Adobe Creative Suite (CS) is a now-discontinued software suite of graphic design, video editing, and web developmentapplications developed by Adobe Systems. Each edition consisted of several Adobe applications, e.g., Photoshop, Acrobat, Premiere Pro or After Effects, InDesign, and Illustrator that are the industry standard applications for many graphic design positions.
The last of the Creative Suite versions, Adobe Creative Suite 6 (CS6), was launched at a release event on April 23, 2012, and released on May 7, 2012. CS6 was the last of the Adobe design tools to be physically shipped as boxed software as future releases and updates would be delivered via download only.
On May 6, 2013 Adobe announced that CS6 would be the last version of the Creative Suite, and that future versions of their creative software would only be available via their Adobe Creative Cloud subscription model. Adobe also announced that it would continue to support CS6 and would provide bug fixes and security updates through the next major upgrades of both Mac and Windows operating systems (as of 2013). The Creative Suite packages were pulled from Adobe's online store in 2013, but were still available on their website until January 2017.
Icons of the core CS6 applications
The following are brief description of the core applications in the various Adobe Creative Suite editions. Each edition may come with all or subset of these apps.
- Adobe Acrobat creates, edits and manages documents in Portable Document Format (PDF).
- Adobe After Effects is a digital motion graphics and compositing software published by Adobe Systems. It is often used in film and video post-production.
- Adobe Audition is a digital audio editor. It has more editing features than its discontinued sibling, Adobe Soundbooth.
- Adobe Bridge is an image organizer and digital asset management app. It features limited integration with other Adobe apps but has no editing capabilities of its own.
- Adobe Contribute is an HTML editor and a content management system. It allows a wide variety of people within an organization to update web pages.
- Adobe Device Central helps preview and test web pages, raster image and digital video content for mobile devices.
- Adobe Dreamweaver is an HTML editor geared towards professional web development.
- Adobe Dynamic Link integrates After Effects with Premiere Pro and with Encore, allowing files to be transferred between the two without rerendering.
- Adobe Encore is a specialized DVD authoring app; it converts the output of Adobe Premiere and Adobe After Effects to a format suitable for DVD and Blu-ray players. Files are automatically transcoded to MPEG-2 or H.264/MPEG-4 AVC video and Dolby Digital audio. DVD and Blu-ray menus can be created and edited in Adobe Photoshop using layering techniques.
- Adobe Fireworks is a discontinued raster graphics editor for web designers. It could create interactive contents (e.g. buttons that change shape when the mouse cursor is hovered on) and animations.
- Adobe Flash Professional (now Adobe Animate as part of Creative Cloud), a multimedia authoring program used to create web apps, flash games, films and mobile widgets in the eponymous Adobe Flash format. Its features included a scripting language called ActionScript and bi-directional streaming of digital audio and video.
- Adobe Flash Catalyst, an interaction design tool that allowed users to transform Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks artwork into interactive Adobe Flash projects without writing code. Flash Catalyst was discontinued in 2012 (CS 5.5) and not included in CS 6.
- Adobe Flash Builder, formerly Adobe Flex Builder, is an integrated development environment (IDE) built on the Eclipse platform meant for developing rich Internet applications and cross-platform desktop applications in the Adobe Flash format.
- Adobe GoLive is a discontinued HTML editor geared towards professional web development. It was discontinued in favor of Adobe Dreamweaver.
- Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics illustration and design tool.
- Adobe ImageReady is a discontinued raster graphics editor for web designers. It was discontinued in favor of Fireworks.
- Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing application.
- Adobe Media Encoder is a transcoding app made with Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects users in mind. It produces video files suitable for uploading to video sharing services (including YouTube) and social networks..
- Adobe OnLocation is a direct-to-disk recording and monitoring software.
- Adobe Prelude is a tool for importing (ingesting), reviewing, and logging tapeless media.
- Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor. A large portion of its features are geared towards editing and retouching digital photographs. However, it is also capable of editing digital video frames, rendering text, 3D modeling and developing contents for web.
- Adobe Premiere Pro is a real-time, timeline-based video editing app. Premiere is optimized for working on computers with more than one CPU, graphic cards and computer monitors. It supports the contemporary digital camera and capture card feeds, as well as their file formats, as input.
- Adobe Soundbooth is a discontinued digital audio editor. It had fewer capabilities than Adobe Audition and eventually became a part of Audition.
- Adobe SpeedGrade is a color grading app that integrates with Adobe Premiere
- Adobe Story is a screenwriting, production scheduling and reporting app.
- Adobe Ultra is a discontinued chroma key compositing app; it removes the background of video usually recorded on a blue or green screen and combines it with another video background. Adobe Ultra was only available in the CS3 package. It is later incorporated into Adobe Premiere Elements and Adobe Visual Communicator. Later versions of Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe After Effects have had built-in chroma key compositing features.
- Adobe Version Cue is a revision control system for maintaining multiple revisions of works among teams.
Applications in the Creative Suite family were capable of accessing a stock photography service called Adobe Stock Photos before the service was discontinued in 2008. In 2015, after acquiring microstock company Fotolia, Adobe once again launched a stock photography service called Adobe Stock along with its Creative Cloud service.
Adobe sold Creative Suite applications in several different combinations called "editions", these included:
- Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design Standard is an edition of the Adobe Creative Suite 6 family of products intended for professional print, web, interactive and mobile designers.
- Adobe Creative Suite 6 Design & Web Premium is an edition of the Adobe Creative Suite 6 family of products intended for professional web designers and developers.
- Adobe Creative Suite 6 Production Premium is an edition of the Adobe Creative Suite 6 family of products intended for professional rich media and video post-production experts who create projects for film, video, broadcast, web, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and mobile devices.
- Adobe Creative Suite 6 Master Collection contains applications from all of the above editions
Adobe Flash Catalyst, Adobe Contribute, Adobe OnLocation, and Adobe Device Central, previously available in CS5.5, have been dropped from the CS6 line-up. Adobe Prelude and Adobe Encore are not released as standalone products. Adobe Encore is available as part of Adobe Premiere Pro. Adobe InCopy, a word processing application that integrates with Adobe InDesign, is also part of the Creative Suite family, but is not included in any CS6 edition.
In March 2013, it was reported that Adobe will no longer sell boxed copies of the Creative Suite software, instead offering digital downloads and monthly subscriptions.
Creative Suite 1 and 2
The Adobe Creative Suite 2 logo
The first version of Adobe Creative Suite was released in September 2003 and Creative Suite 2 in April 2005. The first two versions (CS and CS2) were available in two editions.
The Standard Edition included:
The Premium Edition also included:
Creative Suite likely helped InDesign become the dominant publishing software, replacing QuarkXPress, because customers that purchased the suite for Photoshop and Illustrator received InDesign for free.
Due to Adobe's closing of the CS2 activation servers on December 15, 2012, Adobe offered existing CS2 users the opportunity to download a version of CS2 that no longer required Adobe server authorization in January 2013. This release was intended to allow existing users of CS2 to reinstall their licensed copies without needing authorization from the now-closed servers. Adobe published serial numbers on the January 8, 2013, but it was not until the January 24, 2013, that Adobe announced that download was intended only for people who had "legitimately purchased CS2". Many users ignored this announcement, or were not aware of it, and continued treating CS2 as either freeware or abandonware.
Creative Suite Production Studio
Adobe Creative Suite Production Studio (previously Adobe Video Collection) was a suite of programs for acquiring, editing, and distributing digital video and audio that was released during the same timeframe as Adobe Creative Suite 2. The suite was available in standard and premium editions.
The Adobe Production Studio Premium edition consisted of:
The Standard edition consisted of:
Since CS3, Adobe Production Studio became part of the Creative Suite family. The equivalent version for Production Studio Premium is the Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium.
Macromedia Studio was a suite of programs designed for web content creation designed and distributed by Macromedia. After Adobe's 2005 acquisition of Macromedia, Macromedia Studio 8 was replaced, modified, and integrated into two editions of the Adobe Creative Suite family of software from version 2.3 onwards. The closest relatives of Macromedia Studio 8 are now called Adobe Creative Suite Web Premium.
Core applications from Macromedia Studio have been merged with Adobe Creative Suite since CS3, including Flash, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks. Some Macromedia applications were absorbed into existing Adobe products, e.g. FreeHand has been replaced with Adobe Illustrator. Director and ColdFusion are not part of Adobe Creative Suite and will only be available as standalone products. The final version of Macromedia Studio released include:
- Macromedia Studio MX Released May 29, 2002, internally it was version 6 and the first incarnation of the studio to use the "MX" suffix, which for marketing purposes was a shorthand abbreviation that meant "Maximize". Studio MX included Dreamweaver, Flash, FreeHand, Fireworks and a developer edition of ColdFusion.
- Macromedia Studio MX Plus Released February 10, 2003, sometimes referred to as MX 1.1. MX Plus was a special edition release of MX that included Freehand MX (replacing Freehand 10), Contribute and DevNet Resource Kit Special Edition in addition to the existing MX suite of products.
- Macromedia Studio MX 2004 Released September 10, 2003, despite its name, it is internally version 7. Studio MX 2004 included FreeHand along with updated versions of Dreamweaver, Flash and Fireworks. An alternate version of Studio MX 2004 included Flash Professional and a new interface for Dreamweaver.
- Macromedia Studio 8 Released September 13, 2005, Studio 8 was the last version of Macromedia Studio. It comprised Dreamweaver 8, Flash 8, Flash 8 Video Converter, Fireworks 8, Contribute 3 and FlashPaper.
Creative Suite 3
The Adobe Creative Suite 3 logo
Adobe Creative Suite 3 (CS3) was announced on March 27, 2007; it introduced universal binaries for all major programs for the Apple Macintosh, as well as including all of the core applications from Macromedia Studio and Production Studio.
Some Creative Suite programs also began using the Prestolayout engine used in the Operaweb browser.
Adobe began selling CS3 applications in six different combinations called "editions." Design Standard & Premium and Web Standard & Premium began shipping on April 16, 2007, and Production Premium and Master Collection editions began shipping on July 2, 2007. The latest released CS3 version was version 3.3, released on June 2, 2008. In this version Fireworks CS3 was included in Design Premium and all editions that had included Acrobat 8 Pro had it replaced with Acrobat 9 Pro. Below is a matrix of the applications included in each edition of CS3 version 3.3:
CS3 included several programs, including Dreamweaver, Flash, and Fireworks that were developed by Macromedia, a former rival acquired by Adobe in 2005. It also included Adobe OnLocation and Adobe Ultra that were developed by Serious Magic, also a firm acquired by Adobe in 2006.
Adobe dropped the following programs (that were previously included in CS2) from the CS3 software bundles:
Adobe had announced that it would continue to develop Audition as a standalone product, while GoLive had been discontinued. Adobe GoLive 9 was released as a standalone product on June 10, 2007. Adobe Audition 3 was announced as a standalone product on September 6, 2007. Adobe had discontinued ImageReady and had replaced it with Fireworks, with some of ImageReady's features integrated into Photoshop. Audition became part of the Creative Suite again in CS5.5 when Soundbooth was discontinued.
Creative Suite 4
Adobe Creative Suite 4 logo
Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) was announced on September 23, 2008 and officially released on October 15, 2008. All applications in CS4 featured the same user interface, with a new tabbed interface for working with concurrently running Adobe CS4 programs where multiple documents can be opened inside multiple tabs contained in a single window.
Adobe CS4 was also developed to perform better under 64-bit and multi-core processors. On MS Windows, Adobe Photoshop CS4 ran natively as a 64-bit application. Although they were not natively 64-bit applications, Adobe After Effects CS4 and Adobe Premiere Pro CS4 had been optimized for 64-bit computers. However, there were no 64-bit versions of CS4 available for Mac OS X. Additionally, CS4 was the last version of Adobe Creative Suite installable on the PowerPC architecture on Mac OS X, although not all applications in the suite are available for PowerPC. The unavailable products on PowerPC include the featured applications within the Production Premium collection (Soundbooth, Encore, After Effects, Premiere, and OnLocation). In early testing of 64-bit support in Adobe Photoshop CS4, overall performance gains ranged from 8% to 12%, due to the fact that 64-bit applications could address larger amounts of memory and thus resulted in less file swapping — one of the biggest factors that can affect data processing speed.
Two programs were dropped from the CS4 line-up: Adobe Ultra, a vector keying application which utilizes image analysis technology to produce high quality chroma key effects in less than ideal lighting environments and provides keying of a subject into a virtual 3D environment through virtual set technology, and Adobe Stock Photos. Below is a matrix of the applications that were bundled in each of the software suites for CS4: