710 (2021) review: A highly configurable premium 17-inch laptop
dell-xps-17-9710-header.jpg

Dell XPS 17 9710 (2021) review: A highly configurable premium 17-inch laptop