The Adobe suite of Creative Cloud programs continues to expand, encompassing far more than the standard prepress desktop publishing tools to which many graphic designers and printers have become accustomed. In addition to our graphic design/print trifecta of InDesign, PhotoShop and Illustrator, CC includes over a dozen separate industry-leading programs for website and mobile app development, video and audio editing, and additional perks like Bridge, TypeKit and Behance. The entire bundle – as well as the upkeep of consistent fixes and updates – can seem a daunting beast to contain.
So… after getting settled in with the Adobe cloud-based versions and their new subscription service last year, the introduction of CC 2014 seemed to come around pretty suddenly. With all new stand-alone installations of InDesign, PhotoShop and Illustrator – didn’t we just do this? – the rapidity of updates might seem a little unsettling. Luckily, Adobe has made the change this time as painless as possible. While I in no way pretend to be up on all the latest tech improvements and cutting-edge changes in the Creative Cloud suite (the website says there are “hundreds”), I can tell you some of the perks we encountered installing the new programs that take the edge off the change and even got us excited about the new improvements.
First, Acrobat has not changed in the 2014 update. Acrobat is essential for file transfer between graphic designers and printers, so new updates can often impact standard procedures in unexpected ways! In our printshop, we use some very specific third-party plug-ins for Acrobat XI Pro that are essential to our prepress workflow – imposition, preflighting, repurposing, etc. Traditionally, when Acrobat upgrades to an entirely new version, we have to wait a while for all the plug-ins to release compatible updates. That won’t be a problem for you this time around.
To be clear, InDesign, PhotoShop and Illustrator CC 2014 are all new versions. You can leave your previous CC and CS versions installed and running, and choose to uninstall them at a later time if you desire. You will, however, have to reinstall any plug-ins to your new 2014 versions in order to access them.
Adobe did a GREAT job in creating a seamless transition experience for InDesign users. Updating to InDesign CC 2014 will automatically migrate your presets and settings from the previous version to your 2014 joint. No jarring initial view that bears little resemblance to the InDesign interface you have grown to love – your workspaces, preferences, and keyboard shortcuts are all automatically transferred. The “What’s New” introductory pop-up window includes access to easy-to-view videos of the 5 major enhancements as well a link to the Adobe website with more information on all 11 of the important changes. The videos will introduce you to:
- The aforementioned seamless update to customize your interface just like you had it before. (Even our plug-in for Ajar’s HTML5 export installed – wasn’t expecting that.)
- A new EPUB fixed layouts export definition. It does a better job of handling illustrations and photography when exporting to EPUB, as well as creating your Table of Contents and handling interactive video and audio.
- An awesome new feature that allows you to move rows and columns in Tables with just a click and drag.
- The handy ability to group colors within your swatches palette.
- Enhancements to the Search feature: you can now search forward and backward using “Find Previous” as well as “Find Next.”
PhotoShop and Illustrator have some great new features for designers preparing files for print, also. Illustrator’s new attractions are a newly rebuilt pencil tool, the ability to reshape path segments, Live Shapes, Live Corners and integration with Typekit. The “Welcome” screen does a good job of introducing all of the new features. PhotoShop includes new Path and Shape Blur Effects, Typekit, new Smart Guide features, and selection of an area based on what is in focus. Installing the new versions did not automatically import my old workspace and preferences, unfortunately.
Overall, don’t fear the change of an update to CC 2014 – the new perks are worth the effort and the transition for us went hitch-free. With that behind you, you’ll be ready for the next one coming down the line.