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The Adobe Creative Cloud FAQ: All Your Top Questions Answered

Learn More about the New Adobe Creative Cloud

Not too long ago Adobe held a series of expert sessions to address common questions and answers about the Creative Cloud offering, which is new on the scene since the release of CS6

We took careful notes plus have expanded the content, and thought we’d share with you below what was learned in those sessions from the Adobe Evangelists.

If you have any questions at all about the Creative Cloud that are not answered here, just leave them in the comments below and we’ll get answers!

[UPDATE (June 2015) – Adobe’s new CC 2015 app release is out! So all Creative Cloud members will now receive the latest CC versions of the tools in addition to CS6 as described below.]

Topics –

[ Which is right for you? See also: Creative Suite 6 vs. Creative Cloud ]

What’s in the Creative Cloud, and how does it work?

 Q:  Which desktop applications are in the Creative Cloud, exactly?
 A:  The Adobe Creative Cloud contains all of the new CS6 tools (the entire CS6 Master Collection), as well as Lightroom 5, Adobe Muse, and Adobe Edge Preview. Services included are Typekit, Business Catalyst, Story Plus, Digital Publishing Suite Single Edition, Behance ProSite, 20GB of cloud storage, plus file syncing, sharing, and browsing across systems and devices.
 Q:  How does it work? How is it different from buying the Creative Suite applications outright in the traditional way?
 A:  The Creative Cloud is membership-based. When you purchase a membership, you are granted access to any or all of the products and services included in the Creative Cloud offering, and can use them for as long as you remain a member. You will have ongoing access to the latest versions of all of the Cloud components as long as your membership is active and current. For our traditional perpetually-licensed (or boxed) software, you make discrete purchases of single products and can use them indefinitely; however major upgrades to newer releases are separate and an additional cost.
 Q:  Does someone have to own a previous Adobe product to get the Creative Cloud? Or, if someone does own an older product, do they have to get the Cloud now – or can they upgrade normally as in the past?
 A:  Ownership of prior Adobe software is not required to join the Creative Cloud, and if you do own a prior product then you may also be able to upgrade to a perpetual version of CS6 (a discounted traditional license) depending on how old your software is.
 Q:  So signing up on the Cloud has nothing to do with upgrading my license?
 A:  That is correct. When you sign up for Creative Cloud you have no upfront costs as you are joining a membership with access to its features for as long as your paid membership is active. It’s different than buying or upgrading with the regular purchasing model.
 Q:  If I sign up for Creative Cloud, do I have to install all of the applications or can I just download and take the ones I want and will use?
 A:  You can select any or all of them – you have the freedom to choose which applications you want to install.
 Q:  How much is the Creative Cloud “worth”? In other words, what is the total value of all the Adobe tools and programs included in a membership?
 A:  Well, the presence of the 15 major applications in the CS6 Master Collection accounts for about US$8,000. Then including more tools and services like Lightroom, Muse, Digital Publishing Suite Single Edition, Business Catalyst, Edge, Behance ProSite, Typekit, PhoneGap Build, and Story Plus, and you’re probably talking close to US$10,000 in value in the Creative Cloud.

How much does it cost, what plans are available?

 Q:  What are the different pricing options for Creative Cloud?
 A:  There are two plans: month-to-month and annual. The month-to-month is US$74.99 per month and can be canceled or suspended at any time, while the annual plan is US$49.99 per month with a yearly commitment. With the annual plan you can cancel within that year, but you will need to pay a early termination fee to do so. For both membership plans your method of payment is charged monthly, and is auto-renewing by default.
 Q:  Is there a way to sign up for just a single application (like Photoshop or After Effects), if I don’t want to get the full suite of tools at this time?
 A:  Yes, via a Single-App Membership, which is US$19.99/month on an annual basis, or US$29.99 month-to-month. There is also the CC Photography Plan, which includes both Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC, and costs US$9.99/month on an annual contract only.
 Q:  Are there any offers available to “upgrade” to the Creative Cloud for current Creative Suite customers?
 A:  Existing customers who have a qualified registered CS3, CS4, CS5, CS5.5, or CS6 individual product or suite edition and who sign up for the complete Creative Cloud annual plan directly from Adobe will receive special introductory pricing of US$29.99 per month for the first year of membership. This offer is not available for education, OEM, or volume licensing customers.
 Q:  Is there also a student or education plan for the Creative Cloud?
 A:  Yes, a student & teacher edition is available – it’s an annual plan with an education discount of 40%-70% off the regular price.  You have to validate your academic status once at the time of purchase (good for 12 months), and again for each yearly renewal to qualify for the reduced cost of this plan.
 Q:  I heard there is a free level of membership for the Creative Cloud – is that true? Can I access the Cloud without being a paying member?
 A:  Yes. The free membership will provide you with access to the powerful online file syncing, sharing, and browsing features, with 2GB of storage space instead of 20GB, plus free levels of Adobe services, and access to 30-day free trials of all CS6 applications and other Adobe desktop applications, such as Adobe Edge Preview and Adobe Muse.
 Q:  For existing CS customers, can I buy more than one Creative Cloud membership if I have more than one older tool?
 A:  Yes, it’s one membership per qualifying product. So you could buy two Creative Cloud memberships if you have two eligible serial numbers. Each Creative Cloud membership is tied to an Adobe ID – so you would just have to buy those memberships using two different Adobe IDs.
 Q:  If I have an Acrobat Pro license, can I get the Creative Cloud for $30?
 A:  No, the $29.99/month offer applies to customers who have a valid, registered version of an individual application or suite edition of CS3, CS4, CS5, CS5.5, or CS6. We won’t honor Acrobat licenses for this offer.
 Q:  How much do you think that the Creative Cloud will go up to monthly after the year at $30 a month? After the first year if you are a CS owner now, the price goes up to $50/month for yearly or $75 a month by month? Is that accurate?
 A:  We aren’t anticipating any major price jumps, but that is one of the differences between subscribing and buying the product outright. If you own a previous product, you are eligible for intro pricing at $29.99/month for the first year – after that, you will automatically renew at the standard market price of $49.99/month for the annual plan, or can choose the $74.99/month for the month-to-month plan. With the month-to-month plan you have the flexibility to turn it off and on as your business needs dictate.
 Q:  Does Creative Cloud include the Adobe Touch apps, or just integration of the Touch apps with the cloud? At first I thought it said with my $50/month 1-year subscription, I get all the touch apps included. Then I noticed I have to buy 3 qualifying apps? I already purchased Photoshop Touch for iPad.
 A:  The Touch apps (including Adobe Photoshop Touch, Proto, Kuler, Debut, Collage, and Ideas) are integrated with Creative Cloud, but are not included. We have a special offer for customers who sign up for the Creative Cloud annual plan and then connect to the cloud from three qualifying Touch apps – if you do this, we will give you a free month, extending your membership by 30 days.
 Q:  Is there a free trial available for the Creative Cloud itself?
 A:  Yes – there is a 30-day free tryout of Creative Cloud that includes the entire offering. You can download and use any or all applications and services free for one month. After the trial period is over, you can continue full access by converting to a Creative Cloud paid membership, either annual or month-to-month. You can also choose to purchase your same installed desktop applications with regular perpetual (permanent) licensing, and continue with a free level of membership to the Creative Cloud.
 Q:  Is there a “rent to own” option for Creative Cloud, where the subscription fees I pay can be applied later towards the cost of a fully-owned Creative Suite product?  In other words, after I’ve joined for a certain amount of time, do I get to keep the software, or receive a discount on buying the permanent version and returning to traditional licensing?
 A:  No, sorry, there is no such program.
 Q:  Where can I buy the Creative Cloud?
 A:  The Creative Cloud is currently available in many different languages in 99 countries.

Why choose Creative Cloud compared to traditional licensing?

 Q:  I like the Cloud, the only thing is if you aren’t using the full Master Suite, doesn’t the cost of the cloud end up being more in the long run?
 A:  The Creative Cloud is more than the CS6 desktop apps – it is a complete digital hub where you can explore, create, share, and deliver your work using any of the Creative Suite tools, Lightroom 5, and new applications like Adobe Muse and Edge, as well as connect with the Adobe Touch Apps and deliver high-impact content experiences such as interactive websites and digital magazines. You’ll also get CS6.5, CS7 and any other updates to our apps and services as part of your monthly fee, so you’ll never have to worry about upgrade cycles again.
 Q:  Why choose Creative Cloud if I already own my Adobe apps? Customers who have previously bought apps that are included in the cloud should be credited that value towards their monthly fee.
 A:  Creative Cloud gives you access to the majority of CS6 apps, while a CS6 suite purchase would only be the apps in that suite. So if you purchase Design Premium you wouldn’t have the video tools. If you purchase the video suite, you wouldn’t get publishing tools. Creative Cloud users get all products. Also we are offering introductory pricing to the Creative Cloud until August 31st now extended. If you are a current CS customer – meaning you own a CS3, CS4, CS5, CS5.5, or CS6 product – and subscribe to the annual plan, you will get your first year for $29.99/month.
 Q:  What I wish Adobe did was to make a cloud version for each of the Creative Suites. It would have been more reasonable for those who don’t need the Master Suite… For those of us who really only need Design Standard, it makes it too expensive compared to what we need.
 A:  The philosophy behind Creative Cloud is to provide a complete, end-to-end offering that take you creative idea all the way through to publishing. It’s much more than the suite offering.
 Q:  Can I upgrade from a Cloud subscription to a perpetual license?
 A:  There are no discounts for perpetual licenses for subscription customers.
 Q:  What happens if I sign up for the Creative Cloud and then after my term is up, Adobe decides to raise the monthly subscription price to a higher rate that I can’t afford?
 A:  We do not have any plans to increase the prices, although no guarantees could be made. However, one of our primary goals with the Creative Cloud is to make our industry-leading tools and services affordable and accessible to a wider audience, so definitely factor that into your equation on how likely price increases or decreases would be.
 Q:  If I purchase CS6 as a packaged product, do I still get access to Creative Cloud? Or is there a Creative Cloud price plan for owners of CS6?
 A:  You should either buy the boxed/download version of CS6, or sign up for Creative Cloud membership. If you buy the boxed product, you can still create a free Creative Cloud membership that will give you 2GB of online space to collaborate, sync, store, and share on devices, desktop and web, plus community components.
 Q:  Can I install the regular Creative Suite 6 trials or discs, but then get a Creative Cloud subscription instead without reinstalling the software? Or can I try the free Creative Cloud trial or membership, but then purchase the permanent CS6 applications instead without having to reinstall?
 A:  Yes, and yes. The desktop products are the same – it’s only the licensing method which is different – so either way will work.
 Q:  Are there any good resources to help me decide which path to choose?

What happens if I cancel my Creative Cloud membership?

 Q:  Say you subscribe to Creative Cloud for a month, download the apps you need and then stop the CC membership, aren’t you getting the Creative Suite (for example) for just $75? I’m guessing there’s a minimum subscription length?
 A:  No, because once your membership is cancelled, you will no longer have access to the applications. A month-to-month subscription would give you the ability to turn off and on as needed, rather than committing to a 12-month contract. Both membership types are paid for on a monthly basis.
 Q:  So does that mean I have to continue to maintain my subscription indefinitely for my Adobe products to run and my projects to open? What if I cancel the subscription, and I already have the programs installed?
 A:  If you cancel your Creative Cloud membership, then access to all applications and services will cease, except for those included generally in the free level of membership. This is because product activation is tied to your Adobe account ID (and its membership status), instead of a fixed serial number. All memberships are set to auto-renew by default to help ensure ongoing access to your products and services.
 Q:  Is it easy to manage my Creative Cloud subscription online? (i.e., change, upgrade, renew, or cancel my membership)
 A:  Yes – see Managing Your CC Membership.
 Q:  If I change my mind after starting a Creative Cloud subscription, can I get a refund?
 A:  If it’s within the first 30 days, then your Cloud membership would be covered under our standard return policy. After that point, no refund would be issued.
 Q:  Are there any cancellation fees if I subscribe to the annual plan for Creative Cloud and then cancel it before the full year is up?
 A:  Yes, if you end your membership before meeting the 12-month commitment date, you will be charged 50% of the remaining amount left on your contract. For example, if you stop your annual membership after six months, your early termination fee would be one half of the remaining six months left – or three months at the regular rate.
 Q:  Are there options besides renting for those of us who only use Photoshop once in a while, but absolutely need it? Is there a flat fee for a PS upgrade?
 A:  Yes, you can still buy Photoshop the way you’re used to, if you don’t want to subscribe… You can get CS6 traditional software and pay a flat fee, just like usual – pricing is available on the website.
 Q:  How do I resume a month-to-month membership after pausing it?
 A:  If you canceled your month-to-month membership and would like to restart it, you will need to either restart your membership on your Account page, or buy a new membership.
 Q:  If I cancel my Creative Cloud trial or membership, what will happen to the fully-licensed CS applications that I own?
 A:  The two models coexist independently, and use different models for product validation (Adobe ID account login vs. traditional serial number). So discontinuing your subscription to the Creative Cloud will not impact any perpetual licenses (using license keys) that you may have installed.

Is Internet access required? Do the apps run over the network?

 Q:  Are the applications stored locally or on the cloud? What’s the recommended minimum connection speed required to effectively use the cloud-based software?
 A:  The desktop applications are downloaded and run on your local system. They do not actually “run in the cloud.” The Creative Cloud subscription is just an option for licensing these products, but they are not web applications.
 Q:  Can I use the Creative Cloud tools without Internet access?
 A:  All Creative Cloud applications must connect to Internet once every three months to validate your membership. However, you’ll have all of the CS6 apps on your desktop and do not need to be connected to the Internet to use them on a daily basis. If you want to use the services, or the sync, store, and share features, then you must be online.
 Q:  Does this mean I always need an Internet connection to use apps when I’m with the Cloud? Or I don’t need to be connected to the Internet the entire time?
 A:  No, most of the applications are desktop apps which will run locally on your system. You install the desktop apps on your computer and do not need to be connected to the Internet to use them – annual members only need to be online once every 4 months so that we can validate your membership. You do need to be online to use the services that come with Creative Cloud, but not any of the tools like Photoshop, Illustrator, etc.
 Q:  Can you be “locked out” of apps you downloaded if your monthly payment does not clear for some reason?
 A:  We provide you with a grace period if your credit card stops working or expires. You would be notified and given about five days to fix the issues. You will not be cut off immediately or without warning.

How are Creative Cloud updates, upgrades, and versions managed?

 Q:  Are product upgrades included with my Creative Cloud plan?
 A:  Yes, current CC subscribers receive access to new features and updates as soon as they become available.
 Q:  If a new version of Adobe Acrobat comes out, say Acrobat XI Pro, will Creative Cloud members receive it automatically?
 A:  Yes, it is our intention to roll out all new versions of included applications to current Cloud members once they become generally available.
 Q:  How often will Adobe be updating or adding new features to the applications in Creative Cloud?
 A:  We plan to deliver additional value by adding exclusive new features and updates to Creative Cloud on a regular and ongoing basis.
 Q:  Are Cloud members required to install the upgrades? If we wish to keep or remain at a certain version of a particular program (like for stability or file compatibility or other reasons), can we? Or will everyone have to upgrade regardless?
 A:  No, you are not required to install any new version of the desktop software available in your membership. You also have flexibility on when you install an upgrade, if you choose to do so.
 Q:  If I get on the Creative Cloud, how long will we have access to CS6, if CS7 is out? I read that CS6 would only be available for a certain period after CS7 comes out. This is a big problem, especially with InDesign which (due to the messy backsaving via IDML) we need to keep every version ever made on our machines. Also I’m sometimes asked to teach OLD versions of software! It would be a dealbreaker if all versions offered via the cloud membership weren’t available for dealing with multiple clients needs.
 A:  When the next version comes out the Adobe Application Manager will show you the new version, but there will be a drop down menu to download previous major versions (back to and including CS6). We’ll keep an archive of older versions in place, and those prior versions can be downloaded by Creative Cloud members at any time. So older versions will always be available through the AAM.
 Q:  Say if a current CCM user wants to continue to be able to run InDesign CS6 for compati­bility reasons with their colleagues even after InDesign CS7 or CS8 comes out – will their Cloud subscription (via their Adobe ID login) continue to permit them to use/license it – even in year 2014 and beyond? In other words, for all software already downloaded and installed, can subscribers use it indefinitely – or will their product activation ever invalidate? Many of we longtime Adobe users keep multiple releases on our machines at once for occasional need, especially for file format compatibility. So I think this is an important question as the Creative Cloud evolves and more versions come out though the years.
 A:  Your Adobe ID will continue to allow usage even in 2014 and beyond. So yes, older versions (including perpetual licenses) will continue to be usable and can live side-by-side with newer versions. Products will not be invalidated, and at the same time you can continue to download and use earlier releases via Creative Cloud as described in the previous answer.
 Q:  It says that the applications in the Cloud will be enhanced by Adobe on an ongoing basis. My situation is that my customers must be able to use the INDD and PS files I create. I’d like to consider the cloud, but can’t if they will not be able to use my files. If new features or updates are installed from the Creative Cloud, does that mean that a file created could not be opened by a non-cloud user in CS6?
 A:  Installing updates is optional, and whether a someone not running the latest Cloud versions could open your saved file really depends on the application. Per Adobe, you are not required to install any new version of the desktop software available in your membership – you have flexibility on when you install an upgrade, if you choose to do so. In other words, you can continue using your current version of the product if you prefer.
 Q:  Will there be auto-updating offered as well?
 A:  Yes, there is an automatic update mechanism, so when updates are released you will be notified – but the application manager will not update or upgrade any software without your go-ahead.

How many computers, platforms, and/or languages can I run on?

 Q:  How many computers can I install the Creative Cloud on? Or put another way, on how many systems can you run the software downloaded from a Cloud membership?
 A:  Similar to the terms for our traditional perpetually-licensed software, you can activate the cloud on up to two computers – a primary and a backup (or secondary) machine. However, you can’t be running an application on both machines at the same time, in accordance with our end user licensing agreement.
 Q:  For customers that own a PC and a Mac, can those computers have different operating systems? In other words, can I run a Creative Cloud membership on both Mac OS and Windows, in a platform-independent way?
 A:  Yes, definitely – you’ll also have access to both the Mac OS and Windows versions of the applica­tions, so if you have a Mac and a PC you’ll be covered with one membership and can install all the software on both platforms. The same thing goes for Adobe’s new Single-App Subscriptions (where you can get, say, just the latest Photoshop for $19 a month) – with those you are also able to install and run your product on both operating systems, Windows and Mac OS.
 Q:  So we can have two installs, can we have say Photoshop on one and InDesign open on another computer at the same time?
 A:  You can run as many applications as you want on one computer at one time, but not on multiple computers at the same time. In other words, you cannot run the software simultaneously on two or more computers at once. Read more about this here.
 Q:  Can one user be running Dreamweaver on one computer and another user Premiere Pro on the other at the same time, being different apps?
 A:  With the same single-user license? No. But you can using Creative Cloud for Teams.
 Q:  Can you disable on one computer to make it available on another? How hard is to change computers?
 A:  Yes, you can have up to two systems provisioned and if you need to change systems, that is easy to do – you deactivate one to make a new one available.
 Q:  Here’s my situation: I have a desktop on which I would install CS6 in English. I also have a laptop that I use for teaching in French… So, with one membership I guess I need two installations in two different languages: how will I be able to work in my situation? Do I need two memberships?
 A:  Creative Cloud membership is platform and language agnostic – you can use the products in any language and any platform, you dont need to buy two memberships. In other words, you get access to any language version in which the CS6 and other desktop applications are available, giving you the freedom and flexibility to choose whichever languages work best for you in any given application.
 Q:  Can I have a regular install and Creative Cloud on same computer?
 A:  Yes, you can run CS3, CS4, CS5, or CS5.5 alongside CS6 that you’ve installed from the Creative Cloud. CS6 in any form (cloud or perpetual) does not overwrite previous versions.
 Q:  What happens if you go abroad – does being in a different location disable a Creative Cloud license?
 A:  No, your CC membership is based from your home country so you can travel without any worries. Your access to your Creative Cloud service will not experience any interruption, plus your desktop apps will already be downloaded on your desktop for your use.

For multiple users – is there volume licensing for groups/teams?

 Q:  Instead of buying multiple Creative Cloud sebscriptions, can we buy a server license so that creative cloud will work on all computers on a server?
 A:  With an individual membership, your licence is for one person. We have a team offering coming out later this year, for group licensing. When the team offering becomes available, you can buy as many seats as you like, have features that are designed for groups and admin tools needed to manage all of the various seats, etc. We will be providing more details on team licensing later in 2012.
 Q:  Can someone sign a multi-year fixed price contract… like a lease?
 A:  Not with the individual membership. If you sign up for an annual plan, your price will be fixed for 12 months, it definitely won’t change during that year. We are still working out the details of our volume offering, so not sure about multi-year fixed pricing for teams.
 Q:  If we need 10 Cloud users should I wait for Team? Can we do individual and then switch to the volume offer later? Is $70 for one seat of team, or multiple?
 A:  It is $69.99/month per seat. We are looking into the possibility of migrating individual memberships into a team membership, but have not announced anything specific about this.
 Q:  Why more for team?
 A:  You will get additional features, admin tools and more. You will find out more later this fall when we announce the details of the offering.
 Q:  Is there any way to be alerted to the Team offerings when they’re rolled out?
 A:  Yes, see this page for more information.

What can I do with storage/sharing/syncing features in the Cloud?

 Q:  How much online storage is provided in the Creative Cloud?
 A:  The free level of membership gives you 2 gigabytes of storage to use in any way you like, including sharing and syncing Adobe project and data files. All paid membership plans give you 20 gigabytes.
 Q:  As a freelancer, can I use Creative Cloud Storage to create private folders for clients to download review files?
 A:  You can select which files and folders to share with specific people. They will be able to comment and/or download the files.
 Q:  Can people without Photoshop see the PSD files when shared in the Cloud?
 A:  Yes they can see the preview in their web browser (including turning on/off layers or viewing relevant metadata); they do not need to have Photoshop installed or be Creative Cloud members themselves.
 Q:  If a client does not have Photoshop, can they print from the viewer?
 A:  You can share with clients so they can download a composite (i.e., JPEG) image. No need for the client to have Photoshop. Learn more about the cloud storage and collaboration capabilities.
 Q:  Do you need to worry about others changing your Cloud files, or are changes prohibited by others?
 A:  When you share files using Creative Cloud, those you share with can only comment on and/or download – they can’t change your original file.
 Q:  And with Creative Cloud once it is installed on my hard-drive and synchronized, I can edit the file and it will update to the cloud??
 A:  Yes, if you set up auto-sycing, it will. There will soon be an app called Creative Cloud Desktop App that is your desktop sync client.
 Q:  With auto-syncing, will it update the folders on another system? In other words, is it possible to have other people have access to a specific Cloud-folder – and with the access, also be able to have the folder auto-synced on their own hard drive?
 A:  The invidivual offering really won’t provide this level of customization of file sharing with others. We are looking into features like that with our team offering
 Q:  So we need to save all aspects prior to syncing with the cloud when we are in workflow with Premiere and AE?
 A:  There are no Creative Cloud specific features for Premiere Pro and After Effects.
 Q:  For the video applications like Premiere Pro, can we store project files, etc., on the cloud with data on our local system, and work that way?
 A:  There are no specific storage and sharing features built into the video applications in the current Creative Cloud. But, yes, you can choose to put video files on network storage.
 Q:  Can you buy additional space on the Cloud? Can you purchase more than the 20GB that is allocated?
 A:  Yes, we will be offering additional space, but it will come a little later. We will share more on this as we have details.
 Q:  What else can I do with the files stored online in the Creative Cloud?
 A:  In addition to file storage, sharing, and syncing features, you can view thumbnails and larger previews of creative files, and you can step through Illustrator art boards plus InDesign and PDF pages in the browser. You can also sync directly with Adobe Touch Apps and desktop applications to enable a seamless workflow between tablet and desktop.
 Q:  How secure is the Creative Cloud? How well are my files and data protected?
 A:  The Creative Cloud is hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) worldwide, and members benefit from the latest in security practices for stored assets. Read more in-depth details on the data security provided.

Applications: What’s not included – and what’s coming soon?

 Q:  What is the relation between CC and Digital Publishing Suite?
 A:  Digital Publishing Suite Single Edition will soon be available in Creative Cloud.
 Q:  Is there an ETA when the single edition DPS will be added to CC?
 A:  Can’t give the exact date, but within the next few months it’s here now!
 Q:  Will Digital Publishing Suite for Android be added to Creative Cloud?
 A:  DPS Single Edition in Creative Cloud will be for iOS initially. The intention is to include publishing for Android in the future.
 Q:  I see InDesign is there… Is Adobe InCopy included in the the Cloud?
 A:  Yes, InCopy is now included in Creative Cloud!
 Q:  Since InCopy is not included, is it planned on being included or is it the only “Creative Suite” application I will have to purchase? If I purchase it separately – will it integrate fine with a Creative Cloud InDesign?
 A:  We don’t have plans to include InCopy in the near future, but yes it will work fine with InDesign from the Cloud. There is no functional difference between the Creative Suite products you buy and own, vs. the apps you get through the Creative Cloud.
 Q:  It appears that Adobe Muse and Edge are only going to be available with a cloud membership, and not part of CS6 Master Collection… Muse and Edge should be included with the Master Suite, don’t you think?
 A:  Adobe Edge and Muse will be sold as standalone subscriptions or as part of Creative Cloud. [Although other options may be considered.]
 Q:  Are all the supplementary applications like Adobe Device Central and Extension Manager in the CC?
 A:  Adobe Device Central has been EOL’d with CS6 (discontinued).
 Q:  Is there a replacement?
 A:  There is no direct replacement for Adobe Device Central but we have another tool in beta – Adobe Shadow that can be used to preview your browser content on devices.
 Q:  Is Adobe Contribute also end-of-life? I saw no CS6 update for it.
 A:  No, Contribute has not been EOL’d – in fact there is (separately) a brand new release of Adobe Contribute, version 6.5… However it is not part of the Creative Cloud.
 Q:  Is Adobe Connect included?
 A:  No, not at this time – but we are always adding to the Cloud, so it might be someday.
 Q:  Will any Acrobat services be available in the Creative Cloud? SendNow for example?
 A:  Not at this time.
 Q:  Is Captivate or FrameMaker in the Cloud?
 A:  No, neither are; but these two aren’t available in the Master Collection either.
 Q:  What is the difference between Flash JavaScript Export and Adobe Edge?
 A:  The CreateJS Toolkit for Flash Professional is available as an extension to all Flash Pro CS6 customers – it enables you to take Flash content and export to HTML. Adobe Edge enables you to create interactivity using HTML/Web standards.
 Q:  What are the differences between Story Free and Story Plus?
 Q:  Which Typekit service is included in CC – Personal or Portfolio? Do we get all the fonts or a subset of fonts?
 A:  You get the Portfolio level of Typekit with your Creative Cloud membership – so you have access to a Web-based font library with thousands of typefaces for use on unlimited websites.

What if I have other questions?

 Q:  What’s the difference with the Photoshop .PSDX files?
 A:  They’re generated from Photoshop Touch and a little more basic.
 Q:  Is Dynamic Link available for Creative Cloud apps?
 A:  Yes, for DVA (digital video audio) apps only.
 Q:  Are there any video editing mobile apps in the works?
 A:  We can’t comment on what we’re working on for the future, but you can assume that we’re working on what makes sense. ;-)
 Q:  What if I have further questions about the Creative Cloud that are not answered above?
 A:  Please refer to Adobe’s FAQ or this Creative Cloud video series, and see if those provide an answer. If not, leave your question(s) in the comments below and we’ll try to get answers for you!

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170 thoughts on “The Adobe Creative Cloud FAQ: All Your Top Questions Answered”

  1. Hello, we have a few computers with the CC subscriptions. Is there a way to download all the programs to one external drive and then install on our machines separately? We just don’t want to have to use the bandwidth and the time to download to several machines. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the response. We are using individual accounts, but the problem with the direct links is it tries to open in my creative cloud app. Since I already have CC installed on this machine, is there a way I can take what’s been downloaded and transfer it to another machine? I have an external drive and network access to all the machines involved, but I’m not seeing a downloaded file in the usual places.

    • Hey Brian, you can’t transfer already-installed applications from one computer to another in any way that we’ve ever heard of… You could only transfer the downloaded installer packages and then install them where ever you want.

      What issue is it you were having with the direct links? Each product is distinct and you should just be able to download all the apps you want and then install them separately to your machines, with or without the Creative Cloud desktop app.

  3. When I click on the “Download Trial” button for the direct links, it tells me:

    “Google Chrome needs to launch an external application to handle aam: links. The link requested is aam://SAPCode=AEFT?productVersion=12.0

    The following application will be launched if you accept this request: CreativeCloud(URIHandler)

    If you did not initiate this request, it may represent an attempted attack on your system. Unless you took an explicit action to initiate this request, you should press Do Nothing.”

    I then have the choices of “Do Nothing” or “Launch Application.” Do Nothing of course cancels it, and Launch Application opens my CC, which shows the apps are already installed, therefor I can’t download anything.

    • Hi Deanna, with any Adobe trial version of any product, you will never lose the files you create – and that includes any PDFs you make with Acrobat Pro, PSD images you create with Photoshop CC, etc.

      When the 30 calendar days is up to complete your free trial, the software will simply no longer start without buying the full version… However, all your data and project files will remain exactly as you left them, and they will open for editing once again in your purchased release.

  4. I have a one year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud and I am finding it impossible to cancel. I have less than a month left before my Adobe Cloud subscription will be automatically renewed against my will. I have contacted Adobe several times already but they use avoidance, misinformation, etc that seem calculated to force me to renew or incur penalties. It feels like extortion. I feel that I’m being victimized by a once-excellent firm that has become unscrupulous and predatory. I’ve read lots of reports online about others experiencing this problem, so I know I’m not the only one being treated like this. I’m waiting for an answer from Adobe to my last email, but since I now only expect more of the same treatment, I am compiling a list of business and legal agencies in hopes of getting help for myself and also in hopes of causing them to stop their deceptive and unfair practices.

    • Welcome Helen, not sure why you’re having difficulties but much of what you imply is simply not true and borders on the preposterous. Creative Cloud has been out since May 2012 and we’ve never heard a tale like that from any other reader… There may sometimes be customer service reps who don’t handle things properly, but there is no conspiracy going on or other pejorative terms you mention.

      The explanation is actually far more simple: Adobe had some problems with their systems earlier this month that caused subscription changes to not go through. Sorry if you were affected.

      However those issues are now resolved, and all you have to do is follow the steps here. Your annual or monthly membership will never be renewed if you don’t want it to.

      If you have any problems with your membership you can also reach out to AdobeCare on Twitter as another option to make sure things are taken care of.

    • Helen, just for the sake of completeness, we left a message with Adobe about what you described. They got back to us in less than an hour:

      “Her account is already stopped as of today when she apparently got in touch with Customer Service regarding it.
      Case #: xxxxx2605.”

      Hope that clears things up for you and thanks for stopping by.

  5. I asked what is the Creative Cloud URL Handler and this page shows up, but nothing shows. What is this and why are you asking me and what are my options.

    • Hey Keith, you mean the answer as to what is the Creative Cloud URI Handler and why do you need it?

      This handler basically launches the Adobe Application Manager to download and install the tool that you requested. See here for more details and help.

      If you are getting errors or problems such as your browser “doesn’t know how to open this address, because the protocol (aam) isn’t associated with any program,” then that will solve your problem.

  6. I am getting a new computer. How do I disable the creative cloud from my old computer and transfer it to the new computer?

    The creative cloud is currently installed on two computers.

  7. I purchased and have serial numbers for CS4, CS5, CS5.5 and CS6. I purchased the Creative Cloud service for one year and then the cost went up when the first-year promotion was over, and I chose not to renew. I installed CS6 and everything worked fine for about one month. Now I can no longer open the Software to use it as it continues to ask me to renew my subscription. I am no longer interested in a Cloud subscription. I have tried the Adobe Live Chat support twice and then tell me they are checking and then send me to technical support and then disconnect me. So I guess I need to fib and tell them I have a cloud subscription in order to resolve activation issues, which I assume is the issue, but really do not know.

    Adobe support has really gotten very bad. Having been a 20-year Adobe user, their product strategy is not for everyone.

    • Hi Larry, it sounds like you’re having an issue going back CS6 after stopping a CC subscription… You’re trying to revert to CS6 apps after canceling Creative Cloud, but they will not reactivate with the previous key-based licensing.

      So it sounds like the CC licensing got stuck in place on your system. So here (hopefully) is a simple solution to that. Please try it and let us know how it works out for you.

  8. I upgraded to CC from CS5.5 and received a discount because of my ownership of CS5.5. Am I free to sell my CS5.5 software and transfer the license to the purchaser?

  9. Am considering either CC or CS6, after being on CS2 forever. Am attracted to software currency (and I also understand how the apps themselves work). But I am most concerned about personal data and financial information security. I want to create a situation where I am invisible to the outside world as much as possible.

    So a couple questions:

    1. Is it possible to be completely disconnected from cloud-based storage and sharing? (I don’t need it),


    2. Is there any way to set up a prepaid annual subscription without having my personal data continuously accessible at Adobe? Call me paranoid, I don’t care. And don’t pretend Adobe wasn’t hacked immediately after launching CC.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hey there Derek, that sounds right because the regular price for Creative Cloud that most people pay is US$49/month. So the way Adobe’s education pricing works, you get a 60% discount for the first year ($19), and then a 40% discount ($29) for every year thereafter, which includes your renewals. Hope that helps explain!

  10. Hello,
    First, I would like to thank you for your rich and organized info, which always enlightens us. Please, I have two questions:

    1) I own the perpetual English version of the Creative Production Premium Suite, and I am eager to subscribe to the CC Cloud version. Would I be able to keep both versions (CS5, CC Cloud) running independently on my computer and laptop?

    2) Are all language versions of the CC Cloud available for download, such as the Arabic-supported one?

    Thank you in advance.

    • Hi Ashraf, thanks for your questions… Here are the answers:

      1) Yes, you should be able to keep and run both the CC and CS versions at the same time on the same computer or laptop.

      2) Yes, in the newer Adobe CC versions, there are no such thing as “language packs” – all languages are included in a single release (even Middle Eastern languages such as Arabic or Hebrew), and you can easily and freely switch between languages whenever you want.

      If you’d like to download and install the CC 2014 version to try it out before you buy it, then just sign up for a free Creative Cloud membership and you’ll receive access to all the new software.

      Hope that helps!

    • Not sure – we’ve never had any problems here, everything has been smooth as silk… Does the installation process run to completion, or are you getting any errors or messages? If so, what are they exactly?

      Also, what type of system do you have? Is it a newer/modern machine, or an older one? Are you sure your computer meets Adobe’s complete official CC system requirements?

      If you could share a little more detail then we could try to help further – thanks!

  11. Hi, please can you help.

    I have a Macbook with Mavericks on it, and I subscribe to CC 2014 and LR5.5.

    I have now just got a new 2014 Mac mini with Mac Yosemite 10.10.2, the latest version of OS X.

    I have been trying repeatedly and unsuccessfully to download CC 2014 to this new machine. I managed to get the CC Installer after several attempts, but the download of PS keeps failing as the machine will not keep the internet connection for long enough. It drops the connection every few seconds, and gives me a message – ‘Unable to reach Adobe servers. Please check your firewall settings and try again in a few minutes’. However, trying again doesn’t work, and after pressing the Retry button a few times, I then get a twirling rainbow ball, and I can’t cancel other than by doing a Force Quit of the CC installer.

    There is no problem with the internet in my house. all other internet enabled devices are working fine. I’m writing this on my MacBook.

    The firewall is not switched on, all the other devices in my house are working fine, with no internet problems. I’m completely stuck, don’t know what to do. I have read that many people are tearing their hair out over this problem with Mac Yosemite having such a flaky internet connection. How can I get CC downloaded, and LR5.5 please.

    Please advise. Thanks.

  12. Hi! My boss just bought a single app plan for photoshop (annual plan, prepaid) and when I installed photoshop, it’s set to trial? why is that? I can’t immediately proceed to getting illustrator if it would just turn up as a trial version of the software.

  13. @ProDesignTools

    Hi, thank you for your suggestion, and the link. In the end I did manage to download CC and LR5 and an update. The connection kept dropping, but then re-connecting and carrying on the download process. I will keep the link for future reference.

  14. Hi, I have creative cloud purchase with a business email address. Can multiple users of that computer log in as themselves and their profile and email address and use their Adobe login?

    Would this transfer their Adobe cloud settings to that computer while they are working on it?
    Or would it error out because they are not the owner of that software?

    I guess, what I really want to know is would this stuff up the licensing at all? (i.e. transfer it under their name?)

    • Hi Mouli – since 2013, the latest/current releases of all the tools you listed are only available via CC subscription. However, you don’t have to use the online cloud part if you don’t want to; you can run the CC tools offline on your desktop without any problem.

      If you would like a traditional/perpetual software license instead, then you can still buy CS6 direct if you prefer; Creative Suite 6 continues to be sold by Adobe, and is available for upgrades or full purchase. However, the cost of CS6 is far greater upfront than with CC.

      Whichever path you choose, keep in mind that the CS6 version is from 2012 (so 3 years old now) and will not be upgraded any further, and won’t be supported on future operating systems – whereas all subscribers to CC will receive ongoing new features and upgrades as soon as they’re available at no additional cost.

      This guide may also help in your decision:

      Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) or Adobe CS6 – Which Should You Buy?

  15. Hello, i already have a basic yearly membership since i am an amateur photographer using Lr and Photoshop. But i started doing videos recently and tried the trial version of Premiere pro. I was hooked immediately and wanted to download/buy the program. If i understand this correctly, i can only get it with another yearly membership of 19.99$/mo.

    What is not clear though is will that amount be added to my 9.99$/mo existing yearly membership or will it simply become one new contract of 29.99$/mo?

    really wish Adobe would put this more clearly on their information pages.

    In other word what more will i be getting for 19.99$ compared to 9.99$


    • Greetings Raymond, the answer is that unless you’ve got the all-in-one Complete Creative Cloud bundle with everything included for $49.99/month, then all the other CC plans are “a-la-carte”…

      In other words, you already have the $9.99 Photography Plan, which includes both Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC.

      If you would like to add any other app like Premiere Pro, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro, etc. – then that would be an additional $12.99-$19.99 a month via a Single-App Subscription.

      Each plan would run independently from the time you start it, but your total monthly cost would be the sum of the prices of the plans you’ve subscribed to.

      So in your case, that would be $9.99 + $19.99 = $29.98 per month, and you’d receive full access to the latest releases of Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, and Premiere Pro CC.

      The other possibility for you would be to upgrade your Photography plan to the full (Complete) plan – which you can easily switch over without penalty online – and then you’ll get everything at the all-in-one rate.

      Hope that helps!

  16. Hi, we had purchased 1 license of Adobe Creative Suite recently with a new discounted rate. Can we purchase 2 more licenses with this discounted rate and cancel the other 2 licenses which we have paid for a normal rate?


  17. Hi , we are having adobe cc photoshop license and flash, both licenses are two different account id’s.

    can i install this on one pc with two different account ids? how to download and install it offline?


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