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Compare Versions: What’s New in CC 2017 Release vs. CS6 & Older?

What Are the Differences Between Adobe CC 2017 vs. Older Versions — What's New?

[UPDATE (Oct. 2018) – The all-new Adobe CC 2019 release has launched and is now available! See what’s new in features and all the differences compared to older versions and 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 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 120 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.

Worldwide Offer: Get New Adobe Photoshop CC plus Lightroom 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 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:

What’s New in Adobe CC 2017
ProductAt-a-GlanceIn DepthBy Release
See the CC System Requirements for complete platform information.
Photoshop CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Illustrator CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
InDesign CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
InCopy CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Dreamweaver CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Animate (Flash) CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Lightroom CC 2015What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Premiere Pro CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
After Effects CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Audition CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Prelude CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
SpeedGrade CC 2015What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Media Encoder CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Adobe Bridge CC 2017What’s New?New Features
Adobe Muse CC 2017What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Edge Animate CC 2015What’s New?New FeaturesCompare Versions
Fuse CC (preview)What’s New?
Character Animator (beta)What’s New?New Features
Experience Design (beta)What’s New?New Features
Project Felix (beta)What’s New?

For more details on the essentials and differences, don’t miss our CC 2018 Review Guide.

See Also

Get New CC 2018 Direct Download Links: All Free Trials

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

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  1. John

    When will the direct download links be available?

  2. Danyel Gustavo
  3. Sebastian

    Direct Download Links anytime soon?

  4. Mark

    Where is the direct download link for Indesign CC 2017? …or is it just an update patch for CC2015?

  5. Maurice

    Is there any hope for Direct Download Links for CC2017?

  6. Jay bass

    Great article! Is there any way to install or purchase a perpetual license of the Adobe creative cloud applications on PC?