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Compare Version Differences: What's New in Adobe "CC" vs. CS6?

Learn What's New in Adobe 'CC' vs. CS6

[UPDATE (Oct. 2022) – The all-new Creative Cloud 2023 release has launched and is now available! See what’s new in features and all the differences compared to older versions.]

Adobe has just unveiled the new “CC” release to follow CS6 (it’s not CS7) – and one of the upgrade ques­tions people are asking is what’s new, what’s different, what’s changed in CC (Creative Cloud 2013) compared to the previous version?  The company says it “brings together everything you need to create your best work with incredible new versions of our flagship desktop tools, services that take publishing content to the next level, and making it easier than ever for creatives to collaborate and share their work worldwide.”  So our job here is to give you a quick “cheat sheet” on top new features, to help you decide about upgrading…

Adobe CC (2013) updates almost all of the individual products from CS6 – including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign/InCopy, Dreamweaver, Flash Pro, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Prelude, SpeedGrade, and Story.  In addition, Adobe Muse and the Edge family of tools are now also branded with the “CC” moniker.

The CS6 tools not revisioned to CC are Fireworks and Encore – although the CS6 versions of both continue to be available within Creative Cloud.  Acrobat XI Pro and Flash Builder 4.7 are also included but remain the same editions as before.

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Adobe CC works on a subscription basis starting as low as $9.99 a month, which includes future upgrades automatically at no additional cost… The standard Creative Cloud member­ship includes complete access to all of the software and services for one price.  Alternatively, static versions of last year’s CS6 tools & suites are still available for direct purchase for those that may prefer traditional licensing.

The new release shipped on Monday, June 17, 2013 – with brand new free trial downloads of all the CC desktop applications available via the Creative Cloud free level of membership.  In addition, the CS6 free trials continue to be downloadable as well.

Adobe is offering many specials and discounts now for the new product launch, but for exact details and information on Adobe CC worldwide pricing, see their “CC Plans” page.

You can read more about why Adobe is making this move here:

« Apples, Oranges, and Creative Cloud: Thoughts on Adobe CC »

What’s New in CC (2013) vs. CS6? A Version Comparison

Some key elements of what’s new with Adobe CC generally:

  • A slick and solid new Creative Cloud Desktop App that unobtrusively replaces both the Adobe Application Manager and the Creative Cloud Connection, and does file versioning too.
  • Cloud-based syncing and sharing of all your customized tool settings like preferences, presets, brushes, shortcuts, workspaces, styles, fonts, colors, and more.
  • The ability to share and publish your work directly from within your creative tools up to Behance in the Cloud as desired.
  • Creative Cloud Is Growing Fast – How Many Millions of Paid Subscribers?
  • 680 individual Typekit fonts will now be download­able and installable locally on your desktop (a nearly ,000 value if purchased commercially).
  • Customers with annual memberships will be now able to use all CC products for up to 99 days offline without revalidation or needing to be connected to the Internet (eventually to be 180 days).
  • The new CC apps will install and work alongside any older versions of Adobe software like CS6, CS5, etc., and will be able to backsave or export to CS6 file formats.
  • In fact, Creative Cloud members will have access to download and install prior versions from an archive of selected desktop releases starting from CS6 onwards.

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Major New Features in Adobe CC (2013)

And here’s a quick run-through of some of the top new features in CC for major applications…

[UPDATE (October 2013) – Many more new product features (on top of those listed below) have already been added & upgraded since CC was initially released – find out more here.]

Photoshop CC: All-new Smart Sharpen, Perspective Warp, Intelligent Upsampling, Sync Settings and Save to Cloud, New Camera Shake Reduction (Image Deblurring), Conditional Actions, Improved 3D painting & effects, Copying of CSS attributes, Editable rounded rectangles, Multi-shape and path selection, Camera Raw 8 support, all “Extended” features now included.  [SEE DETAILS]

Illustrator CC: Touch Type tool, Images in brushes, Font search, Multiple-file place, CSS extraction, File packaging, Unembedded images, On-art Free Transform, Area and point type conversion, Auto corners for pattern brushes, Sync Settings/Fonts/Colors, Faster type performance, Expanded Links panel options, a more connected Illustrator.  [SEE DETAILS]

InDesign/InCopy CC: New modern user interface, Native 64-bit support for fast performance, HiDPI and Retina display support, Instant font preview, QR Code Creator, Font favorites, Adobe Exchange panel, EPUB enhance­ments, Font search and filter, Sharing with Creative Cloud, Sync Fonts, InCopy now included in CC.  [SEE DETAILS]

Dreamweaver CC: New CSS Designer Tool, Modernized & streamlined workflow, enhanced Fluid Grid Layout interface, Edge Web Fonts support, Modern platform support, jQuery UI widgets, Sync Settings & Preferences, Behance Integration, Source Code Pro font for Code View.  [SEE DETAILS]

Muse CC: Create stunning effects with new Parallax scrolling, Live in-browser editing, a more connected Adobe Muse as part of the CC family.  [SEE DETAILS]

Flash Pro CC: Reengineered and streamlined user interface, New 64-bit architecture, High-definition export, Improved HTML publishing, Real-time mobile testing, Powerful new code editor, Real-time drawing, Unlimited pasteboard size, Sync Settings & Shortcuts to Cloud, Code profiling in Adobe Scout CC, Timeline time-savers, Custom metadata APIs.  [SEE DETAILS]

Premiere Pro CC: Link & Locate, Editing finesse, Lumetri Deep Color Engine, Precise audio control, New Closed captioning capabilities, Adobe Anywhere integration, Enhanced Mercury Playback Engine, Mezzanine codecs built in, High-fidelity interchange, Sync Settings, Improved multicam editing, Adobe Story panel, Project browsing, Multiple GPU export support, Adobe Exchange panel, Broad format support, Enhanced monitoring, and more.  [SEE DETAILS]

After Effects CC: Live 3D Pipeline with Cinema 4D, Refine Edge Rotoscoping Tool, Warp Stabilizer VFX, 3D Camera Tracker improve­ments, Pixel Motion Blur, Adobe Anywhere integration, Bicubic resampling, Streamlined user interface, Snap to Layer features, Find Missing Assets, Optimized and accelerated performance, Improved multiprocessor and GPU support, Sync Settings, and more.  [SEE DETAILS]

Audition CC: New Sound Remover Tool, Preview Editor, 64-bit performance, Frequency Band Splitter, Enhanced multitrack editing, New Sound Design tools and effects, Audio finesse, ITU loudness metering, Enhanced Spectral Display, Editable Favorites with Favorites Panel, a more connected Adobe Audition, and more.  [SEE DETAILS]

Prelude CC: Thumbnail hover-scrubbing, Rough cut export, File renaming and custom metadata on ingest, Script scenes as metadata.  [SEE DETAILS]

SpeedGrade CC: Redesigned user interface, Shot Matcher, Mercury Transmit, Film stock emulations. Powerful layer-based grading, Snapshot browser, Expanded control surface support, Adobe workflow integration.  [SEE DETAILS]

These are just a few highlights of what’s new in the CC toolset as there are now over 1,000 new features since CS6.

See Also

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79 thoughts on “Compare Version Differences: What's New in Adobe "CC" vs. CS6?”

  1. I’m a teacher and will probably upgrade to CC. My question is will the current education edition price be grandfathered yearly? Sounds like an awesome deal. I always upgrade, so this is actually saving $$$. I will always have CS6 to fall back on.

  2. Cool, I could buy it.
    When CS6 came out I got shocked, the theme changed to black and 3D Text. A lot of things I could see.

    I hope Creative Cloud isn’t the last version. If another comes out, I guess they should name it CC2 or CC3.
    If this is the last version, I hope they’ll updated it. A lot of people use it today.

    I had used Photoshop in its first version. Now it changes a lot.
    Remember that, add more features, but be careful about bugs.

    I really want to work with this software, but I don’t even know about the codes.
    They could work with some software, it will be easier. Like Gimp, people can shared their own plugin but they need to script. Or share their own brushes, texts, etc.; people could play with these features for a long time.

    Thank you,

  3. Thank you for the very good description. This should be done by Adobe – they can be grateful that you are supporting Adobe customers.

    Thanks again, good job.

  4. So I am confused, I was going to buy photoshop for its photo editing abilities – is this new software just photoshop but with a new name ?

    Should I still get photoshop cs6, or is this the one I should get ?

    • Greetings Adam, yes – Photoshop CC is definitely the Adobe Photoshop, the latest-and-greatest release of Adobe’s leading program.

      There is no “CS7” – Photoshop CC is the next version after Photoshop CS6 (it replaces and is better than CS6), so CC is really like CS7…

      With Photoshop CC, the world’s best photo and image editing tool gets faster performance and new features plus enhancements to existing capabilities.

      The “CC” versions originally came out in June 2013, and have already been updated many times since then. The ongoing upgrades are automatically included for CC customers.

      Which one you buy depends on whether you want to pay a lot of money upfront for an older version (CS6 from 2012), or an affordable monthly price (just $10) for the latest CC release.

      This detailed comparison guide should help you decide:

      Compare Your Options: Creative Cloud (CC) vs. Creative Suite (CS6)

      Hope that fully answers your question, if not then just post back!

    • And here’s another way to look at it:

      — Adobe’s desktop tools, previously known as Creative Suite (CS), are now branded CC (Creative Cloud) to reflect their reinvention and to support a more intuitive, connected and collaborative way of creating – the creative industry is changing and they want to access, share, collaborate in real time with the latest and greatest innovations.

      — Adobe is doing away with new versions of Creative Suite – they have no plans for future releases of Creative Suite or CS products. CC is what Adobe’s flagship collection of creative tools will be known as going forward, containing newer versions of all the same applications and more.

      — New creative software innovation (feature upgrades) will be delivered exclusively to Creative Cloud members and not through perpetual software any longer.

  5. Will CC be available for a flat out purchase (specifically PS) or is the new model for Adobe a subscription basis? Simply put, can I buy a hardcopy of the latest PS and be done with it? A subscription does not really interest me.

    Or if i want a hardcopy, does that mean i need to go the route of CS6? Are those essentially the only two options i have?

    Thanks for the help!

    • Welcome Jay, the answer is no – Adobe has been very clear they are not bringing back perpetual licenses for the Creative tools, so the only way to get the latest releases now and in the future is to go with CC (Creative Cloud). CC does include free ongoing upgrades so you can stay current with the latest.

      The other option as you noted is to get CS6 instead, which Adobe is still selling direct for anyone who wants it – but it’s important to note that the CS6 release is over two years old now and may not be supported on future/newer operating systems (such as Windows 10 [aka Windows 9] or Mac OS X 10.10 ‘Yosemite’). Both of those are expected out within the next 12 months, and Adobe says you should not expect any updates for any of the CS6 applications to address possible OS compatibility issues either on MacOS or Windows.

      Check out this guide for more details and to help decide between the two Adobe choices:

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

      Finally, you can download the free trials of one or the other, or even both versions, if you want to try them out for yourself on your own machine:

      Download CC Free Trials
      Download CS6 Free Trials

      Hope this helps!

  6. Hello–I am a high school teacher and we are adopting CC next year. I will specifically be teaching Dreamweaver CC. Are there any high school level text books or teacher resources available yet for Dreamweaver CC? If not, is CS6 similar enough to use those text books and teacher resources with my students?

  7. Hey, we were using CS6 for creating flash panels, I just want to know whether the new version CC can be used for creating the flash panels.

  8. I’m using CS6 on a Windows 7 box and it is still performing just as well as ever. Earlier this year I upgraded my camera to the (current best general purpose HD cam) Sony PMW-300 and the 50Mbit 4:2:2 XDCAM codec edits and plays beautifully. CS6 is very stable and mature, enabling me to concentrate on getting the work done without having to keep paying extra.

    • That’s great Andrew, and there’s nobody forcing you to upgrade… In fairness though, one could say the same types of things about most software that you’ve run on your system for awhile.

      So you might still be able to use old(er) versions of Photoshop, but we would argue that in terms of features, performance, and other improvements, you can’t miss what you’re not running… How much potential time saved and productivity might you be giving up by not advancing with the state of the art? It’s hard to say, but we use CC 2014 every day now and wouldn’t want to go back.

      Finally, Photoshop CS6 Extended (full) costs $999 for someone who doesn’t have it… So that is a huge upfront expense. How many of years of $10/month on the new CC Photography Plan (with the inclusion of Lightroom plus all ongoing upgrades) would that equate to?

  9. As an non-professional illustrator of books, I create watercolour artworks and scan them into PS Elements to fine tune them. The author supplies me with Word text which I then convert to a PDF and drop onto the appropriate page.

    There were many many steps to do this and text manoeuvring/manipulation and editing proved painfully long winded. And now the printer wanted me to add a “bleed” and the CMYK files (which I couldn’t as I had no idea how to). So now I’m considering using Adobe InDesign for the next books.

    Am I on the right track? I already have LR5 and PSE12.
    I use an Apple laptop (I travel a lot but continue to work) and a desktop Windows 7 when at home. Can I get both versions for the one price?

    Will CC 2014 – specifically InDesign be able to do all I need?

    Having used PSE for quite a number of years now, is InDesign similar or will I have to relearn from the beginning?

    • Hi Sally, InDesign and Photoshop do different things – but it sounds like InDesign is really what you need from what you’ve described of your work…

      Photoshop is the world’s best image editor, while InDesign is a page layout and desktop publishing application. Creative Cloud includes both tools (with the pro/full version of Photoshop instead of Elements), and they are fully-integrated which means they work well and smoothly together.

      Photoshop CC can also do the CMYK color model for printers, which Elements cannot do.

      Acrobat XI Pro and Lightroom are also part of the Creative Cloud bundle, as is Adobe Illustrator if you ever wish to try/use that in your work. See everything that CC contains.

      So considering what you outlined, it sounds like your best bet would really be to download and run a free trial of CC 2014 and see how you make out. It’s fully-functional and won’t cost you a cent for the first 30 days to try out (or possibly up to 44 days).

      To get started actually learning the tools, check out Adobe’s Learn Creative Cloud tutorials.

      There are also over 20 Adobe books you can legally download for free.

      Hopefully that fully answers your questions, if not just post back!

  10. A few questions:

    1) I already have LR 5 but not PS and am interested in the LR+PS deal. Will purchasing this download LR to my computer?

    2) How will this affect my catalog? If I choose to unsubscribe in the future, what will happen to my ability to use LR and any updates, i.e. will it revert back to the most current version within LR5?

    3) I am considering moving to Mac from Windows in the next year or so. How will that affect me if I purchase under the PC setting?

    4) Is it easy to transfer ownership of the software if I get a new computer (e.g. Windows to Mac)?

    Thank you so much!

  11. We have developed in the past some .Net code (VB.NET) for managing CS5 documents, open/save, manage contents, and so on.

    One of our students has installed the CC2014 free trial in preview to ensure compatibility, and our VB.Net code no longer works as expected – it does not work at all.

    Can you please forward me what has been changed on API level that can break compatibility with external tools (not addins) developed with .Net Visual Studio ?

    Are there any changes we must take into consideration if we decide to switch to CC2014 from CS5/6 ?

  12. What are compatible classes and files for
    IScriptEventData.h (from cs3)
    in CC

  13. Sir, can I change the background of a video without a green screen in after effects cc, as in cs6 I can do in easily where can I change it or not using adobe after effects cc 2016


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