Adobe offering tool betas

Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Soundbooth tools get a public outing.

Adobe Systems released Tuesday public beta versions of upcoming upgrades to the company's Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Soundbooth tools.

The products are to be part of the next release of Adobe Creative Suite, for building of Web sites and applications. This will be version 4 of Creative Suite, which could ship later this year or in 2009 if Adobe sticks to its usual 18-24-month release cycle for the suite. The betas will be active for 48 hours once downloaded. Afterward, they are only usable by Adobe Creative Suite 3 customers.

The Dreamweaver tool is for Web design and development, while Fireworks is for Web prototyping. Soundbooth offers audio creation and editing capabilities.

The Dreamweaver beta includes a Related Files Toolbar and Code Navigator feature to examine pages that include HTML files, links to JavaScript documents, and integrated XML data. Users can view related files in the Related Files Toolbar. Code Navigator lets users make changes to code that appears in various parts of a document.

Also featured in the Dreamweaver is a Live View Mode based on the Webkit open-source rendering engine. Users can see content in real-time environments without having to exit Dreamweaver. Also, JavaScript language can be frozen to debug interactive pages and interact with Flash content.

The Fireworks beta offers a new user interface consistent with other applications in Creative Suite. The beta is compatible with Adobe AIR (Adobe Integrated Runtime), HTML, Flash, and Flex Builder; designs can be developed once and deployed to these application platforms. AIR enables rich Internet applications to run offline.

"With Fireworks, you'll basically be able to build a mockup or prototype of an AIR application and demo it for your clients," said Heidi Voltmer, Dreamweaver marketing manager.

Also, the Fireworks beta allows for exporting of design compositions as secure PDF documents for enhanced client communication, Adobe said.

The Soundbooth beta features audio production capabilities like multiple track support to edit audio clips on a number of tracks, and the ability to match volume levels across audio files. Users can preview MP3 compression settings before saving them. Speech recognition technology in the beta lets users build transcripts of dialogue tracks and search them for words and phrases within a timeline.

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