Monday, August 18, 2008

Adobe’s Application Templates are Worth a Look

I’m in the process of creating a website. I’ve done this many a time, for many a client, and I usually do what many professionals do – I do everything from scratch.

This time around, I was browsing some of the pre-configured templates which come with Adobe’s Dreamweaver CS3. I remember briefly exploring these templates when Dreamweaver was a Macromedia product years ago. They were okay, but nothing special.

Adobe has really done a lot of work in putting together some pretty good basic designs, and not just using plain vanilla HTML either. There are templates in JSP, XML, and other more advanced varieties.

I was so impressed with the templates, I took one and began to use it for one of my current projects. I’ve made a lot of modifications, but the underlying themes and styles remain true to the original template design.

That says a lot, when a professional can go in and use a pre-packaged template. At professional functions, if anyone ever mentioned they had used – or even just “thought about” using one of the templates which came with their software they were using, they’d be laughed out of the room.

Real professionals do it from scratch – that’s why we’re paid the big bucks.

Not so anymore, at least for those using Adobe’s products. Adobe has always been a leader in creating exceptional professional-level software tools. I am proud to be an Adobe shop – I use the complete set of Adobe CS3 (Creative Suite 3). I use PhotoShop to edit photos, Premier to edit videos, SoundBooth to edit audio, Acrobat to make PDFs, even InDesign to layout print materials.

The good thing about Adobe CS3, is all the products were designed to work together. They don’t always offer completely seamless integration, but for the most part they work very well together. Far better than Microsloth’s offerings, and way better than most other products on the market today.

I haven’t explored the templates in the other Adobe products, and I’m not even sure if there are templates in all of them. But when my brain is fried, trying to figure out a design for a project which just isn’t coming together, I’ll definitely take a look at any templates which came with the product.

From now on I won’t be afraid to admit to using a pre-packaged template, at least from Adobe. These templates don’t offer all the bells and whistles, but those can be added. The main thing is they provide a sound starting ground to build up from.

After working on the same project for eight or more hours a day, for weeks, one’s mind can use some stimulation every so often to get the creative juices flowing again.

And pre-package templates can do just that, so long as they look good enough to be at a professional level. Adobe’s pre-packaged Dreamweaver CS3 templates are at that level. I’ll have to take some time to explore the other Adobe CS3 products and see what goodies are there for the taking.

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