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Cynthia Ryan Graphic
Currently Being Moderated

InDesign Backwards Compatibility in CS5 an MAJOR issue

May 18, 2010 7:01 AM

I am a print designer who works in InDesign. I bought CS3 Design Premium in late summer of 2008. Shortly thereafter CS4 came out, but after just having forked out a big chunk of change, I decided against upgrading to CS4 right away. Recently I considered upgrading but then heard CS5 was coming out so I decided to postpone the upgrade and wait for the new software. I've just checked out the trial version of CS5 InDesign and after speaking with Adobe Support have come to the conclusion that I can't upgrade to CS5. Why? BACKWARDS compatibility to CS3. The previously offered export features that supplied a path for backwards compatibility via an .inx file are gone.

 

I design freelance for a lot of different customers and once the design is complete, I have to deliver the InDesign file along with all associated fonts ad images to my clients. Most of my clients are still on CS3. If I upgrade to CS5 I will instantly not be able to work for 2/3 of my clients, as I will have no means by which to save a file backwards to CS3. I was informed by Adobe support that I would need to buy CS4 and CS5, as I could save my CS5 file in the IDML format and open it in CS4 and then I could save the file from CS4 as an INX file and open that is CS3. ARE THEY INSANE??? First off that requires keeping 3 version of InDesign up and running on my machine all of the time and secondly, why should I have to buy CS4 when I'm paying an additional fee to upgrade to CS5 because I didn't upgrade from CS4? This is so screwed up that it has to be an oversight---please tell me there is a patch in the works!!!

 

PS- I've never posted to a forum before, so if I have broken any rules of forum etiquette or offended in any way, I offer my apologies now and if I (and the Adobe Support staff I spoke to) have overlooked something, please enlighten me!

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 7:09 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    You've echoed the sentiments of many. It's really bad support from Adobe regarding backward compatibility in InDesign.

     

    But even if you did have CS4 and wanted to go back to CS2, you'd have to open your INX file in InDesign CS3 and export again to INX (there was a double downsave trick of editing the INX file)

     

    But regardless, Adobe has only ever allowed one version back compatibility for InDesign.

     

    Frustrating.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 7:13 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    InDesign has NEVER allowed more than one version backsave via INX. Beginning with CS5 you can save back to CS4 using IDML but this is horrible workflow anyway.

     

    Saving back means lost or badly mangled features and reflowing text and going back two versions makes even worse. If you absolutely have to work with people in CS3 then you'll need to work with that version whether or not you decide to upgrade.

     

    I currently have CS3, CS4 and CS5 installed just in case. And I'll repeat what I've said over and over again. I support Adobe 100% in the way this is handled. Major new feature make it nearly impossible to keep compatibility from one version to another.

     

    Finally, if you buy CS4 now (Amazon still has some stock) you may be eligible for a free upgrade to CS5. But using that when you know the end result must be a CS3 file is not a very efficient way to work.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 7:22 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    If you think this is an Adobe only issue, think again. Quark is the same way, only one version back will it save to.

     

    Maybe Markzware could do an InDesign version of their MarkzTools they have for Quark that has this feature of saving to lower versions and allowing you to open higher version Quark documents.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 7:24 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    There si no reason you can't continue to use your CS3 installation and also install CS5. Choose the version to suit the client.

     

    Back-saving is at best a crapshoot as far as text reflowing, and you risk a lot of file damage if you inadvertently use a new feature. It just isn't a good workflow.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 7:59 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    I don't see keeping 3-5 versions of InDesign as being too much to expect of a freelancer. Also probably a good idea to keep Illustrator CS3 at minimum for the compatibility. I think it just comes with the territory. This isn't MS Word where years of format confusion all culminates into DOCX and everyone is sick to their stomachs because they've had years of compatibility on a stagnant format designed a decade ago. It beats digging ditches.

     

    Real complaints could be directed at Freehand, not InDesign.

     

    An auto mechanic has to buy new tools as new cars come out, but still has to use the old ones to work on older cars. A bad analogy maker has to make new analogies when car analogies no longer work, but still have to use car analogies to explain why my Epson GS6000 solvent printer, like gasoline in a car, performs differently with different substrates. There is a point where you have to tell your client that you don't work on Trans AM's if you can't handle keeping all the tools around.

     

    We used to make steel in this country. We are talking about gigabytes that cost less than a couple of dollars and a couple of minutes application launch time. I've got hundreds of custom dies eating up space that I can't get rid of because the moment I do someone will need a job printed and cut with one. Physical space costs money, the storage space for 4 versions of InDesign will cost less than the delicious sandwich I will soon eat.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 14, 2010 11:32 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    Cynthia, did you read the responses?

     

    If you want to work with people in CS3 you'll need to use CS3. Folks on CS4? Same thing.

     

    Nobody is forcing you to upgrade. In fact, if you're clients aren't upgrading and you need to be part of a collaborative workflow, then you shouldn't upgrade. Again, the new features are so advanced from one version to the next, in many ways it's like a new application.

     

    You elected to get into this business and software upgrades, as well as hardware upgrades are cost of doing business. I find it rather amazing when I read comments such as yours. So let me ask you a question.

     

    Do you do one thing for a client and then never call them again looking for more business? By releasing new products, that's really what Adobe is doing. Like you, me and most of the others on this forum, they're in business to make money. Adobe does that by creating products that they hope people will buy. I find it funny that the many of the same people that rush out to the Apple store to buy the latest and greatest are the same ones to complain that Adobe puts out upgrades too quickly.

     

    If people felt that way about other technologies, we'd still be watching radio...in black and white.

     

    Bob

     

    Edit: Please note that if you have the CS3 suite you must upgrade the suite. I have an article on my site with some advice on buying CS4 now wth links to Amazon and the Adobe article which discusses free upgrade eligibility: http://theindesignguy.com/purchase-advice.shtml

     

    Buying CS4 Design Premium now and gettng the free upgrade would save you more than $200.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 9:27 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    Cynthia Ryan Graphic wrote:

     

    I am all for working with better workflow practices and I understand that saving files backwards is less than ideal but Adobe needs to look at the real world uses of their software as well. I have to work with firms that aren't upgrading now--especially with the economy we are now in--and most of the items I design for them are ads-- one page- nothing too complex--really nothing fancy. I obviously wouldn't save a book or a very complex document backwards in this way, but simple things have translated just fine in the past. In the real world we hit situations like this.

     

    I bought my software 21 months ago and in this time Adobe has expected me to upgrade twice--I haven't even finished expensing  the initial cost of the software on my books yet. Upgrading that often just can't happen in a small firm--it's prohibitively expensive for a one man shop.
    So now from what I understand, to do this properly, I am supposed to buy the upgrade and keep both versions running on my machine and track with every client which version of the software I need to be working in. What happens when I have to add an employee? I will have to buy the CS3 version of the software in addition to the CS5 Suite because otherwise we can't work on the same files. I'm finding this frustrating.
    Your suggestion of buying CS4 from Amazon is a good one. I will look into that further.

     

    DISCLAIMER: I'm an Adobe stockholder. REALITY: My holdings are probably in the same proportion as the number of bits it takes to store a period character (".") on an Internet server is to the entire Internet's storage capacity. So, while I may have some self-interest here, it's not driving me to encourage you - or even all the participants on this forum - to buy more software than you want to or need to.

     

    If you're simply interested in test-driving a new release, you can do that with the free 30-day trials. If you run out time, you can probably figure out a way to trick out your system to get another 30-day shot.

     

    However, if you use the software commercially - either to train others, or to create new material or revise old material for clients or employers - you need to decide if you can continue to do this with the software versions you own, or if the commercial needs will require you to license new versions.

     

    Regarding "expensing the initial cost of the software on my books" If I understand the US income-tax policies, purchases under a rather modest amount can usually be expensed in the year of purchase. If, because of your accounting method or preference, you're using a longer expensing time period, you might want to reevaluate your approach. If you attribute a portion of the software cost to each project you use it on, and, in this case, in 21 months your work hasn't let you recapture the investment, they you may want to use that information to decide how to pursue more paying for the software, or decline that stream of work and forgo upgrading.

     

    An alternate way to evaluate the software, especially as an employer of users, is to compare the product cost vs. how many more billable hours you and your workers can complete in a given time with it and without it, and, how competitively you can bid projects, due to the product's efficiency.

     

     

    HTH

     

    Regards,

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 2:41 PM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    I also think it's ridiculous not to have a better workflow for backward compatibility. I've been working with InDesign CS5 and have yet to see a feature that suggests a new file format was necessary for this version. I suppose it's the dynamic/interactive content enhancements that are behind the format change. Since a key client is using CS3 and doesn't have any reason to upgrade, I'll likely set Bridge to default to the older software and may, on occasion, use CS5 when I have time to diddle around with it. It's tiring to be a working designer and see the Adobe fan club beat someone up because they're exasperated with the treadmill logic of the annual upgrade. Adobe could provide a compatibility mode of operation of InDesign, but they don't. That makes my job harder and I'm less likely to use the "wonderful" new scheisse I got in my Master Collection. Living on the bleeding edge doesn't pay my bills.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 2:54 PM   in reply to BJN3

    I'm a very small one-man shop, and I've yet to see an upgrade to InDesign that wasn't able to pay for itself many times over in very short order from increased productivity, not to mention some of the things that each version has brought that expand the repertoire of what's possible.

     

    I was a heavy Quark user until 2002, but I've never looked back since the release of ID 2.0, and I've never felt an upgrade was merely window dressing. Some have had more new features than others, and CS5 seems more geared to multimedia people than print guys like me, but there's pleny of stuff there that makes my work go faster. The faster I get the paying stuff done, the more time I have to spend here, and I spend A LOT of time here.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 2:56 PM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Lo Bob. Talk about backwards workflow. I'm opening docs in CS4 just to activate the fonts required; then re-opening in CS5.

     

    FAP & Explorer apparently are a long ways off in upgrading their font managers.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 3:04 PM   in reply to Peter Spier

    (Eyes rolling) Good for you and your 14K posts. Glad you have time to make this work to your advantage and evangelize for big A too. I'm just tired of you happy campers telling others with real workflow issues that we should be just as gleeful as you.

     
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    May 18, 2010 3:13 PM   in reply to BJN3

    I'm sorry you have issues. What makes you think I don't?

     

    I upgrade when I can afford it, by budgeting, and I leave previous versions installed so I don't have backward compatibility issues. I still have clients who need CS3 files and some will need CS4. This is not rocket science.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 3:26 PM   in reply to BJN3

    BJN3 wrote:

     

    I've been working with InDesign CS5 and have yet to see a feature that suggests a new file format was necessary for this version. I suppose it's the dynamic/interactive content enhancements that are behind the format change.

    I suspect multiple page sizes and span/split columns had a lot to do with changes, too, and those were very frequently requested features from ordinary users. Nobody here or at Adobe is holding a gun to your head and saying you must buy or use CS5. You say your clients have no reason to upgrade, so maybe you shouldn't either.

     

    And lack of backsaving is neither limited to ID or a new issue. I'm not even sure that Publisher <shudder> is able to backsave more than one version, and Quark certainly can't -- and they won't let you keep the earlier versions installed anymore.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 3:31 PM   in reply to peterpica

    I don't even bother with font managers anymore. No need for what I do.

     

    Have you checked with them to find out when / if they'll be updating their plugins?

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 3:33 PM   in reply to BJN3

    BJN3 wrote:

     

    I'm just tired of you happy campers telling others with real workflow issues that we should be just as gleeful as you.

    Nobody's telling anyone to be happy about anything. It's been explained over and over.

     

    If you need a CS3 file, work in CS3. If you need CS4, work in CS4.

     

    It's so simple I fail to grasp the complaints or the problem.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 3:36 PM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Thanks, I appreciate condescention in lieu of helpful advice

    and consideration.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 3:37 PM   in reply to BJN3

    It's very useful advice. The fact that you don't see it that way doesn't change a thing.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 18, 2010 4:08 PM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Called Insider Software last week and one of their techies said "they've considerable work to do yet"... I take that as 2-3 months at best. Got an email response from Monotype/fonts.com that just said to subscribe to their newsletter to find out more.

     

    That was quite helpful of them.

     

    I refuse to consider Fusion/Suitcase because of major problems with them in the past, and from what I've heard fairly recently too. Just queried MasterJuggler people down in Texas.

     

     

    ;-(

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 1:28 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    If you are working with InDesignCS5, and you want to send your layout for review, then CS5 has a new feature available, CSLIVE. Sending by this route your clients can review the layout online at Acrobat.com without needing to open any version of InDesign. Does it help in your client workflow?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 5:18 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    Cynthia: why don't you just do all your work in CS3 for that client? SW evolves. And the upgrades in PS and AI make it imperative that I upgrade. Smart fill is brilliant. And yes it's expensive to upgrade, especially in a bad economy. While back saving is a PITA, you have to figure out how work around it.

     

    I have two workstations and I skipped CS4 on one of them. We work 50/50 in CS3 and CS4. I plan on only upgrading CS3 machine to CS5 in a month or two when the bugs get sorted out. I do a lot of work for other small agencies and freelance art directors. Quite a few of them didn't buy CS4. So I do all their work in 3 and hand the files off. For my own clients, I work in 4.

     

    While I understand the frustration with backsaving, how do people think Adobe underwrites improvements to the suite? I'm guessing they expect to be paid for their efforts. It's the cost of doing business and yes it can be extremely difficult at times to afford it in a tight economy.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 5:23 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    Cynthia, even one version is one version too many to be using in a collaborative workflow. So this whole argument is moot. You need to be working in the same version as your clients.

     

    NEVER send a different version file to a client. What happens six months  from now when you get a new client with CS4? How do you work with them?  Will you tell this new client you think Adobe's policies are ridiculous  so you won't be able to work with them unless they jump through hoops  for you?

     

    So allow me to again make a suggestion. Not only should you go to CS5 but you should upgrade to CS4 NOW. You can still get CS4 Design Premium upgrade from CS3 at Amazon for less  than $600 http://amzn.to/bGV8ID. Then check out this article: http://bit.ly/c9HLKf to see how you can get  a free upgrade to CS5.

     

    Time's running out on that window of opportunity,

     

    Bob

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Jun 25, 2009
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    May 19, 2010 5:31 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    As long as we're being pie-in-the-sky, I think the legitimate criticism is that Adobe ought to give CS5 purchasers a license for CS4. That way no one would feel like they had to buy the product twice just to get backwards compatibility with a version they didn't think was worth the money at the time.

     

    Of course, it's probably way too late in the product cycle for that to happen.

     

    On the gripping hand, given CS5's focus on interactivity and soforth, it wouldn't seem surprising if a lot of CS4 owners didn't upgrade to CS5, so it might be a good point for Adobe to consider when CS6 rolls around (namely, that customers upgrading from CS4 to CS6 ought to get a copy of CS5).

     

    Just a thought. Around here we just by the maintenance...

     
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    May 19, 2010 5:40 AM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    Sorry John, but what kind of signal would that send to the LOYAL customers that shelled out the cash for the upgrades one at a time? Again, software is a cost of doing business. Adobe puts out upgrades every eighteen months like clockwork.

     

    Using Design Premium as an example, the upgrade cost is $599 from the most recent version (yes, I'm using U.S. prices). That's about $33/month. Less than many people spend on coffee!

     

    I can hardly wait til October 2011 so we can go through this exercise again.

     

    Bob

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Jun 25, 2009
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    May 19, 2010 5:45 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Like I said, around here we buy the maintenance. [ok, ok, I typoed it as "by"...]

    But I don't think it'd send much of a signal to loyal customers at all; we do what we do.

     

    It seems reasonable that someone just starting out who buys CS5 today ought to be able to interoperate decently with a colleague who owns CS4. And the only way to achieve that is to have the CS5 purchaser be able to use CS4. And why not? From Adobe's standpoint, it's a dead product.

     
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    May 19, 2010 5:52 AM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    I'd say it wouldn't be a bad idea if that new purchase was a full commercial version. No upgrades.

     

    Bob

     
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    May 19, 2010 6:13 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    Semantics.

     

    Same thing really. When you bought your first version you paid a good deal of money for it. Upgrades are far less expensive and with tiered pricing it's cheaper to upgrade from the most recent version than from the two prior to that.

     

    Just to be clear, I do get it. I don't like spending money any more than the next guy and when I went out on my own and had to pay for software for the first time, I can't say I got any real satisfaction out of it.

     

    But I did buy it. The math works. If you make $8,000 a year with a $33/month expense that's pretty good. And as the business grows the returns get even better.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 6:19 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    BobLevine wrote:

     

    Sorry John, but what kind of signal would that send to the LOYAL customers that shelled out the cash for the upgrades one at a time?

     

     

    Bob, what about when Adobe offer that if you buy CS4 close to CS5 release you get CS5 for the upgrade price (or free)? Surely a new customer with CS5 should be afforded a licence for CS4, sort of reversing the idea that CS4 get CS5, why not have it be get CS5 get CS4?

     

    I couldn't upgrade to CS4 because the Style Mapping bug in CS4 solely prevented me upgrading. I missed out on CS4 because of this. Adobe weren't going to fix this until CS5. But a few people kicked up a storm about it and 6 months prior to CS5 being released it was fixed in a patch. In the end the powers that be decided that with CS5 available in 6 months time that they'd wait. Now I don't have CS4 at all (except for trial) and I have no way of transferring back to CS3 if I need to.

     

    I think that it was fine perhaps for one version save back up to CS4, it made sense reallly. Hardly anyone is using CS or CS2 now. But I have to say that with so many versions of InDesign about now, and with CS6 in 18 or months we're going to have people using CS3, CS4, CS5 and CS6 - probably.

     

    I don't know about you, but I'd want a very safe and reliable way to save back down to any of those versions from CS6.

     

    Just saying, that it's getting to the point now where people are happy with CS3 as it had probably the most advanced changes to the software (in my opinion), CS4 has some good things too, and CS5 is a bit of a candy coating.

     

    So yeh, for CS6 I'd want a reliable way to backsave at least as far as CS3, but if it were to come to only backsave to CS4 I'd be up the swanny without a paddle.

     

     

    Adobe really needs to start thinking about all the different versions of InDesign that there are and that people will have and how best to enable a reliable backsave for some people that simply can't upgrade (like I couldn't).

     

    To me it makes sense to be able to backsave at least to CS3.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 6:27 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    I think we'll need to agree to disagree on that on Eugene.

     

    It's my opinion that Adobe should concentrate on adding new features to the product and not worry about backward compatibility.

     

    And my advice to Cynthia stands for you too. It will be cheaper to buy CS4 from CS3 and then get the free upgrade.

     

    As for the argument about getting an old version with the new, software companies have always given a free upgrade with the purchase of a retiring version after it's been announced. If they didn't sales would grind to a halt.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 6:30 AM   in reply to Cynthia Ryan Graphic

    Just semantics, Cynthia.

     

    Retail, commercial. Same thing.

     

    Upgrades are exactly the same as their full commercial/retail counterparts except for the price.

     

    Adobe also has student and academic pricing.

     

    The link I supplied you with is for the Mac CS3 to CS4 Design Premium upgrade and assumes that you have one of the CS3 suites.

     

    Bob

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 19, 2010 6:36 AM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    I can see offering licenses for previous versions at the same price as the upgrade price when they were issued, if these earlier version licenses are purchased concurrently with the latest version (whether new or upgrade). This would allow users to fill in gaps or buy previous versions if they need them and are starting out now.

     

    I can even see some merit in allowing users to purchase previous versions at any time IF you have a license for another version already. The question is whether this would make any kind of cost-to-benefit sense for Adobe as they'd have to maintain a download site (no way an inventory of physical media for older versions makes sense) and handle the purchasing traffic (as well as field all the support calls at which time they'd no doubt have to explain that non-current versions are not eligible for free support of any kind).

     
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    May 19, 2010 6:42 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    I just think you should be able to backsave to previous versions if you want, instead of the silly dance that Adobe make you do get from CS5 to CS3 or from CS4 to CS2.

     

    Nothing more frustrating that being limited by the software that you paid a lot of money for.

     

    For now I'll have to keep working CS2, CS3, and CS5 and hope that CS5 hasn't got any major bugs as print deadlines don't care about software glitches.

     
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    May 19, 2010 6:47 AM   in reply to Eugene Tyson

    So far from what I know from experience (CS3 and 4) and what I'm reading about CS5, CS3 seems to be the most stable version of ID which is why I use it on my workstation and have CS4 on the freelance workstation. Bells and whistles are pretty useless if the app is buggy.

     
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    May 19, 2010 7:00 AM   in reply to Mr. Met

    Mr. Met wrote:

     

    So far from what I know from experience (CS3 and 4) and what I'm reading about CS5, CS3 seems to be the most stable version of ID which is why I use it on my workstation and have CS4 on the freelance workstation. Bells and whistles are pretty useless if the app is buggy.

    I keep seeing people post that CS4 is unstable, but I've never seen it. Must be a Mac thing.

     
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    May 19, 2010 7:07 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    I'm not exactly a power user with ID on my Mac but I've never experienced any instability problems either.

     

    Bob

     
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    May 19, 2010 7:21 AM   in reply to Bob Levine

    Mostly font issues with fonts not auto-activating and reflow issues. Very slow save and redraw. Takes forever for a file to open in some cases. This is actually CS4 wide on my Intel 3.06 iMac running 10.5.8. Could be a Leopard thing for all I know. I run CS3 in Tiger on my workstation and it runs like a charm with very rare font conflicts. The iMac is a dog for font management with constant Helvetica conflict prompts every time I reboot after clearing cache and no way to remove fonts from sys folder when replaced with version of Helvetica I want to use.

     
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