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Photoshop CS6 not opening in Big Sur update for Mac

Explorer ,
Dec 03, 2020 Dec 03, 2020

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I had Photoshop CS6 installed on my iMac when it was running High Sierra. It ran smoothly for every update through Catalina. With the most recent Update (Big Sur), it will not open. There is a hack, where you "Show Package Contents" for the CS6.app, then go to Contents > MacOS > click on Adobe Photoshop CS6 and just disregard the error notices that pop up, close them and this opens Photoshop. The video I watched worked in Catalina, but when I tried it with the Big Sur update...it showed different popup messages and the only choice was to leave "terminal" open (if terminal was closed, the whole operation closed). Photoshop opened after closing the pop ups, but I was left with a spinning ball and it never ended. Therefore the hack didn't work for Photoshop in the Big Sur update. Does anyone have any solution to this and if not, does anyone know if there will be any attempt to make CS6 et al work in Big Sur? Any advice or information will be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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correct answers 2 Correct answers

Community Expert , Dec 03, 2020 Dec 03, 2020

>>>Does anyone have any solution to this and if not, does anyone know if there will be any attempt to make CS6 et al work in Big Sur?

 

Regrettably, there is no solution for Big Sur and CS6 will never be updated to run on Big Sur.

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Explorer , Jan 09, 2021 Jan 09, 2021

Truth be told, I found an expert who was able to get Adobe CC 2020 to work perfectly with Big Sur, so I'm sticking with what I know for the time being. I'm a digital artist working with Corel Painter software and usually use Photoshop in a limited capacity (mostly composition functions) prior to painting with Corel. The Photoshop software I am using now may or may not work with higher versions of mac IOS, but I plan on staying with Big Sur indefinitely or as long as practicable.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 20, 2021 Aug 20, 2021

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I have Adobe Photoshop CS6 working on Big Sur.  It is somewhat complicated to get it to work (more technical and involved then getting it to work on Catalina).  And there are some limitations.  But you can get Photoshop CS6 working on Big Sur.  It is somewhat technical so I'm not sure if I should post it or not.  Perhaps nobody cares about CS6 anymore anyways.  But I thought I should answer this question for those still interested.  I still like using Photoshop CS6 and I did pay for it outright so I like to continue to use it on Big Sur.  

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New Here ,
Aug 20, 2021 Aug 20, 2021

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Excellent! Yes, please do post a step by step as I’m sure many will appreciate this. I run a nonprofit organization and can’t really afford their CC subscription model, but we own CS6.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 30, 2021 Aug 30, 2021

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I'll post a step by step.  This is to get Adobe Photoshop CS6 working on Mac OS X Big Sur.  For those interested I am also running a new M1 Mac and Adobe CS 6 runs on it fine with the limitations below.  This technique works on both my older computer (non-M1 and the new M1 I purchased later, replacing that computer).  A video would probably be better.  But hopefully you can follow the below steps since a video would be more work for me.  Let me know if it doesn't work (or if it does work!).  I think I got all the steps but have only replicated it twice and am working from memory in writing down the steps below since I only ever intended to solve this problem for myself.

1) (you probably did this previously) On Mac OS X Mojave or earlier.  You need to run the Adobe CS6 installer.  This is because the Adobe CS6 Installer is 32-bit and will not run on Catalina or newer.  So do the install of Adobe CS6 prior to the upgrade to Catalina or Big Sur.  Adobe Photoshop itself is a 64-bit application so it will run just the 32-bit installer will not run on Catalina or newer.  

2)(many probably did this previously) Prior to the upgrade to Big Sur you need to open some documents with Photoshop CS 6 on whatever OS you are using prior to the upgrade to Big Sur.  This is so the recent file list in Adobe Photoshop CS 6 for Mac is populated with files.  This will become important later, after the upgrade to Big Sur.  

3) Perform the upgrade to Mac OS X Big Sur.  BUT ******DO NOT****** launch Photoshop on Big Sur yet.   Note: If you are running an M1 Mac it is best to do this upgrade to Big Sur on a non-M1 Mac then do the migration to your M1 computer after the upgrade to Big Sur. At least that's how I did it and it worked.  

4) Again as Mentioned above DO NOT launch Photoshop CS 6 on Big Sur yet.  Listing this again for emphasis since it is VERY important.

5) Go to the /Library/Application Support/Adobe directory (I mean /Library not ~/Library, you will need to use Finder and the "Go To Folder" to go to /Library directory then navigate from there).  Make a copy of this entire directory (/Library/Application Support/Adobe) for good measure somewhere else.  We will only need one part of this folder but best to save it all in case some other files are needed later for another upgrade in the future post Big Sur. 

6) Go the Adobe CS 6 app in your application folder, Show package Contents, then go into Contents -> Mac OS

7) Open terminal and drag and drop the Adobe Photoshop CS6 Binary on top of Terminal.  Hit enter in terminal to get the app launching

8)  (Optional?) At this point you may get some errors in terminal which prevent Adobe Photoshop from launching on your M1 Mac running Big Sur.  Depending what you have installed with Adobe CS 6.  Your situation may differ from mine but I had a bunch of extra stuff installed which prevented launch.  I had to go to the /Library/Application Support/Adobe folder and delete the /APE and the /OOBE directory since items in there prevented Photoshop from Launching.  But your experience may differ based on all the Adobe stuff you have there.  Basically keep deleting things till Adobe launches.  You have the backup folder so you can do trail and error if needed.  But as I said I had a bunch of stuff installed and deleting those two directories did it.  So hopefully you have to do less especially if you have a vanilly Adobe Photoshop CS 6 installation. 

9) Once Adobe successfully launches using the technique above it may give errors about invalid license.  As my version of Adobe Photoshop is paid I assume this is an upgrade issue.  Actually the time I upgraded on a non-M1 mac I didn't seem to get these errors.  But I got the errors after I migrated to my new M1 Mac (via migration to Big Sur from Big Sur on non-M1), only the M1 is where I got the invalid license issues.  But your experience may be different.  In any case click through all the errors and the app should launch.  The security and privacy permissions don't seem to matter.  I never gave Photoshop access to anything.

10) You won't be able on Big Sur to use the Open File dialog or the Save File dialog since this changed from when Adobe Photoshop CS 6 was written and now incompatible with Adobe Photoshop CS 6.  Instead what you must do is use the Recent file list to open a file.  Then you can use "Save" to save the same file.  This is the limitations I was mentioning above.  You can only open and save files in your recent list.  BUT for example I have a file named Draft1.png on my desktop in my recents list, and I can copy any file to that path and name.  Then open and edit whatever file I copied there.  Later I'll probably write a little unix script that when launching Photoshop I would copy the file I want to edit into that location and open it.  But haven't done this yet.  In any case you will be able to open files in your recent list.  Then hit save to save the file in place.  And of course in finder swap in and out any file you want to edit by putting it at the same name and path before opening the file.

11) After you are done happily using Adobe Photoshop CS 6 you can exit it normally after making your edits and saving the file.

11) I have found when Adobe Photoshop quits on Big Sur it corrupts its cache files.  I am not sure why.  But this is why we made that copy of the /Library/Application Support/Adobe directory earlier.  In there after you close Adobe Photoshop the files in the /Library/Application Support/Adobe/SLCache are now corrupted.  Delete this entire folder (the SLCache folder) and replace it with the original uncorrupted folder from earlier.  You need to delete and replace this entire directory since there are invisible files.  After you do this step Photoshop will launch normally next time, otherwise it will crash on launch when it reads the corrupted cache.

 

12) Continue to use Adobe Photoshop CS 6 with the limitations on Big Sur (and M1 Mac if you like)

Limitation 1: You can only open and save to a file in the recent list.  If you want to edit a file you must move it to be at the path and name of a file in the recent list then you can open the file and later save it with the save command.  You can use a normal open or save dialog or Adobe will crash on Big Sur.

Limitation 2: After each use of Adobe Photoshop CS 6 you will need to delete the SLCache folder and replace it with the one which was untouched by a Adobe Photoshop CS 6 running on Big Sur.  Since each time it runs on Big Sur Adobe will corrupt the cache and unless this is resolved Adobe will crash on launch due to a corrupt cache.  

 

If/when someone gets this to work.  Let me know your experience.  Maybe for example the cache step isn't required on a non-M1 Mac for example.  I'm not sure.  But it would be good to know so we can revise this list of instructions as needed.  This worked on my two computers (one M1 one non-M1) but I would be interested in other people getting it to work as well.  There you go @Rod01AC all the steps I remember from the two times I got it to work.

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 30, 2021 Aug 30, 2021

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Quickly reading this over for step #11 obviously you want to do a copy with the SLCache not a move.  Since you will need to clone that directory each time and need the original version again later.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 04, 2021 Oct 04, 2021

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Jordan,

 

I followed your steps and got CS6 working in Big Sur with the limitations you mentioned.  I had to delete the same two folders (APE and OOBE) and it launched Photoshop CS6 with the same errors about invalid license.  When you cancel out PS CS6 works with the save and open limitations you mentioned.  Thanks for this process, this is much better than having no CS6 at all.  I'm on a 2019 iMac and I do not have to delete any cache, I can just reopen Photoshop CS6 using the same process each time.  Thanks again. 

 

Note - what is very interesting is that Illustrator CS6 opens the same way, and it will actually let you open files normally.  I wonder why Illustrator will let you open files and Photoshop won't??  Either way, I'm all set for awhile now that I can still use both programs in Big Sur.  You are the man!

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Community Expert ,
Oct 04, 2021 Oct 04, 2021

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@Black_Diesel  Good to hear that it's kind of working. Be good to hear if any more limitations arise.

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New Here ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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UPDATE: 

I am glad the steps I posted worked for others!  Also, I have been using CS6 quite a bit on my M1 Mac runing Big Sir especially recently.  I find if you open and save a Photoshop file instead of a PNG which is what I started with when I posted these steps it works even better.  I originally was working with PNG only and found if you have many layers you must merge the layers before saving or the app crashes on save (since it brings up a save dialog about the layers).  But if  you are using a PSD Photoshop file you have none of those issues.  I even wrote a simple launcher for myself.  That what it does is I drop a PNG or PSD file on top of my launcher, it copies the file to the right place so it is in the recents menu for Photoshop.  Then also does the steps I mentioned previously like moving the SLCache folders over.  Then after all that it even launches Photoshop.  Then on quit of Photoshop copies the files back on the original location so I don't even have to worry about that.  So everything works great.  Yes I have to drop a file on top of my launcher and be careful when I save so I don't get a crash like with PNG files mentioned above.  But it is almost like I am using CS6 on pre-Catalina it works so well.  Since the launcher makes my life easier.  Overall it was a tough transition to Big Sir initially but I'm glad to still be using CS6.  If Adobe comes out tomrrow with a non-subscription form of Photoshop then I would buy it. But until then I'm happy with CS6.  

 

For questions people were asking about Adobe Illustrator.  Sorry I don't know.  I only use Adobe Photoshop and only ever launched Adobe Illustrator like ten times in my life.  So I never use it and haven't looked into it at all.

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New Here ,
Nov 10, 2021 Nov 10, 2021

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Thanks for the compliment!  I am glad the steps work for  you, and even works for Adobe Illustrator! 

 

Interesting that the SLCache step you don't have to do on your 2019 iMac.  Though, I t believe I experienced the same thing on my MacBook Pro Intel, before my upgrade to my new MacBook M1 Mac.  The SLCache step then only seems to be needed on an M1 Mac which maybe the M1 is corrupting the Cache requiring the extra step.  Certainly makes it easier if you don't have to do that extra step.  Good to know for others!  Glad it worked for others and my steps were something people could follow.  I wrote it out from memory so glad it works!!

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Community Beginner ,
Aug 30, 2021 Aug 30, 2021

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@scottkb2000 I posted the steps I used to get Adobe Photshop CS 6 working on Big Sur on my M1 Mac.  To answer your original question.  Maybe they are similar to what you used to get Adobe 2020 working I'm not sure. 

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New Here ,
Sep 03, 2021 Sep 03, 2021

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Thanks so much for your great work outlining these steps! Looking forward to following them soon after my upgrade from Mojave to Big Sur. Thanks again!

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New Here ,
Oct 27, 2021 Oct 27, 2021

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I have zero problem paying for the software, but everyday there is a new problem

I print form illustrator all day my templates change on a daily basis to weird placements

and the colors are never the same from day to day, does not save any print preferences, you have to set them up everytime 

you close and open. I spend the majority of my day changing files instead of designing new products. 

I am not a fan of the cloud I want a stable illustrator that they can not change. It is clear that they are no longer driven by customer satisfaction. They may be making more money but I am not considering the time it takes to make it function

 

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 04, 2021 Dec 04, 2021

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I also have PS CS6 running on Big Sur but for me it was rather simple ...

As others have mentioned I navigated down to: /Apps/Adobe PS CS6/Adobe PS CS6.app rt clicked and selected CONTENTS/MACOS/Photoshop.app and created an alias which I copied to the Desktop.

Now to run PS I just double click the icon on the Desktop and PS starts up as normal (no error messages or terminal windows)

I have recently invested in Affinity Photo which I'm still coming to grips with, so will leave PS hanging around for a while.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 05, 2021 Dec 05, 2021

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Hi

Cannot see any sub folders for Adobe PS CS6.app 
Have do you create a alias?, by simply copying?
Screen shot attached from my Mac

Thanks

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 05, 2021 Dec 05, 2021

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OK maybe I was a bit too brief ....

In Finder, navigate down to /Applications/Adobe Photoshop CS6 then right click on the file 'Adobe Photoshop CS6.app'.
From the list that shows click on 'Show Package contents'
Then navigate to Contents/MacOS and right click on the file 'Adobe Photoshop.app'
This time select 'Make Alias' from the list that comes up.
This will create a file called 'Adobe Photoshop CS6.app alias'
Right click on this file and select 'Copy'.....then right click on your Desktop and select 'Paste Item'
Voila you have a new icon on your desktop which you can rename to 'PS CS6' for example.

The one small bug I have found out, which I omitted from my original post, was that when you do the first 'Save' in a PS session I get the spinning ball for a while, just be patient and the file will save. Subsequent saves are normal.

Unfortunately the screenshot you attached was not relevant.

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New Here ,
Mar 18, 2022 Mar 18, 2022

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I'm having the same problem but with InDesign CS6. It cost me a lot of money and I can't afford that subscription crap Adobe decided to set up. I did read about how the updates between Apple and Adobe would screw me over, so I hung onto my old computer until it finally died this month. Now I have a new-to-me computer that is a Big Sur OS and voila! No more InDesign availability. I have documents I need to get to. Has anything been done, concretely, to solve this problem since this question was posted?

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 21, 2022 Mar 21, 2022

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See my post above.  Though that is for Photosthop (what this thread is about).  Not InDesign.  But something similar might work for InDesign.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 18, 2022 Mar 18, 2022

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Not as far a I know. In the meantime have purchased Affinity which, after a bit of a learning curve is everything I need.

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New Here ,
Apr 27, 2022 Apr 27, 2022

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Do what I did.  I switched to Affinity products.  They're inexpensive, updates are free, the learning curve isn't that bad, and you get to give a much deserved middle finger to Adobe for being so greedy.  Affinity products will open all your Adobe products easily and I paid $50 apiece for each one, which is more than reasonable compared to Adobe's overpriced and bloated software.  Also comes with lots of freebies you can download to extend its functionality.

Bye, Adobe.  Hope you enjoy being supplanted as much as I enjoyed replacing you.

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Explorer ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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Lol, where was this thread when I was searching high and low for a 32-bit workaround after I bought a 2020 iMac, not realizing that 32-bit support had dropped under Catalina? (My bad. I was still using a 2009 and failed to appreciate how much things had changed. Everything I found/read up to this point suggested even Catalina is a no-go for CS6.) I ended up giving the 2020 to another member of my household and downgrading to a 2017 I found new in a box (by some miracle) on an auction site.

 

Just to clarfiy, however, by CS6 do you mean only Photoshop? Or does the workaround mentioned above work for other CS6 Creative Suite software?

 

I couldn't bring myself to go the virtualization route under Catalina+ using VMware Fusion or Parallels so I now run a dual-boot setup with macOS High Sierra (and CS6) and a current macOS in another APFS container. Since Apple discontinued the Intel iMacs, I don't feel so bad still being "behind" because it's unclear how many macOS updates there will be after Sonoma that run on Intel, regardless.

 

I thought long and hard about it and realized I really only "need" a current model for casual word processing and web browsing (newr macOS/better security) so I bought the cheapest "ARM" MacBook Air I could find for that purpose. Consequently, I am more than happy to use my "outdated" CS6 on the 5K Retina 27" desktop!

 

There is a lot of pressure online to get with the times. (For those who are making a full-time living using Adobe products it only makes sense.) However, for those who started off in web design, graphic art (or similar) and then changed careers/jobs and just want to retain access to former projects, do some volunteer work on the side or freelance every once in a blue moon, perpetual license products are generally adequate. (If not, just buy Photoshop Elments. It will suffice for most uses.)

 

In recent years the subscription model has caught on among app developers big and small, not to mention streaming services, podcasts and all the rest. At some point, everyone goes through a job transition, layoff or retirement and simply can't justify "subscription everything" forever.

 

No one deserves to lose access to their body of work just because they retire, get laid off, change careers, etc. IMHO, Adobe should consider having an option to convert a CC: product to a perpetual license — "frozen" at whatever version of CC they are using at that point — after a certain number of years as a subscriber as (call it a "loyalty bonus"). Alternatively, Adobe should consider expanding the Elements line, to include vector graphics (repurposing an older version of Adobe Illustrator would be ideal for this purpose).

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 20, 2023 Oct 20, 2023

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I answered this already.  See my post from Aug 30, 2021. Note step #1 you need to do prior to installing Catalina.  That is because while Adobe Photoshop runs fine on a 64-bit Mac (or M1 or M2 for that matter), the Installer does not because it is a 32-bit  installer and only runs pre-Catalina.    

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 29, 2024 Mar 29, 2024

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For those who want to run their Adobe CS6 on Sonoma (14.4) there is an additional step to get things working on Sonoma beyond the steps I covered in my earlier posts.  Here is the additional step: The AdobeCoolType.framework which is embedded in the CS6 app in the Frameworks directory is sadly not compatible with Sonoma.  Luckily, you can easily get a Sonoma compatible copy of this framework since this framework is used in many Adobe products.  Because the CoolType framework is used in many Adobe Products so you will be able to find it in those other apps and copy it into  your Adobe CS6 Frameworks directory replacing the file that is there now.  I was able to copy the CoolType framework from Adobe Acrobat 2020 .app to Adobe CS6 .app replacing that framework in Adobe CS6 frameworks directory with the Sonoma compatrible version.  After that everything works as before (with the same restrictions) but on Sonoma.  Happy Photoshopping!  Let me know if this was useful to you.

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New Here ,
Mar 30, 2024 Mar 30, 2024

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My solution to this and Adobe starting to rent its software rather than sell it was to move to Serif products Affinity Photo.  Smartest move I've made.   It does everything but paint on 3D surfaces.  ...for now.

Bye, Adobe.  This is what happens when you get greedy and try to take advantage of people.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 30, 2024 Mar 30, 2024

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The Affinity suite is great, but in case you have not heard this week’s news, Affinity is no longer independent. They agreed to be bought by Canva, the wildly popular cloud-based subscription graphics suite that, among other things, may have motivated Adobe to create Adobe Express.

 

Affinity is currently trying to reassure users that its applications will remain non-subscription.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 30, 2024 Mar 30, 2024

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LATEST
quote

Affinity is currently trying to reassure users that its applications will remain non-subscription.


By @Conrad C

 

Yes, that's what they all say, until they are 😉

 

For Adobe, subscription has been a spectacular success. Their paying customer numbers have, what is it, doubled? since it was introduced.

 

I'm sure that success story isn't lost on the competition.

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