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Adobe Creative Suite
Adobe cs6 logo vector.svg
Initial release October 27, 2003 (2003-10-27)
Available language(s) Multilingual
Genre Digital media creation and editing
License Proprietary
Website Adobe Creative Suite

Adobe Creative Suite (CS) is a collection of graphic design, video editing, and web development applications made by Adobe Systems. The collection consists of Adobe's applications (e.g., Photoshop, Acrobat, InDesign), that are based on various technologies (e.g., PostScript, PDF, Flash). The last version, Creative Suite 6 (CS6), was launched at a release event on April 23, 2012, and released on May 7, 2012.[1] 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. As of January 9, 2017, Creative Suite is no longer available from Adobe and has been replaced by Adobe Creative Cloud.



Icons of the core CS6 applications.

Brief descriptions of the applications in the various Adobe Creative Suite editions:

  • Adobe Acrobat is a software family dedicated to Adobe's Portable Document Format (PDF). Adobe Acrobat Standard, Adobe Acrobat Professional, and Adobe Acrobat Professional Extended all allow for the creation of PDF files. Adobe Reader is a free application that allows the reading of PDF files.
  • Adobe After Effects is a digital motion graphics and compositing software published by Adobe Systems. It can be used in film and video post-production.
  • Adobe Bridge is an organizational program. Its primary purpose is to link the parts of the Creative Suite together using a format similar to the file browser found in previous versions of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Adobe Contribute can edit the content of a website. It allows a wide variety of people within an organization to update web pages by reducing the amount of web design skills necessary for the process.
  • Adobe CS Live is a set of subscription-based online services that integrates with Adobe Creative Suite software. CS Live includes the following services:
    • Adobe BrowserLab allows cross-browser testing with the ability to preview dynamic web pages and local content with multiple viewing, diagnostic and comparison tools.
    • Adobe CS Review allows users to create and share reviews online and get feedback on design projects from within Creative Suite desktop applications.
    •, a free web application that allows users to create, store and share documents and PDF files on-line.
    • Adobe Story, a collaborative script development tool used to accelerate the process of creating screenplays and turning them into finished media.
    • SiteCatalyst NetAverages, a service that provides internet trends data for users to design online content for broad audiences or multiple screens.
  • Adobe Device Central's primary purpose is to integrate parts of the Creative Suite together to offer both professional and individual creative professionals, web designers and mobile developers an easier way to preview and test Flash Lite, bitmap, web and video content for mobile devices.
  • Adobe Dreamweaver is a combination code / GUI web development application.
  • Adobe Dynamic Link integrates After Effects with Premiere Pro and with Encore.
  • Adobe Encore is a software tool for authoring DVD and Blu-ray - produced by Adobe Systems and targeted at semi-professional video producers. 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 special layering techniques.
  • Adobe Fireworks is a bitmap and vector graphics editor, aimed at web designers (with features such as: slices, the ability to add hotspots etc.).
  • Adobe Flash is a software family dedicated to various Adobe multimedia technologies:
    • Adobe Flash Professional, a multimedia authoring program used to create web applications, games, movies, and content for mobile phones and other embedded devices. It features support for vector and raster graphics, a scripting language called ActionScript and bi-directional streaming of audio and video.
    • Adobe Flash Catalyst, an interaction design tool that allow users to transform Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, and Fireworks artwork into interactive Adobe Flash projects without writing code.
    • Adobe Flash Builder, formerly Adobe Flex Builder, is an integrated development environment (IDE) built on the Eclipse platform meant for developing rich Internet applications (RIAs) and cross-platform desktop applications for the Adobe Flash platform.
    • Adobe Flash Player, a free software application which allows the playing of standalone Adobe Flash (SWF) multimedia files.
  • Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor.
  • Adobe InDesign is a desktop publishing application.
  • Adobe OnLocation is a direct-to-disk recording and monitoring software.
  • Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor (with significant vector graphics functionality).
  • Adobe Premiere Pro is a real-time, timeline-based video editing software application.
  • Adobe Audition is a digital audio editor that provides the modern interface and seamless workflow of Adobe Soundbooth with the precision and power of Audition. Audition is replacing Soundbooth as of CS5.5.


Adobe sells Creative Suite applications in five different combinations called "editions", these include:

  • Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Design Premium and Design Standard are two editions of the Adobe Creative Suite 5 family of products intended for professional print, web, interactive and mobile designers. The key difference between Design Premium and Design Standard is the addition of Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended, Adobe Flash Catalyst CS5, Adobe Flash Professional CS5, Adobe Dreamweaver CS5, and Adobe Fireworks CS5 to the Premium version.
  • Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Web Premium is an edition of the Adobe Creative Suite 5 family of products intended for professional web designers and developers.
  • Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium is an edition of the Adobe Creative Suite 5 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 5.5 Master Collection contains applications from all of the above editions

Below is a matrix of the applications that are bundled in each of the software suites for CS5:

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5
Software Design Web
Standard Premium
Photoshop CS5 B-check
Photoshop CS5 Extended B-check B-check B-check B-check
Illustrator CS5 B-check B-check B-check B-check B-check
InDesign CS5.5 B-check B-check B-check
Acrobat X Pro B-check B-check B-check B-check
Flash Catalyst CS5.5 B-check B-check B-check B-check
Flash Professional CS5.5 B-check B-check B-check B-check
Flash Builder 4.5 Premium Edition B-check B-check
Dreamweaver CS5.5 B-check B-check B-check
Fireworks CS5 B-check B-check B-check
Contribute CS5 B-check B-check
Premiere Pro CS5.5 B-check B-check
OnLocation CS5 B-check B-check
Encore CS5 B-check B-check
After Effects CS5.5 B-check B-check
Adobe Audition CS5.5 B-check B-check
Shared features, services, and applications
Bridge CS5 B-check B-check B-check B-check B-check
Device Central CS5.5 B-check B-check B-check B-check B-check
CS Live B-check B-check B-check B-check B-check
Dynamic Link B-check B-check

Windows versions of Adobe Premiere CS5.5 and Adobe After Effects CS5.5 are 64-bit only and require at least Windows Vista 64-bit or a later 64-bit Windows version. Windows XP Professional x64 Edition is not supported.

Adobe Version Cue, an application that enabled users to track and manipulate file metadata and automate the process of collaboratively reviewing documents among groups of people, and the Adobe Creative Suite Web Standard edition, previously available in CS4, have been dropped from the CS5 line-up.

Adobe Encore and Adobe OnLocation (formerly Serious Magic DV Rack HD2) are included as part of Adobe Premiere Pro and are not released as standalone products.

Adobe InCopy, an application closely integrated with Adobe InDesign, is also part of the Creative Suite family, but is not included in any CS5 edition. It can be ordered from Adobe, third party plug-in developers, or systems integrators.

Adobe Audition, a professional audio-editing program, will replace Adobe Soundbooth in CS5.5.


Creative Suite 1 & 2[]

Adobe Creative Suite 2 logo

The Adobe Creative Suite 2 logo

The first version of Adobe Creative Suite was released in September 2003,[2] and Adobe Creative Suite 2 in April 2005.[3] The first two versions (CS and CS2) were available in two editions.

The Standard Edition included:

The Premium Edition also included:

Creative Suite Production Studio[]

Adobe Creative Suite Production Studio (preceded by 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[]

Macromedia Studio was a suite of programs designed for web content creation designed and distributed by Macromedia. After Adobe's 2005 acquisition of Macromedia, Studio 8 was modified and bundled into the Adobe Creative Suite family 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 29 May a, was internally referred to as 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 MX, Flash MX, FreeHand 10, Fireworks MX and a developer edition of ColdFusion.
  • Macromedia Studio MX Plus, released 10 February 2003, is 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 10 September 2003, despite its name, 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 13 September 2005, 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[]

Adobe Creative Suite 3 logo

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,[4] as well as including all of the core applications from Macromedia Studio and Production Studio.

Some Creative Suite programs also began using the Presto layout engine used in the Opera web browser.[5]

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.[6] Below is a matrix of the applications included in each edition of CS3 version 3.3:

All of the above editions included shared applications and services including Adobe Bridge, Adobe Version Cue (except Production Premium), Adobe Device Central, Adobe Acrobat Connect and Adobe Stock Photos. Adobe Dynamic Link, Adobe OnLocation (Windows only) and Adobe Ultra (Windows only) were included in Production Premium and Master Collection editions.

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:[7]

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.

Creative Suite 4[]

Adobe Creative Suite 4 logo

Adobe Creative Suite 4 logo

Adobe Creative Suite 4 (CS4) was announced on September 23, 2008 and officially released on October 15, 2008.[8] All applications in CS4 featured the same user interface, with a new tabbed interface for working with concurrently running Adobe CS4 programs where multiple applications can be opened inside multiple tabs contained in a single window.[9]

Adobe CS4 was also developed to perform better under 64-bit and multi-core processors. On 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 have been optimized for 64-bit computers.[10] However, there were no 64-bit versions of CS4 available for Mac OS X.[11] 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.[12]

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:

Creative Suite 5[]

Creative Suite 5.5[]

Following the release of CS5 in April 2010, Adobe changed its release strategy to an every other year release of major number installments. CS 5.5 was presented on April 12th, 2011, as an in-between program. The update helps developers optimize websites for a variety of tablets, smart phones, and other devices. At the same time, Adobe announced a subscription based pay service as an alternative to full purchase.[13]

On July 1, 2011, Adobe Systems announced its Switcher Program, which will allow people who have purchased any version of Apple's Final Cut Pro (or Avid Media Composer) to receive a 50 percent discount on Creative Suite CS 5.5 Production Premium or Premiere Pro CS 5.5.[14]

Creative Suite 6[]

During an Adobe conference call on June 21, 2011, CEO Shantanu Narayen said that the April 2011 launch of CS5.5 was "the first release in our transition to an annual release cycle", adding, "We intend to ship the next milestone release of Creative Suite in 2012."[15] On March 21, 2012, Adobe released a freely available beta version of Adobe Photoshop CS6.[16] The final version of Adobe CS6 was launched on a release event April 23, 2012,[17] and first shipped May 7.[1] Adobe also launched a subscription-based offering named Adobe Creative Cloud where users are able to gain access to individual applications or the full Adobe Creative Suite 6 suite on a per-month basis, plus additional cloud storage spaces and services.[18]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Crosby, Connor (2012-04-23). Adobe Announces CS6, Ships May 7th?. EditingWhiz. Retrieved on 2013-02-03.
  2. Adobe Creative Suite Press Release. Retrieved on 2010-04-04.
  3. Creative Suite 2 Press Release. Retrieved on 2010-04-04.
  4. Adobe Systems. "Support for Intel-based Mac computers" (PDF), Adobe Systems, 2006-01-31. Retrieved on 2006-09-29. 
  5. Borg, Johan (2007-03-28). 9.2 Beta – By Opera Desktop Team. Opera Software ASA. Archived from the original on 2008-02-01. Retrieved on 2009-02-08.
  6. Press Room: For immediate release. Adobe (2009-07-14). Retrieved on 2010-04-04.
  7. Adobe Systems. "New Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional Enhances Adobe Creative Suite 2.3", Adobe Systems, 2006-09-18. Retrieved on 2007-03-24. 
  8. Adobe Creative Suite 4 Now Shipping (PDF). Adobe Press room. Retrieved on 2008-10-16.
  9. Adobe Creative Suite 4 Software Brings Unprecedented Efficiency via a Unified Application Interface. (2008-10-07). Retrieved on 2010-04-04.
  10. [1][DEAD LINK]
  11. Adobe CS4 will be 64-bit, but only on Windows. Retrieved on 2010-04-04.
  12. Adobe Photoshop CS4: FAQ. (2009-07-14). Retrieved on 2010-04-04.
  13. Introducing Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Product Family. 2011, April 10.
  14. Don Reisinger, CNET. "Adobe tries discounts to woo Final Cut Pro ranters." Jul 1, 2011. Retrieved Jul 1, 2011.
  15. Q2 Fiscal Year 2011 Earnings Call Script (PDF). Investor relations. Adobe. Retrieved on 2011-10-02.
  16. Audition Photoshop CS6 Beta. Labs. Adobe. Retrieved on 2012-03-23.
  17. Adobe CS 6 Release (2012-04-23).
  18. Creative Cloud. Products. Adobe. Retrieved on 2013-02-03.

See also[]

External links[]

Adobe Creative Suite
Acrobat 6 Professional · GoLive CS · Illustrator CS · InDesign CS · Photoshop CS (ImageReady CS) · Version Cue CS
Adobe Creative Suite 2 / Production Studio
Premium · Standard · Production Standard · Production Premium
Acrobat 7 Professional · After Effects 7 (Professional) · Audition 2 · Bridge CS2 (Stock Photos) · Dynamic Link · Encore DVD 2 · GoLive CS2 · Illustrator CS2 · InDesign CS2 · Photoshop CS2 (ImageReady CS2) · Premiere Pro 2 · Version Cue CS2
Adobe Bundles: Design Bundle · Video Bundle · Web Bundle
Added in Creative Suite 2.3: Acrobat 8 Professional · Dreamweaver 8
Adobe Creative Suite 3
Design Premium · Design Standard · Web Premium · Web Standard · Production Premium · Master Collection
Acrobat 8 Professional · After Effects CS3 · Bridge CS3 (Stock Photos) · Contribute CS3 · Device Central CS3 · Dreamweaver CS3 · Dynamic Link · Encore CS3 · Fireworks CS3 · Flash CS3 Professional · Illustrator CS3 · InDesign CS3 · OnLocation CS3 · Photoshop CS3 (Extended) · Premiere Pro CS3 · Soundbooth CS3 · Ultra CS3 · Version Cue CS3
Added in Creative Suite 3.3: Acrobat 9 Pro
Adobe Creative Suite 4
Design Premium · Design Standard · Web Premium · Web Standard · Production Premium · Master Collection
Acrobat 9 Pro · After Effects CS4 · Bridge CS4 · Contribute CS4 · Device Central CS4 · Dreamweaver CS4 · Dynamic Link · Encore CS4 · Fireworks CS4 · Flash CS4 Professional · Illustrator CS4 · InDesign CS4 · OnLocation CS4 · Photoshop CS4 (Extended) · Premiere Pro CS4 · Soundbooth CS4 · Version Cue CS4
Adobe Creative Suite 5
Design Standard · Design Premium · Web Premium · Production Premium · Master Collection
Acrobat 9.3 Pro · After Effects CS5 · Bridge CS5 · Contribute CS5 · CS Live · Device Central CS5 · Dreamweaver CS5 · Dynamic Link CS5 · Encore CS5 · Fireworks CS5 · Flash Builder 4 Standard · Flash Catalyst CS5 · Flash Professional CS5 · Illustrator CS5 · InDesign CS5 · OnLocation CS5 · Photoshop CS5 (Extended) · Premiere Pro CS5 · Soundbooth CS5
Added in Creative Suite 5.5: Acrobat X Pro · Audition CS5.5 (replaced Soundbooth) · ExtendScript Toolkit · Extension Manager CS5.5 · Media Encoder CS5.5 · Story CS5.5
Adobe Creative Suite 6
Design Standard · Design & Web Premium · Production Premium · Master Collection
Acrobat X Pro · After Effects CS6 · Audition CS6 · Bridge CS6 · CS Live · Dreamweaver CS6 · Dynamic Link · Encore CS6 · ExtendScript Toolkit · Extension Manager CS6 · Fireworks CS6 · Flash Builder 4.6 Premium · Flash Professional CS6 · Illustrator CS6 · InCopy CS6 · InDesign CS6 · Media Encoder CS6 · Photoshop CS6 (Extended) · Prelude CS6 · Premiere Pro CS6 · SpeedGrade CS6 · Story Plus CS6