Adobe Illustrator

Secrets of the Esc Key: CreativePro.com article

In Adobe software, the enigmatic Esc key can do more than you might expect. You might already know that you can use the Esc key as a shortcut for the Cancel button in dialog boxes, but there are some less obvious but quite useful ways that the Esc key can save you time in applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe InDesign, and Adobe Illustrator.

Read the full article at the following link:

Secrets of the Esc Key

Adobe CS6 perpetual license availability to decrease in 2014

Photoshop CC iconAdobe Creative Cloud icon

(Updated April 7, 2014)

Want a non-subscription license for Photoshop or any other CS6 software? Better get it now.

As Adobe has continued to advance their transition from traditional perpetual licenses (pay once per major upgrade) to Adobe Creative Cloud subscriptions (monthly payment for more frequent enhancements), users who don’t want a subscription wonder how long they can continue to buy perpetual license versions of Adobe Creative Suite 6 software.

Adobe has previously stated that CS6 will be sold “indefinitely,” which in the short term means CS6 is still available, but in the long term that won’t mean forever. Somewhere between “indefinitely” and “forever” is an end date. While Adobe has not announced an exact end date, statements Adobe made in their Q1 FY2014 earnings conference call on March 18, 2014 indicate that “indefinitely” will soon mean “no” for channel sales outlets.

During the conference call, Mark Garrett, Adobe Executive Vice President and CFO, said “As a result of Creative Cloud success across teams and enterprises, we will soon end general availability of CS6 perpetual licensing in the channel. This decision is consistent with our comments last December when we stated we expected no material revenue from perpetual licensing of CS6 in the second half of fiscal 2014.” Mr. Garrett also said “Looking to the second half of the year, in the coming months we are planning a major launch of our Creative products and the removal of legacy CS6 products from the channel.” (The Adobe fiscal year ends on November 30.)

After this article was first published, an Adobe PR representative reached out to clarify that the above statements don’t affect direct sales to individuals or education, only software in the reseller channel. More details are in this official statement:

“Adobe will no longer sell Creative Suite 6 via the Cumulative Licensing Program (CLP) and Transactional Licensing Program (TLP). This change will be applicable across the commercial segment worldwide, as well as the government segment (with the exception of Japan); there is no change for education customers. Note that CS6 products will remain available for individual purchase via electronic download on Adobe.com, as well as via licensing for education customers. Acrobat and other Adobe products sold via CLP and TLP will remain available.”

Even though CS6 will continue to be sold to individuals and education, concerns may arise about how long that will continue to be true given that CS6 channel availability will already be limited later this year. For now, if you want to make an individual purchase of CS6 software, you can still find it at Amazon, Apple, and other direct (not channel) or educational sales outlets. On the Adobe website the page for buying CS6 software is not easy to find, so below is a direct link for the entire suite, individual products, full versions, and upgrade pricing.

Creative Suite 6 software for sale on Adobe.com

Photoshop CS6 available for purchase

Photoshop CS6 still available for purchase at the time I wrote this article

(January 6, 2016: The link above no longer lists Photoshop CS6. You must now buy Photoshop CS6 at this page: http://www.adobe.com/products/cs6.html. For more information, see my more recent article: Can you buy Adobe software without a subscription?)

If you’re a Creative Cloud user, the last part of Mr. Garrett’s statement indicates that a “major launch of our Creative products” is in the cards for the second half of 2014, so that sounds like something to look forward to.

You can read the complete Adobe Q1 FY2014 Earnings Call Script (PDF) at the Adobe Investor Relations website. You can also read the transcripts of both the presentation and the Adobe Q&A session that followed, at Morningstar.

Among other tidbits from the conference call was Mr. Garrett’s news that “…Q1 reported Creative revenue from subscriptions and ETLAs [Enterprise Term License Agreements] exceeded reported revenue from perpetual licensing for the first time.”

It’s unclear to me whether the timeline for removing perpetual licenses from availability applies to Adobe Photoshop Lightroom. While Lightroom is included in Adobe Creative Cloud, it never used the Creative Suite 6 branding and is also still offered as a perpetual license. Adobe has not announced any plans to convert their entry-level Elements line to a subscription model, and if they consider Lightroom to be in the same general category they might decide to continue offering a perpetual-license version of Lightroom as an entry point to Adobe software. On that we’ll have to wait and see.

 

Retina display updates: Adobe Photoshop CS6 13.0.2/13.1 and Illustrator 16.0.3, and Creative Cloud thoughts

Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6 icons

Photoshop CS6 13.0.2 and 13.1 released, along with Illustrator 16.0.3

Adobe has released Adobe Photoshop CS6 13.0.2 and Adobe Illustrator 16.0.3 with support for Retina/HiDPI displays. Adobe Photoshop 13.1 is also available now only for Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers, combining Retina/HiDPI support with new features not available in 13.0.2.

[Update, December 20, 2012: Adobe has released Photoshop CS6 13.0.3 and 13.1.1 to fix a few bugs.]

There are aspects of this mix of updates that have caused a lot of confusion, so the point of most of this article is to help straighten it all out. First of all, some users appear to be under the impression that only Creative Cloud subscribers get the Retina and bug fix updates. The way it really works is that everybody gets the Retina display updates and the stability fixes (Photoshop 13.0.2 and Illustrator 16.0.3), but only Creative Cloud subscribers get the new features (Photoshop 13.1). For those who make a living keeping up with Creative Suite applications in education or enterprise, this has important implications that I talk about at the end of this article.

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OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: Will Adobe software work?

[Did you come here looking for Mavericks info? Go here instead: OS X 10.9 Mavericks: Will Adobe software work?]

Now that OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion is available from the Mac App Store for a mere USD$19.99, you’re probably wondering how well your Adobe software and other Mac apps will run on it. Below is a summary of various reports I’ve read on Adobe.com and around the web.

Adobe FAQ: Adobe had published a Mountain Lion FAQ when this post was originally written, but it seems to have been replaced with a new document after the Creative Cloud launch in May 2013. The former Mountain Lion FAQ said:

At this time, none of the CS5, 5.5 or CS6 applications require updates to be compatible with Mountain Lion. However, we do recommend that all users download the latest version of the Adobe Flash® Player runtime…In our testing we have found no significant issues with running CS5, 5.5, CS6 or Acrobat products with Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

A post at the Photoshop.com blog does talk about Creative Suite versions and Lion, and says:

We have worked closely with Apple to review Adobe Creative Suite 5, 5.5 and CS6 editions and individual products for impact on reliability, performance and user experience. Earlier versions of Adobe Photoshop® (CS3 and CS4), Lightroom 4.1, 4.0 and earlier software were also tested and there are currently no known issues.

If your Adobe software is earlier than CS5, to run under Mountain Lion at all it must support Intel processors. After Apple switched to Intel-based Macs, Apple started phasing out support for running software based on the older PowerPC processors. Starting with Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, Mac OS X no longer runs PowerPC-based software. You’ll have to check compatibility for each of the Adobe applications you want to run; for example, Photoshop CS3 was the first version of Photoshop that ran on Intel-based Macs, so Mountain Lion will not allow Photoshop CS2 to run or even install. But even if your software older than CS5 runs on Mountain Lion, it may still have other issues because OS X has changed a lot since then.

Flash: Apple has changed how Adobe Flash Player is allowed to work in OS X. If you aren’t on the latest version of Flash, OS X may display a “Blocked Plug-in” message because Apple wants you to have the latest Flash security fixes. All you have to do is go into the Flash Player system preference and update it from there, or download the latest version of Flash from the link above and run the installer. Once that’s done, you’ll be able to view Flash content again.

Flash Player system preference

Premiere Pro: John Nack of Adobe, whose blog clued me in to the Adobe FAQ for Mountain Lion, reports that according to Adobe Premiere Pro team member Todd Kopriva:

Mountain Lion (Mac OS v10.8) upgrade improves performance and stability with Premiere Pro.

I’m guessing that this may be because of new code in Mountain Lion that Premiere Pro can take advantage of, because this isn’t the first time that happened: Premiere Pro also ran better after Apple added OpenCL improvements to the OS X 10.7.4 update.

Update: Adobe has posted a Premiere Pro tech note about AVCHD video issues related to a change Apple made in Mountain Lion.

OS X Gatekeeper and older Adobe software: Gatekeeper is a new security feature Apple added in Mountain Lion that helps make sure that you aren’t running malicious applications. In the Mountain Lion FAQ linked above, Adobe says:

Adobe has added the Gatekeeper signing requirements to our currently shipping applications. However, our legacy products created before Mountain Lion’s Gatekeeper feature was available are not signed. If you download one of those legacy (unsigned) applications, the Gatekeeper security feature may pop-up a security dialog…

Because Adobe only updated currently shipping software for Gatekeeper, if you run older versions of Adobe software you should review that section of the FAQ.

Full-screen mode on multiple monitors: Since Lion, when a Mac application goes into the OS-native full-screen mode, all other connected monitors go blank, displaying only the gray “linen” desktop so that you can’t see your other apps. No one is able to explain why this is a good thing. The only change in Mountain Lion is that you can display the active application on any connected display…but you still can’t see any other apps.

Adobe continues to use the traditional Adobe full screen modes in their apps such as Photoshop, Lightroom, and Illustrator. While some Mac users might complain that the Adobe way makes those apps “non-standard,” as a long-time Mac user trying to get things done with multiple apps on multiple monitors I find the Adobe full screen mode to be much more productive than the OS X implementation.

(If you want to turn on the Adobe full screen mode, in OS X or Windows press the F key…just the letter F, not a function key. That shortcut will cycle through the View > Screen Mode commands in Photoshop, the Window > Screen Mode commands in Lightroom, and the Change Screen Mode button in Illustrator. Adobe full screen mode is available in some, but not all, Adobe software.)

Note: In OS X 10.9 Mavericks, Apple is changing how full screen apps work on multiple monitors. This may solve the current issues.

10-bit video displays: Photoshop users and other graphics professionals have been interested in properly supporting 10-bits-per-channel video displays on Macs. (This isn’t about the file format, but the data path to the video monitor. Most displays support 8 bits per channel of color, but some high-end monitors support 10 bits per pixel for smoother gradations and better color accuracy.) To support 10-bit video requires an unbroken chain of components: The monitor, the graphics card, the cable, the application, and the operating system and its graphics driver software. If any part of the chain doesn’t support 10-bit video, it won’t work. And it might not work on the Mac any time soon, due to Apple’s continuing lack of 10-bit video APIs in OS X. The displays are ready, the graphics cards are ready, compatible DisplayPort cables are ready, Photoshop is ready…OS X remains the one broken link in the chain.

MacBook Pro with Retina Display [updated August 29, 2012]: Adobe has published a list of the first wave of their software that will support the high resolution of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display “over the next few months;” you can read about it in an Adobe blog post. Photoshop and Lightroom are both on that list. Presumably, the rest will follow a little later.

Update: Photoshop CS6 and Illustrator CS6 received Retina Display support in the update released December 11, 2012. Run Adobe Updater to get them (choose Help > Updates in the software).

To learn about OS X software compatibility of Mac software in general, a great resource is the Roaring Apps database. It lists OS X software and its reported compatibility with OS X 10.7 Lion and 10.8 Mountain Lion. For mission-critical software, you should also check each company’s support website to verify that it works.

If you’re updating from Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier, you may also want to read my blog post “Mac OS X 10.7 Lion: Will Adobe apps and other software work?”, so that you can also be up to date on the more dramatic changes that were introduced in Lion, such as the end of support for PowerPC-based software.

Wondering what Mountain Lion is all about? For the most in-depth Mountain Lion review you’ll probably find anywhere, read John Siracusa’s review at Ars Technica. As with every major release of OS X, Siracusa not only reviews the visible features that Apple promotes, but goes under the surface to explain changes to some of the underlying technologies in OS X and how they affect your Mac experience.