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Home > Tools December 11th, 2013

What’s New Comparison: Adobe “CC” (Creative Cloud) vs. CS6

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 new CC release and last year’s Creative Suite 6?  Or more fundamentally, what are the key new features in ‘CC’ versus the prior version?

What Are the Differences Between Adobe CC vs. CS6 — What's New?

The CC products initially launched in June but have already been updated substantially since that time. They are available only via Creative Cloud membership (either for one tool or all), with significant discounts available for upgraders and education customers. Compared to CS6, Adobe CC contains hundreds of new or improved features and func­tions through­out the entire line, across the 15 desktop applications that comprise it.

The easiest way to look at it is by major product… For example, Photoshop CC now always contains all the 3D functions that were previously only available in the PS ‘Extended’ edition – and is generally packed with new features for designers, photographers and digital artists – something for everyone. You’ll find all the details on these linked from the table below.

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

Generally 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, the new CC tools 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’ll always be running the latest and greatest version available.

For learning CC, there is plenty of free documentation as well as free tutorial videos available to get you going. Adobe says 80% of buyers are now choosing Creative Cloud, which is getting nearly 5-star reviews from customers.

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 InCopy has been added to CC, and so InCopy CC is now part of your membership. And other major applications like Lightroom 5, Digital Publishing Suite, Typekit, Behance ProSite, and Acrobat XI Pro continue to be included in the Creative Cloud as well.

So here they are, the breakouts by individual product – the version comparisons and differences between Adobe CC vs. CS6:

What’s New in Adobe CC
ProductAt-a-GlanceIn Depth
See the CC System Requirements for complete platform information.
Photoshop CCWhat’s New?New Features
Illustrator CCWhat’s New?New Features
InDesign CCWhat’s New?New Features
InCopy CCWhat’s New?New Features
Dreamweaver CCWhat’s New?New Features
Flash Professional CCWhat’s New?New Features
Edge Animate CCWhat’s New?New Features
Adobe Muse CCWhat’s New?New Features
Premiere Pro CCWhat’s New?New Features
After Effects CCWhat’s New?New Features
Audition CCWhat’s New?New Features
Prelude CCWhat’s New?New Features
SpeedGrade CCWhat’s New?New Features
Adobe Bridge CCWhat’s New?New Features
Media Encoder CCWhat’s New?New Features

For more details on the essentials and differences, don’t miss our Adobe CC Launch Guide, plus a broad comparison of CC vs. CS6, product-by-product.

See Also

New Adobe CC 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… 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 postion must be kept in mind. However hopefully the input of the users will also be considered.


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