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Compare Versions: What’s New in CC 2014 Release vs. CS6 & Older?

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 2014 release and the previous 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 2014 versus prior versions?

What Are the Differences Between Adobe CC 2014 vs. CS6 and Other Versions — What's New?

Now that the new CC 2014 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), with signif­icant discounts available for upgrad­ers and education custom­ers. Adobe says that if you look at all of the changes since CS6 to the current CC 2014 release, there have been over 1,000 updates – meaning new and improved features, added capabil­ities, and perfor­mance improve­ments – to the key creative applications.

There are 20 different desktop tools included in Creative Cloud, so the easiest way to look at it is by product… For example, Photoshop CC 2014 contains all of the 3D functions that were previously only available in the PS ‘Extended’ edition – and overall is packed with new features for designers, photographers and digital artists – something for everyone. You’ll find the details on these additions in the table below.

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Worldwide Offer: Get New Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 plus Lightroom 5 and Mobile for $9.99 a Month (Regular Ongoing Price)

If you want to try any of the CC apps out, then just sign up for a free level of Creative Cloud membership to gain access. Alternatively, all of the free trials are also available for immediate direct download.

Typically you can install and use the CC software on up to two computers (including both a PC and a Mac), and even both at the same time. Further, CC tools generally can read and save or export back to the older CS6 file formats in most cases (or even CS5, CS4, or CS3). Also don’t forget that all CC products include ongoing upgrades at no extra cost, so you can always be running the latest and greatest version available.

For learning CC, there is plenty of free documentation available as well as free tutorial videos to get you going. There are even dozens of completely free books that you can download for all of the most popular applica­tions.  Adobe still offers CS6 for sale but says that the vast majority of buyers are choosing Creative Cloud, which gets nearly 5-star reviews from customers and is growing fast.

Adobe Creative Cloud Growing Fast, Now Millions of Paid Subscribers (Click to Enlarge)

Note that two of the CS6 tools were not upgraded to CC, namely Fireworks and Encore. However, the CS6 versions of each remain available for full use in the Creative Cloud. On the positive side, Adobe moved InCopy into the collection, and so InCopy CC is part of your membership. A bevy of free new mobile apps have also been added to the mix, including Lightroom Mobile. And other top applications like Lightroom 5 desktop, Digital Publishing Suite, Typekit, Behance ProSite, and Acrobat XI Pro continue to be included in Creative Cloud 2014 as well.

So here they are, the feature breakouts by individual product – what’s new (at-a-glance or in depth), as well as the version comparisons and differences between Adobe CC 2014 vs. the CC 2013, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4, and CS3 releases:

What’s New in Adobe CC 2014
ProductAt-a-GlanceIn DepthBy Release
See the CC System Requirements for complete platform information.
Photoshop CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Illustrator CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
InDesign CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
InCopy CC 2014What’s New?Compare Versions
Dreamweaver CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Flash Pro CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Premiere Pro CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
After Effects CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Audition CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Prelude CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
SpeedGrade CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Media Encoder CC 2014What’s New?New Features
Adobe Bridge CCWhat’s New?New Features
Adobe Muse CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Edge Animate CC 2014What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Edge Inspect CCWhat’s New?
Edge Reflow CC PreviewWhat’s New?
Edge Code CC PreviewWhat’s New?

Adobe says this is their biggest software release since CS6 in spring 2012, so for more details on the essentials and differences don’t miss our CC 2014 Review Guide.


See Also

New Adobe CC 2014 Direct Download Links: All Free Trials

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  1. BB

    I am once again glad you pointed out that Encore is not updated for CC. However, along with most other comments made about the Encore situation, you glossed over one important fact about its availability. Yes CS6 Encore is available….but Adobe only commits to compatibility with Windows 7 SP1….In fact, they explicitly say that they will not support it after Windows 7 SP1. Which really is…..like now. So if you have patches on top of SP1 or have moved on to Windows 8, at some point it will break. And probably soon.

    So instead of enjoying all of the wonderful cloud apps, many video professionals are deciding whether to move to the cloud or keep CS6, or if moving to the cloud, looking at the competitions menu authoring software which is discouraging if you have just purchased a shiny new suite upgrade.

    I hope that prodesigntools and other professional websites help video users advocate for a change of direction here and at least a commitment to keep Encore working along with the rest of CS6 programs on upcoming OS updates.

    • Hi BB, thanks for sharing your thoughts. We haven’t tried it ourselves yet, but have heard that Encore CS6 works fine on Windows 8.

      In fact, Adobe even gives instructions for how to install it on Win 8, even though it is not technically supported.

      There have been plenty of cases where major Adobe products were not “officially” supported on certain Microsoft operating systems – recently Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6 were not supported on Windows Vista, but that didn’t prevent thousands of people from using them with no problem there nonetheless.

      From what we’ve heard, it’s usually a case of allocating scarce testing resources to “bless” a particular version of the o/s (especially with an older product), rather than something not explicitly working. Bottom line, nothing appears broken so it may not be as worrisome as it might seem.

      Hope this helps!

      PS – Here’s an overview on the workflow for Premiere Pro CC w/ Encore CS6:

  2. BB

    Thanks. However, it is more than a little worrisome when everyone is already being asked to buy into an entire new infrastructure and path forward.

    I have seen that workflow video on how to use CS6 Encore with CC Premiere Pro referenced many times. You also lose dynamic linking which, well, is also a little worrisome and is not just a “blessing thing.” So this makes the Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator analogy not work so well, as both at least ran with full capabilities on Vista. You did not lose anything like perhaps not being able to link from Photoshop to Illustrator or something. With Encore, we are losing functionality out-of-the-box with dynamic link now gone. How hard would have it been to tweak to keep that????

    It just does not seem right to have to pony up for a shiny new 2013 Creative Cloud car to drive somewhere……then you are made to switch cars to drive home and you have to “hope for the best” because you are driving an old used Encore car that is “not offically supported.”

    IMHO the MINIMAL thing to do is “officially” support Encore for as long and on whatever OS’s CS6 is supported on. The RIGHT thing to do would be to bring Encore up to the same level as the other 30+ programs we are hearing about in trying to sign people up for CC. Somehow I think Adobe could siphon off one or two programmers to help Encore limp along, especially when you consider the cost of moving to an entirely new architecture. Perhaps if they had not worked on adding a few programs to CC that even fewer will use than use Encore, they could have budgeted for an Encore upgrade. :)

    Anyway, keep up the good work! I know as an affiliate the official position must be kept in mind. However hopefully the input of the users will also be considered.

    BB

  3. Radim

    Very helpful article indeed.

  4. Daniel

    Hello, I am a student at Saint Petersburg College in Clearwater, FL. I have been using Flash CC and Illustrator for the trial period, but I was wondering if I could get and additional 30 days to keep using the products.

    I plan on purchasing them soon, but I cannot afford it at this time and I need these to complete my class projects. I know it is a lot to ask, but I really have no other option.

    Thank you for your time,
    Daniel

  5. Stereo

    Adobe: Provide more plans! A design plan including Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign for $25 to $30 would be essential.

    Single app prices are very expensive and if choosing 3 apps costs $60.

  6. personman

    I see you unperson’ed Bone Tool, Deco Tools, etc. from Flash CS4-CS6. Sneaky little bitches.

  7. Stereo

    @ProDesignTools

    So if one wants three apps that’s not Lightroom or Photoshop one needs to get the complete bundle for $49 a month.

    I’m sorry but that’s outrageous.

  8. May

    Thanks for your sharing. I just bought a student photoshop cs6 extended, it is really awesome

  9. Cornelius

    I already have Lightroom 5 and i just need to subscribe to Photoshop. Is that possible with the new Photoshop CC?

    • Yes, definitely Cornelius… With the Creative Cloud Photography Plan, you can download/use any or all of the applications provided. Those include Photoshop CC 2014, as well as Lightroom 5 for desktop plus Lightroom Mobile. All ongoing upgrades are included in your membership.

      And if you already have the perpetual version of Lightroom 5 then you can keep using it, or you can easily switch it over to the Creative Cloud release (same functionality) and get future LR upgrades for free. It’s entirely up to you.

      In either case you still get the full Adobe Photoshop (the Extended release) – which used to sell for $999 upfront plus $349 for upgrades – for $10 a month, integrated with Lightroom.

  10. Firdaus Aulia

    All right, Now I Know what is different, It’s a very great system.
    When to compare one and another is looking clear.

  11. Brian Lawson

    The 3D function may be in the software it can’t be used on older machines without 512 Vram or the integrated on-chip equivalent. It feels like game of leapfrog among software and hardware companies, and I’m getting jumped…

    • Hi Brian, having a graphics card with minimum 512MB VRAM has been a requirement for Photoshop since PS CS6 Extended came out in early 2012, and that’s the way it has stayed… (See the official CS6 System Requirements)

      So really, this isn’t new and hasn’t changed recently. In fact, the latest release Photoshop CC 2014 has the same memory requirements (with 1GB VRAM recommended but not mandatory).

      The good news is most modern graphics cards have significantly more than this. GPUs offering least 2GB VRAM have been pretty much standard the past couple of years.

      If you have a card that does not have at least 512MB then it would likely be from ~5 years ago or older, which is quite a long time in hardware technology.

  12. Arry Sharma

    Which is best for graphics designer and art work, Photoshop CC2014 OR CS6?

    Please tell me full features to add-ins and tell me strictly no compromises

    • No question Arry, Photoshop CC 2014 beats Photoshop CS6 all the way around… It’s smoother, cleaner, faster, more capable, more powerful, and does a lot of things the older releases didn’t. At this point we wouldn’t want to ever go back to the old 2012 version (which is when CS6 came out).

      In the What’s New in Adobe CC 2014 table in the article above, you’ll find detailed links to all the differences, new features, performance improvements, interface optimizations, and other enhancements in the successive releases.

  13. Tammy T.

    Hello,

    I am a newly retired career and technology teacher. I have Adobe CS3 installed on my home computer but have several flash drives full of files created on Adobe Master Collection CS5.5 (which is the software I taught with at school).

    Primarily I used InDesign (love, love, love) and Photoshop CS5.5. Are there any “free” downloads of this software I may have access to?

    Thank you for any assistance you can provide.

    Tammy T.

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