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Home > Tips March 14th, 2014

Adobe Buying Guide: Creative Cloud (CC) or CS6 – Which to Get?

When Creative Suite 6 arrived in 2012, there came with it a new way to buy Adobe software that the world had not seen before: the Creative Cloud.  Traditionally, most Adobe products had only been sold with “perpetual” licensing that doesn’t expire. The flip side is that these best-in-class tools often come with a steep price tag that is out of reach for many folks – though there have always been substantial discounts when upgrading from recent older releases, plus much lower pricing for some market segments like students and teachers

Trying to Decide Between? Read the Reviews Creative Cloud Has Been Getting from Customers

When Creative Cloud first entered the scene, there was (and still is) some uncertainty about what it meant and where it was going… But despite that skepticism, the Cloud has since gained strong adoption to become the company’s dominant product line with most customers choosing it over CS6, which Adobe still continues to sell for people who want it.  With Creative Cloud you receive the newer “CC” release that succeeds CS6 as the latest and greatest toolset, and generally gets high ratings from users.

Related: Compare Features – What’s New in Adobe CC vs. CS6?

Adobe CC is available only via a subscription model which, yes, is cloud-based in some ways – but the name has been called confusing and misconceptions abound because in fact the major applications are not online or web-based, but still run locally on your computer as before.  What’s more, the company has been clear that powerful tools like Photoshop may add some online capabilities but will never run completely in the cloud.

So at its core, this is primarily a different way of buying and using all the Adobe products you know and love (plus more). Creative Cloud membership is served as an “all-you-can-eat buffet” of the best software out there for any creative purpose, for one affordable monthly price ($29-$49/month standard in the US). The central premise is you can continue to use the same applications and services you always have – plus many more available at your disposal – with a term-based membership that includes ongoing product upgrades and new feature additions over the period.

What’s in Creative Cloud?

Creative Cloud contains new CC versions of all applications that were part of Creative Suite 6 (effectively the entire Master Collection), as well as others like Lightroom, Adobe Muse, Adobe Edge, plus a host of professional publishing services for getting your work out there.  As noted, most of these components do not run over the network – they download and install on your system desktop just like normal, and only need to be connected to the Internet once every 99 days for annual membership revalidation.

That said, however, there is an online collaborative Cloud component envelop­ing it all which allows easy web-based file storage, sharing, browsing, and syncing between computers and devices. For those who don’t have a paid subscription, there is a free level of Creative Cloud membership that provides the same commu­nity features but with 2GB of free storage instead of 20GB… The best part about this cloud storage is that your colleagues or clients do not need to have any of the actual Adobe tools installed to view or comment on the files you upload.

CC or CS6 – Which Is Right for You?

So there have been a lot of changes in recent years – and with all these developments in mind, how do you decide which one to buy?  The answer depends to a large extent on how you use the software, with these questions to ask:

  • How long will you be using the products?
  • How frequently do you usually [like to] upgrade?
  • Which Adobe programs do you want or need to use now?
  • Which tools would you like to expand to using in the future?
  • How nice is it to always have the latest releases and best features?
  • Do you own a prior product you can upgrade from, or would you buy full?
  • What will your regular annual costs be when comparing the two different options?
  • How important is it for the software that you use to be supported long into the future?

Before we get to some cost comparisons, it’s important to note that it’s not just about price. Adobe says they are supporting CS6 on the current releases of Windows and Mac OS, but do not have plans to support it on the next releases coming out from Microsoft and Apple… In other words, within less than a year it’s likely that CS6 will not be supported to run on newer operating systems. By contrast, Creative Cloud is a service as much as a product and will always be supported and updated for the latest platforms, devices, and technologies.

See Hundreds of Customer Ratings & Reviews for Adobe CC

The cost of Creative Cloud is $US49.99/month for a yearly plan, or $74.99 when purchased month-to-month with the ability to turn it on and off as needed. It’s $29.99 per month for the first year for those upgrading from a prior Creative Suite product with Adobe’s introductory offer, and $19.99/month for current students and teachers. Doing the math that’s about $600/year for regular customers, $360 for CS upgraders, and $240 for education customers… In sum it’s around $1-$2 a day. So when you look at these plans versus the tradi­tional CS6 price sheet or the cost of upgrading your current tools, which is more attractive?

Well, if you’re a solid user of Creative Suite and a happy upgrader, then the Creative Cloud could be a good deal for you. The CS6 Master suite, for example, sells for $2,600 full, or $1,050 to upgrade from CS5 – and that is for an older static version that will never evolve or improve.  So paying $1,200 spread over two years for CC (and $240 less for upgraders) could work out well considering that all upgrades and future support are included, and you can run the latest releases of all the top tools Adobe makes.

Or as Bloomberg Businessweek says, “One benefit is not having to lay out $2,500 every few years. It would take more than four years of monthly $50 subscription fees to reach the cost of an all-at-once software purchase, and the programs will always be up-to-date.”

But what if you don’t want the complete package? If you only use Photoshop (normally US$700-$1000 full, $200 upgrade) and Lightroom ($150 full, $80 upgrade) and don’t see yourself ever growing into other tools like Illustrator, Premiere Pro, Muse, or Acrobat, then there’s another choice: the new Photoshop Photography Program which includes both PS + LR for US$9.99 a month.  And if you need any other single standalone application (like, say, After Effects CC), then see the next section below for a final possibility.

The Creative Cloud FAQ: See Your Top 90 Burning Questions Answered

It goes without saying that the Cloud option is absolutely ideal for situa­tional and tempo­rary needs like project-based work, contract employment, freelancing, and so on – you only pay when you need it. It’s even possible to start out with a month-to-month membership if you want to see how you like it, after your 30-day free trial is up.

Single-App Membership – The Lesser-Known Option

If the complete Creative Cloud is too much, there’s an additional choice that many people aren’t aware of – Adobe also offers subscriptions for just a single tool like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro, Premiere, and others for only $14-$19/month, and that low pricing is available to everybody… The sign-up and download is all online so you can get going right away – and all upgrades are included, so you’re always running the latest version.

Any of the new CC tools are available on an annual as well as month-to-month basis (start-and-stop) in all languages for both Windows and Mac together, so pretty flexible. And if you happen to decide later that you want to upgrade to the complete Creative Cloud package to access all applications (at any time), then Adobe will credit back your account for the remaining amount due on your existing membership.

So when you compare that pricing of $19/month versus $1,000 to buy (say) After Effects CS6, it’s definitely worth considering – and you’ll find all the details here:

  » Don’t Need the Full Cloud? Get Any Adobe Product for $19 a Month

Creative Cloud vs. Creative Suite 6 – Pros & Cons

For a complete side-by-side analysis, check out our detailed Adobe CC vs. CS6 Comparison Chart with all the pros and cons to consider for each option.

Do you have any further questions about the comparison or your decision?  Just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

See Also

New Adobe CC Direct Download Links: All Free Trials

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  1. @Jamie

    Update to our previous response.

    Adobe has recently added a statement to the Creative Cloud FAQ that clarifies and confirms what we said – that current Creative Cloud members will have immediate access to CS7 when it comes out, but will also continue to be able to download and still use CS6 if desired, and even install & run both versions on the same computer.

    However, note that their previous (erroneous) Q&A text has not been taken out of their FAQ yet, so the potential for customer confusion remains. But happy to say that we have given you the correct answer on this.

  2. Jonny

    Obviously a lot of guys worried about losing their perpetual licence and / or being denied features that are handed to cloud users only.

    I can see how the cloud is good value to new users of Master Collection, but to most others it represents worse value than it did before. It should not be more expensive to rent software than to own it.

    The vast majority of Adobe customers are on perpetual licences for the smaller Creative Suites and have invested for many many years in those, so I really hope Adobe phase this out rather than just stop it abruptly.

    The cost problem is down to the cloud being ‘all or nothing’ – so users are forced to pay for software they probably never use and that is the #1 problem with the cloud, and when you compare cloud pricing to something such as CS Design Premium, it represents poor value for money.

    The simple solution is to offer different tariffs, much like mobile phone providers. So for example 1 app is $15 a month, any 5 apps $30 and the full collection $49. With the option to add on an extra app on a month to month basis for special project that makes it attractive.

    The vast majority of professional users only use a handful of tools (split into either print, web or video), there aren’t many who use or need all.

    I think that would make me consider the cloud, but as it stands it represents terrible value for money compared to the historical costs of upgrading and owning the software.

    Hopefully Adobe do read these forums and will take note – it’s obviously attractive for new customers, but I hope they do not forget those who have been using Adobe software for the last 20 years.

    • Well, Adobe does already offer any single CS app for ~$20 a month, and of course the entire Creative Cloud for $50 a month – or the full Cloud becomes $30/month if you’re upgrading from any CS tool or suite, from CS3 to CS6.

      So right now it’s not all-or-nothing, it’s all-or-one. It will be interesting to see going forward if Adobe does anything midway, such as offering a choice of 3 applications at a middle price point. We haven’t heard anything so it’s hard to say.

      As for the notion of being able to use all tools, you’re right there is probably nobody who uses absolutely everything in Creative Cloud. But the company has always discounted their bundles (suites or cloud) compared to individual programs, just because you’re buying in bulk. For example, all the apps in CS6 Production Premium would cost over $5,000 if purchased separately, but you get them all in the suite for $1,900 – a 65% discount – whether you use them all or not.

      Think of it like paying for every article to be provided in your daily newspaper, even though you are very unlikely to read or use all of them.

      Finally, you’re right that the math will work out differently for someone coming in with zero Adobe products versus someone already using the CS6 Master Collection. If would be nice if more Cloud upgrade options were offered, but right now there’s just the one. We’ll see what Adobe’s major announcements next week bring.

  3. Anonymous

    Do you think Adobe will stay true to what they said, that they would still offer perpetual licenced software – as long as you have CS6, you can upgrade to CS7? If they don’t, there will be a lot of angry people! I mean how hard is it to put the Creative Suite 7 as a purchased bundle? I hope they stay true to us, their loyal customers!

  4. Jonny


    I am speaking from the perspective of Creative Suite users who obviously rely on more than a single app, and also do not require the full set of apps. For them it is all or nothing.

    The point you have made for the cost of Production Premium is correct, but the 65% discount assumes every app is needed by the buyer, if they do not require all apps then any discount is negligible.

    The same for the cloud – it doesn’t matter if you need or use every app – but the fact every app is offered is used as justification for the monthly cost of the cloud compared to the current Creative Suites where not so many apps are offered.

    EG: £550 for 1 year of the cloud, vs £260 for Design Standard.

    What you get for your money is totally different, so I don’t expect the prices to be different. But the reality is that this is the choice for existing Adobe customers and why the cloud is, and always will be, a crazy idea until they either stop perpetual license upgrades, or offer the cloud at a similar price.

    You also have to bear in mind that owning software is always more cost effective as it will always represent better value over time.

    For example, the 5 year cost of buying a perpetual licence to Production Premium in Europe is £1800

    The same with the cloud is £2880

    It is what it is, and it’s still value for money (for me personally). I just wish it wasn’t touted as such a great savings, because when you look at the figures it’s just a way to force upgrades and higher fees on customers.

    • Well, one thing you’re forgetting in your simple price comparison there is the cost of upgrades over those five years – £1800 is the one-time upfront cost for a Production suite… And certainly with the CS video tools there have been enormous advancements in capabilities and productivity over the past five years vs. owning a static copy of CS4 Production.

      We would also disagree with the notion that every traditional CS suite buyer finds a perfect match of tools provided to their own particular needs… From what we’ve seen, there’s almost always some things or parts not used, but “paid for” nonetheless. That’s just life.

  5. Jonny

    I am not forgetting that at all.

    Unlike the cloud where you must keep paying, there is no need to upgrade; one can happily use any perpetual licence based purchase indefinitely.

    • Well then to some extent you’re comparing apples to oranges – and maybe that’s part of the challenge here, because the model is different.

      Some folks like to make one large purchase and keep the same version indefinitely, notwithstanding features or improvements that come out later that will save time (= money).

      Some suite customers like to skip perpetual upgrades – but because the next upgrade will then cost that much more, there’s not great advantage in doing so.

      And some folks prefer to keep up with the latest releases, supporting development of new versions and staying on the cutting edge of technology in their area.

      The goal of this article is to compare the two models in as close terms as possible, so thanks for your thoughts and adding to the discussion Jonny.

  6. Cheri Moss

    There isn’t going to be CS7, it’s all going to be Creative Cloud based now.

  7. Sean

    I know this article is about compare and contrast. The reality is CC is a rip off. Already this week I read about it being a fair price for business pros that earn large amounts of money from it. This is fine perhaps. I’m also a business pro, I’ve worked as a designer in the corporate and music (cover design) industry for 15 years, I’ve always avoided the Ad Agencies to work in smaller (3, 4, 5 people) creative ground-breaking studios. I have won several design awards. I made a decision to work alone, or in theory set up my own studio. I am a pro. But I don’t have 50 euros a month as a business start-up to spend on a product that will never be mine.

    In a horrible economic climate, clients with NO budgets, art schools turning out 1000s of unemployed graduates and a marketplace saturated with ‘designers’ actually prepared to work for free, never mind pitching for free, suddenly 50 euros per month is a lot of money. I won’t be buying it, I know many other really talented professionals wont be buying it. The irony here being that just like ‘real estate’ or property investment, the really creative people will be priced out of the market. The whole business model stinks. If I am a craftsman of anything I invest in the tools of my trade, and should something better come along, I will try it, if its better I will sell my tools and buy new tools or hand over my old tools to an apprentice. With CC I will never own anything, some will argue I invest in getting access to technology, but I will not be held over a barrel so piss my hard earned money up the wall for no return and actually have to pay Adobe money to access my own digital files of creativity.

  8. Wesley

    With so many people upset with this cloud announcement, do you think Adobe will ignore this and just do the cloud, or maybe later introduce the suites back?

    • Welcome back Wesley, here’s what Adobe says about that:

      “Adobe … will focus creative software development efforts on its Creative Cloud offering moving forward. While Creative Suite 6 products will continue to be supported and available for purchase, the company has no plans for future releases of Creative Suite or other CS products. Focusing development on Creative Cloud will not only accelerate the rate at which Adobe can innovate but also broaden the type of innovation the company can offer the creative community …”

  9. Sean


    Hi again, no this argument is too basic, even cheap. I don’t need monthly random updates to a software program that to an extent hasn’t changed greatly in its core strengths for a decade and longer. As a small business man I understand an initial investment in tools that help me do my job and I accept that. But once I make the purchase they are mine. I own them and for better or worse should I never be able to afford new add-ons, I will still be able to create and design and access my work. The subscription model (if I am accurate) cuts me off from access to productivity and more importantly access to my documents the minute I stop paying the monthly subscription. It’s like a mobile phone company telling you the minute you stop paying your monthly fee you will never speak or hear from your loved ones again. It’s nonsense. Thankfully in that scenario we have other means of communication, but as things stand Adobe has a particular monopoly in this area and they are intent on making as much money as possible from it, whilst dressing it up as some kinda techno innovative creative platform that we all need. Hopefully this will be the trigger to get some really innovative people moving fast on an alternative creative suite that will offer both competition and choice. We all adapt very quickly these days and I look forward to seeing what people can come up with.

    • Well it sounds like you’re making somewhat of an ideological argument Sean. For many customers – probably all the folks who are giving Creative Cloud five-star ratings – this model is very attractive versus having to come up with thousands of dollars to fork over for static tools.

      If you stop your mobile service then the cellphone you own becomes much less useful. Similarly if you stop your cloud subscription then you will no longer be able to use the tools – however Adobe says they are working on solutions so you can still open or access your files.

      Keep in mind that we’re not Adobe so if you have feedback that you’d like them to know about, we would suggest contacting them directly, because ranting here won’t accomplish very much.

      Also don’t forget that customers can still buy CS6 traditionally, if that’s what someone wants – so that option has not gone away, it’s just not being updated.

  10. Jonny

    @ ProDesignTools

    Your argument doesn’t make sense because the prices you keep posting are always at each extreme. It’s either the price of a single application or the price of buying absolutely every application (Master Collection).

    Most users, such as Sean, do not need the Master Collection – in fact the core user base of Adobe products use between 2 and 5 applications. The cloud is effectively forcing people to upgrade to the Master Collection; hence the great cost. And that simply isn’t what people want or need.

    So to be realistic – for Sean, who has already invested for years into Adobe software – the comparison is £330 every year, vs £560 for the cloud. An increase of 70%!

    But that’s for existing users who have already invested into Adobe right?

    If you are a new user, you could buy CS6 Creative Suite Standard today and use that to earn money for the next 5 years.

    Cost of buying CS6 = £1250
    Cost of creative cloud = £2820

    The cloud is 125% more expensive (and you still don’t own your software)

    If you wanted to use it for the next 10 years

    Cost of buying = £1250
    Cost of creative cloud = £5640

    The cloud then becomes 351% more expensive, and you STILL don’t own your software.

    So the real question is whether the updates are worth that extra money and the extra restrictions of having to pay a monthly fee for here to eternity.

    • Hey Jonny, what Sean had said was that 50 euros a month was difficult to afford in a horrible economic climate. Our point was that it’s arguably more affordable than thousands of euros when you take into account initial price and upgrades.

      Sean also didn’t say what applications or suite he had or wanted. CS Design & Web Premium is actually Adobe’s top-selling suite (£1,800). If you assume that as a baseline example, all the figures in your example are too low for the traditional model.

      On an apples-to-apples basis, your numbers also don’t take into account any upgrades for perpetual, just static copies frozen in time – and as we know from past experiences, there are usually problems when newer operating systems or hardware comes out that causes incompatibility issues with older or out-of-date software. There are also productivity benefits (time = money) of new features and performance improvements that upgrades bring.

      Lastly, you say customers might not have asked for or use everything included in Creative Cloud – but we’ve lost track of the number of positive comments we’ve seen from CC members who have expanded their universe, knowledge, value, efficiency, and expertise with new top tools they might not have otherwise learned… just because it was all there and so easy.

      Here is why Adobe is doing this. It may not perfectly fit or suit all people – especially folks that aren’t regular customers or upgraders – but this is their most basic explanation:

      Apples, Oranges, & Creative Cloud: My Thoughts on CC

      Feel free to leave feedback at that page, the company is responding.

  11. Tom

    Will Lightroom releases be able to read CC files? Does Adobe plan to publish the technical specs of their image files that will potentially allow 3rd party software developers to create products to read CC files? Many of us are just hung up on this notion that our accumulated archival work becoming inaccessible by us and our heirs down the road. Imagine if Microsoft made us pay a subscription fee for Windows or we’d lose access to our PC files if it expired, the whole world would switch to Macs in a heartbeat. This is a huge deal for me. I mean, unlike some folks, it’s not the money for me — I can surely afford the charges while I’m active working, but the fundamental notion of losing access to past work at some point when it no longer makes sense to pay is so repugnant to me, that I can’t bring myself to even start down the CC pathway.. I hope you guys come to your senses. How about if when you stop paying, the CC software can still read images, convert them to tiff, print them — just not allow editing? Must be some sensible way out of this craziness.

    • Hello Tom, thanks for your thoughts. There’s a lot of misinformation out there on this topic… For instance, many people don’t realize that Photoshop’s PSD file format is published and freely available.

      The PSD specification is publicly documented here, and in fact many other programs can read and write these files.

      For example, XnView (which is free) will read and write Photoshop .PSD files, also opens Adobe Illustrator .AI files.

      ADOView ($10) will read and display any InDesign or InCopy file, also reads Illustrator files.

      Adobe PDF is another open and published spec, and various programs both read and write those files.

      There are plenty of other third-party applications that work with Adobe file formats.

      As for Lightroom, Adobe has made a commitment that both Photoshop CC and Photoshop CS6 will be able to work together and smoothly interoperate with both Lightroom 4 and Lightroom 5.

      Lastly, the company says that the new CC tools will be able to save back to CS6-compatible file formats – for more details, see:

      Compare Version Differences: What’s New in Adobe “CC” vs. CS6?

  12. KC


    I am a teacher and would like to get Dreamweaver so that all of my students (approx. 20) can build a website.

    I am looking at either the individual app or the Creative Cloud, but I am wondering how many computers I can install the program on, and how many can use it at the same time.

    Thanks for helping!

  13. I am an active Adobe CS user but actually use InDesign, Photoshop, Acrobat and Illustrator more infrequently than I used to. Sometimes I go a month without using any Adobe apps at all except for Acrobat. This site and others allude to the notion that you can halt your subscription for a month if you are not using it. Is this true? How does it work? Where can I find documentation about this? Thank you.

  14. Jesse Majewski

    Hi. After purchasing Adobe CC Student/Teacher Version, will I be able to run it on more than one computer? ie: Desktop and Laptop?

  15. jello
  16. David

    I agree with @Sean. I run a small 3 person design company and believe it or not we are still using CS4. Works fine for us. I use an 2 year old imac and 3 year old Macbook Pro. I was looking at upgrading my Macbook Pro and starting exploring upgrading CS when I learned about cloud. I really don’t like the idea of being locked in to forced monthly payments.
    Granted, we may not be normal as we don’t upgrade on a regular basis. But we are still very efficient and can design great work with our current tools. We might upgrade every 5 years or so. We only use Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash/Dreamweaver. Very rarely, we might use In-Design but could live without it.
    I would bet most independent freelancers and smaller businesses are more like us rather than larger agencies that upgrade annually.

  17. Heavious

    I am now looking to upgrade from Design CS4 because of upgrading to a Macbook Pro with Maverick OS. CS4 will not run on it, sadly. Sadly because CS4 is still more than competent for my needs – it just doesn’t run with the new OS. So I must now upgrade, and I am willing to buy new software. I use InDesign, as well as Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat Pro. None of them are used absolutely monthly, nor on any kind of schedule. They are mostly used for personal use, and even if for more than personal, they are not-for-profit uses (not a design business). The previous version I had was the original CS. And before that was PageMaker and Freehand (each of which Adobe gobbled up and killed). So the idea of being forced to rent software is totally absurd. The “big deal” about the immediate upgrades offered by the Cloud as a huge selling point is stupid. Intellectual property investment argument? Nope, that is a false argument too. A car is full of intellectual property and I own my car. Yes, there are those who have to have the newest all the time, be it electronics, a car, or software, but I do not fall into that category. Yes, I have a new MacbookPro, but it is replacing a computer that I purchase in 2003. Note: I purchased it… not rented it… Do I rent my car? No. Do I rent the hammer in my garage that I only use occasionally (and not-for-profit when I do)? No. Why software? When I am ready to upgrade I can and do. But the notion that I must pay graft to ‘convince’ the Adobe bosses that my software is legal (that they’ll check on every 99 days or shut off if not paid up) is nothing but extortion!

  18. Sharon


    I have the membership to Adobe Creative Cloud for $30 a month – when does the price go up and what does it go up to?

    Also, I am buying a new laptop – will I be able to put all the adobe products on my laptop as well as my desktop?


  19. Scott

    Hi there,

    I’m just wondering, do you guy know how one can get a DVD of their software long after they ordered their product?

    Also is it possible to get all the latest updates on offline media as well?


    • Hey there Scott, are you talking about CC or CS6?

      For CS6, Adobe discontinued discs & boxes entirely about a year ago – and it’s not really possible to get CS6 hardcopy media after the fact.

      But for CC, it is possible to receive it on DVD instead of downloading, but only if you have a slow or unreliable Internet connection… See here for more details on how to get that.

      Electronic software distribution is now used by the vast majority of customers. And for both releases, you can just download the trial installers for the product(s) you have from our Adobe direct download links pages, and then burn those onto a disc for future use and offline backup, or store/copy to USB flash drive, or for any other need you may have…

      “Also is it possible to get all the latest updates on offline media as well?”

      For CS6, the individual product updates are available for download here.

      For CC, the latest updates are available as a separate download as well – and then put, keep, or use wherever and however you want:

      All Adobe CC Product Updates for Windows

      All Adobe CC Product Updates for Mac OS

      Finally, here’s a list of everything upgraded in CC already for subscribers since the initial launch of the product last spring.

      Hope that answers all your questions – if not then just post back!

  20. Pete

    Is it true that CS4 will no longer run on Mavericks 10.9? I have CS3, CS4, and CS6 on my computer and was about to upgrade to Mac OSX Mavericks, but I didn’t realize that CS4 wouldn’t run on the new system. What other applications won’t be running on Maverick?

    • Hi Pete, that’s a good question. CS4 was released in mid-2008 which is over five years before Mavericks existed… So these two major pieces of software have never crossed paths before, and the results are unpredictable. Apple also has a weak history of maintaining backwards compatibility in their operating systems. Thus CS4 is unsupported on Mavericks, and we’ve heard reports of some of those applications not running.

      Here is Adobe CS/CC compatibility info for Mac OS X 10.9… There are no updates for old releases, where only Photoshop was tested.

      What applications will run for sure on Mavericks? Well, you’ll see on that page that CS6 is fully supported – although as mentioned in the article above, Adobe does not have current plans to support CS6 on future Mac OS releases (like 10.10 or 11).

      CC of course is supported on Mavericks as well, and will continue to be supported with any/all changes and updates needed to maintain compatibility with current and future o/s platforms (Windows and Mac).

  21. I opted to upgrade from CS5.5 to CS6 (mainly because I’m to understand that would be the last time I’d be able to do an upgrade on what I have) and opted to not go the CC subscription route. I am one who uses software way after it’s no longer supported. Granted, a eventual new computer may not be compatible. But I always hope I can keep my computers running for a long time. And I look at it this way, I can be just as creative with stuff I do with the same software. I’m still using Final Cut Pro 6 & 7. Still does what I need it to do by giving me the tools I need.

  22. Presently I have CS5. I don’t use the Adobe too frequently but like to show friends some simple projects I made in various programs.
    If I subscribe to CC and make some projects, and then decide I won’t be using it for a period of time and stop subscribing, will I still “own” the work I already did? How would I show it to someone without resubscribing.

    • Welcome Charles, if you cancel your Creative Cloud subscription then you will still own and retain access to all your files.

      You mentioned you had CS5. You may be able to open the work you did with CC in an older CS desktop version – see our Adobe CC File Compatibility Guide for more details.

      But even if didn’t work for you, you can always view or show your work to someone else by using the Creative Cloud itself – there is a permanently-free tier of CC membership that gives 2GB of online storage for life, and any Adobe files you put there can be viewed and manipulated online in their native formats at any time…

      In other words, if you store a .PSD or .INDD or .AI file in the cloud, it will always display in any web browser as it appears in Photoshop, InDesign, or Illustrator. You and your permitted viewers can turn on and off layers, see metadata, step through artboards, etc – all online. See this video demo for how it works:

      Finally, Adobe has been resetting the free trial periods at least once per year, and these always provide 30 days of free and full use of all apps.

      Also, if or whenever needed, you can always rejoin CC on a month-to-month plan if you want short term use in the future (for any number of months), instead of subscribing longer term or annually.

  23. Elle

    I don’t own any Adobe software yet but want to purchase in order to do freelance work. Mostly photoshop, indesign, dreamweaver, flash, illustrator. I was going to purchase CS6 as I am very nervous about buying Creative Cloud and having to pay monthly if I am not earning much that month!

    I thought if I had CS6 at least I would always have a copy to fall back on if way down the line I did end up going to CC and paying monthly. What do you think is my best option?

    Also, I am struggling to find a legitimate place to buy an authentic copy of CS6 on disc instead of download. Can you help? I can find companies that offer it but their reviews are shocking and I wouldn’t trust that the software was genuine.

    • Greetings Elle, those are some good questions. Let’s try to answer them.

      If those are the minimum tools you’ll need for your work, then take a look at the CS6 Product Matrix. That shows the different CS6 configurations available. To get the 2012 versions of those tools, you’d need to purchase the CS6 Design & Web Premium Suite.

      Now check out the CS6 Price Sheet and you’ll see that product costs US$1900 upfront.

      So you mentioned affordability as one issue or concern. The Creative Cloud includes all those full tools and more – with newer releases of them – for $50 a month. Which strikes you as more affordable, if you’re unsure of your future income as a freelancer?

      Finally, Adobe no longer makes CS6 in a box – they discontinued that a year ago… So it would be difficult to find a safe and legitimate copy of that, without getting burned or scammed (read more about that here). No matter what release you get, your best bet is always to buy the software direct from Adobe.

      We’ve been through many old Adobe boxes in the years of running this site. All they are is some cardboard and a disc. There is no documentation included, that’s always available online.

      So our recommendation if you want a backup of your software is to just download the offline installers for either CS6 or CC, and then burn them onto your own inexpensive DVD, copy them to your USB flash/thumb drive, or upload them your cloud storage service.

      If you really really really want or need a manufactured disc (maybe your download speed is slow?), then you can still get a Creative Cloud DVD from Adobe, but not a CS6 disc.

      Hope this helps you decide! You may also want to take a look at our CC vs. CS6 Comparison Chart.

  24. 13th General


    As far as I can tell, the major thing holding people back – and making them nervous about CC – is that you can’t just pay for Creative Cloud for one month, or three, you have to sign up for a whole year of service.

    At least, that’s my understanding.

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