Creative Cloud Version Confusion


Today’s Question: You have defined the differences between Lightroom Classic and Lightroom CC very well. However, I am now seeing double entries for other Adobe products (Bridge, Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign), all with both CC and CC 2017 entries. Bridge CC indicates “Update”, while Bridge CC 2017 indicates “Open”. Should I update the CC 2017 versions of all of them?

Tim’s Quick Answer: The latest versions of the Adobe applications as part of a Creative Cloud subscription now exclude the calendar year from the name when viewing the Creative Cloud application. The “CC” version is the latest version, which will actually bear “2018” as the year portion of the full application name after you install the new version. The “CC 2017” version is the prior version of the application.

More Detail: To be sure, the switch to a subscription model for the Adobe Creative Cloud applications has led to some confusion. Part of the confusion stems from the fact that updates now occur more frequently in general, with smaller updates released somewhat often.

However, there are still major updates to the applications, and when that occurs Adobe has been adding a calendar year to the name of the application. So now we have, for example Adobe Photoshop CC 2018. The previous major update had been given the name Adobe Photoshop CC 2017.

Within the applications themselves, you will now see “2018” reflected in the application name and in the “About” dialog if you install the latest versions of the applications. Unfortunately, within the Adobe Creative Cloud application where you are able to install updates, the “2018” portion of the name is not included, which can obviously lead to some confusion.

Because the latest updates for the Adobe Creative Cloud applications represent relatively significant updates, the installation is not an actual “update” installation. In other words, if you have Photoshop CC 2017 installed and you then install “Photoshop CC”, you’ll have both the 2017 and 2018 versions installed.

In this scenario, my general recommendation is to install the latest update (that’s the version without a year number in it) once you are comfortable doing so. I recommend that you keep the prior version (the 2017 version in this case) installed until you know everything is working properly with the new update. You can then uninstall the prior version of the application once you’re comfortable using only the latest update to the software.

Note that if you see an “Update” button to the right of an application name on the Apps tab of the Adobe Creative Cloud application, that means an update is available for that version. If you see an “Install” button, that indicates that the application in question has not been installed yet. If you see an “Open” button, the latest version of that application is already installed, and you can click the Open button to launch the application.