Leopard features for creative pros

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With the release of Leopard only nine days away, Apple is drumming up interest by posting an updated list of the 300+ features in Leopard. Looking over the list, I found a few previously unmentioned items that should interest creative-minded folks:

  • Font auto-activation. Apple’s Font Book application has had support for font sets, letting you load and turn off font groups, but auto-activation has been the purview of Extensis’ Suitcase Fusion, Insider Software’s Font Agent Pro and others. Not any more. According to Apple, “when an application requests an installed font that’s currently disabled, Leopard activates that font and keeps it active until the requesting application quits.” (There’s also printing of font spec sheets, which is a nice addition.)
         [Update: The excellent Web publication Typographica has posted a more comprehensive report card on Leopard's new font features. It's definitely worth reading.]
  • Support for 16-bit printing. As pro photographers move to workflows with 16-bit images—supported by Apple’s Aperture and Adobe’s Lightroom and Photoshop —they expect that the output system will also work with high-bit files. Canon’s pro printers have shipped with a 16-bit plug-in for Photoshop, and I know Epson has been pushing here as well; it’s definitely overdue. (Hopefully, we’ll also see some general improvements throughout the Leopard print architecture; we’ve been waiting for an overhaul.)
  • Better PDF manipulation and annotation. Preview will get a boatload of new features, including more image editing tools and better annotation support within PDF files. The feature I’m looking most forward to is the one that will let me rearrange and move pages within a PDF file or between multiple files. (There’s GPS support for images, too, which would sound slicker if my camera had a GPS.)

I’m sure there will be plenty of other little things that aren’t even on the list, but it certainly whets the appetite for October 26.

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