May 2004

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Reviews by
Suzanne Thomas

Illustrator CSIllustrator CS Visual QuickStart Guide by Elaine Weinmann and Peter Lourekas, Peachpit Press, $24.99

The best things about this book are the table of contents and the index. The TOC displays an icon to specify a substantially new feature in CS and the index covers everything in Illustrator CS. Questions about the new Scribble and 3D effects? Check the index. Is this a new type feature? Check the TOC. With visual aids and step-by-step instructions for using this marvelous but complex application, whether you’re an experienced user or new to Illustrator, this is the first book you should buy. It’s certainly the book you’ll use more often. Users new to the Visual QuickStart series and those who’ve prospered because of it will not be disappointed with this solid and comprehensive edition.

Illlustrator HOTIllustrator CS Hands-On-Training by Jeff Van West with Lynda Weinman, $44.99 w/CD. Peachpit Press.

As an introduction to Illustrator or as a learning tool, this book is invaluable, and not just for the text. The movies on the CD and on the Lynda Weinman Website provide the easiest way to learn the more complex functions in Illustrator CS. The step-by-step exercises using files on the CS coupled with the tutorial movies give you more than a basic understanding of the application. The side notes in the text provide excellent background on why Illustrator CS behaves as it does and the information on integration with Photoshop is absolutely essential for anyone working with both applications. This is a hard book to put down because the more you use it the more you learn and the more proficient you become. For classrooms and training centers, this book is a much better choice than the Classroom in a Book series.

InDesign CS Killer TipsInDesign CS Killer Tips: The Hottest Collection of Cool Tips and Hidden Secrets for Adobe InDesign by Scott Kelby and Terry White, New Riders, Scott Kelby Books, $42.99.

Like the other books in this wonderful series, this book is for those familiar with the application but want to become power users. It’s especially helpful for refugees from QuarkXPress who miss the shortcuts for bypassing dialog boxes and menu commands. The section on creating PDF files is better than anything in the manual and the simple (Why didn’t I think of that?) tips that save you so much time will have you setting Halleluiah! in bold type. Each killer tip includes a full color graphic showing you exactly how it’s done, making working with this book more like eating peanuts than learning as you won’t be able to stop with just one or two. That’s how much fun this book is.