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CS6 is Out — Adobe Launches Creative Suite 6!

See the Adobe Creative Suite 6 Suite Edition Family

[UPDATE (Jan. 2017) – Adobe just stopped selling CS6 entirely – here’s why.]

Yes – Adobe CS6 has just been announced with all the details… Pretty much on the time­frame we forecast, you can learn about and order any of the new products or suite editions, or even download the free CS6 trials. An on-demand video of the global Creative Suite 6 Launch Event is also now available. Adobe calls this “a huge release, our best ever,” so let’s take a closer look…

CS6 arrives one year following CS5.5 and two years after CS5. Photoshop and Illustrator did not get CS5.5 versions, so both of these tools have received very significant upgrades for CS6. But all the individual applications, including InDesign, Dreamweaver and the video tools, are receiving additional features, enhanced functionality, updated technologies, and/or solid performance boosts with Creative Suite 6. There are also two new products: Prelude CS6 and SpeedGrade CS6; plus the Design Premium and Web Premium suites have been combined into one (see how these fit into the Product Matrix).

Generally speaking though, the configurations and prices are similar for CS6 as compared to CS5. Overall we present some highlights here, but see our two companion “what’s new” articles for: (1) an overview of the key differences between CS6 vs. CS5.5, including what’s been added and what’s been taken away, and (2) a detailed product-by-product review of the significant new features and enhance­ments in CS6.

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CS6 Pricing, Upgrades, Availability, and Requirements

The CS6 Price Sheet shows the complete pricing for the full versions in major geographies and currencies.  The cost to upgrade from CS5.5 to CS6 ranges from $45-$149 for the individual point products, and $275-$525 for the suites. In the U.S., CS6 pricing across the board remains roughly in line with what it was for CS5, with slight cost increases or decreases for some paths – while pricing in Europe is a bit lower.  Adobe is offering free shipping on orders over £350 in the UK and €500 in Europe (before VAT).

One very big change coming is that all CS6 upgrades are only available direct from Adobe… CS6 upgrades will not be offered from third parties like resellers or retailers.

If you’re currently running older releases like CS3 or CS4, don’t forget you have until year-end to upgrade with Adobe’s discounted pricing. And if you’re still on CS2, you only have until May 6th with the CS6 Grace Period Offer!

For education customers, the CS6 Student & Teacher Edition offerings remain the same, with some modest price adjustments up and down but still close to 80% off. Learn more about the benefits and limitations of Adobe’s academic versions.

If you need to run multiple users with Creative Suite, check out the volume license program. Adobe is also now offering a membership-based Creative Cloud option to access all the best CS6 software, and we’ll be covering that in more detail in future articles.

Watch the Creative Suite 6 Launch Event!

The CS6 System Requirements have some differences from those for CS5. Generally speaking, Windows Vista is no longer officially supported but Adobe will not restrict installing or running the tools on Vista. Also, the minimum Mac OS version has bumped up to 10.6 (Snow Leopard), and some programs require that your Mac have a 64-bit processor (here’s how to tell).

Premiere Pro and After Effects continue to be 64-bit-only applications, however all of the other products will run well on both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. And good news for many: Illustrator CS6 now comes with a native 64-bit version in addition to 32-bit, similar to how it works with Photoshop.

Adobe has also put together an excellent FAQ that addresses a lot of general questions. There’s also an extensive set of CS6 overview videos on Adobe TV, plus 30 hours of free new video tutorials for Creative Suite 6.

And similar to other Adobe software, you may be able to install and run CS6 on up to two computers, subject to the terms of the software’s license agreement.

When Is the Release Date?

So all this new software has been officially announced, but when will Creative Suite 6 be shipping?  Our checks indicate the release date will be in early May… In the meantime you can register to download any of the free trials — or grab some chances to win Photoshop CS6 + Lightroom 4 for free!

Or read more about how CS6 is different from previous versions like CS5.5.

Lastly, keep in mind you can usually save a good bit of money on CS6 when coming from older versions like CS2, CS3, or CS4 by upgrading now at lower cost to CS5.5, and then you’ll automatically receive a free further upgrade to CS6 when it comes out… Just look for “Can’t wait? Order the previous version now” at Adobe’s Online Store.

Do you have any questions about CS6? Just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

Keep up with the latest on Adobe software — follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or subscribe to our RSS feed… You can also enter your email and have new articles sent directly to your Inbox. We are reader-supported; when you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.


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81 thoughts on “CS6 is Out — Adobe Launches Creative Suite 6!”

  1. I never could figure out the difference between Photoshop (I use 7.0 since long time) and CS. Is there an upgrade too?

  2. I just purchased the full CS6, and now am looking to purchase the best computer for use with this. What are your recommendations? I am looking at the moment at the Dell 8500 “Special Addition” as one example.


    • Welcome Cal, thank you for your question. We don’t give particular hardware advice, as it just changes too fast and we’re mostly software guys here… But what Creative Suite 6 needs to run well really varies widely depending on which application(s) you’re talking about, actually. So your best bet is simply to check Adobe’s official CS6 system requirements for the particular product you purchased – and then make sure whatever computer you buy exceeds those specifications by a healthy margin.

  3. @ Cal DeWitt

    Hi Cal,

    We are on the same boat, or almost :)

    I upgraded to CS6 and found my old Dell Dimension 9200 Win Vista 32bit with 4GB RAM (max I would add) cannot handle it. I decided to go for Dell XPS8500 with Blu-Ray writer edition. I’m awaiting delivery, but from what I have already read and heard from other users, it works great.

    I ordered it with 12GB RAM memory and Graphic ATI Radeon HD7870 2GB DDR5. Photoshop always shouted down and showed me not enough RAM on old PC. As you know unlike model 8300, the model 8500 doesn’t have too many options to choose from. I’ve started with the most expensive one from this series. This is my 3rd Dell as I have never had a problem with them. However, with time software changes, so does the requirements. My Dimension is only 4 years old. The XPS8500 should be with me by May 29th. If you can wait a week I will tell you how it really works.

  4. This might be interesting news. I went yesterday to my local electronics shop in Tokyo. I decided to check the software section and found… Adobe Suites CS6 Upgrades DVDs. Yes, it means in Japan it’s possible to purchase from resellers.

  5. I DON’T UNDERSTAND. This is actually about the 7th time I’ve downloaded the Standard Creative Suite trial version to different places and it still comes up with Error 101 and won’t extract! I even tried the CS6 direct download links, both of them for PC, and it still tells me it can’t extract! there is no way that there is not enough space, i have checked enough times and I have tried downloading it to the desktop, my user folder and a public user folder. It takes about 32 hours each time so this is driving me crazy. What am I doing wrong??

  6. Having upgraded to the Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Standard from CS3 Design Standard in the spring of last year, I was able to avail of the free post-grade upgrade to Creative Suite 5.5 which was great news to me.

    Having worked with the Creative Suite 5.5 software for a bit over 12 months, I now see Adobe have introduced a newer CS6 version and my question is:

    1. Will the Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 still be supported with software fixes for bugs and new updates to its features in the coming months, or will users like myself need to upgrade again to CS6 to remain current.

    2.Will Adobe require all dot-5 release products to be full upgrade pricing. The current price point in the UK is around £265.00, I’m not sure what the cost is in the USA but this would be very costly indeed to keep up with the new 12/18-month upgrade cycle Adobe are now saying they will include along with more frequent updates to their software.

    3. Will Adobe offer a pricing structure for .5 upgrades where customers would like to upgrade to the current release, at present these upgrades cost the same to move from 5.5 to 6.0 with no further price reduction to non-current users of the same software product.

    4. The upgrade pricing would work better for all customers to move onto the next major release, i.e., CS6 or CS7, and then Adobe offer these upgrades at the lowest price point.

    What are your thoughts


    • Hi Mark, thanks for your questions. CS5.5 will still be supported for a while, but essentially Adobe has made upgrades from CS5.5 to CS6 the least expensive of all – and half the price of the upgrades from CS5.0 to CS6.

      So they are definitely aligning the pricing with the releases – and compensating for customers who have the 5.5 instead of the 5.0… You can see that clearly in the upgrade pricing here for your edition.

      As for Adobe’s future upgrade policy after this year is over, they plan to change it to “one version back” to receive discounted pricing… This means that starting in 2013, only customers who own CS5 or CS5.5 will qualify for low-cost upgrades to CS6 or CS6.5.

      Hope this helps!

  7. I am trying to find an all comprehensible Adobe CS6 training tutorial, for all programs in the CS6 suite. Please tell me how I can download any low cost or free tutorials that are available through Adobe. If you can point me in the right direction I would appreciate it!


  8. How do you get to the screen to input your serial number to activate CS6. I had to email Adobe information and lost the initial screen.

  9. Is it true that you can acquire Creative Suite via a monthly subscription? I need to replace my hard drive on my desktop. Since I may need to reinstall CS, and have misplaced my CS5 and CS4 CDs upgrading to a temporary monthly CS6 subscription may be ideal at this time. Any assistance or insight on this would be appreciated.


  10. Our institution purchased Master Collection CS6 6.0 WIN ESD LRE I am finding my install works with the profile it was installed with; but not other users as they log in. Is this a wrong purchase/install? Should we have purchased a volume license or network install version?

    • Not sure Janet, can you explain more about what you’re trying to do? Did you purchase a single copy for a single machine, but you want multiple users? Where did you purchase the software and what in particular is your computer telling you when you say it doesn’t work? A little more detail would be helpful – thanks!

      In the meantime, from what you said it sounds like you may be more suitable for Adobe’s latest volume release for companies, groups, organizations, etc. – which is Creative Cloud for Teams.

  11. Let me clarify. Here is a message from one of our professors in our academic lab:

    I ran into a minor issue today in class. When I started up Premiere Pro, some of the presets were not available. I thought that this might be a big issue, but when I opened the program a second time, it came up with an Adobe log-in/Registration page. Having an Adobe ID, I typed it in and all of the presets were there.

    The class, when opening the program, got a message about them working in the trial version and needing to register. When I logged onto one of the student machines and tried to use my Adobe ID, it wanted a serial number.

    This program was registered and serial number entered on my master image. Profile was created then copied to the default user. Then all lab machines were reimaged and the problem above exists. Can you help?

  12. Okay. We purchased 31 individual licenses but with one serial number. I created a master image. All programs were working fine and registered. Once imaged to my lab machines and a different user logged in, we experienced a registration issue and trial version kicked in.

    Do we neet a volume license to correct this issue?

  13. I’m trying to load my version of Creative Suite onto my Macintosh computer which is not hooked up to the Internet. I’ve followed the instructions to register my copy so that it does not expire in 7 days. But I’m running into some difficulty.

    I’m at a web page called “Offline Activation” that is asking me for a request code. I don’t know what that is or where to find it. The person who purchased the software here does not know what it is?

    Can you help? I just want to register our new software

  14. I have lost my laptop with my adobe suite, i have got a new laptop and want to reinstall my Adobe CS6 for mac but have also lost my license key. is it possible to retrieve this ?

    Thank you

  15. I need to redownload my purchased copy of illustrator cs6. I have the product key but I cannot find where the redownload page is. Please advise.

  16. What are the steps to follow when installing Adobe CS6 on Mac OS, because i have not installed it on Mac Systems before… please put me through. thanks


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