Now that the Adobe CC release has become ubiquitous with over 22 million paid customers, some folks are asking us whether the new versions of the tools in the Creative Cloud can read or save older data/document/project file formats like CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4 & CS3…


In fact, since Adobe’s flagship creative toolset CC 2019 is now seven major releases past CS6 from 2012 (which they no longer sell), tệp tin version compatibility can some­times be an important decision point in moving forward.

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In the past, new Adobe hàng hóa versions have often brought different or expanded tệp tin formats to tư vấn significant new features – & customers want to know if their existing projects will easily carry forward with them when they upgrade, or if they will be able to lớn save back to older formats for coworkers or clients who may still be running an earlier revision of the programs…

OK then, here’s how it works. Generally, your new CC tools will be able to mở cửa and use any & all earlier CS project và data files – including CS3, CS4, CS5, CS5.5, and CS6 files – with no problem or loss of information. In other words, all Adobe software is able khổng lồ read or import file formats from previous versions of the same program – & it should happen seam­lessly & automatically. The only exception to lớn this is Premiere Pro, where it’s best to open/edit projects in the same versions that created them.

Going the other way, when wanting khổng lồ use CS6 or older tools to mở cửa a tệp tin saved from a CC product, the answer is it depends… Adobe officially states, “Many of the Creative Cloud desktop applications can export files lớn the older Creative Suite 6 version of the same tool. Each of the following CC apps provide the ability khổng lồ export to the CS6 version of the program: Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Animate (previously called Flash Professional), & After Effects” – with the caveat that, “New features added may not be supported in the exported file or implemented by the CS6 application.” và the same would go for CS5, CS4, or CS3.

So let’s take a closer look below at the inter­operability for each major CC 2019 appli­cation within the Creative Cloud, then at the bottom we’ll talk about some additional tips and best practices no matter what the circum­stance.

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Historically in Photoshop, it has rarely been an issue because the .PSD format is pretty portable and compatible (forwards và backwards) between different releases. To help ensure this, make sure that Photoshop’s “Maximize PSD file Compatibility” option is turned on when you save your file.

With that in place, you should be able khổng lồ save back your Photoshop CC tệp tin to be opened in CS6, or even lower versions (as this demonstration of moving from CC to CS5 shows)… You can even make changes lớn a CC file in an older release of Photoshop, & then later bring it back into CC with everything present, active, và intact.

In fact, many people don’t realize it but Photoshop’s common tệp tin format specification is openly published so that other tools can read, view, or save .PSD files, even third-party software (for example, không tính tiền utilities lượt thích XnView or CloudConvert)… But if you ever run into any difficulties, you can always save your image as a .tif file – TIFF is a universal 16-bit format that all versions of Photoshop (and many other programs) can import, & its biggest advantage is that it will preserve layers, just as the native .PSD tệp tin can.

Since CS6, Photoshop CC streamlines your life when moving around between different computers with the Preset Migration feature. Upgrading or changing releases is also easier thanks khổng lồ this new capability lớn share and migrate presets from older Photoshop versions going as far back as CS3.



In Illustrator it’s very straightforward – when using “Save As…”, the program will ask which version you want to save your file as. Instead of “Illustrator CC,” you can choose a “Legacy Format” like “Illustrator CS6,” CS5, CS4, CS3, etc. – but be aware that you may đại bại some newer features & attributes when the document is read back into the prior release. Illustrator actually has the best backsave capability of all tools as it can save down up to lớn eleven previous formats!

There are also some other techniques available that may allow you to xuất hiện files created in a newer version of Illustrator without backsaving.


Each major new release of InDesign has always made a new format that older releases cannot open. The document file format evolves and improves with each successive version.

And with InDesign, there is no automatic way lớn “downsave” a project like in Illustrator, và there never has been… But what you can do instead is Export your document as IDML (InDesign Markup Language). IDML files can be read into earlier versions like InDesign CS6, CS5.5, CS5, or CS4 – but again there is the potential to chiến bại newer features that aren’t supported in legacy releases. To go back to InDesign CS3 you would need to lớn Export lớn INX (InDesign Interchange format) from CS4 instead.

Seeing the need, Adobe created the Simple Saveback service, which is a không tính tiền web service for Creative Cloud subscribers to vì this IDML file conversion on demand. For example, if you mở cửa a document saved from CC 2018 in the InDesign CC năm ngoái application, then you’ll receive a dialog box with this notice:

InDesign could not xuất hiện “filename.indd” because it has been created in a newer version – Adobe InDesign CC 13.0. Click “Convert” khổng lồ convert and xuất hiện this document.

Content created using features specific lớn the later version of InDesign may be modified or omitted when you mở cửa the document in a previous version.


Alternatively, you can use external tệp tin downsaving services which will vày this for you for a nominal fee – going from InDesign CC 2019 khổng lồ CC 2018, CC 2017, CC 2015, CC 2014, CC 2013, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4, CS3, CS2, or even CS<1>. There’s also a tệp tin conversion plugin available that enables lower versions of the InDesign application (such as CS5 & CS5.5) to mở cửa all native .INDD documents that have been saved by newer releases like CC <2018> or CS6.


In Dreamweaver, tệp tin compatibility with older versions is not really a problem… HTML is HTML, CSS is CSS – the output is standards-based và similar across hàng hóa releases. The one part that you’d need khổng lồ migrate forward or back lớn a different version is your Dreamweaver site settings or definitions, & those you can easily import & export.

Animate (formerly Flash Pro)

Animate CC was rearchitected for high performance on 64-bit systems và completely rewritten to lớn incorporate native HTML5 Canvas và WebGL support, and consequently some older features were deprecated. This means when you xuất hiện a tệp tin previously saved with an earlier version of Flash Pro, you may encounter a feature that is no longer supported in Animate CC 2019. The software will show a warning to this effect và automatically convert the deprecated content into a supported content type.

When going the other direction and bringing a CC tệp tin back to lớn an lower release, Animate is pretty flexible – you can save in XFL or FLA format for CS6 or CS5.5, although you may thất bại some newer features which would not be understood by prior versions. Additionally, Flash Professional CS6 can save back lớn CS5 formats, and CS5 versions can downsave to lớn CS4 formats.

Premiere Pro

Premiere Pro CC does not have a save-back-to-old-version option, and in fact the .prproj file format had a major change from CS6 in that it is now compressed… As a result, file sizes are a fraction of what they were before as textual XML, but Premiere Pro CS6 (and earlier) cannot read the new (binary) files – you’ll get the message, “The project appears lớn be damaged, it cannot be opened.” Even after decompressing a CC file (with a utility like 7-Zip), CS6 will say, “The project could not be loaded, it may be damaged or contain outdated elements.” Oddly, however, CS5.x versions of Premiere can read the tệp tin with a trick.

So then, what are your options for going back to CS6 – or khổng lồ any previous CC or CS release? What if you get the error message: “This project was saved in a newer version of Adobe Premiere Pro & cannot be opened in this version”?

Well, the first thing khổng lồ try are the techniques given on this Adobe Forums help thread… Essentially, you make a copy of your .prproj file, decompress it, open the resulting file in a text editor to change its internal Version number, save the file, recompress & rename it, và then try opening the modified project tệp tin in your older version of Premiere Pro. Keep in mind, of course, that some newer product features cannot be understood by older releases of the software.

If that doesn’t work, then try Plan B: Premiere Pro works somewhat like InDesign above, in that you can export to lớn Final Cut Pro XML (eXtensible Markup Language), which is the most commonly-used technique – or export lớn an AAF (Advanced Authoring Format) file, which is sort of a “universal” project format that can be read by CS6, CS5, CS4, etc. So you can then import the resulting project file into not only an earlier version of Premiere Pro but also other NLEs such as Final Cut Pro, although Premiere-specific settings và details may not translate. Finally, Exporting khổng lồ EDL (Edit Decision List) format is another possible option for saving back to lớn prior releases.

After Effects

With After Effects you can save your project in a text-based XML format, or you can use the save back khổng lồ prior version command in the File menu. The latest CC 2019 (AE 16) release can “Save a Copy as CC (15.x)”, & then you can take that output & hopscotch it back lớn the original CC 2013 (AE 12) release và then use that to lớn “Save a Copy As CS6” – again with the caveat that new functionality in CC won’t transfer down khổng lồ CS6. When going the other way, there are some tips to lớn follow khổng lồ help your older project import & work in the newer release. For more specifics on opening AE projects from prior releases và saving back to lớn previous versions, see this post.

If you want/need a more automated way lớn export for legacy AE releases going all the way back to CS3, then the open Sesame plug-in may be another option. This third-party utility converts After Effects files khổng lồ a fully editable, human-readable text-based format, and can create backwards-compatible projects that xuất hiện in older versions. It currently supports CC 2019, CC 2018, 2017, 2015, CC 2014, CC 2013, CS6, CS5.5, CS5, CS4 & CS3, & you can download the trial there if you want to check it out first.


For Audition, it’s a similar story – standard audio file formats lượt thích WAV, MP3, AIFF, etc. Are fully compatible across applications, & it’s possible lớn import sessions from prior versions particularly as XML files, but saving your multitrack session file in an older format would thất bại some of your mix. For migrating và bringing up files from Audition 3, there’s a very helpful conversion utility.


OK Now: Best Practices

Once you open your older document in the newer hàng hóa version, or vice versa, the program will want to change và convert your data lớn its native format. So the best thing to vì chưng after importing your project is khổng lồ immediately “Save As…” & save a new copy with a different tệp tin name. This way, in case anything goes wrong or if you ever want to lớn import it again, you will still have your original (archive) document authored in the other version, as well as your new document that you can continue to develop and make changes to.

The same would apply for when you go the other way & save back a copy to lớn a legacy tệp tin format from a newer release – use “Save As…” to lớn make sure you preserve your original.

If you’ve been thinking of upgrading your software to lớn make life easier, keep in mind that Adobe does offer discounted pricing for some CC plans và customers.

Having Multiple Versions on the Same Computer

When installing the new Adobe CC release, you can choose khổng lồ keep the older version(s) on your computer so that they will not be uninstalled, removed, or written over. Often folks find it helpful to lớn continue khổng lồ have access to lớn the previous release while getting up khổng lồ speed with the new one, plus as mentioned above, having those prior versions can sometimes be useful in managing older files.

In other words, you can have multiple Adobe releases installed alongside one another – they will coexist side-by-side without interference. But if you decide instead that you only want the latest software on your system, then the best way khổng lồ proceed is to uninstall your older program(s) first – before installing the newer one(s), other­wise it’s possible that your file associations could get lost or crossed up (though this is fairly easily fixable).

The ability to run more than one version is also helpful if you receive a file created in a newer release that you don’t have on your computer. In that case, you can tải về the không tính phí trial for the file’s version và then save it back lớn an older format using the techniques described above.

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Moving or Sharing Your Files Between Windows & macOS

Finally, customers frequently ask if they can move or nội dung data or project files between the Windows & Mac platforms – this is increasingly common in heterogeneous environments where people have Creative Cloud applications running on both operating systems. The answer is, this is usually possible no problem – generally with most Adobe software you can transfer and use files freely between PC và Mac, & they will work and open fine on the other o/s platform…

For example, you can phối up a cross-platform workflow with Premiere Pro CC, have a similar capability with After Effects project files, & so on.

Using the Creative Cloud lớn Share/View Files & Collaborate

Now comes the coolest part. With the online storage features in Creative Cloud that are free for everyone, you can easily cốt truyện Adobe application-specific files with anyone else on the web… Simply upload your file(s) to the Cloud when you want to, and choose if you want to giới thiệu with others or allow them to lớn post comments or download the original file.

You and your clients và colleagues will then be able khổng lồ intelligently view & manipulate the files online using only a web browser, and without needing to lớn have any Adobe apps installed. Users can display PSD, INDD, AI, & other files natively within their browsers – plus turn on-and-off layers, view relevant metadata, step through artboards, và more – and the recipient does not have khổng lồ be a thành viên of Creative Cloud to vì this. Learn more in this video:

Was this tệp tin compatibility guide helpful? What CC or “version conversion” questions can we answer for you? Just leave a bình luận below and we’ll get back to lớn you promptly…

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