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The 10 Most Frequent Myths About Adobe's Creative Cloud (CC)

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The 10 Most Common Myths About Adobe’s Creative Cloud (CC)


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432 thoughts on “The 10 Most Frequent Myths About Adobe's Creative Cloud (CC)”

  1. ProDesignTools:

    Hi David, are you talking about file compatibility between different versions of Photoshop? Yes, that’s largely a myth as well.

    As for migrating files between different releases of Adobe Photoshop – the PSD format is very portable and there have already been many tests of this ability. One longtime customer wrote:

    So, there’s been a lot of “FUD” around this issue and fewer facts, but the reality is not so terrible.

    I’m very well aware of “file compatibility” with other products. Just because a file format is open doesn’t mean that other products deal well (or at all) with all the embedded features in that psd. For example, just the other day I attempted to open one of my control panel images in GIMP (which reads psd files). The file was opened successfully, but in the process 16-bit images were changed to 8-bit yielding unacceptable dithering, vector fonts were loaded as bitmaps, and none of my smart objects were preserved. In other words, there is no hope of using GIMP at this time as a practical replacement for Photoshop to edit those images. Now if I “dumbed down” my use of advanced Photoshop features so that everything I saved in my psd would load properly in GIMP, then why would I even use Photoshop when GIMP is free? So I continue to use CS5, which is perfectly fine because the license is permanent and I feel my images and my ability to edit them will never be put in jeopardy under the terms of its license.

    Now the only reason any user of a CS product would even go to CC would be to benefit from new features that it adds. But as soon as one starts using those features and saves a psd that relies on those features being present in order to edit (like I do), they need to understand that Adobe, for all practical purposes, now effectively owns a right-to-edit license on all of those images–which could number in the hundreds or thousands for a pro. If the owner of those images decides at anytime in the future to migrate to another product, they need to know that any rights they have to continue editing those images created in CC may very well be tied to them continuing to maintain a subscription indefinitely with Adobe in addition to any fees that they incur with the new product. Others refer to this as “holding the images hostage”. It’s an apt description.

    Now if all you do is use Photoshop to create images, output them as tiffs, and don’t consider the original layered image file to be an important archivable business or personal asset, then CC is fine. In fact, that is the perfect use case for a person who would be best off subscribing rather than purchasing a product such as PS (I’m not against subscriptions–they have their place). However, for folks who consider the layered original to be the digital equivalent to source code, it is vitally important to have the ability to archive both the original files and the product used to create them. In the programming world important software is archived along with the compiler used to generate the end product. If I wasn’t allowed to archive the compiler I wouldn’t use that compiler in a business scenario, since it might prevent me from being able to fix a critical or even dangerous bug in the future after that compiler became unavailable. In the imaging world its the exact same thing. If I can’t archive my images along with the product used to create and edit them, I won’t use the product. It would be bad practice and potentially irresponsible, especially in business and personal scenarios where long-term edibility is critical.

    • David, it’s not on Adobe if another piece of software does not read or manage the PSD format correctly… Adobe openly publishes the full format and any changes, and ensures Photoshop is compliant with it. That’s all they can do as far as file format is concerned.

      At the same time, you can’t hit them for changes to that. If there were never new features added then the industry-leading tool would never evolve, and would lose relevance and its place at the top.

      Another point. Is your CS5 better than CC? Or even CS6? How much productivity (= time = money) might you lose from not using the latest and fastest tools with the best feature sets?

      Finally, nothing in technology is forever. You may think you can run an old static copy for a lifetime, but did you know that Adobe will not be supporting any of the older CS tools on the next versions of Windows and Mac OS? Do you intend to use the same computer for the rest of your life? What happens if it irreparably crashes? Will you at some point upgrade your hardware or software in keeping with Moore’s Law?

      What’s strangest to us is that for someone who is a serious user and implies their work and livelihood are closely tied to Photoshop, is $10 a month too much to pay? That’s two cups of coffee for both PS+LR, which continues to fund new development of the products.

      Arguably, the ongoing support and latest versions are worth at least that, and that’s less than it used to cost under the old model for the vast majority of people (i.e., $848 upfront + $278 each upgrade).

  2. One quick follow-up. Prior to my last post I hadn’t read the entire content of the last reply regarding the backward (and forward) compatibility experiment performed by the “longtime customer”. I hear what this user is saying, but does this imply that Adobe is guaranteeing backward compatibility of all future CC versions with CS? In all seriousness, if it does, I will buy CC and will drop my complaints. If it is not guaranteed; however, then the risk is identical to what I described in my last post–since there is no way that I’m going to constantly check for backwards compatibility every time Adobe makes a change in the product. I’m also very dubious about Adobe maintaining this backward compatibility for long. In fact, I wouldn’t put it past them to consider backward compatibility a liability in their new subscription model and eventually break it. Perhaps that sounds like conspiracy speech, but its more of a trust issue. Quite simply, I truly find it hard to trust them anymore.

    • Well, that’s just more FUD. The company has done nothing to break your trust in that department. The fact of the matter is that Adobe has always worked hard to maintain interoperability across and between PS versions as much as they can, because they consider it a benefit to the ecosystem. The aforemen­tioned tests of opening a CC file in CS5 back this up.

      If they wanted force older versions of Photoshop to upgrade by breaking file compatibility, then they would have done so already at some time in the past (like when CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6 came out). But they didn’t, and they haven’t – over a 24-year history with 14 major releases of the product. There’s nothing new here, and those fears are not borne out by experience.

  3. I think I still resonate with David’s point. The main issue is not so much the backwards compatibility. I am a photographer who also designs graphics for a local church. As a side-business, it doesn’t make much money. The difficulty with this system is that

    1) If I use the upgraded software, then for whatever reason cancel my subscription, I can’t go back and edit archived psd files. It’s not that the cost of the subscription is that big of a deal, but it’s the idea that once you’re in, you’re locked in, or you lose the use of your projects. That doesn’t sit well with me.

    2) Most of the time, the upgraded feature-sets don’t equate to a very large difference in profit. In most cases, my skill as a photographer and basic editing tools are going to determine that. In some cases, new features come along that are appealing enough to warrant an upgrade, but under subscription, I no longer get to make that choice – I’m paying for it anyway.

    3) To me, it also theoretically removes some incentive to continue developing a quality product. Whereas before, if you wanted customers to pay for an upgrade, it had better be an upgrade worth paying for. Now, once you have customers using new CC features, they’re kind of locked in. Some of that pressure is gone. From what I’ve read, Adobe’s latest release appears to be pretty awesome, so this theoretical principal may not come into play as of this point, but the concept is still there, nonetheless, and it kind of bothers me.

    Bottom line, I just don’t like paying for something continuously when I don’t know for sure if it will equate to something I would have payed for anyway. If I work for a company that wants to budget for a subscription, that’s great, but individually, it’s a much harder decision to make.

    • Hi Mike, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Here are ours:

      1) As mentioned, if you stop subscribing to Photoshop CC, you can still go back and edit your PSD files with an older version of Photoshop. Or you can grab a simple month-by-month subscription to the latest version, or avail yourself of a new free 30-day trial of Photoshop (Adobe is likely to reset free trials at least once per year).

      2) Strongly disagree. There were a huge number of improvements between PS CS5 vs. CS6, and more still in Photoshop CC vs. CS6. Just talking about one new feature – Content-Aware Fill, which made its debut in CS5, got vastly improved (adding Patch/Move/Extend) in CS6, and works even better in CC – this feature is magic and dead-simple to use, and easily saves us dozens of hours every year. What’s your time worth?

      3) There’s simply no basis or justification for that thesis anywhere in Adobe’s history. That’s simply not the way the company works, it’s not in their culture. We know many engineers there and they are not foot-draggers or sand­baggers. Since CC was first released, there have already been dozens of included upgrades, and useful ones at that.

  4. In your first post above, I believe you’re actually making my point for me. I was responding to an earlier suggestion that psds being open somehow helped me. The fact is that it doesn’t help because no one ever implements everything in the spec. And of course you are correct that this is not Adobe’s fault (nor would any reasonable person ever imply that).

    With respect to using old software, this argument might work for light users, but for long term users with large archives it doesn’t. If I have hundreds or thousands of images in a proprietary format that I need to have occasional archival access to, I am NOT going to migrate them to the latest/greatest format every time a new version of the software used to create them comes out. I’m going to archive them and move along. If I need to access them at some point in the future, I will pull them out of storage along with the software used to create them and do what I need to do. And yes, it is perfectly normal for a business or anybody else to use old software on new platforms. In my job as a software developer, believe it or not, we still maintain DOS software for old systems (our products have about a 20 year lifecycle). To support these on modern systems we run them in a virtual machine. Here’s another example. I am also a musician (a trumpet player). Back in the ’90s I did a lot of transcription and transposed a large number of charts using software that is no longer sold or supported. Despite this, I still go back and occasionally edit and print these charts. How do I do this on my i7 Windows 8.1 64x machine? Well, I have the original floppies archived as virtual floppies and I have the software installed in a VM. And yes, I expect this will last forever and run on nearly any mainstream platform. Heck, it will even run on a phone (not that I do that). Now if I had rented this music software under an Adobe type subscription I would be totally out of luck. My right and ability to edit those archived files would have been revoked a long time ago.

    With regard to your last point about the price of CC, I am always surprised at how deeply the marketing folks just don’t get this. The price is not at issue here. I can easily afford a subscription. In fact, for a subscription Adobe’s price is excellent, perhaps even too cheap. As I said before, I’m not against subscriptions and Adobe’s prices are certainly fair enough. However, even if the price was free, I would not create any mission critical work in a product I can’t archive. Period. And that’s not just my policy, that is the policy of many responsible individuals. Now you say that Adobe hasn’t broken file compatibility in a long time, which is a fine retrospective observation, but if they cannot state this as a forward license guarantee, then all it is is an observation (Hmm. will my images with smart objects open in CS1? Gotta check that).

    • Well David, your use-case is pretty exceptional, we don’t often hear of people going to such lengths to avoid upgrading and continue to use older software! Most folks are not programmers who can (or want to) technically manage all that, and generally people are willing to feed the hand that supports them.

      But from what you write it sounds like you may not be aware of two important things. First, that newer versions of Photoshop will open your “archival” files from an older version, untouched – there’s no issue there. Second – and equally important if you want a backup – all Creative Cloud members also have complete access to a permanent archive of major versions, starting back from CS6.

      So, you created a PSD in CS6 and want to reopen it later with exactly the same version? It’s there for you to download and use if you need it; you can even run it side-by-side with CC. This goes for the $10 PS Photography Plan as well – all subscribers get full use of both Photoshop CC and CS6, plus Lightroom 5 and LR4. And once a year going forward, we’ll probably see a new milestone release added to this maintained version archive.

      Bottom line, if you admit you can easily afford CC and believe the price and value are excellent, but don’t want to subscribe anyway for personal reasons – then good luck to you, there’s nothing more we can say… With the near-5-star ratings that Creative Cloud has been getting, and the rapid adoption from customers, Adobe has been clear that they are not going back to the old perpetual versions with 18-month release cycles.

  5. Thank you for the helpful answers. What will the new milestone releases be called each year, do you know yet? Will they still be “CC” or will it be “CC[1]”, “CC2″, CC3”, etc.?

    • Hey there Sarah, that’s a good question. We don’t know for sure yet, but don’t think it will be CC2, CC3, CC4, like it was with Creative Suite…

      Adobe says there will always be the single name of “CC,” and not a second CC – but still we’d need something to distinguish the timeframe for major versions. So that means it’s more likely to be “CC” plus a year denomination, like “CC 2014.” Each individual tool would also retain its own specific release number, relative to its history.

      But of course, one of the benefits of Creative Cloud is an ongoing stream of included upgrades whenever they’re ready, and not having to wait for some big annual release date for everything.

  6. Of course CC will open my archival files from an older version! I would always expect that. Its called backward compatibility and I’m quite sure that even files I created way back in pre-CS Photoshop editions will open just fine in CC. My issue is what happens if I subscribe to CC, create lots of proprietary files and then cancel my subscription sometime in the future? If I’m lucky I might be able to still edit them in an older perpetually licensed product, but that requires *forward* compatibility, which is another animal altogether and hardly guaranteed, especially over the long term. (By the way, I am honored to be called “exceptional” in my use of legacy technologies in archival applications. I had been convinced that VM technology was commonplace nowadays, but perhaps that is untrue or I have misunderstood its application)

    I had to kind of laugh at this program by Adobe that grants CC folks the ability to use CS6. Why in the world would anyone “officially” need CS6 if they had CC? No really, think about. It can’t possibly be for the reason you state–i.e. for people who want to open a psd in the exact same version they created it in. That’s silly. I have always only had one version of PS installed at a time because it was always completely backward compatible with images created in older versions. So what use case could possibly really justify needing both CC and CS6? The only possible reasons I can think of are that either (a) there are known potential forward or backward compatibility issues coming down the pike or (b) there really is an officially recognized use case for people needing a perpetually licensed product and Adobe is backpedaling with this temporary patch of a deal.

    Here’s another example to consider: Lets suppose Adobe’s new subscription went into effect with the original CS1 product and lets suppose I was a new customer who never owned a previous version of PS. I then go ahead and buy a subscription to it to do professional work. Then let’s say that an automatic update came in the following year that added a new smart object layer feature and I started using it enthusiastically to create hundreds of heavily layered images for a wide variety of clients who expect me to keep the images archived and able to create modifications of them from time to time. Now suppose that five years later Adobe’s market domination begins to waver and a great new product from “Acme” comes out and based on rave reviews I decide that I want to migrate over to their product. Well here’s where Adobe’s license bites If I cancel my Adobe subscription my license and ability to edit my images is immediately revoked. Maybe the Acme product can read them if I’m lucky, but perhaps they have a new and better way of doing smart objects that isn’t compatible with Adobe. So now I’m stuck. If I had a perpetual license to the last edition of PS that I owned (one that supported smart objects), there would be no problem as I could continue to edit my legacy files independent of my migration to Acme. However, if my last edition of PS was cloud only, my editor vaporizes the moment my subscription goes away and I no longer have the means to honor my clients. So the only way I can both migrate to Acme and keep editing my old files is to both buy the Acme product *and* continue to subscribe to PS indefinitely–even if I hardly use it anymore. But of course, this is exactly what Adobe wants and I understand their rationale. If this wasn’t their rationale they would never have moved to this subscription-only model. The whole point of saying all this is just to make sure that others understand the dilemma they may potentially face in the future when renting a license rather than buying it.

    Look, I don’t disagree that Adobe CC is a 5-star product from a feature point-of-view. It is indeed best-in-class as an image editing program and that is not in any way lost on me. I also have absolutely no expectation that they will go back to a perpetual license since it is clear that they have stopped listening to those with my point-of-view. So at this point my message isn’t to Adobe at all but a message to let users–especially pros–know what they are both signing up for and simultaneously signing away.

    Well, that’s it for me. This will be my last post on this subject; you are welcome to have the last word :-)


    • Sure Dave, you bet. In our view, the sooner you realize that you’re connected and committed to Adobe for your work and maintaining your vast PSD archive, the better. You’ve already put your eggs in that basket, and Adobe has moved to a new model of software delivery, as is their right in a free market for self-preservation and evolving with the times…

      As independent InDesign expert Bob Levine says, “Conveniently overlooked is the fact that loyalty is a two way street. Buying every third version of Creative Suite Design Standard does not make you a loyal customer; it makes you one of the reasons this move became necessary. Adobe has invested hundreds of millions of dollars developing tools that have allowed many of us to make a living or a life, but no company can continue making that type of investment without a return on it and a growing market.”

      You may not prefer it that way, but there’s nothing you or I can do. So as far as we see it, you have two options: you can stay where you are, stuck in 2010 with CS5 – or you can get on the train with the latest technology for a handful of sheckels a month, and move forward. Or maybe you’ll go for the middle choice which is buying CS6 from 2012, which has about a year left of support from Adobe. But it seems you’re spending an awful lot of time just thinking about it, as evidenced by the longest comment ever posted on our site in five years ;).

      Take care.

  7. Do you need to have Photoshop CS on your computer, before you can subscribe to this monthly contract?

    Hey Dave you have a valid point, real good one. But me, I am going to spend my money in this world. I can’t take it to heaven. I will have fun in this life with this wonderful software. Remember if you don’t spend it; someone else will.

    • Greetings Fernando, you sound like a great guy to be around. With any of Adobe’s Creative Cloud plans, including the PS+LR Photography Plan, you get the complete versions of these programs… In other words, you don’t need to have anything coming in; there are no previous product ownership requirements. These are not upgrades, they are the full releases – and anyone can sign up and download/install and run “the real deal” starting at $10 a month.

  8. “Conveniently overlooked is the fact that loyalty is a two way street.”

    Vendor lock-in is not the same thing as loyalty. Monopolies are incapable of understanding loyalty.

  9. You bring up a good point: if, at some point in the future, I decided not to renew my subscription to Photoshop CC, will I be able to open the documents I created in CC into my CS6 version?

  10. I guess I have another question… I use Adobe Products on my desktop and laptop. First, if I subscribe to Photoshop CC, can I download it to both my computers without additional charge?

    And, since it takes quite a bit of time to set (and remember) preferences I established in CS6, is there a way to copy those (like Workspace, color space, etc. – I think I previously set them across the programs through Bridge) to Photoshop CC running on both my computers?

  11. @ProDesignTools

    There is absolutely no guarantee of backward compatibility. Adobe certainly makes no guarantee like this anywhere. If Adobe introduces any new features whose attribute must be saved in the PSD it will not be backward compatible. Sorry. If you use Photoshop CC and decide to switch to some other product later, there is absolutely no guarantee that you will be able to open your PSDs without renewing your subscription. Anyone who says differently without pointing out where Adobe makes such a guarantee is providing misinformation.

    • Nope, no guarantees David, just like most things in life… And we didn’t say there were any – we only talked about how it works now and in the past. However the fact is that Photoshop has a strong record in this regard. And most people don’t realize that PSD is in fact an openly-published file format that any other program (including existing tools from other vendors) is free to use/open/save.

      For more details (including tests of moving files back and forth), see our previous comment on this subject.

  12. Actually there are guarantees. They are called business contracts and licenses. If you create an image in CS6, you have a permanent license to open in CS6. That’s guaranteed, and its simple.

    On the other hand, if you create an image in CC, you are only licensed to open your own files in CC until you cancel your subscription. That’s also a guarantee.

    So if in five years (and thousands of images from now) you decide to drop your subscription and migrate to a new non-Adobe product, you must keep in mind that your contract to open your files in CC will be immediately revoked. Of course, if what you’re implying is true, this will not be a problem since it will be easy to find other products that will read the CC “openly-published” PSD file format. Ok. Got it.

    Ah yes, CC licensing is a wonderful thing. Only ten bucks a month guarantees you a lifetime of subscription bliss.

    • No, there are no real guarantees there either. Can you guarantee that you will absolutely be running the same hardware and operating system software that support CS6 forever into the future? That you’ll have no machine failures, loss, theft, incompatibilities, performance issues, etc.? Are you still running the same computer and o/s that you were in 1999, for example? Adobe has stated they will not be updating or supporting CS6 going forward, on future releases of Windows or Mac OS.

      Nothing in technology is truly forever – if you want to use something then it needs to be maintained at some level, upgraded, supported, etc. – and that is usually not free. With CC, all ongoing upgrades and support are included. If you stop getting real use out of it, then just cancel your subscription. If you later want to open files in the latest release of the native tool, then Adobe gives everyone at least 1-2 free months of usage per year via new free trials. Outside of that, additional access is available for as long or short as you want or need (1 month – 12 months) via a monthly plan. And as mentioned earlier, besides Adobe, other third-party tools can open and read files like .PSD and .AI.

      Regardless, most customers seem to agree that $10 a month is a pretty good deal for the latest versions of both Photoshop + Lightroom + more, when these tools previously were out of reach for many with a collective price tag of $1,000+ upfront just to start. It’s going to cost something either way.

      The only thing that is guaranteed by staying with CS6 is being stuck at the 2012 level of features and performance, when there has already been a lot added since then that will save time, speed your work, and increase productivity… If you want to stay with CS6, fine, that’s your decision – but ultimately, what’s your time worth?

  13. @ProDesignTools

    I have no problem with the $9.99/mo. for the Photography package. It’s the $30 full suite package I am not up for paying. It was a hypothetical question I originally posed. I have always preferred to have my own, purchased copy rather than renting it. (I guess that’s why I have a closet full of DVD’s which I acquired rather than renting them!). You never know what’s around the corner with any company and I like to have a general idea of future happenings. I guess I feel like I’m more in control when something is mine.

    The CC font access is very appealing but what happens when I use one of the fonts I can access in CC when I bring a CC psd file into my CS copy of InDesign? It’s things like this that make me wonder…

    • Hello again Carey, there is no need to wonder about that – the answer is completely clear. You can use all of those CC Typekit fonts in all programs running on your computer… Desktop fonts synced from Typekit are available in all your desktop applications, including older versions of the Creative Suite (like your InDesign CS6) and even non-Adobe applications (like Microsoft Word).

      See here for more details on how it works.

  14. @ProDesignTools

    This makes me curious about something.

    So, we all subscribe to the Photography package for $10/mo. Great! Now, it’s next year and the folks at Adobe decide that $10/mo really isn’t enough so every year, they have a price increase. At some point, it may be that business is slow and suddenly the new price structure is not so reasonable. Then what? You’re basically stuck with a subscription-only product that really isn’t in the budget. So, what then?

    • Adobe has stated again that the $9.99/month is the regular and ongoing price of the Photography Plan – not a promotional rate – and that subscribers should not expect cost increases from the company because none are envisioned.

      You might also want to take a look at Myth #6 above again.

  15. Hi,

    I’m a Free Creative Cloud member. When I look at the Adobe Creative Cloud Website I can find a lot of information about the products. But there is still something I can’t find.

    So here is my question for you: Can I subscribe for a Creative Cloud plan if I don’t have a credit card?


    • Hi Domi,

      Historically, Adobe only accepted credit cards (or debit cards with Visa/Mastercard branding) for subscriptions like Creative Cloud (CC)… And it’s the same with Amazon worldwide.

      However, even if you don’t have a credit/debit card, you should still be able to get Adobe CC via an online purchase. Which form of payment would you like to use, instead of a credit card, and which country do you live in?

      In many countries, Adobe recently started accepting PayPal and/or debit cards for Creative Cloud subscrip­tions, including prepaid/gift Visa and Mastercards with limited balances (and potentially reloadable) – so it is often possible to purchase CC direct from the company without using a credit card.

    • Yes, that’s right. Photoshop/Premiere Elements are not included in the Creative Cloud; however their (very) big brothers Photoshop and Premiere Pro are…

      So you can definitely do all the photo/image and video/film editing that you can handle, and much more.

      You can see all the tools and services that are contained in the CC 2014 product line here:

      Complete Creative Cloud members have full access to download and use all of those.

  16. I’m torn on CC. On the one hand I do think it’s a great value particularly if you’re a business or an individual that has a steady stream of clients/contracts. On the other hand, there’s the issue of lock-in which has already been discussed with files being unusable once you stop if you’re always using the latest are not consciously saving or exporting to older formats or feature sets (but avoiding new features basically defeats the purpose of a subscription).

    While this is concerns small businesses going out of business, or individuals and hobbyists being laid off or coming onto hard times, there is also one other area I haven’t seen discussed: availability in countries. If you’re traveling or moving, or if you have international clients or a global team and want to share project files the situation is pretty bad.

    There are countries in Europe where neighboring countries a train ride away are not supported. Andorra, Croatia, Isle of Man, Jersey, Macedonia, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino, Serbia (and Iceland and Greenland). I think none of the South Pacific and Caribbean nations are supported, and it’s only available in a few Latin American and Asian countries.

    Speaking of which, are stats of the high adoption quoted primarily in the US? Also, how does it break down among individuals vs businesses? From what I know of other industry in other countries, I would be surprised if the uptake is high outside.

    • Hey there NP, the latest adoption figures are not broken out or available by country but are worldwide. Generally for Adobe’s revenues in recent years, about half has come from the Americas, a quarter from EMEA, and a quarter from Asia.

      However, regarding the list of countries where Creative Cloud is now offered, we have to disagree. Looking at the data in the chart you posted, CC is now available for anyone to buy in 84 different countries worldwide… That’s a lot, and well over twice the amount for when Creative Cloud was first released in 2012.

      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 in 2015. And don’t forget that Creative Suite was never sold everywhere either – a universal global footprint is challenging to achieve for any company or product.

      Finally, on the question of opening your files when a subscription has ended… The Creative Cloud itself (including the permanently free version) is getting very capable of displaying and manipulating different Adobe file format types including .PSD, .AI, .INDD, etc – so that users can view many of these files indefinitely. For more on this capability, see the links in Myth #7 above.

      Also, for the past couple of years, Adobe has been customarily resetting the free trial periods for all users on the frequency of 1-2 times per year. So if your paid membership has expired, then opening up all of your files down the road could be as simple as just grabbing the latest free trial and firing it up.

      Those are just a couple of ideas. Lightroom itself also recently started offering a “read-only” version to lapsed subscribers for long-term access to your catalog… And we hope other CC applications may follow in this vein.

      Meanwhile, the cost of subscribing to CC keeps getting lower (as described in Myth #6 above) – like for example with the permanent Photography Plan, and most recently with Adobe’s Black Friday deals.

      So we’re pretty optimistic that everything is slowly but surely heading in the right direction, with the company gradually working out any kinks that remain.

  17. Thanks for the response. It’s true that CS package was not sold everywhere but you could still import it. Even sanctioned countries could go this route. Australians and others got around high pricing by importing the N.American version. Anyways, it is encouraging to see the list of countries grow.

    I wasn’t aware of the read-only version of Lightroom. I’m not a photographer but I agree that having tools to extract or export assets would allay my fears about unusable files.

  18. It is not true that prices for subscription always fall. After my introductory year with Creative Cloud(2013-14), my subscription price increased 50% in October 2014. It was, full disclosure, the academic version that was much promoted at $19.95 per month for Students and Teachers. I do NOT recall it being advertised as an introductory price that was only good for one year. One month before my initial year was up, I got a notice from Adobe that it was now going to be $29.95.

    That said, it is still a good deal. I’m keeping it. But the disclaimer on Myth #6, “prices have only fallen, never risen” is NOT true without qualification.

    • No Jim, the regular price for the Creative Cloud Student & Teacher Edition has always been $29.99/month since the very first day it was offered for sale in April 2012. It has not gone up.

      The CC education pricing of $19.99/month has always been a promotional discount for the first year (and specified as such by Adobe). This introductory promotion was offered from time to time as a recurring special, and then eventu­ally it became the standard deal for all new education customers. (Believe us, we follow this stuff very very closely.)

      So no, the product pricing did not go up – it’s just that there is a first-year intro discount that is exactly analogous to how all CS3-CS6 customers can get their first year for only $29.99 (instead of $49.99) a month.

      Sorry if there’s been any confusion or if that wasn’t entirely clear to you before.

  19. CC is a big mistake. Once you are in you have to renew your subscription. Old fashioned install and forget WTF. CC has some technical advanatges but it looks more of an advantage for Adobe to get a constant revenue stream more than anything else.

    I’m just waiting now for fully installable open source softwares or other softwares to plug the GAP that Adobe has created to axe its own foot.

    All the points favoring Adobe here have too many “loops and turns” and it does not fit well. One is left frustrated wondering. Most people perhaps do not have a choice as of now and Adobe can sit fat and pretty with its decision for now … good luck if the technology industry can have its say @ the end!

    • Hello Argon, not sure at all what you mean by “loops and turns”; the software is straight­forward. On the whole though, we heard some similar gripes 3 years ago… But they haven’t been right – the market is saying otherwise, and is proving very strong for CC:

      Creative Cloud Adoption Grows to 10 Million Paid Subscribers

      You mentioned the advantages; Adobe is continuing to add many new features to CC… There are now over 1,000 new & improved capabilities over Creative Suite 6. CS6 came out almost three years ago (in spring 2012) – and while it can still be purchased direct from Adobe, it cannot be further upgraded (there is no CS7). Eventually CS6 will be unsupported by the company, particularly as technology and operating systems continue to march forward.

      Bottom line, the growth of Creative Cloud shows no signs of slowing – on the contrary, the rate of adoption recently has been accelerating. And Adobe’s outlook for the future sees much greater growth ahead (millions more customers by the end of this year).

      So the results are in, and they’re basically saying: you can resist and complain, or you can get on the train… (hey, that rhymes!) Which is better for your produc­tivity (time = money) and career?

  20. Firstly, Adobe products are by far the most professional and incredibly well designed applications in the world.
    The fees are small considering the vast talent and development that must have gone into providing this software.

    My question, though is this: in the unlikely event that I am unable to continue the monthly or annual fee in the future, will I still be able to use the applications that I have downloaded to my desktop, or will I be left with the only option of using legacy versions such as CS6?

    I’d hate to think that this scenario would ever happen, but we are all subject to the fragility of economies aren’t we?

    • Greetings Pete, thanks for your comment. To answer your question – all of the CC tools and services, including the creative applications you have installed locally on your system, remain activated so long as your CC membership remains in good standing. So if you stop your membership, then ongoing access to these products will cancel as well.

      In that scenario, your account would automatically switch to a free level of Cloud membership (that you retain permanently at no cost) which you can use to open, display, and manipulate files in some of the most common Adobe formats (types including .PSD, .AI, .INDD, etc). The power of this capability is discussed more in Myth #7 above.

      Similarly, you can use the preview and display capabilities of Adobe Bridge CC, which is free for everyone, for life (really).

      You could also continue to use legacy versions such as CS6/CS5/CS4 as you suggest, and some of those programs will still be able to open CC files.

      There also exist third-party utilities like XnView (free), which will read and write Photoshop .PSD files, and also opens Adobe Illustrator .AI files. ID Util (also free) will read and display any InDesign or InCopy file. Like Photoshop’s published .PSD format, Adobe PDF is another publicly-documented specification, and various programs can read and write those files.

      Adobe will also be resetting a new round of free CC trials at least once or twice every year that will work fully and open your files for 30 days (or longer). So if your paid membership has expired, then short-term opening or editing your files down the road could be as simple as just grabbing the latest free trial and firing it up.

      And then there’s always a Creative Cloud month-to-month membership available if you want to do more intensive work, for as long or as short as that is. You would pay only for the months you needed to.

      Those are just a few ideas in response to your query. Lightroom itself (which is part of Creative Cloud) also recently started offering a “read-only” version to lapsed subscribers for long-term access to your catalog… And other CC applications may follow in this way.

      Meanwhile, the cost of subscribing to Creative Cloud keeps getting lower (as outlined in Myth #6 above) – like for example with the permanent Photography Plan with a some incredible top tools for under $10 a month.

  21. Be warned if you have a month-to-month Creative Cloud account that you wish to cancel you have to contact Adobe Support.

    In your Creative Cloud membership page there is a “cancel plan” link, but when you click it, you are asked to confirm the cancellation by contacting support. If you don’t contact support even after you click “cancel” you are still billed monthly.

    The contacting support process takes around 30 minutes which is comprised of two phone calls. When you call the support number you are diverted to an Adobe sales rep who wants to upsell you. Then when they find out they cannot upsell and you just want to cancel, they take your details and someone in the cancellation dept has to call you.

    • That is actually not true Simon. Normally if you want to cancel a CC month-to-month subscription, then you can do it online at any time by simply clicking one button from your “Manage Account” screen.

      The requirement to contact Adobe is only if you have an annual subscription (12-month) that is not in its final month – and that’s just because there may be a cancellation fee involved in that case… So if you try to cancel before the full commitment is over, then you’ll be redirected to customer service to sort that out.

      But even then, this can be done quickly via live online chat that only take a couple minutes and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year… NO phone call is necessary, unless you prefer it. And in our experience, there is no “upsell” or hassle involved.

      We double-checked your claim with Adobe and here was their response: “A month-to-month subscription can be canceled at any time from customer’s end by logging to their Adobe account; however, sometimes a customer may not be able to cancel from their end due to a technical glitch, that time they need to contact customer support. This specific issue is in the process of being fixed as soon as possible, and we apologize for any inconvenience to your reader.”

      Even still, as mentioned above, this could be done via instant chat instead of the telephone.

  22. I already have a student full version of creative suite for my PC. Is there an upgrade for my new Mac Pro that runs Yosemite? Plus the cloud version doesn’t mention Dreamweaver/CS6, is called by another name now?

    Also does Adobe, once I sign on to cloud, own my work and can use it whenever they wish if I keep it on cloud?

    • Hi Shauna, it sounds like you currently have an older version of CS… Adobe ceased the CS line at CS6 and replaced it with CC.

      CS6 originally came out in April 2012, so it’s been almost 3 years now with over 1,000 new features and improvements added to CC since that time.

      The current release of Creative Cloud is called CC 2014, and it supports all the latest operating systems including Mac OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and Windows 8.1.

      If you’d like to check it out first on your new computer, then you can quickly download the free CC 2014 trial for any applications you want.

      Finally, on your last question – Adobe does not ever own your work and in fact (per Myth #7 above), using the online storage of CC is completely optional. You can keep any or all files local on your own machine just like before, if you prefer.

      Hope that helps!

  23. Whoever wrote this article is too pro-Adobe. It’s a business world. Adobe are promoting the full suite to get users on board so that they can later dump some of the ‘doubler’ applications they have inherited in the course of buying up Macromedia etc. That will cut their costs whilst allowing them to tell users that they can migrate to the ‘other’ app. Also: this CC route will cost my business MORE because we need 3 or 4 apps. Upgrading every 2 to 3 years was cheaper than CC will be. Furthermore, we are only sticking with Adobe because they have virtually monopolised the graphics market with the .ai file format. Many excellent applications that were much cheaper (or even free) are now effectively dead because Adobe marketing – not software – was superior. Even today, consider Blender or Gimp – absolutely NO CHARGE AT ALL for excellent software. And we have someone here who tells us Adobe offer value… Waken up. You’re on planet Earth. Big businesses have the biggest and sharpest teeth.

    • John, we have no clue what you’re talking about with “doubler” applications or “migrating to the ‘other’ app” – it sounds like nonsensical babble… There is absolutely nothing like that in the complete bundle of products that comprise the Creative Cloud – all of them are solid, useful, industry-leading tools! Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro, Muse, Flash Pro, Lightroom, Premiere Pro, After Effects – these are all best-of-breed applications, or right up there.

      As for Adobe being one of thousands of public companies who makes successful products worldwide that help grow its customer base and business, what’s wrong with that in a free-market society? If you have a true problem with that, then please see our reply to Brad here.

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