Macromedia Studio 8

[DTP Reviews]
[Vector Reviews]
[Bitmap Reviews]
[Web Reviews]
[3D Reviews]

[3ds max 6]
[3DSOM Pro ]
[Acrobat 7]
[Acrobat 6]
[Acrobat 5]
[Acrobat 4]
[Acrobat 3]
[Acrobat Capture 2]
[Advanced Render 2.5]
[Articulate Presenter 5]
[AutoEye 2]
[AutoEye 1]
[Bryce 5.5]
[Camtasia Studio]
[Canvas X]
[Canvas 9]
[Canvas 8]
[Canvas 7]
[Canvas 6]
[Canvas 5]
[Captivate 1]
[Carrara 5 / Pro]
[Carrara 4 / Pro]
[Carrara Studio 3]
[Cinema 4D 9.5]
[Cinema 4D 9]
[Cinema 4D 8.5]
[ColorDrive 1.5]
[CompuPic Pro 6]
[CompuPic Pro 5]
[Contribute 2]
[Corel Designer 12]
[Corel Designer 10]
[Designer 9]
[Designer 1/8]
[CorelDraw X3]
[CorelDraw 12]
[CorelDraw 11]
[CorelDraw 10]
[CorelDraw 9]
[CorelDraw 8]
[CorelDraw Office 9]
[CorelDraw Premium 9]
[Creative Suite 2]
[Creative Suite 1]
[Deep Exploration 3]
[Deep Paint 2]
[Deep Paint 3D 2]
[Digital Image Suite 9]
[Director MX]
[Director 8.5]
[Director 8]
[DreamSuite 1]
[Dreamweaver 8]
[Dreamweaver MX 2004]
[Dreamweaver MX]
[DrawPlus 8]
[Expression 3]
[Expression 2]
[Eye Candy 4000]
[Fireworks 8 ]
[Fireworks MX 2004]
[Fireworks MX]
[Fireworks 4]
[Fireworks 3]
[Fireworks 2]
[Fireworks 1]
[Flash Professional 8]
[Flash MX Pro 2004]
[Flash MX 2004]
[Flash MX]
[Flash 5]
[Flash 4]
[Flash 3]
[FlashCom MX]
[Flightcheck 3]
[Flix Pro]
[Fontographer 4.1]
[FrameMaker 6]
[FrameMaker 5.5]
[FreeHand MX]
[FreeHand 10]
[FreeHand 9]
[FreeHand  8]
[FrontPage 2003]
[FrontPage 2002]
[FotoFusion 3]
[Generator 1]
[Genetica 2]
[Genuine Fractals 3.5]
[Genuine Fractals]
[GoLive CS2]
[GoLive CS]
[GoLive 6]
[GoLive 5]
[Headline Studio 1]
[Illustrator CS2]
[Illustrator CS]
[Illustrator 10]
[Illustrator 9]
[Illustrator 8]
[Illustrator 7]
[Image Doctor]
[InDesign CS2]
[InDesign CS]
[InDesign 2]
[InDesign 1]
[ImageReady 1]
[ImageStyler 1]
[Intellihance Pro 4]
[Intellihance 3]
[KnockOut 2]
[KnockOut 1.5]
[KPT 7]
[KPT 6]
[KPT 5]
[KPT 3]
[LiveMotion 2]
[LiveMotion 1]
[Mystical Lighting ]
[Mystical Tint]
[Namo WebEditor 5.5]
[NetObjects Fusion 7.5]
[OnOne Photoshop Suite]
[PageMaker 7]
[PageMaker 6.5+]
[PageMaker 6.5]
[PagePlus 6]
[PagePlus 5]
[PagePlus 4]
[Paint Shop Pro X ]
[Paint Shop Pro 9]
[Paint Shop Pro 8]
[Paint Shop Pro 7]
[Paint Shop Pro 6]
[Paint Shop Pro 5]
[Paint Shop Pro 4]
[PSP Album 5]
[PSP Studio]
[Painter IX]
[Painter 8]
[Painter 7]
[Painter 6]
[Painter 5.5]
[Painter 5]
[Painter 4]
[Painter Essentials 3]
[Photo Album 6]
[PhotoDeluxe BE]
[PhotoDraw 2000 2]
[PhotoDraw 2000 1]
[PhotoFrame 1]
[PhotoGraphics 1]
[PhotoImpact 11]
[PhotoImpact 10]
[PhotoImpact XL]
[PhotoImpact 8]
[PhotoImpact 6]
[PhotoImpact 5]
[PhotoImpact 4]
[PhotoImpact 3]
[Photo-Objects 2]
[PhotoPaint 8]
[Photoshop CS2]
[Photoshop CS]
[Photoshop 7]
[Photoshop 6]
[Photoshop 5.5]
[Photoshop 5]
[Photoshop 4]
[Photoshop Album 2]
[Photoshop Album]
[Ph/shop Elements 4]
[Ph/shop Elements 3]
[Ph/shop Elements 2]
[Photoshop Elements]
[PhotoSuite 7 ]
[PhotoSuite 5]
[PhotoSuite 4]
[PhotoSuite III]
[PhotoSuite II]
[PhotoTools 2]
[Picture Publisher 8]
[Piranesi 4 ]
[Piranesi 3]
[Portfolio 3]
[Poser 6]
[Poser 5]
[Poser Pro Pack]
[PrintOffice 2000]
[PrintOffice 1]
[PressReady 1]
[Publisher 2003]
[Publisher 2002]
[Publisher 2000]
[Publisher 98]
[Pxl SmartScale]
[QuarkXPress 6.5]
[QuarkXPress 6]
[QuarkXPress 5]
[QuarkXPress 4]
[Real-Draw Pro 3]
[Real Draw Pro 2]
[Sapphire Plug-ins]
[Satori 3]
[Satori 2.5]
[Sketch and Toon]
[SketchUp 5]
[SketchUp 4]
[SketchUp 3]
[SketchUp 2.1]
[SnagIt 6.2]
[Streamline 4]
[Studio 8]
[Studio MX 2004]
[Studio MX]
[Studio Pro 2 ]
[Swift 3D 4 ]
[Swift 3D 3]
[Swish 1]
[Swish 2]
[Test Strip 3]
[Texture Maker 2]
[Toon Boom Studio 3]
[Toon Boom Studio 1]
[Type Manager Deluxe]
[Vector Studio 2]
[Vector Studio 1]
[Ventura 10]
[Ventura 8]
[Ventura 7]
[Virtual Painter]
[Vue 5 Esprit]
[Vue 4 d'Esprit]
[Vue 5 Infinite]
[Vue 4 Professional]
[Web3D 2]
[Web3D 1]
[WebEasy Pro 5]
[WebPlus 8]
[Windows Draw 6]
[Windows Draw 5]
[Wright Design 1]
[Xara Xtreme]
[Xara X1]
[Xara X]
[Xara 2]
[Xara 1]
[Xara3D 6]
[Xara3D 5]
[Xenofex 2]
[Xfrog 3.5 / 4.x]
[XPress 6.5]
[XPress 6]
[XPress 5]
[XPress 4]
[xRes 2]

[Home / What's New]
[DTP / Publishing]
[Vector Drawing]
[Bitmap / Photo Editing]
[Web Design]
[3D Software]
[All Reviews]
[All Articles / Tutorials]
[Book Search / Shop]
[Site Map / Search]

you can help support the site with a direct donation or by shopping via the following links:


Thank you!




All the power the web author and developer could wish for, but this release is only truly convincing for heavy Flash users and new users looking for a bargain. .

Trial downloads/special offers from Macromedia

See separate reviews for Studio 8, Dreamweaver 8, Flash Professional 8, Fireworks 8.

studio 8

With its planned takeover by Adobe this will almost certainly be the last version of Studio and its component applications released under the Macromedia brand. So is the company going out with a bang or a whimper? More importantly, does Studio 8 do enough to persuade users to part with their money?

In many ways this should be a no-brainer. With Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Flash Professional, Macromedia provides the market-leading standalone web authoring, web graphics (bitmap and vector) and web development applications (see separate reviews). More than this, with its shared interface and technologies, the integrated Studio suite can claim to be more than the sum of its parts. Especially so in this release, which also bundles two new components, Contribute 3 and FlashPaper 2 (see What’s In / What’s Out boxout below).

Of course the argument isn’t solely about functionality, it’s also about value and here Macromedia is able to make the case for Studio even more compelling. In particular, the price for both Studio and its upgrade work out at over 40% cheaper than the equivalent combined standalone prices. And to encourage former users to rejoin the Studio bandwagon, Macromedia is offering the same upgrade price to previous users of any of the main component applications, making it even more of a bargain.

However it’s important to remember that there is no point paying for features that you won’t actually use. This puts things in a very different light. While all potential Studio users are likely to use Dreamweaver for producing their pages and Fireworks for producing their GIFs and JPEGs, the number who would make serious use of Flash will be much lower. And for those thinking about upgrading, the benefits for the mainstream page-based author are also correspondingly smaller. Look at the standalone reviews (see page ) and it’s clear that Dreamweaver 8 and Fireworks 8 remain market leaders of their respective fields thanks to their longstanding strengths rather than to any new must-have functionality.

For Flash users it’s a very different story. The new Flash 8 format and Flash Professional 8 authoring environment push forward on all fronts, building on the Flash player’s popularity to make “the world’s most pervasive software platform” more attractive than ever. Flash’s power and reach is undeniable and if you want to provide your users with the best possible web experience, Flash 8 provides the best way to do it and Studio 8 the best way for most users to buy into that future.

studio 8

Flash Professional 8 replaces Dreamweaver as the core Studio application.

Ultimately whether you see Macromedia as going out with a bang or a whimper, and therefore whether you should pull out your credit card or not, depends entirely on your primary interest. If you’re producing page-based sites with Dreamweaver/Fireworks version 8 is a damp squib, but if you’re producing or planning to produce Rich Internet Applications with Flash it’s a breakthrough release. Unfortunately for Macromedia, despite Flash’s amazing strengths, the vast majority of web authors will be sticking with the much simpler page-based approach for some time to come.

Studio 8 is a watershed release, but for Macromedia most of its users fall on the wrong side of the line.

Tom Arah


What’s In / What’s Out Boxout

Alongside its three main applications Studio 8 introduces two new supporting programs, Contribute 3 and FlashPaper 2 (see full review, issue ). Contribute is designed to enable those users who actually produce a site’s content to update it themselves using a simple browse/edit/publish methodology, while built-in protection and review features ensure that site standards are maintained. FlashPaper is designed for the same non-expert users and enables them to output any Windows document complete with all formatting to FlashPaper or PDF format ready for web display.

Contribute 3 enables site contributors to publish their own content.

Macromedia is pushing Contribute and FlashPaper as natural web partners to Studio 8, which is true to an extent. However it’s important to recognize that it’s not the proficient web authoring Studio 8 user who will actually use these programs. Both Contribute and FlashPaper will only benefit those Studio users who are producing sites where it is practical and desirable to let non-proficient content contributors update the site directly. And where this is the case, you’re almost certainly going to need more than one copy.

Ultimately then the inclusion of Contribute and FlashPaper is little more than a useful taster for a minority of Studio users. And there’s more bad news. Macromedia isn’t exactly highlighting the fact, but the biggest single change to Studio 8 is the omission of Freehand, its vector-based graphic design package. In a way this makes sense as Freehand, with its longstanding print-based pedigree, was always semi-detached from such a clearly web-focused suite. Over recent releases however Macromedia has grafted on a number of features that made the program a natural vector design partner for Flash and, despite Flash Professional 8’s new graphics capabilities, many Studio users will miss it badly.

Hopefully this isn’t the end of the road for Freehand and Macromedia contacts talked vaguely of a new version towards the end of the year. However this pushes any release beyond the likely Adobe takeover, so the jury is out. For Studio 8, the bundling of Contribute and FlashPaper and the omission of Freehand is certainly a case of half a step forward, one step back.

Tom Arah

Ease of Use
Value for Money

ratings out of 6

See separate reviews for Studio 8, Dreamweaver 8, Flash Professional 8, Fireworks 8.

August 2005

Hopefully you've found the information you were looking for. For further information please click here.

For free trials and special offers please click the following recommended links:

For further information on the following design applications and subjects please click on the links below:

[3D], [3ds max], [Adobe], [Acrobat], [Cinema 4D], [Corel], [CorelDRAW], [Creative Suite], [Digital Image], [Dreamweaver], [Director], [Fireworks], [Flash], [FreeHand], [FrameMaker], [FrontPage], [GoLive], [Graphic Design], [HTML/CSS], [Illustrator], [InDesign], [Macromedia], [Macromedia Studio], [Microsoft], [NetObjects Fusion], [PageMaker], [Paint Shop Pro], [Painter], [Photo Editing], [PhotoImpact], [Photoshop], [Photoshop Elements], [Publisher], [QuarkXPress], [Web Design]

To continue your search on the site and beyond please use the Google and Amazon search boxes below:

Web independent, informed, intelligent, incisive, in-depth...

All the work on the site (over 250 reviews, over 100 articles and tutorials) has been written by me, Tom Arah It's also me who maintains the site, answers your emails etc. The site is very popular and from your feedback I know it's a useful resource - but it takes a lot to keep it up.

You can help keep the site running, independent and free by Bookmarking the site (if you don't you might never find it again), telling others about it and by coming back (new content is added every month). Even better you can make a donation eg $5 the typical cost of just one issue of a print magazine or buy anything via or (now or next time you feel like shopping) using these links or the shop - it's a great way of quickly finding the best buys, it costs you nothing and I gain a small but much-appreciated commission.

Thanks very much, Tom Arah

[DTP/Publishing] [Vector Drawing] [Bitmap/Photo] [Web] [3D]
[Reviews/Archive] [Shop]  [Home/What's New]

Copyright 1995-2005, Tom Arah, Please get in contact to let me know what you think about a particular piece or the site in general.