Adobe betas preview next round of Creative Suite apps

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Adobe on Tuesday gave users a look at what’s in store for the next versions of some of its Creative Suite (CS) applications by releasing free public betas of Dreamweaver, Fireworks, and Soundbooth on the Adobe Labs Web site.

Anyone can download the new betas; however, for new customers, the software will only work for 48 hours after the first launch. If you’re an existing CS3 user, you can run the betas until CS4 becomes available.

The Dreamweaver CS4 beta includes several new features for Web designers, highlighted by a Related Files Toolbar and Code Navigator. The latter tool allows users to make changes to code that appears in several parts of a document with one update.

Adobe has adopted the Webkit rendering engine, letting users see how a Dreamweaver page will look without leaving the application. Webkit is the engine that powers Apple’s Safari Web browser.

Fireworks users gain a new option to export design comps as high-fidelity, interactive, and secure Adobe PDF documents, according to Adobe.

Users of Adobe’s professional audio creation and editing application, Soundbooth, will be pleased with the multiple track support added in the beta. The feature lets users edit multiple audio clips on a number of tracks. Additionally, you can match volume levels across audio files in Soundbooth CS4.

The Soundbooth beta also lets users preview MP3 compression settings before saving them.

Dreamweaver and Fireworks require Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later and a PowerPC G5 or Intel-based Mac. Soundbooth also requires OS X 10.4.11 or later, but only runs on Intel-based Macs like its predecessor, Soundbooth CS3.

While the public betas are available now, Adobe did not say when final versions of these products—or other parts of the Creative Suite 4 family—would ship.

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