New Photoshop version improves tools, adds filters

You also can link layers and apply filters or transformations all at once.

 To repeat alterations, Photoshop 4.0 has Actions, which are basically recorded
macros that do the manual steps. You can build in pauses to make adjustments if needed.

 Adobe now has 48 new filters, formerly part of a separate product called Gallery
Effects. These filters transform plain photos into, say, watercolor-like paintings or
color pencil drawings.

 The beefed-up gradient tool makes multicolored gradients with much better control.
Its interface is a drastic improvement over the Kai's Power Tools plug-in that formerly
controlled intricate, multicolor fills.

 Photoshoppers will notice a slightly different interface with more powerful
selection tools and more logically ordered menus. Be careful; some keyboard commands have
changed slightly. The Command key on Apple Macintoshes and the Ctrl key under Microsoft
Windows now activate the move tool, which is an improvement.

 Users will appreciate the Free Transform tool, activated by Command-T or Ctrl-T. It
does quick scaling, distorting and rotation of a layer or selection. These commands
formerly had to be applied one at a time.

 Those who work with Adobe's PageMaker and Illustrator products and other
applications such as QuarkXPress and CorelDraw will enjoy the new grids and guides in

 One of the most maddening problems with any large-scale image is filling up
Photoshop's scratch disk, a hard-drive cache for image data. The scratch disk fills
rapidly, no matter how many gigabytes are available.

 The new Photoshop would not let me make a secondary scratch disk out of a mapped
network drive or even a connected Iomega Corp. Zip drive.

 The program also had an irritating tendency to ask permission twice. For example,
say I had a file image.jpg and made alterations to the master Photoshop-formatted file
that preserved the layers.  

If I then selected Save As, chose Joint Photographic Experts Group format and typed
image, Photoshop would ask permission to overwrite the original. 

After I approved, Photoshop would add the .jpg extension and ask yet again if it could

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