When I installed Adobe Creative Suite 5 Master Collection this past week, the very first thing I noticed was that the installer has been greatly improved over the disasterous installers used in previous Creative Suite versions. Now let me qualify that by saying they still aren’t perfect, but I think most users will agree that they’re well on their way to being what they should have been all along. Simple.

First of all, they actually look like they belong on a Mac. In the past, they screamed of being a Windows port at best. Buttons looked out of place, and the overall layout of the installer options seemed convoluted and overly difficult.

Adobe CS5 Master Collection

Adobe's Creative Suite 5 GREATLY improves the installer application

Furthermore, the install process itself took an obnoxious amount of time to install the apps – and you were likely to end up with an incomplete install if you managed to get around the “Quit all your apps before we proceed warning message.”

CS5 InstallThe new version offers a simple list of icons you can choose to install on the left. On the right, you’re shown components included with the installation of each app you have chosen. You can choose to not install those “optional” components if you wish, but you’ll likely have to do it more than once if you’ve purchased the Design, Web, Production or Master collection. For instance, Adobe AIR is part of the install for more than one app, so turning off the install for one app will simply result in it being installed with another one. To be honest, I don’t think you have any choice in the matter, you WILL have AIR installed.

Another app you’ll have no choice in installing is Adobe Bridge. There’s no way to choose to not install it. That being said, the speed increase and integration with other Creative Suite apps is worth installing it anyway.

Finally, the speed with which the individual applications get installed has been greatly improved. Installing the CS4 Design Premium edition took nearly 7 weeks (or so it seemed). Installing the entire CS5 Master Collection took just over 35 minutes. That’s nearly twice as many apps in significantly less time. And you’re no longer forced to quit your web browser while installation is taking place. Nice!