A Close Look at Adobe CS Review

Wdd Logo.
November 19, 2010

thumbAdobe's CS Live online service includes a ton of useful tools for designers and their clients.

Adobe CS Review is just one such tool, but arguably might be one of the most useful for many designers.

CS Review is a free (for the first year, at least) service that allows you to share documents from any CS5 program with clients or other team members for review, even if they don't have CS5.

You can also use it to upload projects within your web browser, for those who might not have CS5, or if you need to post something for review from outside CS5.

Streamlines the Entire Review/Approval Process

CS Review streamlines the whole review process by removing certain steps between you and your client. If your normal review/approval process relies on email, then your workflow probably looks something like this:

Save file as PDF/JPG/etc. — > open email program — > send email to client — > wait for client to review and send back convoluted email trying to explain which parts they like and don't like — > make changes, keeping email open in one window and project in another — > save new version as PDF/JPG/etc. — > repeat

Not exactly the most efficient workflow, is it? Compare it to how your workflow might look if you're using CS Review:

Create new review — > upload file and share with clients — > review client comments in CS5 — > make changes/reply to comments — > upload new version for review

It's much more streamlined, and you're only using one program.

Improve Team Workflow

CS Review is useful for more than just sharing documents with clients, though. It's also a great way for team members to work together, where each team member is working on a different aspect of the project.

Rather than emailing around files and always having to wonder if the version you have is the most current, you can simply set up a personal workspace where each team member can upload documents for all the other team members to view and comment on.

This is useful for a couple of reasons. First of all, your other team members don't need to have the same software you have. They can view the files right in CS Review, without having to open up additional programs. It also makes it easy for everyone to see what everyone else is doing on the project, and to communicate ideas so everyone can see.

Fully Integrates with CS5

The full integration with CS5 is one thing that makes this an incredibly useful tool, and sets it apart from other tools that let you share files with clients.

You can upload a file right from inside your CS5 program (just look in the Live menu for the option to create a new review). If you're using InDesign or another program with multiple pages in one project, you can upload a page range or the full document. This streamlines things by not requiring you to save a different version with only part of the document for sharing.

But the integration doesn't stop there. When your clients or team members have commented on the document being reviewed, you can then view those notes right within your CS5 program, as well as reply to comments and approve or deny them. So there's no need for you to go back and forth between your web browser and CS5 when making changes.

Implementing CS Review

Because CS Review is integrated into all the CS5 products, implementing it is painless. You'll need a CS Live account, but beyond that, everything can be accessed from within CS5.

If you don't have CS5, you can still use CS Review. You'll just need to upload your documents manually, through the web interface. The web interface can only handle image files, not native CS files, so you'll need to take the time to resave your files. Some sort of automated conversion would be a great feature Adobe might want to consider adding in the future.

Anyone you choose can access the files you share, provided they have a Flash-enabled web browser. The entire interface is very user-friendly, which means even clients who aren't particularly tech-inclined shouldn't have any problem reviewing and commenting on files.


If you're using CS5 for your designs, then incorporating CS Review into your workflow is almost certainly going to save you time and energy in dealing with clients to get approvals or feedback.

Being able to work directly from within CS5 will go a long way toward streamlining your workflow. It's also great for collaborating with team members or others you want to get input from.

If you're not using CS5, then the benefits are a bit less obvious. There are plenty of services out there that let your clients comment and markup your designs. CS Review is definitely among the best, but there isn't really any one feature that makes it stand out as the best. Then again, if you plan to upgrade to CS5, you might as well start using it over something else now.

Since CS Review is free (at least for the first year, though nothing has been announced about charging for it after that), it's definitely worth trying out to see if it, in fact, does speed up your projects.

You can check out CS Review at Adobe's Website

Reviewed exclusively for WDD by Cameron Chapman. This review was sponsored by Adobe, although all opinions expressed in this post are the author's only and were not influenced by Adobe in any way.

Have you used CS Review? If so, what are your thoughts on it? Please share in the comments below!

WDD Staff

WDD staff are proud to be able to bring you this daily blog about web design and development. If there's something you think we should be talking about let us know @DesignerDepot.

Read Next

3 Essential Design Trends, December 2023

While we love the holidays, too much of a seasonal theme can get overwhelming. Thankfully, these design trends strike a…

10 Easy Ways to Make Money as a Web Designer

When you’re a web designer, the logical way to make money is designing websites; you can apply for a job at an agency,…

The 10 Most Hated Fonts of All Time

Remember when Comic Sans wasn’t the butt of the jokes? Long for the days when we actually enjoyed using the Impact…

15 Best New Fonts, November 2023

2023 is almost over, and the new fonts are still coming thick and fast. This month, we’ve found some awesome variable…

Old School Web Techniques Best Forgotten

When the web first entered the public consciousness back in the 90s, it was primarily text-based with minimal design…

20 Best New Websites, November 2023

As the nights draw in for the Northern hemisphere, what better way to brighten your day than by soaking up some design…

30 Amazing Chrome Extensions for Designers and Developers

Searching for a tool to make cross-platform design a breeze? Desperate for an extension that helps you figure out the…

Exciting New Tools for Designers, November 2023

We’ve got a mix of handy image helpers, useful design assets, and clever productivity tools, amongst other treats. Some…

The Dangers of Doomscrolling for Designers and How to Break Free

As a creative professional, navigating the digital realm is second nature to you. It’s normal to follow an endless…

From Image Adjustments to AI: Photoshop Through the Years

Remember when Merriam-Webster added Photoshop to the dictionary back in 2008? Want to learn how AI is changing design…

3 Essential Design Trends, November 2023

In the season of giving thanks, we often think of comfort and tradition. These are common themes with each of our three…

30 Obsolete Technologies that will Perplex Post-2000s Kids

Remember the screech of dial-up internet? Hold fond memories of arcade machines? In this list, we’re condensing down 30…