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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. 2020) – The all-new Creative Cloud 2021 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 $25,000 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 signed up for creative cloud last year and haven’t looked back. I am looking forward to getting all the new features that i saw adobe demo at max… and it’s nice to see them all on one page here.

    I also hadn’t known about the going half a year offline, that is going to be a help when traveling.

  2. I wonder why Fireworks has no future and how many users have InCopy? Is InCopy more important than Fireworks for Adobe? There are dozens of Fireworks features which Ps+Ai+Id don’t have, and another dozens that provide better workflow in web design.

  3. The difference with CS6 is that you own your traditionally licensed copy of the software and don’t have to keep on paying in order to continue using it. This enables you to simply get on with getting your work done.

    • @Andrew

      Well prior to CC I didn’t have CS6 or any CS product actually, so for me I couldn’t afford these tools any other way, the upfront cost was enormous, and no work would have been done.

  4. @ProDesignTools

    I have already read this article 6th May, but still it doesn’t explain Adobe’s decision – Fireworks should stay – someone said “Fireworks is like InDesign for Web” – I couldn’t agree more.

  5. No Upgrade Route.

    Please hold as we route your chat to an Adobe Representative.
    Your chat transcript will be sent at the end of your chat.
    Hello! Welcome to! My name is Robert.

    Robert: Hi, may I have your first name please?

    You: Hi, it’s Mark

    Robert: Hello Mark, how may I help you today?

    You: Not sure I want to go the cloud route, would prefer to buy a licensed version. Could you tell me if its possible to upgrade to CS6 Master Collection from Design and Web Premium CS6, and what would it cost for an upgrade?

    Robert: I’m afraid not. There is no option to upgrade from one edition of CS6 to another CS6 suite. However, you can upgrade to Creative Cloud from your CS6, it gives you everything that comes with CS6 Master Collection and more.

    You: Not really the route I would like to go.

    Robert: Well, I understand. However, the new CC upgrade that is going to be released in June is available only through Creative Cloud.

    You: Thank you enjoy your day.

    • Hey there Mark, it’s true that you cannot upgrade from one CS6 suite to another – that’s been true since CS6 was originally released over a year ago.

      However, for customers who prefer to purchase a perpetual license, it continues to be possible to upgrade to any CS6 suite from any CS5 or CS5.5 suite – as well as upgrade to CC from CS3 through CS6, as the rep described. Both options give discounted upgrade pricing.

      Another possibility would be to sell & transfer your CS6 Design & Web Premium to a friend or colleague, and then apply those funds towards the purchase of CS6 Master Collection, generating your own upgrade pricing there if your heart were set on it.

      Hope this helps!

  6. I bought CS6, not Creative Cloud – however, am unable to access my program as I am being advised “Your trial of Creative Cloud has expired.” I never even was aware that I had it! I don’t even want it as all I use CS6 for is my own enjoyment. What now???

  7. I have CS6 downloaded and installed on my computer since last year. Do I need to have both versions of each application on my computer? If I just need one, should I just have the CC version?

    • Welcome Rich, you can choose one or the other, or both. They are completely independent and can install & run on the same system no problem, side-by-side. Or you can remove CS6 before or after upgrading to CC.

      CC is a better release with more features than CS6, and will also read and write CS6-formatted data and project files – so generally, it makes good sense to upgrade to CC if you’d want to. The CC upgrade is there and available for you free, at no extra charge for all Cloud members.

      More details here:

      New Adobe CC Release Now Available – What You Need to Know

  8. First, I love the newsletter and website! Great info!

    Just one comment on the above that strikes me whenever I see the lists of “100’s of new features in CC”. For video editors, there are only a few of the programs that are really used. And Adobe has seen fit to not upgrade Encore which is one of them. In fact, those moving to Windows 8 will not be able to use it with confidence. Although the perception is that everyone streams all of their video to phones, there are still many people that use Blu-Ray and DVD media.

    Very disappointed that Adobe did not at least keep the product current, even without adding additional features. But I am glad you pointed out the Encore situation in your comparison. This fact seems to be conveniently glossed over in most pieces on CC.


  9. I had not intended to upgrade to CC since I’m not a huge fan of the “pay forever” model of software sales. That said, when I was offered a good deal on CC I couldn’t say no to a test run. And I absolutely love it – I love the availability of all of the apps, love the new updates, and am finding myself willing to pay the monthly cost.

    My first year is almost up, though, and that means that my price is going to rise significantly; we’ll see if I’m still loving it at that new price. :)

  10. I got PS CC, everything seems to be working fine, except when I open the liquify window I get a black photo. The tools and everything are in place in the liquify window, but no picture is displayed, and when I put the mouse pointer on top of the black display the pointer disappears !!

    • Hi Nour, a few things to ask:

      Are you running the latest release of Photoshop CC? (check the Help > Updates menu item)

      Does your computer meet all of the minimum system requirements for Photoshop CC?

      Are your graphics card drivers all up to date?

      Did you try rebooting your machine, or reinstalling Photoshop?

  11. I too, am trying to decide between buying CS6 or paying monthly for CC. I prefer to buy, not lease my products but this seems like a good opportunity. What I’d like to understand, is the offer a flat $9.99/month for Photoshop & Lightroom, or are there fees and taxes to pay monthly as well?

    Also, am I right in understanding that this price is only guaranteed for one year and that it could go up? If so, how much of an increase could we expect?

    • Hello Andrea, you’re right about the new offer with a very attractive price (lowest ever) for PS+LR – and this article should help answer most of your questions:

      New Adobe Deal: Photoshop CC + Lightroom 5 = $10/Month for All!

      Pricing varies internationally but is in the same ballpark. There are no fees or other charges from the Adobe side, but it would likely be subject to local taxes (depending on your country) similar to most purchases.

      There are no price increases expected or planned. This is not an introductory rate; it is the standard ongoing price… For more details, read what Adobe clearly states about this.

  12. No EXPECTED or planned price increases is not the same as “we will never ever increase the price.”
    Also Adobe will not put this in writing on the license for the software.
    There are no guarantees. It will increase. Until Adobe puts it in writing, I will not believe it.

    • Well, um, all prices go up for everything eventually Willie – it’s called inflation… No major vendor of goods or services that we’ve ever heard of gives long-term price guarantees on anything.

      That said, Adobe has only reduced their subscription prices as adoption has accelerated – defying the scaremongerers and going the other way.

      Yes, sure, but someday the price may increase. Okay, fine, we get it. Not anytime soon, not likely by some huge amount, and nobody’s forcing you anyway.

      If fear of future price increases keeps you away from all providers who don’t give you guarantees, then good luck.

    • No problem, glad to help. Generally speaking, plugins may or may not be compatible when upgrading… Each one is different and depends on a third-party, not Adobe.

      So you just have to check with the producer of each plug-in that you use to see if and how it’s supported on a later release, and then get a newer version of the plug-in if necessary. Most of that information can be learned with simple web searches.

  13. wow, i didn’t know there was this option, monthly fee with cloud – always was like, “man i gotta save up for cs6+ one day, while using cheaper alternative/open source programs.”

    guess i better get this while there’s a nice offer. :)

  14. I see your cloud promo for Photoshop. If I purchase a license, can I log on remote on another computer, hence the cloud benefit? Would Lightroom also include auto-updates as part of your bundle package?


  15. Seems good, but I don’t need more than 20+ programs, why won’t Adobe let me to pick the programs I want to use for a competitive price?

    • Hi Aldonio, it’s always been that way with Adobe products… Even with CS6, you could buy either a single product or a suite collection. With a suite, it was very likely that you would use some programs more than others, and possibly some not at all.

      But the point is that you get a big discount by bundling them all together, which is exactly what happens with the Creative Cloud. Individually, the apps are $19 a month, but all together they are only $49 (standard price).

      One mini-bundle Adobe has done with the Cloud is offer a Photography Package with Photoshop CC + Lightroom 5 for $10/month. Perhaps they’ll do others in the future, but nobody knows for sure if that would happen.

  16. I will never move from CS6 to CC anything as this CC route is like being ask to pay for something over and over. What happens when a major version update doesn’t happen for more than a year and you’re paying away for this service, not product, service each month & you only care about using one application? Hmm seems fishy to me.

    Plus there some places where high speed internet isn’t available, what about good old DVD distribution?

  17. I currently use my Windows desktop version of Photoshop CS5.1 and Lightroom 5. I am interested in going with the CC + Lightroom deal for $9.99/mo.

    I have two questions… First, if I go to the CC/LR deal, does that replace my current CS5? or will CC run separately from the CS5.1? If I decide to end my subscription to CC at the end of a year, will I still have my CS5.1 and LR?

    Second, I recently purchased a MacBook Pro for when I go away, so I can upload and edit images. Do I need to purchase 2 licenses of CC/LR or will it install on both the PC (Windows 7) and my laptop (MAC) from one account, as I think I have read in previous posts on this and other sites?

    Thanks for any responses before the deadline.

    • No worries Jack, the answers are all good.

      No, Photoshop CC will not replace any earlier version(s)… It installs separately and can run side-by-side. If you uninstall it later, you’ll still have your prior release(s), and in most cases they will be able to open Photoshop CC files.

      Your previous copy of Lightroom won’t go away either, though you can only run a single release of LR on one machine at a time. But even if you aren’t really upgrading your Lightroom with this offer, just Photoshop by itself for 10 bucks a month is a deal in our view.

      On your second question – no, you don’t need to purchase two of the Photoshop Photography Plans because one license can run on up to two computers, including both a Windows PC and a Mac system.

      Plus you can easily move your two installations around between machines if you ever want/need to.

      Hope this helps!

  18. What is the difference between the Student/Teacher Creative Cloud Membership offered at $29.99/month and the Photoshop CC/Lightroom 5 special offered at $9.99/month? After the promotional yearly subscription of PS CC/LR5 at $9.99/month ends, what will the monthly rate be?


  19. ¿todas diferencia entre photoshop cc con cs6 extended?
    la verdad es que dicen que la versión es la ultima yo tengo las dos pero veo que la versión cs6 extendend tienes mas cosas por ejemplo mas filtros como el trazos de pincel, artístico, textura,bosquejear, si el cc tiene estos filtros me podrían decir donde los encuentro dentro del programa? y cosas que no tenga el c6 extended llevo poco con el cc y apenas los he comparado por encima me gustaría saber cuales son todas las diferencias,, gracias.

  20. Starting to understand this a bit more but my laptop is only online a few hours a day. Will this affect the program?


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