One of the most common upgrade questions we see out there is asking what’s new, what’s different, what’s better, what’s changed between Adobe’s just-launched CC 2015 release and the previous CC 2014, CC 2013, or 2012’s Creative Suite 6 – or even the older CS5, CS4, CS3? Or more fundamentally, what are the key new features in CC 2015 versus prior versions?
Now that the new CC 2015 milestone release is out worldwide, everyone is entitled to either a free upgrade or a free 30-day trial (possibly up to 60 days). Ongoing access to these tools requires a Creative Cloud membership (either for one app or for all of them), with discounts available for education customers. Adobe says that if you look at all of the changes since CS6 to the current CC 2015 release, there have been well over 1,000 significant updates – meaning new and improved features, added capabilities, and performance improvements – to the key creative applications.
Now that the Adobe CC release is becoming widespread with over 7 million paid customers, some folks are asking us whether the new versions of the tools in the Creative Cloud can read or save older data/document/project file formats like CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4 & CS3…
In fact, now that Adobe’s flagship creative toolset CC 2015 (aka CS9) is three major releases past CS6 from 2012, file version compatibility can sometimes be an important decision point in moving forward.
In the past, new Adobe product versions have often brought different or expanded file formats to support significant new features – and customers want to know if their existing projects will easily carry forward with them when they upgrade, or if they will be able to save back to older formats for coworkers or clients who may still be running an earlier revision of the programs…
OK then, here’s how it works. Generally, your new CC tools will be able to open and use any and all earlier CS project and data files – including CS3, CS4, CS5, CS5.5, and CS6 files – with no problem or loss of information. In other words, all Adobe software is able to read or import file formats from previous versions of the same program – and it should happen seamlessly and automatically. The only exception to this is Premiere Pro, where it’s best to open/edit projects in the same versions that created them.
One of the most common upgrade questions we see out there is asking what’s new, what’s different, what’s better, what’s changed between Adobe CS6 and CS5.5 or CS5? Or more fundamentally, what are the key new features in CS6 versus prior versions, even compared to CS4 or CS3?
Creative Suite 6 contains hundreds of new or enhanced features and functions across the 14 point products that comprise it. So the easiest way to look at it is by major product… For example, Photoshop CS6 Extended has 62% more new features added in this cycle compared to the previous one, and nearly twice as many JDI requests (user-focused “Just Do It” items) addressed. You’ll find the details on these linked from the table below.
Adobe turns 30 this year. Over the decades the company has excelled at creating software that abstracts the latest technology in a way that makes it easy for customers to express unique ideas and deliver those ideas in a variety of media. Whether you’re editing an image with Photoshop, creating vector graphics in Illustrator, or laying out a page in InDesign, the goal of Creative Suite 6 is to give you total creative freedom along with the control and precision to ensure the highest quality when it comes to production. And when you combine the new time-saving features in CS6 together with the major reengineering of key user interfaces – in particular Photoshop, Illustrator, and Premiere Pro – plus further deep optimization of tool performance, you should be able to get that work done faster and more efficiently.
Yes, CS5 is out! It looks like a phenomenal release, and we have full coverage – including new products, pricing, configurations, system reqs, videos, “what’s new” feature lists, and more:
- Creative Suite 5 Product Overview
- CS5 Full Product Configuration Matrix
- CS5 Complete System Requirements
- CS5 Pricing for Commercial and Education
- What’s New in Photoshop CS5
- What’s New in Dreamweaver CS5
- What’s New in Illustrator CS5
- What’s New in InDesign CS5
- What’s New in Flash Pro CS5
- All About New Flash Catalyst CS5
- What’s New in Contribute CS5
- What’s New in Premiere Pro CS5
- What’s New in After Effects CS5
ALL CS5 products are immediately available for purchase and instant download, with free shipping on all Adobe orders over €500/£350 in Europe and the U.K. (no coupon or promo code is required)…
On Adobe’s site: If you’re considering upgrading from your current software, here’s a helpful upgrade guide. Also new is an excellent FAQ covering purchasing policies and key product changes… The online documentation for all CS5 products also just went up.
[UPDATE (May 13th) – Adobe CS5 is now shipping and downloadable in 16 languages: English, French, German, Japanese, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Czech, Polish, Russian, and Korean.]
[UPDATE (June ’15) – These still work to download the CS5 trials.
We also now have the all-new Adobe CC 2015.5 Direct Links!]
Following our popular post last week with the direct download links to the official trials of CS4 and CS3 for those who need them, by reader request we are doing the same for all CS5 products here… In theory the Akamai Download Manager (DLM) that Adobe uses is a good thing, intending to reduce download times and provide a ‘resume’ capability in case of interruption. But despite their best efforts, some folks are still having problems downloading CS5 using Akamai, so we thought we’d provide a complete set of direct download links for all Adobe Creative Suite 5 software (Windows and Mac), for instant easy access and to assist in these cases…
Below is a table for CS5 trial downloads in major languages. These links go to the authentic and original CS5 files residing on Adobe’s servers, are guaranteed genuine and will not change. For Windows, each program consists of up to two files, an .exe and a 7-Zip file (.7z). The .exe file will only work when the .7z file is also fully downloaded and resides in the same location. For the Mac, it’s just a single .dmg file for each program.
This is one of the top questions we get. Especially now that Adobe is releasing a new version of Creative Suite once per year – with each edition potentially bringing a different or expanded file format – customers want to know if their existing projects will easily carry forward with them when they upgrade, or if they will be able to save back to older formats for clients or colleagues who are still running an earlier version of the tools…
OK then, here’s how it works. Generally, your new CS6 tools (including those in the Creative Cloud) will be able to open and use any and all earlier project and data files no problem (including CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS5.5 files), without any loss of information. In other words, all Adobe software is able to read or import file formats from previous versions of the same program – and it should happen automatically.
Going the other way, when wanting to use CS5 or older tools to open a file saved from a CS6 product, the answer is it depends… Let’s take a look at the interoperability for each application within the Creative Suite, then at the bottom we’ll talk about some additional tips and best practices no matter what your situation.
[UPDATE (January 2013) – See also: 30 new hours of free tutorials for CS6!]
We’ve covered AdobeTV before, but it just keeps getting bigger and better… They’ve just issued a large series of free new video tutorials for every CS5 point product. You can learn the basics with Getting Started overviews and New Features reviews by product experts, over 17 hours in all. And if you want to get started today, you can go ahead and download a 30-day free trial for any CS5 product and begin getting trained…
Here’s how it breaks out:
[UPDATE (June 2014) – See this comment below for an important update on this article.]
Adobe’s Creative Suite 5.5 has been out since May, and has generally been well-reviewed and even lauded as a must-have release… Nevertheless, some folks are still looking for or require older versions of the software, like CS5.0 or CS4. Why?
Two common reasons are the higher system requirements – 64-bit for some components of CS5 like After Effects & Premiere Pro, as well as cases where the rest of a customer’s site is still running an older version and would like to add a new setup with the same compatibility. And occasionally some folks say they prefer the earlier, simpler versions over newer ones with more features.
The challenge is, once a new release comes out, Adobe no longer officially sells the older version (with one exception). So if you need a prior release, what do you do?
If you want the trial version to use for 30 days, that’s easy – Adobe actually keeps most older original trials still available for download on their servers – including all of CS4 and CS5, plus earlier releases of Acrobat, Lightroom, Elements, etc… You can find those trials all linked for download here:
But how about when you want to actually buy CS4 or CS5?
If you ask Adobe, they’ll usually tell you to check their official list of authorized resellers & retailers to see if someone still has the version you want in stock. The problem is it’s inconvenient to search as often those stocks are thin or sold out, and no longer available.
Click to immediately download whichever you like, from Photoshop CS5 to Master Collection!
All CS5 trials are fully functional for thirty days and can run side-by-side on your system with older versions, without interference. The Windows or Mac downloads can be installed on multiple computers if desired – and if and when you are ready to buy, you can easily convert your trial to permanent unrestricted use without reinstalling the software in most cases:
Content Aware Fill is one of the major features added since Adobe Photoshop CS5, and is said to be one of its greatest new timesavers. CAF allows you to move or delete parts of your image and Photoshop will automatically and intelligently fill in the space left behind. We’ve written about it before with the quote, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” [Arthur C. Clarke]
Yet we still see some people claiming that Content Aware Fill “doesn’t work,” “doesn’t give results like in the demo video,” “doesn’t use the right background,” or is just hype, smoke-and-mirrors, or a “gimmick.”
It’s true that it doesn’t always work and of course has its limitations. You can’t synthesize brand new material or hidden content that doesn’t exist in some related form elsewhere in the image. And often it will require some retouching afterwards to get the final result you want.
But usually it will get you most of the way there very quickly – if you know the most effective ways to use the feature. The best is when it “just works” without doing anything special, and this happens often enough too…