Managing Creative Cloud App Versions Make sure you use the right version of software for your class

Since the birth of the software, VERSION CONTROL has been the golden rule for a successful team workforce. This is true inside a school and even more-so in the workplace.

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Picture This

You've just spent the last three hours working on your final assignment, using Adobe tools. You've got some finishing touches to make, but you need to catch your bus to class. The deadline is looming.

"No problem," you think.

"I'll just make those changes when I get to the lab. I'll have plenty of time."

You save the file to Creative Cloud, knowing you can download it at school, and not have to worry about scrounging around for a thumb drive. Thumb drives are totally yesterday's tech...Your uncle uses thumb drives...

You just barely make it on the bus and you're on your way.
At school, you pull up a chair in the lab and download your project.

But when you go to open your file in the Adobe software, you get a very scary message:

Ruh - Roh! The file you've been working on is not compatible with the software version installed in the computer lab!

This is not a situation anyone wants to picture themselves in - especially after hours of work or being close to the assignment deadline - or both!

How Did This Happen?

Creative Cloud delivers feature-bearing updates on a regular basis - usually every 3 months.

But, many IT departments only have the bandwidth to update school lab software once or twice a year, during the slower times at the school. Let's face it, you would be very frustrated to lose access to your school lab just so software could be updated.

The I.T. department at your school has a huge responsibility to ensure systems and computer labs run efficiently, and that is only part of what they do on a regular basis.

So, these updates are typically performed over the summer, and possibly during a winter break, when lab demand is not as high.

But you, esteemed power user of Adobe tools, you are on the cutting edge. You're hip, you're happening, you're whatever way you spell "cool" these days.

And on your personal computer, you're hitting that Update button the minute you see it, so you have the latest and greatest versions of everything.

Which is cool (kewl? kule? - I dunno), but it also creates the risk of file incompatibility when you move to a machine with an older software version.

How Do I Fix It?

The good news is that most Adobe software offers some form of back-saving a file to an older version, so if you know that your lab is running an older version, you could make sure to save to an older, more compatible file version before heading to class.

Check out the article below, from Pro Design Tools.

But that doesn't help if you didn't know the lab was running an older version, your computer is at home and all you have is the file.

Go Back in Time (sorta)

The best and easiest way is to fix this problem is to ensure it never happens. Make sure you are running the same version of Adobe software on YOUR computer, as is running in the school lab.

How, you ask?

Step one is to find out what version of Creative Cloud applications are running in the lab. You can check for yourself (see below) or ask your instructor or your friendly IT department.

Then what?

Did you know, you can have multiple versions of Adobe software installed on your computer at the same time? Yes, you can, all the way back to the dark ages of Creative Suite 6 (CS6).

And, it's - like - totally legal, dude...

By following the instructions below, you can be more productive and creative, and less frustrated or stressed out.

There's nothing wrong with being cutting edge. But consider this: if cutting edge = bleeding edge, knowing your environment means you won't need bandages.

What version should I use?

If you want to be able to edit the work you create in Creative Cloud apps both in the lab and on your own machine, it’s important to use the same version of the software.

How to Check the Application Version

Use the process below to check the version in the lab or on your own computer. The example below is for Photoshop, but all Adobe applications work the same way.

  1. Launch Photoshop (e.g.)
  2. On Mac, choose Photoshop CC> About Photoshop. On Windows, choose Help> About Photoshop CC > About Photoshop

The pop up window will show the current version number near the upper left corner, below the product name.

Installing Older Versions of Creative Cloud Apps

Your school’s lab may have an older version of apps than you do. Here’s how to install a compatible version on your computer.

1. Click the Creative Cloud icon, located in the Apple menu bar (Mac OS) or taskbar (Windows) to open the Adobe Creative Cloud desktop app.

2. Click the Apps tab if it is not already open.

3. Click drop down menu next to the application you wish to install.

4. Choose Manage from the menu.

Choose Other Versions from the Manage menu.

5. Click the Install button next to the application version that you need.


Some applications, such as Adobe XD, Adobe Dimension, Adobe Lightroom CC and Adobe Lightroom Classic do not allow for simultaneous version installations. If you wish to install an older version of these applications, a dialog box will inform you that the current version will be uninstalled first.

Also, by default, when you install a new version of an application using the Creative Cloud app, previous versions of that application are uninstalled, leaving only the most recent version.

To retain previous versions, deselect Remove Old Versions in the Advanced Options section of the updater interface.

And there you have it; a few simple steps to keep things right in your educational universe.

Created By
Jim Babbage


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