Fan of creative technology, elearning, instructional design and a little geeky

Stepping into the Adobe Creative Cloud…

On Monday Adobe officially announced Adobe Creative Suite 6 and Adobe Creative Cloud. A lot has already been written about new features in InDesign CS6, Photoshop CS6, Illustrator CS6 etc. and I will add blog-posts about various applications and features over time. But what I’m truly excited about is what the Creative Cloud brings to the table.

The Creative Cloud provides a membership based model that brings you every creative tool that’s part of the Creative Suite Master collection… (and more!).

Ok, so your tossing with this thought: Upgrade or obtain a Creative Cloud membership?

  • Have you in the past wanted to upgrade frequently, but felt debilitated by upgrade costs and the increasing frequency thereof?
  • Have you thought I’ll skip this upgrade, even though I’d really like to have access to cool features such as content aware fill (Photoshop), EPUB export (InDesign) etc.?

Creative Cloud membership

With Creative Cloud membership you will:

  • Have access to EVERY Adobe CS6 application.ย  Yup all 14 of them!! I am not kidding ๐Ÿ™‚ note: that’s every application in the Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection.
  • Have access to Adobe Muse and Edge previews and other new tools.
  • Have access to application upgrades, as well as new CS features, when Adobe releases these as point products.
  • Have access to new products (and services) as Adobe releases them.

If you purchase an upgrade… you’ll have to wait until the next update is released by Adobe, you’ll only get those applications that are part of the software bundle you’ve purchased. Budgeting for upgrade isn’t always easy either… having to spend large sums of money in one go in the current financial climate isn’t easy for any of us.

What does it cost?

In Australia, the monthly membership fee has been set to AUD62.99 a month (annual membership contract). It’s nice to see Adobe bridging the previous much larger price gap between USD and AUD pricing as well here. There’s even better news for the first year of your membership! If you’re a current CS3+ customer,ย you can join Adobe Creative Cloud by August 31, 2012, and receive special introductory pricing of AUD37.99 per month for your first year of membership. A pretty good deal if you ask me ๐Ÿ™‚

But wait there’s more…

Ok, so what else will the Creative Cloud bring you that you wouldn’t get otherwise:

  • The ability to share content created with Adobe’s tablet applications lets say whilst you’re on the road, or with a client drafting up some ideas.
  • Integrate content created on tablet apps with CS6 applications as well as synchronise through the cloud with any of your devices, for instance your desktop computer.
  • You’ll have 20Gb of storage space in the Creative Cloud as well.
  • The Creative Cloud will also make publishing mobile apps to iOS and Android stores (e.g. App Store, Marketplace) easy.
  • These are just some of the most prominent features brought to you in the Creative Cloud…

From idea to creation to sharing to delivery…

I can honestly say I’m excited about this new Creative Cloud membership model… I love creative/publishing technology and always enjoy seeing what new productivity enhancers, tools and products Adobe releases that will help not just me, but help many of my clients do their jobs quicker, faster and more efficiently… Creativity should be about working on your ideas, having fun. When it comes to more laborious tasks there’s the great set of tools that help us convert our ideas into ย products and deliver these.

Thank you Adobe for bringing us Adobe Creative Cloud… I look forward to the ongoing delivery of new applications, services and features ๐Ÿ™‚

Postscript (27 April)

Anne-Marie (see comments below), points to a long list of FAQs about the Creative Cloud in her comments, and I’d like to add a link to that here, as many people will have questions, most of which you’ll find answered in the FAQs: The FAQs are a good resource for anyone looking at moving to the Creative Cloud.

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  1. February 2, 2013    

    @RecentCoin I am sorry to hear that. One of the things to do before re-installing, is run the CS Cleaner. For more information refer to the following link:

  2. RecentCoin RecentCoin
    January 10, 2013    

    I have to say that in my experience Cloud has pretty much sucked. When it first came out, I couldn’t install it because it would ONLY installed to C:\Program Files even though I didn’t have Windows installed on my C drive at the time. Now that my company has bought it through a site licensing agreement for all us, they have discontinued our Cloud subscription. Since the cloud subscription has been eliminated, I have not been able to get the site licensed copy to work properly. It still tries to access the now defunct Cloud subscription no matter how many times I have run the removal tool, rebooted, installed, uninstalled, CS6. In short, BLECH.

  3. July 7, 2012    

    Thanks for this overview. Very helpful information that I hadn’t seen clearly stated elsewhere.

    When I updated to CS5.5 (late enough in the cycle to be given a free update to CS6), I asked if I needed to uninstall CS5.5. I was told no, that when installing CS6, it would uninstall any earlier versions found on my computer. No longer could I have more than one CS version running on my computer.

    So, if I understood what I was told correctly, going forward, whether with Creative Cloud or not, you will need to keep older CS versions on a separate computer or they will be uninstalled. This is a major change.

    Adobe would like us ALL to use their current versions. It makes sense. As an independent designer, I almost always upgraded with every new release (except during major downturns, as we have been experiencing the past few years). That’s the catch though. What happens when we experience major cash flow issues? $30/month is fine, will $50/month be acceptable when it’s belt-tightening time? Adobe may find it’s market shrinks with this new policy. Only time will tell, I guess.

    • July 20, 2012    


      Just to verify you should be able to have both CS5.5. and CS6 installed on one system and have them co-exist in perfect harmony. (I have CS5, 5.5 and 6 running on one system presently).

      For Creative Cloud… the way things are presently… consider that you are ‘hiring’ the software instead of ‘owning it outright’… when Adobe releases a newer version, after one year — the way it is presently stated — you would not longer be able to use the earlier version. I’m not sure if Adobe intend to maintain that approach… I guess it might depend on customer feedback.

      But you are right, that is a significant change to owning your software outright. As to the pricing of software,


  4. May 4, 2012    

    HI Kevin,

    Thanks for your comment and the kind words at the end as well ๐Ÿ™‚

    I’m writing back a longish comment, just to help clarify some of your questions and concerns.

    Software delivered to your computer
    1) Creative Cloud Membership doesn’t install software on your computer: It gives you access to installers you’d download and install yourself.
    2) The cloud also doesn’t deliver the latest bugs direct to your computer: I’m guessing you mean with ‘latest bugs’ … that if you install new software there’s always bugs in it? If you’d rather wait till the first updates have been released, you can opt to start your Creative Cloud membership after first updates have been released and then install the downloaded software + first updates. In the meantime you can continue to work on CS4 ๐Ÿ˜‰ You don’t have to install released updates immediately. You can hold off on doing that if you prefer. You are notified of such updates just like you are today… via the Adobe Update Manager…
    3) If you’ve installed CS6 as part of your Creative Cloud membership and Adobe releases a new CSnext version, You can continue using your currently installed CS6 for a full year after the subsequent version is released, so again, you have the option to wait with the install until a possible first update release.

    what if your internet is down?
    * You don’t need a constant internet connection when you have software installed under cloud membership, there is internet access required when the software ‘polls’ whether your membership’s up to date… and if it does that when your internet is down… it will just try it again when your internet is up and running.

    what if you stop paying your membership
    * Your membership fee is deducted from your credit card monthly. If you cancel your credit card, and don’t pay your membership, Adobe will first of all notice that no payment is received and send you an email informing you of that and yes your membership will be suspended if payment isn’t received. If you pay with a new credit card your membership will be on the go again and your software will work again…

    what if you stop using your membership
    Yes, in time you won’t be able to open your InDesign files in an earlier version. If you know you are going to stop using your CS6 version of InDesign and want to fall back on old software, you can Export your InDesign files to .IDML which can be opened by InDesign CS4 or later.

    Hope the above is helpful for you. ๐Ÿ™‚


  5. Kevin Kevin
    May 4, 2012    

    I don’t know what it is but “I don’t like the idea of cloud” getting the latest in bugs delivered direct to your computer, being limited by what version you can open a file in “Once a job is done in the latest it’s troublesum to go back a few versions”
    What happens when like you said cancel your subscription to cloud and you have files done in the latest version but you only own version 5.5 will there be an adobe service to take your file backwards to 5.5 or is that file then usless to you or do you have to save as an older version every time you do a job just in case.
    Personally I dread cloud and what it is going to do.
    I still use CS4 as it has been stable for me “relatively speaking”
    Does cloud work if your internet is down?
    What happens if Adobe is offline does that mean no work gets done, or does the program know you have a certain amount of membership and does not have to communicate with Adobe every day?
    What happens if your membership has run out and you have not renewed and banks have a failure at their end? Again no work gets done that day?
    So much and many people relying on the internet is not a good thing!

    On a nicer note
    Love your posts carl

  6. May 2, 2012    


    I’ve had positive responses the past days when talking to corporate businesses about Adobe Creative Cloud… even when clarifying subscription vs full-product/upgrade vs membership the response has remained positive… So I couldn’t agree more with you in that it’s a great solution for (perhaps even) most ๐Ÿ™‚

    What I like is that Adobe’s giving people an alternate if they don’t want to sign-up for membership.

    I like the idea of reader version you mention ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m hoping Adobe’s got its thinking caps on and might announce something in way of a solution about this in the near future,


  7. May 1, 2012    

    There is no doubt in my mind that the Creative Cloud is going to be a screamin’ good deal and a no-brainer for many (perhaps even most) users. However, it’s not for everyone. Last year, Macworld asked me to write up an opinion piece about why people should stick with ownership, and many of my points are still valid:

    It’s too bad that they did not let me write the opposing position, because as I said I think subscription is going to be great for many folks.

    By the way, in that article I wrote that Adobe would force you to upgrade. That was a little misleading. Adobe will not force anyone to upgrade in the short term. They say you can stick with your version until you are ready to upgrade. My point, however, is that we don’t know how long Adobe will let you stay on an old version. After a year or two, they may say it’s now or never…

    Personally, I’m hoping that Adobe will release “Reader” versions of Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop, and so on. Something that would allow someone to open, print, and export (but nothing else). If I had a reader version of InDesign CS5, for example, I would feel much better about letting go of my “ownership” and jumping onto the subscription bandwagon.

  8. April 28, 2012    

    @DupreeBlue … also valid points if you cancel your Creative Cloud membership you won’t be able to use your software after about a month I think. And yes if you still want to have it you’d need to buy the upgrade indeed.

    I think Creative Cloud membership doesn’t compare to a magazine or newspaper subscription… where you can hold on to the copies you’ve purchased. Basically because with the membership what you get could vary from month to month. E.g. the value changes as Adobe provides access to new tools etc.

    It would be cool if Adobe provided a buy-out option at the end of each software cycle, for those users that do need to retain the older versions for obvious reasons. E.g. charge a surplus at the end of the software cycle that would allow people to get extended access to now surpassed software versions, be it in membership format, or archival license format.

    I’m hoping that maybe in time, based on customer feedback, Adobe might provide a solution here… but for now… for those people that need to retain access to earlier versions (and note this only applies AFTER CS6, as your CS5.5, CS5 weren’t provided as part of Creative Cloud)… purchase that one upgrade for archival purposes… and memberships for anyone else ๐Ÿ™‚ *justthinkingoutloud*


  9. April 27, 2012    


    Absolutely valid points you add.

    InCopy isn’t part of the Creative Suite Master Collection, and as far as I’m aware indeed that would mean purchasing the upgrade ๐Ÿ™‚

    I did wonder about ‘older versions’ issue… mainly on a personal level ๐Ÿ˜‰ as a trainer/consultant like yourself, I often get dragged out to work with any version of the software, and I’ve been working hard to ensure my clients upgrade… However, not too long ago I was re-installing CS2 on an unused computer so I could train this at a large publishing company who due to back end systems integration couldn’t upgrade yet… So for that reason I personally would purchase the upgrade as well as a Creative Cloud membership.

    However, for, for example the many graphic designers, and also corporate marketing/pr departments – which often work with old software…. that have been skipping versions, I think Creative Cloud is an amazing solution. It’s easy to budget for it… you know what it’s going to cost… and it also gives Adobe the chance to more easily release mid/intra cycle point products if it wants… and as a designer you can immediately benefit from new tools if you want.

    And yes, it might not be a solution for all Adobe customers, but I’m thinking that for many it will be a great solution… I feel that it’s only a small percentage of users (like ourselves, service providers as you mention, with possible older workflows), that would require that fall back. ๐Ÿ™‚


  10. April 26, 2012    

    I want the new software โ€”ย let’s get that out of the way. I think there’s some cool things going on & I love to play with new toys.

    But what Anne-Marie says has me hesitant as well. I’m a freelance print designer, and I’ve got a few clients who don’t upgrade right away/need files in a previous version of the software. I can’t take a client’s CS5 file & give them back a CS6.

    My other problem is what Bob pointed out to me. If I subscribe to Creative Cloud, then after a year decide I don’t like it/need it/use it enough to justify the cost & cancel my membership, I’m going to lose my license & then I’ll just have to spend the money on upgrading my suite anyway. I priced it out the other day. If I want to upgrade from my 5.5 Design Standard to the Design/Web Premium (like I do) it’ll cost (I think) $375. The Creative Cloud membership will cost $360 ($30mo/12mos.). But if I cancel b/c I don’t need it, then my upgrade will effectively cost $735. That’s much harder to swallow.

  11. Anne-Marie Anne-Marie
    April 26, 2012    

    BTW I’m not saying that subscribing to the Cloud means you can’t use pre-CS6 apps that you bought outright. I mean the versions of apps that come with the Cloud … per their FAQ, when a new version comes out, users can continue to use the old version (that had come w/the Cloud sub) for up to 1 year.


  12. Anne-Marie Anne-Marie
    April 26, 2012    

    As far as I know, InCopy CS6 is not part of the subscription, it’s a separate purchase (and serial number). So not *every* CS6 program is part of the CC sub. ๐Ÿ˜€ (I don’t think it makes sense to include it anyway.)

    Also, what gives many users like prepress managers and book publishers pause is that the Cloud membership doesn’t let you keep old versions more than one year. I personally know many of those people who need to have access to CS3, CS4, CS5 right now so they can open/edit older, completed projects without the text reflowing. Casting into the future a few years, it’s conceivable that I might need to open ID CS6 for some reason but I can’t, because CS7 has been out for a year, so now when I open it, I get a message from the Cloud that the license has expired.

    But then I think I’m worrying about old school workflows that will be irrelevant in the future. Will publications ever be “completed” anymore, frozen in time, when they’re mainly published digitally? Will I have to worry about keeping old versions on hand for my clients (as a trainer, I need to keep versions CS4 and later of the main CS apps because I still get requests for training on those), if *everyone* will be Cloud subscribers so *everyone* will have the latest version? It’s like Facebook and Gmail, no one needs to worry about having versions of those web apps from 2009 because *everyone* gets the latest version whether they want it or not. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Still, I think if I were a printer or a book or journal publisher (whose print projects *do* become final) I would purchase a standalone copy of InDesign CS6 and maybe CS7 anyway as insurance, in addition to subscribing to the Cloud. (For the other apps I don’t think it’s as critical … well maybe Illustrator. Remember “legacy text”?)


  13. April 25, 2012    

    @Harbs ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks, I think so too ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. April 25, 2012    

    Nice writeup! I think Adobe has a winner with the Creative Cloud.

  15. April 25, 2012    

    @Michael let me know when you’ve got the Dutch version up… feel free to adapt/translate this blog-post. I’ll add a link to yours when its done. Sorry I didn’t have time to catch-up whilst in Europe last week. Was only a ‘flying’-visit I’m afraid.

  16. April 25, 2012    

    Thanks @Bob. Using DPS and Single Edition as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud will be available later in 2012 as far as I’m aware. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. April 25, 2012    

    Great writeup,
    Im doing the dutch version as fast as I can. With prices in โ‚ฌ’s of course ๐Ÿ˜‰

  18. April 25, 2012    

    Nice summary, Cari!

    Not sure about Australia, or anywhere else for that matter, but one benefit here in North America will be unlimited DPS Single Edition apps.

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