Pin Me

Which Adobe CS4 Package Do I Need?

written by: Meryl K Evans•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 8/7/2011

Adobe offers six packages of CS4 products to meet the many different needs while providing savings. It may be just six packages, but it can still be tough to decide.

  • slide 1 of 6

    The latest version of Adobe's design products comes in six packages or suites. You can still buy the products individually, but you might get more for your money if you plan to buy more than one product.

    The packages are Design Standard, Design Premium, Web Standard, Web Premium, Production Premium and Master Collection. Adobe has a selector tool to help you decide the right one for you.

    The discussion of the different packages omits Adobe Bridge CS4, Adobe Device Central CS4 and Version Cue CS4 as these come with all packages for managing your media library and group files.

  • slide 2 of 6

    Two Editions of Photoshop CS4

    You have a choice between Photoshop CS4 and Photoshop CS4 Extended. The biggest difference between the two is that non-extended Photoshop does not include 3D, motion graphics and image analysis features. Extended targets those who work with film, video, multimedia, and 3D / motion applications.

  • slide 3 of 6

    Design Standard and Premium

    Targets designers working on developing rich interactive applications for print, web and mobile media. Adobe Design Premium comes with the following applications:

    • InDesign CS4
    • Photoshop CS4 Extended
    • Illustrator CS4
    • Flash CS4 Professional
    • Dreamweaver CS4
    • Fireworks CS4
    • Acrobat 9 Pro

    Design Standard comes with Adobe Photoshop CS4 not extended version. Design Standard does not include Flash, Dreamweaver or Fireworks. Those working with print media will go for the standard unless they work with interactive and Web media. US$400 separates the two packages -- not a bad deal for three major applications. The Web Standard and Premium editions don't come with InDesign, the biggest difference between the two packages for those working with print. Adobe CS4 Design Premium retails for US$1799.

  • slide 4 of 6

    Web Standard and Premium

    Web designers will want to look at Web Standard and Premium. Adobe Web Premium comes with the following:

    • Photoshop CS4 Extended
    • Illustrator CS4
    • Flash CS4 Professional
    • Dreamweaver CS4
    • Fireworks CS4
    • Soundbooth CS4
    • Contribute CS4
    • Acrobat 9 Pro

    The biggest differences between the two Web editions are three applications. Standard does not come with any version of Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat Pro. Standard also omits Soundbooth, but it's not a widely used application as the previously mentioned applications. Adobe CS4 Web Premium sells for US$1699, US$600 more than standard.

  • slide 5 of 6

    Adobe CS4 Production Premium

    Adobe CS4 Production Premium provides a suite of applications for the hard-core multimedia person.

    • Photoshop CS4 Extended
    • Illustrator CS4
    • Flash CS4 Professional
    • After Effects
    • Adobe Premier Pro CS4
    • Adobe OnLocation CS4
    • Encore CS4
    • Soundbooth CS4

    Production gives the user image manipulation applications along with video and multimedia tools. If you don't work with web or print publishing, this could be your ideal suite.

  • slide 6 of 6

    Adobe CS4 Master Collection

    Adobe CS4 Master Collection is the "everything but the kitchen sink" package for people who just want it all.

    • InDesign CS4
    • Photoshop CS4 Extended
    • Illustrator CS4
    • Flash CS4 Professional
    • Dreamweaver CS4
    • Fireworks CS4
    • Contribute CS4
    • After Effects
    • Adobe Premier Pro CS4
    • Adobe OnLocation CS4
    • Encore CS4
    • Soundbooth CS4
    • Acrobat 9 Pro

    The price tag for all of Adobe's CS4 applications is US$2499. The next most expensive is Design Premium, which costs $700 less. Design Premium doesn't include Contribute, After Effects, Premiere, Soundbooth, OnLocation and Encore. AfterEffects alone costs $999, which more than makes up for the $700 difference unless you absolutely won't use any of these multimedia and video production applications.

    Try the selector tool if you can't decide.