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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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correct answers 1 Correct answer

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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Engaged ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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Hardly twice as hard; possibly twice as efficiently as before the upgrade will result in a null cost.

If that were truly the case, yes, but for 90% of my magazine and book design projects, there is really no increased workflow between CS3 & CS5. If anything, much more non-billable time is spent learning new features (or trying to find the redesigned old ones that increased our workflow  )

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Contributor ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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No argument; I do anything & everything, b-cards to AR's, and the increased efficiency due to added features since CS3 have benefitted me to no end.

"Gifts that keep giving" or something like that.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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sonofmrsnak wrote:

Hardly twice as hard; possibly twice as efficiently as before the upgrade will result in a null cost.

If that were truly the case, yes, but for 90% of my magazine and book design projects, there is really no increased workflow between CS3 & CS5. If anything, much more non-billable time is spent learning new features (or trying to find the redesigned old ones that increased our workflow  )

If that's true for you, why spend the money on the upgrade to begin with? I'm confused...

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Engaged ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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If that's true for you, why spend the money on the upgrade to begin with? I'm confused...
I went from CS3 to CS5 because I own the entire suite and the big reason - because we have all Intel Macs now. Dreamweaver, AI and Photoshop were the main reasons anyway and many of the people I interface with were starting to at least have CS4 installed. I usually upgrade every two releases. Glad I missed CS4, but the strategy of getting CS4 when it would have been a free upgrade to CS5 would have been a good idea.
Too late in the cycle to start doing that now, but good for the first timers.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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Eugene Tyson wrote:

Yeh but for us folks here in Europe it's

785 Euros (=  1 077.805 U.S. dollars)

Nearly Double!!!

We have to save twice as hard as the US folks, for the same software...

[/gripe]

Have you considered emigration? <chuckle>

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Explorer ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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And once again Bob misses the point. It's NOT being suggested that WE don't want to upgrade or haven't upgraded, but that we'd like a feature that would allow us to save the documents we've created in CS5 down to CS3 without having to jump through hoops. After all, if I've paid the money buy CS5 then I'd like to actually work in that version of the software to take advantage of it's new features that allow me to edit my document in a more convenient way. I'd rather not have to work in an older version of the program just because I'm working with a client or printer that hasn't upgraded yet. That hurts my productivity. So you see… Adobe wouldn't be adding this feature to support people who haven't upgraded, they're adding it to support those who have. Because if I hadn't upgraded I wouldn't need the back-save feature in the first place.

As to the point of "sacrifice new features"… the back-saving feature would be a "new feature". An analogy would be: what if Adobe never included the ability to export directly to PDF (yes, I know that'd be lame), so instead you had to write out the file as a .ps and then use Acrobat Distiller to convert the file to PDF? Then users complain that Adobe should make it so you could export a pdf right out of InDesign. Would you then accuse people of not wanting to pony up money for Acrobat Professional? Who cares? It's just another feature that someone is requesting. Maybe it's not one that you'd find useful, but others apparently would.

So the bottom line is… this is an open forum. You stated that you're fine with the way Adobe has implemented things and that's cool for you. But please don't tell the rest of us that we shouldn't want a feature that we'd find useful.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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Did you even bother to read Dov's post? Did you read Jongware's?

Answer their questions and then come back and tell me why you think working in CS5 for a client that needs a CS3 file is good idea.

Bob

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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Meh all this "Bob is wrong, I'm right" and "Bob's right and everyone else is wrong!!"

This is futile arguing.

Bottom line is Adobe don't have and never have allowed backsaving more than one version.

Bob is correct, if you want this you have to upgrade on the first day and have each version of InDesign to allow backsaving of this nature.

That's just what you have to do.

Of course that's not totally everyone's cup of tea, and they'd rather a feature that allows saving back or else allow any prior version of InDesign to open any future version of InDesign documents.

There is one major flaw in all this. If Company A buys Adobe CS5 suite and then Company B asks them to design some material and supply the artwork for said files. Then they supply InDesign files to the client. Well the Company A may not know of or realise that InDesign does not allow saving back more than one version, or indeed what an IDML file is. And Company B only has CS3.

If you fast forward the above scenario by 54 months - we're now on CS8 - some companies not upgraded since CS5 or perhaps an individual that was happy with Cs5 and had no cause to upgrade any further (like me on InDesign CS5 but using PS CS2 and Illy CS2)

If the above is the case, then Adobe needs to make it clearer that files cannot be saved back more than one version.

Well I think Adobe needs to start working on Backward Compatibility.

And that's why I filled out the wishlist.

If you want this feature then go to the Wishlist page https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/mmform/index.cfm?name=wishform

This page now has 7 pages of responses, has everyone filled out the wishlist????

This topic is going nowhere if you all are just going to bait each other.

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Engaged ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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Definitely fill out the wish list, but I have a feeling that only a huge number of identical wishes get any kind of attention from Adobe--and that only if it is supported by their market research for each new version. I strongly suspect that there aren't enough people who care about backwards compatibility who will actually take that kind of action to get Adobe's attention off the other features being requested. I'm wondering if it might be wiser to approach a 3rd party plugin programmer. . . I think there used to be a plugin out there for backsaving/converting ID files, so whoever made that could possibly be enticed by interested users into creating a plugin for those who so desperately need the backsaving. I've been with ID long enough to know that a successful plugin gains Adobe's interest. The booklet generator started out as a third-party plugin, as did cross referencing. Those are just two that I'm aware of--I'm sure there are more--that were eventually incorporated into the main app. It's worth a thought and possibly a bit of research. I know it's annoying to pay extra for a feature that you think should be a part of the main app, but sometimes it's worth it if you can't have that feature any other way. And maybe, just maybe, having that feature created by a third-party may actually prove to Adobe that it is worth the time and effort to provide it.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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There has NEVER been any such plugin, Diane. In fact, no developer has seen fit to tackle this and I believe several have remarked that it's just not worth the time and effort.

Now, let me some things cleared up. Please keep in mind that part of what I do for a living involves helping people use tools and features that exist, not tools and features that they'd like. I speak from experience.

My opinion:

1. I don't care if anyone upgrades or not.

2. I do believe the upgrades are worth the price.

3. I believe that even if you have no immediate need for an upgrade, you'll wish you had it at some point.


Those are opinion. They are neither right nor wrong and you're most certainly welcome to disagree.

Facts, based on many years of experience

1. InDesign features are changed and improved from one version to another. Many of these features are incompatible with earlier versions.

2. InDesign CURRENTLY can only save back one version through an export feature.

3. If you work in a later version and export out for an earlier one for printing purposes or for a client job, be prepared for world of misery. At the very least text is likely to reflow.

4. If you know ahead of time what version the file must be ultimately save in you MUST work in that version to ensure the end result is what was needed without going though the document again in the earlier version.

5. Yelling and scream here will not change any of the above. The wishlist link has been posted already.

Those ladies and gentlemen are FACTS. If you wish to argue them, go ahead, but you will be incorrect. I don't claim that the situation is ideal. It's not, but this is not a perfect world we live in.

A look forward:

Let's say Adobe does develop a way to save back multiple versions. The same people who are clamoring for for it will be complaining that the layouts look completely different when saved back from CS7 to CS4.

That's it. This is all played out as far as I'm concerned. If you want to go on debating this, go right ahead. Please keep it on topic and keep it civil.

Bob

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Engaged ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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BobLevine wrote:

There has NEVER been any such plugin, Diane. In fact, no developer has seen fit to tackle this and I believe several have remarked that it's just not worth the time and effort.

I looked it up because I vaguely remember seeing an ID file converter.  It's by Marksware, and no, they don't do a backwards conversion, but they convert ID to Quark, so it seems to me that it would be the same kind of idea, and they obviously already do those kinds of plugins. It would be work approaching them, anyway.  http://markzware.com/products/

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Contributor ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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I've used that Marksware PI.... and it's like starting from scratch every time I do a conversion! For QC purposes, it SB treated as a brand-new job every time and proofed thoroughly.

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Explorer ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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Bob, not all of us work on documents were we're concerned about text being reflowed. 99% of what I use InDesign for is print ads. They are basically made up of a photoshop doc, a few illustrator docs for logo treatments, and some text for headlines, copyrights, etc. 99% of these ads will be delivered to the pub in pdf form. There will be a rare occasion when the client will ask could a please provide the ad in a form that they (or someone else) can edit, but they can only take InDesign CS3. In these instances it would be nice to be able to just do a Save as… down to CS3. If I was using any CS5-only features that would cause the document to change appearance in CS3, then a simple warning dialog box could alert me to the fact. That's all that's being asked for here (and yes, I submitted to the wishlist ages ago). We're just asking for the option to save down rather than having to re-build the whole thing from scratch.

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Guru ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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For everyone who ignores the practical difficulties of wanting Adobe to make Indesign save back ad infinitum and ad nauseum therefore spending less and less time introducing new features until each new feature needs 10 times the amount of work spent on the feature itself to code it back to CS1, I have the following suggestion:

QuarkXPress 9 is coming!

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Contributor ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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UGH!

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Contributor ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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Amen to Bob... that's 1/6th the cost of a pack of mokes!

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Explorer ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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Amen and amen. And, as we're talking about InDesign here, not necessarily the whole Creative Suite, we're talking about only $200 every 18 months (in the US). Sheez!

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New Here ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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"My advice is and has been to upgrade every version the very day it's released and to budget accordingly for it."

"If you can't afford that, you may be in the wrong business."

Bob, for as much as I respect your knowledge, those are the most ridiculous comments in this thread. Profit margins for commercial printers is percentages of a cent based upon competitive bidding, etc. I see this every day. Adobe software is a fat bloated pig. I am not going to purchase version X.0 of ANYTHING. Incompatibilities with print drivers, etc., the list would go on and on! ID5 will not duplex properly on our current digital press which is a mere 12 months old. Both Adobe and the press manufacturer have been here TOGETHER and they both just shrug their shoulders. The prevailing thought is that users want more and more features - that's ridiculous. They want software that's fast, reliable and compatible. Is your primary source of income actually doing design work or software consulting? Based on the print samples on your website I see nothing that would require CS5 . . .or 4 . . . Or 3 . . . Updating to every version the very day it's released and to budget accordingly will keep YOU in business.

via e-mail and destroy all the copies of the original message.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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I didn't say you had to install it or put it into production. But what happens the first time you need it and you don't have it?

I still say it's a cost of doing business. No different than hardware, insurance, and coffee.

And your method of judging the need for something seems a bit off. Sure, all of that stuff could have designed in Pagemaker 4 for all anyone knows. But it would have taken 5 times longer to do.

Once again, the point is being missed here. If you don't want to upgrade, don't. I really don't care one way or the other. But don't expect your customers not to, and don't expect them to hold back because you don't want to.

Bob

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Contributor ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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Did you ever hear of PDF?

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Advocate ,
Feb 23, 2011 Feb 23, 2011

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The main point was that none of the people commenting in the thread (including myself) are on the programming team for InDesign, so we can't be sure what is too difficult to program and what is not.

Then apply common sense.

1. How difficult is it to backsave a Text Variable to a version that doesn't support it? Should this be discarded, or converted to "<Running header>" (or whatever variable you were using), or converted to the real actual text that it was in the original InDesign document -- per instance?

2. How difficult is it to backsave a GREP style to a version that doesn't support it? Should this be discarded, or converted to applied character styles, or converted to plain formatting? Note that GREP styles can overlap with each other and with manually applied character styles.

Just two of my favourite additions to CS3 and CS4 -- I use both of them extensively in just about any document I create.

"Too difficult" may very well be a common sense tradeoff: how much is there to gain, to provide a very basic level of support (of which you KNOW in advance people will complain that "it's too basic", "it doesn't work for me", "why did those &*^$! Adobe programmers even think of writing this @#$%$" etc. -- read all of the above posts), and how much is it going to cost, in time and money, to reach this basic level?

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Contributor ,
May 18, 2010 May 18, 2010

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Lo Bob. Talk about backwards workflow. I'm opening docs in CS4 just to activate the fonts required; then re-opening in CS5.

FAP & Explorer apparently are a long ways off in upgrading their font managers.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 18, 2010 May 18, 2010

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I don't even bother with font managers anymore. No need for what I do.

Have you checked with them to find out when / if they'll be updating their plugins?

Bob

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Contributor ,
May 18, 2010 May 18, 2010

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Called Insider Software last week and one of their techies said "they've considerable work to do yet"... I take that as 2-3 months at best. Got an email response from Monotype/fonts.com that just said to subscribe to their newsletter to find out more.

That was quite helpful of them.

I refuse to consider Fusion/Suitcase because of major problems with them in the past, and from what I've heard fairly recently too. Just queried MasterJuggler people down in Texas.

;-(

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Contributor ,
Jun 13, 2010 Jun 13, 2010

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peterpica wrote:

Lo Bob. Talk about backwards workflow. I'm opening docs in CS4 just to activate the fonts required; then re-opening in CS5.

FAP & Explorer apparently are a long ways off in upgrading their font managers.

FAP has updated plugins for CS5 now, didn't take them very long, although I notice now a lag in Illustrator when opening files.

In regards to the main topic, I would never give my customers the raw InDesign file anyway so it doesn't matter what version I am running. This is what PDFs are for. If a customer insists on being able to edit the file then they would have to keep up with the upgrades when I do.

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