The All-New Adobe CC 2015 Release Download the New Adobe CC 2015 Release Now! Direct Links Here What's the Difference Between CC 2015 vs. Older Releases – What's New?
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Compare Versions: What’s New in CC 2015 Release vs. CS6 & Older?

What Are the Differences Between Adobe CC 2015 vs. CS6 and Other Versions — What's New?

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.

Special: Legally download dozens of free Adobe books for a limited time!

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

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 2015 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.

Also rolling out this week are additional technologies like Adobe Stock, which offers over 40 million photos, images and illustrations smoothly integrated with the CC toolset – and CreativeSync, which ensures that your files, fonts, design assets, settings, and more all instantly appear in your workflow wherever you need them, so you can start your creative work on any device and seamlessly pick it up on another.

A variety of free new mobile apps have also been released for iOS and Android, which work together with the cloud and the desktop applications. And other top tools and services like Lightroom 6/CC (desktop & mobile), Typekit, Behance ProSite, Creative Cloud Market, and Acrobat DC Pro continue to be included in Creative Cloud 2015 as well.

Worldwide Offer: Get New Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 plus Lightroom 6/CC 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. For learning how to best use the products, there are plenty of free PDF manuals 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.

Typically you can install and use the CC software on up to two computers, including both a PC and a Mac. Further, CC programs 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.

It’s also important to know that the system requirements for Mac have changed meaningfully… The CC 2015 release requires Mac OS X 10.9 (“Mavericks”) or higher. If you’re not running that yet, then you can get a free upgrade from Apple to the latest version of OS X (10.10). For Windows, there are no big changes to the specs or requirements from CC 2014.

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 2015 vs. the CC 2014, CC 2013, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4, and CS3 releases:

What’s New in Adobe CC 2015
Product At-a-Glance In Depth By Release
See the CC System Requirements for complete platform information.
Photoshop CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
Illustrator CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
InDesign CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
InCopy CC 2015 What’s New? Compare Versions
Dreamweaver CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
Flash Pro CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
Premiere Pro CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
After Effects CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
Audition CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
Prelude CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
SpeedGrade CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
Media Encoder CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
Adobe Bridge CC What’s New? New Features
Adobe Muse CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
Edge Animate CC 2015 What’s New? New Features Compare Versions
Edge Inspect CC What’s New?
Edge Reflow CC Preview What’s New?
Edge Code CC Preview What’s New?

Check Out Key Highlights of What's New in  the CC 2015 Desktop Apps (Click to Enlarge)

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 2015 Review Guide.

See Also

New Adobe CC 2015 Direct Download Links: All Free Trials

Do you have any questions about CC 2015? Just ask below and we’ll get you answers fast!

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Available Worldwide! Get New Adobe Photoshop CC 2014 plus Lightroom 5 Desktop and Mobile for Just US$9.99 a Month
  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 position must be kept in mind. However hopefully the input of the users will also be considered.


  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,

  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


    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.


    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.

  14. Amy

    I currently have CS6 Design and Web Premium for my Mac. If I already own this version what kind of prices would I be looking at to simply upgrade to the CC versions of the programs I already have?

    I need to be able to use the software on my PC laptop as well and occasionally need to actually use them at the same time in order to view/work on several projects related to each other without having to continuously switch through screens. I guess I don’t completely understand the idea of CC to begin with other than to be able to get it on more than one computer…

  15. earlene moore

    hello, okay I have the “cloud” on my PC, not a Mac…anyway, why is it that when updates are ready, I keep having issues updating my apps? I am removing the cs6 version, because I do have the cc versions, but I am worried that I may not be able to update properly, if I do. any help would be awesome.

  16. lorna

    I want to take my drawings and scan them onto the screen to manipulate them digitally. What should I be studying and using?

  17. Arshdeep Singh

    i have downloaded adobe photoshop cc 2014 but not installed yet , i dont want to pay anything , can i have its full free virsion for lifetime , i can firewall its connectivity , for not to updating , is there any way for that?

  18. Debbi

    Hi, I have a MAC desktop at Home – use CS6 suite,
    and a Windows 8 laptop, I use to at school – no Adobe yet.

    I am a student & a retiring teacher and I would like to use Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator and Acrobat on both platforms. I am not producing commercial output.
    I am currently, simply teaching and putting together student notes and exercises, with screen shots etc using Indesign CS6, PhotoShop & Illustrator & Acrobat for interactive pdfs etc.

    What is the cheapest way to use Adobe Software – InDesign, PhotoShop, Illustrator & Acrobat on both of my separate computer platforms?

    I have been using Adobe products & teaching these products for many years. I am no longer able to afford the high cost of Adobe software, but I would like to keep current.
    What is the cheapest way to buy/use Adobe software for both platforms together?

    I have been supporting Adobe software & products for many years, from way back when PageMaker was replaced by Quark, then InDesign, so I have been around for a long time.
    Now I need Adobe’s cheapest options. Please advise me the best option for me.

    Also if my internet goes down, will the Cloud software still work?

  19. Debbi

    Hi, Debbi again –

    Also wondering, what happens when I am no longer a student or teaching and I have used my student/teacher email to validate?
    Once I retire from teaching and am no longer a student, I will no longer have a student/teacher email address. How do I get updates and messages in the future with no .edu email address in the future?

    • Yes, great follow-up. With CC, you retain the lower education pricing for as long as you remain a student or teacher. This revalidation process comes up one time each year on your annual renewal date. If you no longer qualify in any year, then the same tools & services would be available with a regular plan and price.

      With CS6, you need to qualify for the academic discount only once, up front when you purchase the product – and the license does not expire but of course the price is higher and the software is older, and won’t be updated or upgraded any further.

      For more details on Adobe’s education offerings and how they’re different from the regular versions, see:

      What Are the Limitations of the Adobe Student & Teacher Editions?

  20. Sam

    how can i buy the ongoing discount for photoshop cc + lightroom, i am a nigeria?

    • Hi Sam, it appears that Adobe is not yet offering Creative Cloud in the country where you live… The list of where CC can be purchased is now up to 84 countries and always growing larger.

      However, if you have a billing address or form of payment (including PayPal) that is based in any one of those covered countries, then you should still be able to purchase CCeven if your home address is elsewhere.

      Finally, while not everyone has access yet, Adobe tells us they continue to work to expand the availability on an ongoing basis – so look for still more countries to be added going forward (and don’t forget that Creative Suite was never sold everywhere either).

  21. Robert

    I am using Photoshop cc 2015. It’s very smooth and faster. So I think Cc 2015 is better than Photoshop CS6.

  22. Photoshop cc 2015 is the perfect for any designer cause it is very smooth and faster. o I think Cc 2015 is better than Photoshop CS6. Thanks a lot

  23. Nadine

    I am currently using Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional. My boss and I recently purchased new computers and have been trying to transfer this software to our new ones and can’t seem to figure it out. We do not have the original installation disks or the serial number because our predecessors purchased this and we can’t find them in the office.

    Do you have any way of transferring it or could you tell me pricing on purchasing a new version if we can’t transfer?? I have looked all over the Adobe website and googled everything I can think of to figure it out but haven’t come across anything. Not sure if this message board is the right place but thought I’d see if anyone knew anything!

  24. Nadine


    Thanks! I’ve since purchased a newer version of Acrobat. Didn’t realize how old it was until just after my post.

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