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Can You Open/Use/Export/Save Adobe CC Files on CS6 - and Back?

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Are Adobe Creative Cloud (CC) Files Backwards Compatible w/ CS6?


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92 thoughts on “Can You Open/Use/Export/Save Adobe CC Files on CS6 - and Back?”

  1. Sounds like files from PSE (Elements) will not be compatible, since they do not even mention Elements users in this article. Does anyone have any info about whether files/data etc on PSE can be moved to, saved and processed on CS6? Thanks!

    • Hi Bonnie, this article focuses on the Creative Cloud / Creative Suite lines of Adobe products and working or exchanging files between the two… Photoshop Elements is technically in a different software category and thus is not included above.

      However, to answer your question specifically, PSD is an openly-published format specification that is shared between the professional PS tools and the Elements programs… So yes, you should be able to open & read Elements .PSD files in either Photoshop CS6 or CC.

      If you’re talking about non-PSD image files like TIFF, JPEG/JPG, PNG, GIF, and others – then absolutely those will open on all editions of Photoshop.

      Hope this helps!

  2. Hi,
    This is a very useful article, but I think a more extensive breakdown for a couple apps would be in order. Specifically, for Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, an article (maybe even one for each) that would explain exactly WHAT new features wouldn’t be supported in going backwards. That way, CC users can avoid using those features if they want the files to be opened later in CS6.

    • Thanks for your comment Mike, that’s a real good point. We tried to paint an overview here (which was a lot of work in itself), and we’ll put that on the list for a future article.

      Note importantly that all CC files for the apps you mentioned will be able to be opened in CS6, it’s just that some new features not present in CS6 would be ignored.

      For Photoshop in particular, here is a test of moving PSD files back from Photoshop CC to CS5 that reveals some of the types of things you are looking for and how to avoid them.

    • Hey there Ken, that’s a good question. The answer is there is no facility to backsave files from Edge Animate CC to previous versions of the tool – although the newer release will read the old version’s project files.

      But one great thing about Animate is the files are openable and editable outside of the application itself… So depending on what you want to do, if you have a little bit of coding know-how then you can manually tweak or change design properties, images, text, and so forth without actually needing a copy of the application to load or run a given file.

  3. Hello!

    I have one question.

    Is there a way to still rent Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6), per month? Or has this payment plan been completely removed? All I see is Creative Cloud monthly plans, but my class is running CS6.

    Thank you,

    • Yes Brendan, definitely you can still subscribe to CS6 if that’s what you want for some reason…

      All Creative Cloud members (with any plan) receive full access to both the CC and CS6 versions of the applications; it’s automatically included.

      So it’s not widely publicized, but if you need CS6 instead of (or in addition to) CC, then it’s always available to you to download, install, and run (even side-by-side together on the same machine).

      This goes for all memberships, including CC education plans for students & teachers.

      Hope this helps!

  4. Is it possible to open really old PSD files (e.g. Photoshop 3.0, or 3.2) in CC? Also, I created these files on a PC, but am thinking about moving to a Mac – so would that also work?

    • Hello J, you should be able to do that. The PSD format is designed to be both forwards and backwards compatible as much as possible.

      And whether it’s Windows or Mac shouldn’t matter, as Adobe project/data files generally are cross-platform and transferable between operating systems. All CC subscribers can choose to run the apps on one or the other, or both.

      Probably the best and easiest thing you can do is to download and run the free new CC 2014 trials and see how you make out with the migration. Then you’ll know for sure before purchasing the product.

      Even if you ran into any difficulty, you could try breaking the task up into two steps – first download the free trial of Photoshop CS3, open your files there one-by-one, then re-save them – and finally open those new files in CC.

  5. My old computer just died and I don’t have the ability to save CS5 off of it or get a CS6 update — too complicated to go into — so I’m without Creative Suite with work to do and deadlines looming.

    For someone like me who has to move quickly on the decision to either buy CS6 or subscribe to CC, but isn’t sure which path to choose, is it a viable option to get a one-month subscription to CC (about $80), download both the CS6 and CC versions, work in the CS6 version, and use the CC version to create test files to test CC’s backward-capatability with CS6?

    It seems like that would allow a trial period of a month to see how it all works for not much additional investment ($30 more than the $50 monthly cost of a one-year subscription). After one month, I could decide which path I want to take. Am I overlooking issues?

  6. my projects are in premiere cc and i have to give this project to some one who has premiere cs6…

    i use final cut export and import, but still it’s not opening – can someone help me.

  7. Actually when i export in EDL then i can import it in CS6, but if i export in others then premiere cs6 is not importing them – and even if i should export EDL sequence by sequence, all of the sequences at a time are not exporting.

    early thanks for guiding and helping me.

  8. There is so much waffle in the text above, it’s worse than the Golden Griddle.


    Can CC read CS6 files. Yes or No. Yes.
    Can it save a file to an earlier format, Yes.
    like that!!!

    • Well, that’s simply because the backwards compatibility details and instructions are different for each CC application, and there are multiple distinct applications as you know.

      Sure, we we could have put instead an elementary chart with the tool name and ‘yes’ or ‘no’ – but in most cases it’s not quite that straightforward, and wouldn’t tell you very much about the necessary migration steps or how to do it, right?

      That might be an idea of something else we could try to add, but it’s already a pretty long article with all the information given – and we don’t want to mislead anybody into thinking that all files can always be fully saved back in any program, because that may not be the case. The details are important.

  9. I still find it so ironic that these types of conversations totally ignore Encore… Adobe does not think they need to upgrade it, because they think no one uses it. But in the “real world” many editors still actually do produce optical discs. Everything in the real world is not in “the cloud” or streamed. :)

    Perhaps someday the message will get through and Encore can be added to the multitude of programs that Adobe talks about in the cloud subscription. Because if you are a video editor and not working for a huge movie company, odds are you use 3 or 4 programs. And Encore is one of them!


  10. My question involves interoperability and Adobe Encore. I continue to believe Adobe gives short shrift to Encore and was wondering if there has been any progress in getting it updated to the same revision as Premiere Pro. I still know many people that make DVD’s and Blu-Rays.

    So what is the compatibility with Premiere Pro CC 2014 and Encore? What about direct linking between versions?


  11. Thanks for both replies! I think interoperability between Encore CS6 and EVERY new version of Premiere Pro is certainly something that belongs on a page about interoperability. Unless and until Adobe finally agrees to update it. Say from Pr Pro CS6 to Encore or Pr Pro CS6 to Pr Pro CC to Encore, etc.

    But Encore is always ignored. However I know that the standard response is view that video and take it from there….
    But the fact is, even with CS6 Premiere Pro and CS6 Encore there were things that did not work. With every fully new version of Premiere Pro, it gets worse and harder to use both.

    Sometimes I think a company should talk to their users more before decisions like this are made. :)

    Anyway, thanks for at least addressing it!

  12. As far as I can see Flash CC is NOT backwards Compatible. CS5 does not open CC Fla. files. This webpage is dreadfully false advertising.

    • “Dreadfully false advertising”? No, not so. CC 2014 can indeed save backwards compatible files for earlier releases of Flash Pro.

      Our apologies though, as there was a slight error in the Adobe documentation, which is no doubt a holdover from the CS6 release… In CS6 it is possible (using the XFL format) to save back to CS5 or CS5.5, and Adobe has not yet updated their current online manual for this function.

      So let’s clarify by stating that in Flash Professional CC 2014, you can definitely downsave reliably to files that the CS6 or CS5.5 tools can open. We have made this clarification above.

      However, we should add that you can indeed go from Flash CC 2014 all the way to Creative Suite 5.0 by first saving down to CS6, and then opening the file in CS6 (which is included free for CC subscribers) and backsaving to CS5. In fact, if you had even older CS releases, you could hopscotch down even further if you needed to.

      For more details on how all this works, see:

      Can I Save from Flash Pro CC down to Flash CS5.5?

  13. What happens if you already have a CC file and you don’t have the means to export it once again so CS6 can read the file? I have CS6 and I was given a CC file and it isn’t opening. It seems that the only solution would be to export it once again in XML or AAF. Is that really my only option or is there a way on my end that I can do to open it?

  14. Eccellente, non ho altre parole –
    il tuo articolo mi ha salvato un lavoro di molte ore.
    inoltre, mi spiace ma posso dire che premiere CC, allo stato attuale, non è migliore di CS6.

    grazie ancora
    For ALL
    Excellent, I have no other words –
    Your article has saved me many hours of work.
    Also, I’m sorry but I can say that CC premiere, at present, is no better than CS6.

    thanks again

  15. Si hai ragione, forse il termine è troppo generico.
    tuttavia posso assicurati che ho installato entrambe le Suite CS6 e CC (Trial) ed ho notato questi particolari problemi:
    1 – i media, per visualizzare i video, sia nel monitor sorgente (dove effettuo i tagli per l’importazione in time line) che in quello di programma (dalla time line), richiedono molto tempo per il caricamento.
    2 – Non vi è importazione diretta in ENCORE, che sicuramente non è il migliore programma, ma è molto utile e versatile.

    Utilizzando le stesse tecniche in CS6 è tutto più fluido e versatile.
    non discuto su i tanti miglioramenti apportati, motivo per ilquale lo sto testando, ma ti assicuro che con oltre 300 clip nel progetto ho perso tanto e tanto tempo, tale da preferire il ritorno a CS6, almeno per ora

    Grazie ancora

    You’re right, perhaps the term is too generic.

    However, I can be sure that I installed both Suite CS6 and CC (Trial) and I noticed these particular problems:
    1 – the media to view the video, both in the source monitor (where I make the cuts for import in the timeline) and in the program (from the timeline), take a long time to load.
    2 – There is a direct import into ENCORE, which is definitely not the best plan, but it is very useful and versatile.

    Using the same techniques in CS6 is more fluid and versatile.
    do not argue about the many enhancements, why is why I’m testing, but I assure you that with over 300 clips in the project I have lost so much and so long, that preferred the return to CS6, at least for now.

    thanks again

    • Very cool David, thanks for bringing it to our attention! Very glad to see a new plugin like this, there’s a real need for it. The availability of a utility like this allows InDesign users to freely upgrade to a newer release like CS6 or CC without having to worry if their files can be opened by colleagues who are still using an older version like CS5.5 or CS5.

  16. Hello,

    I’ve been trying out Adobe Muse CC 2014 for the past week, while it seems to have fewer bugs I won’t be keeping it. My problem is that all the work that I have been doing this past week is saved on this format.

    Is there any way I can make it compatible with older version?

    I’ve been going through Adobe community forums and best answers that BC/Adobe team feel okay to provide is: it is not possible to save as an older version file.

    Using Adobe products for years, and having this possibility with pretty much all of them I just find this incomprehensible…

    Is there any bypass to this?


    • Hi Marianela, not that we know of… but of course Adobe Muse (similar to Dream­weaver) writes out HTML, CSS and JS as its final format – so conceivably you could just make a copy of the website code that Muse outputs, and work with that instead going forward.

  17. I’m looking to upgrade the Adobe InCopy application from current version of CS5.5 to the newest version CC 2014.

    Is this possible with the CS5.5 old InCopy licence key? Or do I need a new licence?

    If I need a new licence how do I go about that?

    Thanks in advance,

  18. Hi Bob- got that comment, thanks.
    I need the licence in a bank for about 4 people working with in-copy.

    Is there a business subscription that I should/could avail of ? Do I need an Adobe ID to start that process.

    I appreciate any help you can give as I’ve been chasing this thru the Adobe website for hours this morning!


    • Yes Ray, the answer is simple. You cannot use an old license or serial number on a newer release of software – you need to upgrade your previous version.

      But that’s pretty easy – because if all you need is InCopy (or any other program by itself), then you would purchase a Single-App Subscription… Those plans are available for either individuals or for businesses.

      In either case, you just choose the tool you want plus how many users (sign up here) and then download and install the new product. You and your staff will then log in with your (free) Adobe IDs, and away you go.

  19. why making text animation is easier in after effects cs6 than cc2015 ??

    when i apply effect in cc2015 it applies automatically to whole layer
    in cs6 in which effect is applied to only part of the layer so that we can make animation easily

    how can i convert (or rearrange) settings in cc2015???????

  20. I tried using CC and unfortunately my clients were having difficulty in viewing their photos, all edited images were saved as JPEG. I can’t risk that my clients can’t view their images or that they have to choose a program to open each image. I have tried contacting customer support and got absolutely no clarification on this issue. Now I am having to use trials of other programs to just “get by” until I figure out a more permanent solution which is having a huge effect on my business.

    • We’ve been using CC since it first came out over two years ago and have never heard anything like that before… Are you talking about Photoshop? No problem at all saving .PSD files, and we have not seen any such issues elsewhere or on the Adobe Forums.

      In order for someone to help further, you’d have to post more information about your system and its specifications, what exact version of software you were using (Help menu > About), your level of experience with the product’s use, your workflow and what steps you performed that didn’t allow you to save in the format you desired. Thanks!

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