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WinLab Reviews
Software
Adobe Streamline 4.0
Master Those Rasters

-- by Lynn Ginsburg

Graphic artists typically invest a lot of time juggling two mutually exclusive graphics formats: raster and vector. Adobe Streamline, a utility that specializes in turning raster images into vector files, can automate and ease this common conversion process.

With version 4.0, you can now convert just a portion of an image and specify individual path options that are best suited to each section. This is useful because certain areas of an image may be better suited to a curved path or a straight line, for example. The program provides marquee and magic wand tools to help you select a specific area for conversion, and, when you create multiple selections within a single image, Streamline will match them together so they appear as a unified image.

In addition, Streamline introduces support for unlimited color conversion; allows you to specify custom spot colors (like Pantone) for converting images; and can generate tints of colors to simulate duo-, tri- and quadtones. These features improve the program's complexity and quality of color effects.

Streamline offers a good choice of export formats, including AI, EPS, DXF and WMF. In addition, it can import and batch-process TIFF, PCX, Photoshop 3.0, or Macintosh PCT or PNT files; files from any 32-bit TWAIN source or files dragged and dropped from Photoshop, Illustrator and PageMaker. However, the program's file support is fairly limited, since you can't open some popular Windows graphics types such as BMP, GIF or JPEG files. To work with GIF and JPEG files-the most popular Internet graphics formats-you must first convert them in another program to one of Streamline's few supported formats.

Despite these limitations, Streamline is a handy tool. It makes a good partner to other programs in Adobe's graphics toolkit-including Photoshop, Illustrator and PageMaker-and offers new features that provide increased flexibility, utility and control.

QUICK VIEW

Adobe Streamline 4.0

Bottom Line: Automates conversion of raster images to vector format
Price: $199
Platforms: 95, NT
Pros: Unlimited support for custom colors; support for multiple conversion methods in a single image
Cons: Limited import formats
Strongest Rival: None at this time

Adobe Systems, 800-649-3875, 408-536-6000. Winfo #599

Windows Magazine, October 1997, page 162.

[ Go to October 1997 Table of Contents ]