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Adobe has one Creative Suite

Adobe Systems' Adobe Creative Suite 2, which is expected to start shipping in about a month, is impressive. The premium edition of the suite features new full versions of Adobe's flagship design applications, including Adobe Photoshop CS2, Adobe InDesign CS2, Adobe Illustrator CS2, Adobe GoLive CS2 and Adobe Acrobat Professional 7.0.

But what makes Creative Suite 2 especially interesting is the new Adobe Bridge, a visual file browser that ties all the other applications together. Bridge links all the metadata you may have attached to files, even as you insert them into other files. You can, for example, search for and access a Photoshop file that might be inserted into an InDesign page. You can also quickly change design elements for an entire set of files, and you can synchronize color settings for an entire project that is assembled using elements from different applications.

Bridge also provides easy access to more than 230,000 stock images.

Company officials estimate that Creative Suite 2 Premium Edition will sell for $1,199.

Namescape offers e-directory

State and local government officials are increasingly interested in creating electronic directories of employees to help citizens find the appropriate person to contact without searching outdated phone books, according to Randy Bradley, president and founder of Namescape. The company's rDirectory does just that.

The Phoenix-based firm, which has only six employees, recently won a contract to put the names and contact information of Iowa's 30,000 state employees in a searchable online database. Fulton County, Ga., which includes Atlanta, is using rDirectory for the same thing.

"We address a problem that any organization has — how to let people inside or outside look up information," said Bradley, who demonstrated the product recently at the FOSE show in Washington, D.C.

Organizations that use Microsoft Outlook can use rDirectory, which works with Microsoft's Active Directory, Bradley said.

"What you end up with is a unified information system that can be synchronized with other databases," he said.

And the directory can be updated immediately, deleting information for people who no longer work in a particular office.

Namescape has yet to break into the federal market, but Bradley said it is available on the General Services Administration schedule.

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