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InDesign Backwards Compatibility in CS5 an MAJOR issue

New Here ,
May 18, 2010 May 18, 2010

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I am a print designer who works in InDesign. I bought CS3 Design Premium in late summer of 2008. Shortly thereafter CS4 came out, but after just having forked out a big chunk of change, I decided against upgrading to CS4 right away. Recently I considered upgrading but then heard CS5 was coming out so I decided to postpone the upgrade and wait for the new software. I've just checked out the trial version of CS5 InDesign and after speaking with Adobe Support have come to the conclusion that I can't upgrade to CS5. Why? BACKWARDS compatibility to CS3. The previously offered export features that supplied a path for backwards compatibility via an .inx file are gone.

I design freelance for a lot of different customers and once the design is complete, I have to deliver the InDesign file along with all associated fonts ad images to my clients. Most of my clients are still on CS3. If I upgrade to CS5 I will instantly not be able to work for 2/3 of my clients, as I will have no means by which to save a file backwards to CS3. I was informed by Adobe support that I would need to buy CS4 and CS5, as I could save my CS5 file in the IDML format and open it in CS4 and then I could save the file from CS4 as an INX file and open that is CS3. ARE THEY INSANE??? First off that requires keeping 3 version of InDesign up and running on my machine all of the time and secondly, why should I have to buy CS4 when I'm paying an additional fee to upgrade to CS5 because I didn't upgrade from CS4? This is so screwed up that it has to be an oversight---please tell me there is a patch in the works!!!

PS- I've never posted to a forum before, so if I have broken any rules of forum etiquette or offended in any way, I offer my apologies now and if I (and the Adobe Support staff I spoke to) have overlooked something, please enlighten me!

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Adobe Community Professional , May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010
Just semantics, Cynthia.Retail, commercial. Same thing.Upgrades are exactly the same as their full commercial/retail counterparts except for the price.Adobe also has student and academic pricing.The link I supplied you with is for the Mac CS3 to CS4 Design Premium upgrade and assumes that you have one of the CS3 suites.Bob

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LEGEND ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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As long as we're being pie-in-the-sky, I think the legitimate criticism is that Adobe ought to give CS5 purchasers a license for CS4. That way no one would feel like they had to buy the product twice just to get backwards compatibility with a version they didn't think was worth the money at the time.

Of course, it's probably way too late in the product cycle for that to happen.

On the gripping hand, given CS5's focus on interactivity and soforth, it wouldn't seem surprising if a lot of CS4 owners didn't upgrade to CS5, so it might be a good point for Adobe to consider when CS6 rolls around (namely, that customers upgrading from CS4 to CS6 ought to get a copy of CS5).

Just a thought. Around here we just by the maintenance...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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Sorry John, but what kind of signal would that send to the LOYAL customers that shelled out the cash for the upgrades one at a time? Again, software is a cost of doing business. Adobe puts out upgrades every eighteen months like clockwork.

Using Design Premium as an example, the upgrade cost is $599 from the most recent version (yes, I'm using U.S. prices). That's about $33/month. Less than many people spend on coffee!

I can hardly wait til October 2011 so we can go through this exercise again.

Bob

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LEGEND ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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Like I said, around here we buy the maintenance. [ok, ok, I typoed it as "by"...]

But I don't think it'd send much of a signal to loyal customers at all; we do what we do.

It seems reasonable that someone just starting out who buys CS5 today ought to be able to interoperate decently with a colleague who owns CS4. And the only way to achieve that is to have the CS5 purchaser be able to use CS4. And why not? From Adobe's standpoint, it's a dead product.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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I'd say it wouldn't be a bad idea if that new purchase was a full commercial version. No upgrades.

Bob

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New Here ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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You should be aware that I have NEVER spent over $30 a month on coffee- I'm a single mom with two kids who has been stuggling financially for the last 14 years. I finally have a business of my own and things are looking up, but it is in its infancy and I made a net profit on just over $8000 total last year--so the cost of the upgrades really IS an issue for me at this point. I'm not trying to whine--I'm just pointing out that not all of us are able to spend money in the way you propose so lightly.

I went to look at the link for the upgrades and it looks like I do qualify for the upgrade. Please explain what the difference is from the retail product I purchased and the commercial version you are speaking of.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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Semantics.

Same thing really. When you bought your first version you paid a good deal of money for it. Upgrades are far less expensive and with tiered pricing it's cheaper to upgrade from the most recent version than from the two prior to that.

Just to be clear, I do get it. I don't like spending money any more than the next guy and when I went out on my own and had to pay for software for the first time, I can't say I got any real satisfaction out of it.

But I did buy it. The math works. If you make $8,000 a year with a $33/month expense that's pretty good. And as the business grows the returns get even better.

Bob

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New Here ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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I know it will get better as things progress--It's just been difficult getting started and I unfortunately timed my initial software purchase badly. Maybe I can fix it this time if I can get both CS4 & CS5. But is the commercial, rather than retail, product even available on Amazon?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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Just semantics, Cynthia.

Retail, commercial. Same thing.

Upgrades are exactly the same as their full commercial/retail counterparts except for the price.

Adobe also has student and academic pricing.

The link I supplied you with is for the Mac CS3 to CS4 Design Premium upgrade and assumes that you have one of the CS3 suites.

Bob

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New Here ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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Ok- I bought the CS4 Design Premuim off of Amazon.com and will apply for the upgrade to CS5. Thank you for your help with this. I will also try my best to keep working only is CS3 for my clients that have not yet upgraded and I will maintain all four versions of the suite on my machine, so I ought to be all set now.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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Good for you, Cynthia and the best of luck in growing your business!

Bob

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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One more thing: You might want look at this:

http://www.rorohiko.com/wordpress/downloads/lightning-brain-soxy/

It's a terrific little application that forces the O/S to open the files in the correct version.

Bob

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Contributor ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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thanks for tip Bob!

CS5 compatible?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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According to the revision notes, yes.

Bob

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Contributor ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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Thanks B.

just got trial beta and it's for CS5

great forum today! Wish I could remember what I learned tomorrow.

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Contributor ,
May 19, 2010 May 19, 2010

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Doesn't work for me (Mac Intel)... still defaults to CS5 InD

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2010 Jun 13, 2010

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Pity Adobe hasn't done that already.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2010 Jun 13, 2010

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Trust me, Eugene....they know all about it.

But as I've said before, with limited resources, I'd rather see them concentrate on new features and enhancement rather than supporting older versions.

Here'a a choice for you: Better footnote capability or backward saving to CS3?

Bob

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2010 Jun 13, 2010

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Why do I have to choose between the two?

I would like my CS3 documents to open in CS3 not CS4 or CS5. I appreciate the Soxy solution; but at the same time one might have expected Adobe to have solved this problem a long long time ago. It doesn't solve the backward compatibility issue, but it does offer something.

How about the CS5 application tells you that it's a CS3 document and only enables menu commands that are available in CS3 (ok this is not very well thought out but I'm not worried about my plot holes here). So you still edit in CS5 then you can do a backward save if you had the option. The problem is though there is no way go from CS5 to CS3 without having CS4. And I don't have CS4 and I've to get started with work in CS5 pretty soon, meaning if I find any problem that affects the workflow I have no other option.

The only thing that stopped me updating to CS4 was the fact that the text style importer had a serious flaw. And it took Adobe a year to fix it.  So not only could i not upgrade to CS4 because of this error, when they did fix it it was only 6 months to the next release, great I'll wait. Then when CS5 comes out they do it by removing the INX export.

At this stage with so many versions of InDesign available I expect a reasonable backsave option. I don't care how Adobe implement it or how they handle spanned columns or ballanced columns. I couldn't care less how they implement it. I just want it. And evidently other people want it too.

As for footnotes - don't get me started

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2010 Jun 13, 2010

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Sorry, Eugene...thought you were referring to backsaving. Yeah..why not just change the file extension? Never understood that.

Bob

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2010 Jun 13, 2010

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So perhaps a useful solution would be that if yo did open a CS2 CS3 or CS4 file in CS5 then you get a "warning" that CS5 menus will be disabled as it's a prior version. You would get an option to enable the CS5 menus but a "warning" that you will no longer be able to use this file in the prior versions.

But once you choose to work in CS5 with the CS5 menus disabled for whatever prior version file you're working on, it could save it so it can be opened back in that version.

This would mean that if a client came to me and said they wanted me to do the file but only has CS3 and I, for example, have only CS5. I could then create a new document only using CS3 features and be able to save to that version of InDesign for the client.

I feel it's unreasonable to ask a client to upgrade, I don't believe a right to tell them how to spend moeny etc. But in me having CS5 shouldn't be a hindrance to a working relationship with a client who has CS3 or CS2 etc.

Is that unreasonable or too hard to do? I ask honestly, as I have no idea about programming. I just think it's a doable solution.

And yes - good idea Bob, just have different extensions for different versions of the software.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2010 Jun 13, 2010

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The very fact that these files open as should be warning enough. And you're right...it's unreasonable to ask a client to upgrade, which is why I have CS3, CS4, and CS5 just in case. So having CS5 is not a hindrance at all.

A simple question before you start working if you're expected to provide files is all it takes. "What version of InDesign would you like these file provided as?"

On the other side of the coin however, it is NOT at all unreasonable to expect a service provider to upgrade. As a service provider you are expected to have the version the client needs (within reason of course). You are doing no favors to a client by using CS5 and saving back two versions.

I said this earlier, what happens when the file doesn't match the original PDF and the client refuses to pay you? They'd be on pretty firm ground in my opinion.

Bob

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2010 Jun 13, 2010

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As I say - I don't have all the answers, but I would expect Adobe to provide the solution, other than buying every version of their software.


We're going into the "What If's" here which is always shaky ground.

A brief not well thought out example off the top of my head:

So whatif I switch from Quark to InDesign today. I buy CS5. I get a client who's been using CS3 for years. Hasn't any reason to upgrade. This client starts asking me ot provide layouts for him so they can update.

I have spent €900 on INDesign or worse, I've spent €2000 on the Master Suite. I start making the design, I'm not regular user of InDesign, I've just switched from Quark. I send the client the files, they can't open them. The only options are

Client spends money and upgrades for €240

or

I go to amazon or somewhere to spend another €900 on InDesign CS3.

Look, to me that's very unreasonable. I've already bought InDesign. Why do I or the client need to spend even  more money.

What I propose is that if I want a file from CS5 to open in CS3, then I should be able to only enable features that work in CS3, then save for CS3. I don't think that that is that unreasonable? And it's a fairer solution, I think.

Whatever about the PDF not matching from CS5 to CS3 and the client getting in a hump over it, and rightly so. These are things that need to be worked out in the contract with the client, stipulating that there will be differences from the CS5 to CS3 version.

I've had it before when I sent CS3 files to CS3 clients, and they get overset text and other things due to different versions of the font.

All that I'm asking is that a clear warning is given - that "Converting" as it opens the file tells me nothing, or anyone esle. Fair enough I know what it means, but others wouldn't. And that is unreasonable of Adobe, in my opinion.

And if I do use CS5 features and I want to save it to CS3, then a warning will come up saying that CS5 features will be stripped from this document. At which point you'll have to go and insert anchored text frames to span headings, balance your own columns, fix anything that doesn't work in CS3 and then save it for CS3.

I'm not asking for a blind save, i think it's reasonable that you can save back to another version, of course there are always risks, but that's up to me to make sure the file is stripped of the CS5 features and looks acceptable before sending to a Cs3 client. At which point I can stipulate that the file may be different due to CS5 to CS3 backsave and stipulate to the client that they have a responsibility to ensure it's correct.

Which is fairly standard in a proofsheet sign-off.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2010 Jun 13, 2010

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I'm loving this debate.

Here's my answer. I've been using InDesign since 1999. That gives me a competitive edge over someone who just switched to InDesign and therefore has much less experience.

That's just the way it is. What if I had a prospective customer who is still using Quark? That gives you the competitive edge.

Pretty simple if you ask me and again, I don't want Adobe wasting resources providing backward compatibility. I want NEW features to move forward with.

Since you think otherwise, file the feature request. I think you know where it is.

Bob

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2010 Jun 13, 2010

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Definitely Bob, it's a good debate.

Whether you have the competive edge is not the point. The point is that not being able to swap files with someone with a prior version of indesign is crazy. People want the abilty. And if I have a client who has CS3 and I only have CS5 I'm not going to tell them to go see Bob, he has all the versions.

There's way more than two sides to this coin. I can use CS5 without using features that are not available in CS3. So if I do that, shoudln't be able to save it to CS3?

I'm not coming here and saying "it's stupid of Adobe" as I understand the problem. But I am trying to offere a reasonable alternative, like the ability to switch to CS3 features (basically turning off features that are new to cS4 and CS5) and putting the option to do that.

We can debate until the cows come home on the implications of doing such a saveback,which I understand the reasoning behind not having it. But I also understand the other side of the debate, where people want to be able to save back.

Clearly an option needs to be implemented - else make it absolutely positively clear to any user opeining a prior version of a file in a newer version of InDesign will not be able to save back more than one version. Because at the moment it's not clear.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2010 Jun 13, 2010

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I've been trying not tojumb back in to this, but I have to disagree with something you just said, that you can work in CS5 and only use CS3 features. Unfortunatley that isn't really true.You might only "make use of features that exisited in CS3," but the cod you are using to do the layout is still the new code. The text engine is a prime example of this. There is nothing you can do in CS5 to make it behave as if it has a CS3 text engine. Will you see a difference if you go back to CS3? Maybe not, especially if you cripple your work using the single line composer, but odds are really good if you use the paragraph composer and justified text you'll see new line breaks.

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