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 2017 release and the previous CC 2015.5, CC 2015, 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 and advancements in CC 2017 versus prior versions?
Now that the new CC 2017 milestone release is shipping worldwide, everyone is entitled to either a free upgrade or a new free trial for 7 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 2017 release, there have been thousands of significant updates – meaning new and enhanced features, added capabilities, and performance boosts – to the key creative applications.
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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 2017 contains all of the 3D functions that were previously only available in the PS ‘Extended’ edition – and overall has lots of new features for designers, photographers and digital artists. You’ll find the details on these improvements in the table below.
Also just announced are cool technologies like Project Felix, a powerful new 3D compositing tool created for designers, as well as impressive further growth in Adobe Stock, now offering 270 million assets and some amazing visual search capabilities, plus the surprise of a custom new set of free Photoshop brushes.
In addition, we have the arrival of the game-changing Team Projects feature in the CC video tools, the rollout of a completely redesigned Dreamweaver CC, and the introduction of a new collection of intelligent services built into the Adobe Cloud Platform called Adobe Sensei.
A variety of free mobile apps have also been released or updated for both iOS and Android, which work together with the cloud and the desktop applications. And other top tools and services like Behance, your own Adobe Portfolio website, Typekit fonts, Creative Cloud Market assets, and Acrobat DC Pro continue to be included in Creative Cloud 2017 as well.
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 some 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.
Finally, it’s important to know that the system requirements for Mac have changed meaningfully… The CC 2017 release requires Mac OS X 10.10 (“Yosemite”) or higher. If you’re not running that yet, then you can get a free upgrade from Apple to the latest version: macOS Sierra (v. 10.12). For Windows, there are no big changes to the specs or requirements from CC 2015 – Windows 7 and higher continue to work fine for CC 2017.
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 2017 vs. the CC 2015.5, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC 2013, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4, and CS3 releases:
For more details on the essentials and differences, don’t miss our CC 2018 Review Guide.
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