Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Lightroom CC 2015.1, Camera Raw 9.1, and Lightroom Mobile 1.5 now available

Lightroom CC 2015 and Camera Raw 9.1 updates in Adobe Creative Cloud desktop app

Adobe has released Adobe Lightroom CC 2015.1 and 6.1, Adobe Camera Raw 9.1, and a corresponding DNG Converter 9.1 update. There’s also a Lightroom Mobile 1.5 update, as well as Photoshop CC 2015.1. All are free updates for current licenses of the software; update links are at the end of this article. The Lightroom and Camera Raw updates include the usual new camera profiles and lens profiles, and fix a number of bugs, and the Creative Cloud versions add new features. For more details, go to:

In this article I summarize some of the main points.

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Lightroom 6 and CC: First impressions

Adobe Lightroom 6 and CC

Lightroom 6 is available now, with performance enhancements and other new features. Read on for additional information and answers to some questions that aren’t always addressed by the general media coverage of this release.

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Lightroom Map Module bug fixed in OS X 10.10.2

If you use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 on OS X Yosemite (10.10 through 10.10.1), you might have noticed that the Map module may load slowly or fail to load at all. According to an Adobe statement at Photoshop.com (Lightroom: Issue with Map module in OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)), the problem was in OS X network code Adobe was using to get map data from Google Maps; Apple has confirmed to Adobe that this bug is fixed in OS X 10.10.2 which is now available.

After you install the OS X 10.10.2 update, the Lightroom Maps module should work properly. You can update using the Mac App Store (click Updates) or download an installer from Apple (OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Update tech note; or use this direct download link: (OS X Yosemite 10.10.2 Installer).

Lightroom Maps module with missing map sections in Yosemite

OS X 10.10 Yosemite: Will Adobe software work?

OS X 10.10 desktop, courtesy Apple Inc.

Now that OS X 10.10 Yosemite is available as a free upgrade from the Mac App Store, 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. I’ll continue to update this article as I find out more. The good news is that upgrading to Yosemite seems to cause fewer compatibility challenges than some earlier OS X upgrades did.

Yosemite and current versions of Adobe software

Adobe FAQs: Adobe has published a tech note, Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) compatibility FAQs. It contains links to additional information, so be sure to expand each of the FAQ questions there. On that page Adobe says “The latest versions of all Adobe CC products are compatible” and that no updates are required to run Adobe CC products on OS X 10.10 Yosemite.

The Adobe FAQ says “In our testing we have found no other significant issues with running Creative Cloud products with OS X Yosemite,” but with every OS X release things have turned up. I add them to this article as I come across them.

Lightroom 5: The Maps module may load slowly, or fail to load completely. According to an Adobe statement at Photoshop.com (Lightroom: Issue with Map module in OS X 10.10 (Yosemite)), the problem is apparently related to an Apple change in Yosemite that interferes with retrieving map data from Google Maps. [Update: Apple fixed their bug in OS X 10.10.2 which is now available. After you install OS X 10.10.2, the Lightroom Maps module should work properly.]

Lightroom Maps module with missing map sections in Yosemite

InDesign: InDesign generally seems to run fine on Yosemite, but some users have seen a crash in Open/Save/Export dialog boxes. While speculation in that linked forum discussion suspects a Finder plug-in installed by Dropbox, it could be related to the Default Folder utility (see below). [Update: Dropbox has notified customers that OS X 10.10 has a crashing bug that affects Dropbox integration with Open/Save dialog boxes. They say Apple fixed this bug in the OS X 10.10.1 update.]

After Effects: The After Effects team has also published a blog post about Yosemite compatibility, After Effects good to go with Mac OSX v10.10 (Yosemite). In it they say that they tested After Effects CS6 through After Effects CC, and while those versions mostly run fine, a few minor issues are listed at the end of the article including a long first-time startup for Adobe Media Encoder.

Plug-ins: If you rely on any non-Adobe plug-ins, make sure those plug-ins are compatible with Yosemite. A plug-in that is not compatible with Yosemite may prevent its host Adobe app from starting up.

Default Folder: While this very useful utility is not by Adobe it modifies the Open/Save dialog boxes, and the release notes for version 4.6.11 say “Fixed a problem that could cause Carbon applications to crash on some machines running Yosemite. This included Adobe Creative Cloud and Microsoft Office applications, among others.” If you use Default Folder, run the updater from Default Folder preferences or download the latest version from the St. Clair Software web site.

Upgrading to Yosemite with older Adobe software or from earlier versions of OS X

If you’re upgrading from OS X 10.9 Mavericks or OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion you probably won’t run into problems. But if you’re making a bigger jump from an earlier version of OS X, or from Adobe software earlier than CS6, you may find issues that affect your migration. In many cases you can clear up problems by reinstalling the Adobe software.

Note that CS2 applications, including Photoshop, were written for Macs with PowerPC CPUs. OS X 10.10 Yosemite only runs Intel CPU-compatible software, so Yosemite will not allow CS2 to run or install. Adobe CS3–CS5 applications may run but Adobe did not test them extensively on Yosemite.

Photoshop: The Photoshop team has published their own blog post about the OS X upgrade, Photoshop & Mac OSX 10.10 (Yosemite). In it they say that they tested Photoshop CS6 through Photoshop CC and found no issues. However, the comments section of that post contains a lively discussion of issues some users are running into. For example, it has been discovered that the Yosemite installer might corrupt an existing Photoshop CS5 installation; if this happens reinstall Photoshop CS5 and then it should work.

In Photoshop CS6 in OS X 10.8 through 10.10, if you are having problems with keyboard shortcuts or brushes, including lags when painting, and especially with a Wacom tablet connected, you may need to install the “white window workaround” plug-in and try updating your Wacom driver. Adobe is reportedly working with Apple and Wacom on the problem.

Although Photoshop CS3, CS4, and CS5 were not extensively tested on Yosemite by Adobe, I upgraded a test Mac to Yosemite with those versions of Photoshop already installed and have been able to run them. License activation and deactivation work fine. However, I have not had time to try printing or serious editing with them.

Photoshop CS3 working in OS X Yosemite.

Photoshop CS3 is the oldest version that works in OS X Yosemite.

Update from reports in the comments, also reported at the official Photoshop Feedback site: Photoshop CS5 will crash if you try to create a custom paper size in the Print dialog box. A workaround is to create the custom paper size in any other program in Yosemite, and then go back to Photoshop CS5 and choose the custom paper size.

Photoshop Elements 11 or 12 may slow down or become unresponsive in Yosemite. In the tech note Photoshop Elements stops responding after Mac OS update to Yosemite, Adobe says this is a problem related to the trackpad and can be worked around by using a mouse. Apparently this is not a problem in the current version, Photoshop Elements 13.

Illustrator: There are some reports that the Type menu font previews in Illustrator may not appear in Yosemite. The reported workaround is to go into the Accessibility pane of System Preferences and select Reduce Transparency. It wasn’t clear which versions of Illustrator are affected.

Illustrator CS4 seems to have problems loading the Photoshop format import/export plug-ins in Yosemite.

An application won’t start: Two possible reasons for pre-CC versions to not launch in Yosemite are Java not being available, and having non-Adobe plug-ins that aren’t compatible with Yosemite. See the topics Java requirement below and Plug-ins above.

Java requirement: When launching some older Adobe software for the first time in OS X, OS X may say that a Java runtime needs to be installed. If a button is provided, click it; if not download the Java installer from the Java for OS X 2015-001 page at Apple Support and install that. Note: Sometimes when you visit that link to Java for OS X, you get a blank page. If you see this in the Safari web browser, try opening Safari preferences, click the Advanced tab, and turn off the “Never use font sizes smaller than…” option. If that doesn’t work, try this direct download link: Java for OS X 2015-001 download

Install legacy Java SE 6 runtime

Some users have reported that the Adobe launch issue is not fixed until you reboot a second time after the Java installation. Also, some report that earlier versions such as CS3 are not working with the latest version of Java (currently Java 8), but it does work if they install Java 6, which is provided by Apple in the link above.

It’s understandable that some people avoid installing Java because to its security issues, but OS X won’t let some Adobe applications launch without it. In the case of Photoshop, Adobe says Photoshop doesn’t need Java at all, but OS X puts up the message anyway.

OS X Gatekeeper may prevent older Adobe software from starting: Gatekeeper is an Apple security feature (added in Mountain Lion) that helps protect you from running malicious applications. If you run Adobe software released before Gatekeeper, you should know what to do if Gatekeeper prevents Adobe software from starting. Adobe covers that in this tech note: Error “has not been signed by a recognized distributor” | Launch Adobe applications | Mac OS. The short answer is to bypass the error by right-clicking the application icon, then choose Open from the context menu.

Adobe software released after Gatekeeper was introduced properly conforms to Gatekeeper requirements, so no adjustments are needed for them.

Intel compatibility required: If your Adobe software is earlier than CS5, to run under Yosemite 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. But even if your software older than CS5 runs on Yosemite, it may still have other issues because OS X has changed a lot since then.

Upgrading 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 OS X support for PowerPC-based software.

General compatibility and other info

To learn about OS X software compatibility of Mac software in general, one resource is the Roaring Apps database. It lists OS X software and its reported compatibility with the last few versions of OS X, and it’s crowdsourced from user reports which are said to vary in reliability. As always, for any software that you cannot afford to be without, you should do two things: Check that company’s support website to verify compatibility, and also set up a test installation of Yosemite on a separate volume (like a spare hard drive or even a large enough USB flash drive) to run tests with your own files, peripherals, and workflows.

Wondering what Yosemite is all about? For the most in-depth Yosemite 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.

TRIM support for third-party SSDs: If you replaced your Mac’s original internal drive with a solid state drive (SSD), depending on the brand it may be a good idea to enable a feature called TRIM for better long-term performance. However, due to changes Apple made in Yosemite to increase the security of OS X, you can’t enable TRIM in Yosemite without compromising certain aspects of OS X security. For the details, see Trim Enabler and Yosemite by Cindori Software, creator of the Trim Enabler utility.

10-bit video displays: For many years, Photoshop users and other graphics professionals have wanted proper support for 10-bits-per-channel video displays on Macs. (This isn’t about the file format, but the data path to the video monitor.) While 10-bit-capable displays, graphics cards, cables, and software (such as Photoshop) have been ready for some time, Apple has not provided the necessary APIs to complete the chain. As far as I know, there is nothing in Yosemite or even the new Retina iMac to indicate that this has changed.

Adobe Creative Cloud 2014: Upgrade tips, and things to watch out for

Creative Cloud desktop app with 2014 updates

The 2014 release of Adobe Creative Cloud significantly updates the entire range of Adobe applications and services. I’ve collected some practical tips and information that you might not be seeing on the new feature lists.

You can watch a recording of the Adobe announcement event (June 18, 2014).

New version naming, and additional updates

In the picture of my Adobe Creative Cloud desktop application above, you might notice that Photoshop is listed three times. What’s that all about?

In this round of Creative Cloud applications, the name of each application contains the release year (2014). This name change indicates that the software is a significant revision, similar to saying Version 2.0 instead of Version 1.0. The code in the 2014 applications is different enough that they are installed in addition to the older CC apps instead of replacing them. (This doesn’t apply to all of the applications; for example, Adobe Bridge CC is updated in place and isn’t given the CC 2014 naming.)

One reason that updates are also listed for some CC and CS6 applications like Photoshop is because Camera Raw 8.5 became available at the same time and is compatible with those applications.

Stuff to watch out for

When you see the long list of new and updated software in the Creative Cloud desktop application, it’s tempting to just hit the Update All button. But before you dive into all the new hotness, there are a few things you should know and be prepared for. I strongly recommend reading Installing the 2014 Release of Creative Cloud by Julieanne Kost, and 2014 release of Photoshop CC: FAQ by Jeff Tranberry. I highlighted some of the issues below.

  • CC 2014 versions install separately. I just mentioned that CC 2014 applications are installed in addition to CC applications, so you’ll end up with two versions. This is confusing a lot of people. For example, you may need to uninstall your old CC versions and delete old Dock (OS X) or Taskbar (Windows) shortcuts, add new shortcuts for the CC 2014 versions, and make sure your add-ons still work (see next item).
  • Plug-ins and extensions apparently missing (but not really). Because CC 2014 applications install separately, they may not see your plug-ins and extensions if those are stored in folders for an earlier version of Photoshop. You may have to drag over those add-ons to the appropriate CC 2014 folder, or reinstall them.
  • Disk space requirements. Installing the 2014 Creative Cloud apps will consume many gigabytes of disk space, because remember, the old CC apps aren’t removed. If you’re down to less than 30-40GB of disk space you may want to do a fair bit of spring cleaning before updating a large number of Creative Cloud apps. (That number is my own very rough guideline, because the Creative Cloud desktop app doesn’t show how much disk space is needed, the total depends on how many applications you update, and because you do need to keep a lot of disk space free at all times.)
  • Removed features. Back in April, Adobe warned us that some features would be removed in the next version of Photoshop, and Photoshop CC 2014 is that version. Before you uninstall any old CC apps, test your workflow in CC 2014. Most of the features removed from Photoshop are related to the Pixel Bender technology (no longer developed) such as Oil Paint, and panels and extensions based on Flash such as Mini Bridge and other Flash-based extensions (including those made with Configurator). Also, Photoshop CC 2014 doesn’t support OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.
  • Photoshop crash when quitting. If Photoshop CC 2014 is crashing when you exit the application, and you had custom styles, brushes, patterns, or tool presets, Adobe is investigating this crash. They’ve published a tech note with workarounds and a request for your crash reports to help them debug the problem: Photoshop CC 2014 crashes when you quit
  • Lightroom 5.5 not starting or Develop module disabled. This is happening to lots of people; Adobe has published a tech note with workarounds: Lightroom does not launch or get error: “Develop module is disabled” after 5.5 update
  • Horizontally oriented dialog boxes. You may see some Photoshop CC 2014 user interface changes such as dialog boxes that are redesigned with a horizontally oriented layout. This was done to better fit dialog boxes to today’s widescreen displays, particularly those on lower-resolution widescreen laptops where the old tall dialog boxes could get cut off.
  • File Info redesigned. You might notice that the File Info dialog box looks different in Photoshop CC 2014. I believe this is because File Info was Flash-based in previous versions, so the dialog box was rebuilt due to the removal of Flash-based components.

You can also monitor the Adobe user forums for emerging issues with the CC apps you use the most.

Links to individual installers

If you need to download Adobe application installers instead of installing with the Creative Cloud desktop application, as usual ProDesignTools has a list of download links for each application. Be sure to follow the instructions exactly, otherwise you’ll get an error.

Creative Cloud services branch out

When Creative Cloud was originally introduced, the services were promising but incomplete. Though there are still some glaring holes, they’re gradually becoming more useful.

  • Lightroom sync expands. Lightroom Mobile now syncs Lightroom on the desktop with Lightroom on iPad and iPhone as well as the lightroom.adobe.com web view, and the Adobe Voice app for iPad can now get images from Lightroom synced collections. The growing reach of Lightroom Mobile sync is leading more users to point to the elephant in the room and ask: How soon will LIghtroom be able to sync catalogs between a desktop and laptop?
  • Folder sharing enabled. The ability to share a folder from Creative Cloud online storage is significant. Previously you could only share individual files, which seriously limited the value of your Creative Cloud shared storage. Being able to share folders removes that limit and makes Creative Cloud file sharing much more useful, especially for sharing Adobe file formats. But Creative Cloud file sharing still isn’t as widely supported by applications and devices as Dropbox,  Box, Google Drive, or Microsoft OneDrive.
  • Behance more tightly integrated. The Behance service is being tied into more Creative Cloud desktop and mobile applications as Adobe grows this creative online community of conversations and feedback about both portfolios and works in progress. For example, the new Adobe Sketch and Line apps for iPad are both intended to use Behance as a place to both store and show off the work done in those apps.
  • Royalty-free assets coming soon. Adobe talked about adding access to a new library of royalty-free assets, but it isn’t available yet. This won’t be the first time they’ve tried this; I remember Adobe Stock Photos. Although the new service will probably go well beyond photos.
  • Typekit support expands. Access to thousands of Typekit fonts is one of the most immediately useful Creative Cloud services, and more Creative Cloud applications now have access to them, notably Photoshop.

I didn’t completely cover changes to all of the applications, the new range of mobile apps and hardware, and the very interesting Adobe Creative SDK, but when you throw all that in with the application upgrades, with the 2014 release we’re starting to see the larger and longer-term vision that Adobe has for Creative Cloud.