CS6 and CS5.5 – What’s the Difference?

CS6 or CS5

Earlier this month before the official launch of Adobe CS6 we could figure out only some of the new features of this release like introduction of two new applications Prelude CS6 and SpeedGrade CS6, and uniting of Adobe Design Premium and Web Premium into one new package Design & Web Premium CS6. But today much more information is available and we can finally compare new Creative Suites 6 with their previous versions and answer the question “what’s the difference between Adobe CS5.5 and CS6”. So let’s compare Adobe CS6 packages with their previous versions and try to understand whether it is worth upgrading.

Adobe CS6 Master Collection 

Remember – only before May 6 you can upgrade to Adobe Master Collection CS5.5, Adobe Web Premium CS5.5Adobe Design Premium CS5.5,  Adobe Design Standard CS5.5, or  Adobe Production Premium CS5.5 and get CS6 upgrade without additional payment. Find out exactly how much you save! Also you may Pre-order Adobe Creative Suite 6 products now! Shipping begins May 7th.

Adobe has introduced two new applications Prelude CS6 and SpeedGrade CS6 and now they are the part of Master Collection CS6. At the same time four products didn’t make it into Adobe CS6 Master Collection: OnLocation, Device Central, Flash Catalyst, and Contribute.

SpeedGrade CS6 is a new Adobe application for advanced color grading based on Lumetri Deep Color Engine.

Adobe Prelude CS6 is one more brand new application in CS6 family designed to ingest nearly any file-based format and begin logging immediately, creating searchable markers and other temporal metadata that flow through post-production.

One of the key features of CS6 Master Collection is a great increase in performance. This is achieved thanks to both: new features and tools such as content-aware or 3D tools in Photoshop CS6, Content Collector tools in InDesign, etc., as well as native 64-bit support on Mac OS and Windows, Adobe Mercury Graphics Engine in Photoshop Extended, Adobe Mercury Performance System in Illustrator CS6, Global Performance Cache in After Effects etc.

So let’s compare the set of software in Adobe Master Collection CS5.5 and CS6, and take a brief look at some of the new features in the CS6 applications:

Adobe CS5.5 Master Collection Adobe CS6 Master Collection New features in CS6
Photoshop CS5 ExtendedPhotoshop® CS6 Extended Mercury Graphics Engine, redesigned 3D tools, new Blur Gallery, all-new Crop tool, new reflections and draggable shadows in 3D, auto-recovery, Content-Aware Move, Dozens of user-inspired improvements
Illustrator CS5Illustrator® CS6New Pattern creation tools, new Image Trace, gradients on strokes, Gaussian Blur enhancement, inline names editing in panels, and lots of other panel enhancements
InDesign CS5.5InDesign® CS6Liquid Layout, Content Collector tools, PDF forms within InDesign, Middle Eastern language support, Pages panel enhancements, split window, Recently used fonts, persistent text frame fitting options, etc
Acrobat X ProAcrobat® X Pro
Flash Professional CS5.5Flash® Professional CS6 Sprite sheet generation, HTML5 support, support for Adobe AIR® 3.1 and Flash Player 11.2
Flash Builder 4.5 PremiumFlash Builder® 4.6 Premium Edition Single-codebase mobile applications
Dreamweaver CS5.5Dreamweaver® CS6 Blazing-fast FTP performance, Fluid grid layout, jQuery Mobile and Adobe PhoneGap™ updates, Adobe Business Catalyst® integration, pure CSS3 transitions
Fireworks CS5Fireworks® CS6 Improved performance, common Library of mobile assets and components, CSS3 support
Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5Adobe Premiere® Pro CS6 Expanded multicam editing, dynamic timeline trimming, Warp Stabilizer effect, adjustment layers, streamlined intuitive user interface, fluid editing, new format support
After Effects CS5.5After Effects® CS6 3D camera tracker, Fully ray-traced, extruded text and shapes, Adobe Illustrator integration, Variable mask feathering, Rolling shutter removal, Global Performance Cache
Audition CS5.5Adobe Audition® CS6 Faster, more precise editing, Real-time clip stretching
Encore CS5Encore® CS6 Native 64-bit performance, fast MPEG import, Adobe integration: easily move assets between Encore and Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects®, Photoshop®, Illustrator®, and Adobe Audition® software.
Bridge CS5Bridge CS6 Cross-platform, 64-bit support, display of linked files in InDesign documents, Custom image sizing and PDF watermarks
Media Encoder CS5.5Media Encoder CS6ARRIRAW, RED EPIC, and RED Scarlet-X support, Watch Folders to quickly encode video from a single source to multiple output formats, Fast, sure output to virtually any screen
OnLocation CS5---
Device Central CS5.5---
Flash Catalyst CS5.5---
Contribute CS5---
---SpeedGrade™ CS6
---Prelude™ CS6

Adobe CS6 Design & Web Premium

In this Adobe Creative Suite release there are only four packages because Adobe Design Premium and Adobe Web Premium suites have been united in one package – Adobe CS6 Design & Web Premium.

Adobe CS6 Design & Web Premium includes all the same products as previously Adobe CS5.5 Design Premium, but without Flash Catalyst and Device Central, also you may have noticed that two products from Web Premium CS5.5 are not included in this new Suite namely Flash Builder, and Contribute. Flash Builder 4.6 is now available only as an individual product or as a part of Adobe CS6 Master Collection and also for members of Adobe Creative Cloud.

As for Flash Catalyst “Adobe has decided to discontinue the production of Flash Catalyst in order to streamline the product line”. The same has happened to Adobe Device Central. Both apps have been discontinued effectiveApril 23, 2012 and will no longer be included as part of Creative Suite editions or individual products.

It looks like with CS6 release instead of Flash Catalyst designers will get a brand new Adobe Muse which similar to Flash Catalyst enables designers to create websites without writing code. But Adobe Muse is available only as a part of Adobe Creative Cloud.

In the following table you will see what the difference between Adobe Design Premium CS5.5, Web Premium CS5.5 and Adobe CS6 Design & Web Premium is:

Design Premium CS5.5Web Premium CS5.5Adobe CS6 Design & Web Premium
Photoshop CS5 ExtendedPhotoshop CS5 ExtendedPhotoshop CS6 Extended
Illustrator CS5Illustrator CS5Illustrator CS6
InDesign CS5.5---InDesign CS6
Dreamweaver CS5.5Dreamweaver CS5.5Dreamweaver CS6
Flash Professional CS5.5Flash Professional CS5.5Flash® Professional CS6
Fireworks CS5Fireworks CS5Fireworks® CS6
Acrobat X ProAcrobat X ProAcrobat® X Pro
Bridge CS5Bridge CS5Bridge CS6
Media Encoder CS5.5---Media Encoder CS6
Flash Catalyst CS5.5Flash Catalyst CS5.5---
Device Central CS5.5Device Central CS5.5---
---Contribute---
---Flash Builder 4.5 Premium---

Adobe CS6 Design Standard

Adobe CS6 Design Standard includes all the same applications as Adobe CS5.5 Design Standard apart from discontinued Adobe Device Central, which is replaced by Media Encoder CS6. Thus the following applications are inside Adobe CS6 Design Standard:

  • Photoshop® CS6
  • Illustrator® CS6
  • InDesign® CS6
  • Acrobat® X Pro
  • Bridge CS6
  • Media Encoder CS6

Adobe CS6 Production Premium

Adobe CS6 Production Premium now includes two new apps: SpeedGrade CS6, Prelude CS6, but Flash Catalyst CS5.5, OnLocation CS5, and Device Central CS5.5 are not in this package any more. As it was mentioned Flash Catalyst and Device Central will not be supported and sold by Adobe since April 23, 2012. As for Adobe OnLocation, it looks like it is replaced by Prelude CS6 in Adobe CS6 Production Premium.

Adobe CS5.5 Production PremiumAdobe CS6 Production Premium
Premiere Pro CS5.5Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
After Effects CS5.5After Effects CS6
Photoshop CS5 ExtendedPhotoshop CS6 Extended
Audition CS5.5Adobe Audition CS6
---SpeedGrade CS6
---Prelude CS6
Illustrator CS5Illustrator® CS6
Encore CS5Encore® CS6
Flash Professional CS5.5Flash® Professional CS6
Media Encoder CS5.5Media Encoder CS6
Bridge CS5Bridge CS6
Flash Catalyst CS5.5---
OnLocation CS5---
Device Central CS5.5---

 

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One Response to “CS6 and CS5.5 – What’s the Difference?”

  1. Ruth_miller says:

    At least FW CS6 shows no performance improvement at all. Same turturing experience when saving or previewing as in CS5. What does Adobe mean when mentioning “improved performance”?

    Current score: 0

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