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

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You've echoed the sentiments of many. It's really bad support from Adobe regarding backward compatibility in InDesign.

But even if you did have CS4 and wanted to go back to CS2, you'd have to open your INX file in InDesign CS3 and export again to INX (there was a double downsave trick of editing the INX file)

But regardless, Adobe has only ever allowed one version back compatibility for InDesign.

Frustrating.

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

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InDesign has NEVER allowed more than one version backsave via INX. Beginning with CS5 you can save back to CS4 using IDML but this is horrible workflow anyway.

Saving back means lost or badly mangled features and reflowing text and going back two versions makes even worse. If you absolutely have to work with people in CS3 then you'll need to work with that version whether or not you decide to upgrade.

I currently have CS3, CS4 and CS5 installed just in case. And I'll repeat what I've said over and over again. I support Adobe 100% in the way this is handled. Major new feature make it nearly impossible to keep compatibility from one version to another.

Finally, if you buy CS4 now (Amazon still has some stock) you may be eligible for a free upgrade to CS5. But using that when you know the end result must be a CS3 file is not a very efficient way to work.

Bob

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Explorer ,
May 18, 2010 May 18, 2010

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If you think this is an Adobe only issue, think again. Quark is the same way, only one version back will it save to.

Maybe Markzware could do an InDesign version of their MarkzTools they have for Quark that has this feature of saving to lower versions and allowing you to open higher version Quark documents.

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New Here ,
May 18, 2010 May 18, 2010

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I am all for working with better workflow practices and I understand that saving files backwards is less than ideal but Adobe needs to look at the real world uses of their software as well. I have to work with firms that aren't upgrading now--especially with the economy we are now in--and most of the items I design for them are ads-- one page- nothing too complex--really nothing fancy. I obviously wouldn't save a book or a very complex document backwards in this way, but simple things have translated just fine in the past. In the real world we hit situations like this.

I bought my software 21 months ago and in this time Adobe has expected me to upgrade twice--I haven't even finished expensing  the initial cost of the software on my books yet. Upgrading that often just can't happen in a small firm--it's prohibitively expensive for a one man shop.
So now from what I understand, to do this properly, I am supposed to buy the upgrade and keep both versions running on my machine and track with every client which version of the software I need to be working in. What happens when I have to add an employee? I will have to buy the CS3 version of the software in addition to the CS5 Suite because otherwise we can't work on the same files. I'm finding this frustrating.
Your suggestion of buying CS4 from Amazon is a good one. I will look into that further.

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

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Cynthia, did you read the responses?

If you want to work with people in CS3 you'll need to use CS3. Folks on CS4? Same thing.

Nobody is forcing you to upgrade. In fact, if you're clients aren't upgrading and you need to be part of a collaborative workflow, then you shouldn't upgrade. Again, the new features are so advanced from one version to the next, in many ways it's like a new application.

You elected to get into this business and software upgrades, as well as hardware upgrades are cost of doing business. I find it rather amazing when I read comments such as yours. So let me ask you a question.

Do you do one thing for a client and then never call them again looking for more business? By releasing new products, that's really what Adobe is doing. Like you, me and most of the others on this forum, they're in business to make money. Adobe does that by creating products that they hope people will buy. I find it funny that the many of the same people that rush out to the Apple store to buy the latest and greatest are the same ones to complain that Adobe puts out upgrades too quickly.

If people felt that way about other technologies, we'd still be watching radio...in black and white.

Bob

Edit: Please note that if you have the CS3 suite you must upgrade the suite. I have an article on my site with some advice on buying CS4 now wth links to Amazon and the Adobe article which discusses free upgrade eligibility: http://theindesignguy.com/purchase-advice.shtml

Buying CS4 Design Premium now and gettng the free upgrade would save you more than $200.

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Mentor ,
May 18, 2010 May 18, 2010

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Cynthia Ryan Graphic wrote:

I am all for working with better workflow practices and I understand that saving files backwards is less than ideal but Adobe needs to look at the real world uses of their software as well. I have to work with firms that aren't upgrading now--especially with the economy we are now in--and most of the items I design for them are ads-- one page- nothing too complex--really nothing fancy. I obviously wouldn't save a book or a very complex document backwards in this way, but simple things have translated just fine in the past. In the real world we hit situations like this.

I bought my software 21 months ago and in this time Adobe has expected me to upgrade twice--I haven't even finished expensing  the initial cost of the software on my books yet. Upgrading that often just can't happen in a small firm--it's prohibitively expensive for a one man shop.
So now from what I understand, to do this properly, I am supposed to buy the upgrade and keep both versions running on my machine and track with every client which version of the software I need to be working in. What happens when I have to add an employee? I will have to buy the CS3 version of the software in addition to the CS5 Suite because otherwise we can't work on the same files. I'm finding this frustrating.
Your suggestion of buying CS4 from Amazon is a good one. I will look into that further.

DISCLAIMER: I'm an Adobe stockholder. REALITY: My holdings are probably in the same proportion as the number of bits it takes to store a period character (".") on an Internet server is to the entire Internet's storage capacity. So, while I may have some self-interest here, it's not driving me to encourage you - or even all the participants on this forum - to buy more software than you want to or need to.

If you're simply interested in test-driving a new release, you can do that with the free 30-day trials. If you run out time, you can probably figure out a way to trick out your system to get another 30-day shot.

However, if you use the software commercially - either to train others, or to create new material or revise old material for clients or employers - you need to decide if you can continue to do this with the software versions you own, or if the commercial needs will require you to license new versions.

Regarding "expensing the initial cost of the software on my books" If I understand the US income-tax policies, purchases under a rather modest amount can usually be expensed in the year of purchase. If, because of your accounting method or preference, you're using a longer expensing time period, you might want to reevaluate your approach. If you attribute a portion of the software cost to each project you use it on, and, in this case, in 21 months your work hasn't let you recapture the investment, they you may want to use that information to decide how to pursue more paying for the software, or decline that stream of work and forgo upgrading.

An alternate way to evaluate the software, especially as an employer of users, is to compare the product cost vs. how many more billable hours you and your workers can complete in a given time with it and without it, and, how competitively you can bid projects, due to the product's efficiency.

HTH

Regards,

Peter

_______________________

Peter Gold

KnowHow ProServices

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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I dont really care what Abobe says. It is appaling that you can't back save. In InDesign. My freelances can't afford continual upgrades. Quite simply dont add new features at the sacrafice of alienating everyone who is on an older version. Or if you do KEEP a backwards path!

Adobe I love your products but in this instance you suck!!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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Then you shouldn't upgrade, either.

I'll take the new features over backsaving any day.

Bob

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Contributor ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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second'd, third'd, 4th'd 2

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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No, we should all upgrade as and when we can afford to, otherwise

nothing will ever move forward will it!

But at the same time Adobe has to be a recognise user needs. My 'off

site' freelancers can't and in fact some of

my sister agencies can't afford to spent £1000's a year on upgrades!

I work with agencies both large and small and all run different

versions! Get real!

Thanks and regards

Paul

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Enthusiast ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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I agree. Freelancers are struggling. You have no steady income and you're supposed to update at every single drop of a CS release. I'm moderately busy and I'm just scraping by. Profit margin is non-existant and the cost of everything (food, gas, paper, supplies) has gone up sharply. Can't raise prices all that much. Sometimes I think only Adobe experts are the only people making money. Feels that way sometimes.

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Contributor ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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I'm no expert, no Bob Levine by any means, but I always manage to easily pay for the 18-month upgrades, come hell and high water... it's a legitimate cost of my business, I feel.

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Explorer ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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The basic point of this thread is that the lack of ability to save an InDesign file back to an older version is a problem that Adobe should address. Yes, in a perfect world everyone would have the latest version of the whole Creative Suite the moment it comes out, but that's not realistic, so as a favor to people who have spent the money to upgrade, there should be a way to save back to older versions. I think most people would see this as sensible. This has nothing to do with being an expert or seeing the value in upgrading.

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Contributor ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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Ok, good point. But if you've ever done any software programming, you'd appreciate why doing as you wish would result in even higher R&D costs with Adobe which in the end would come out of our collective pockets.

Pay me now or pay me later...

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Explorer ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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I actually do some programming for websites (php, html, css, mysql) as well as iPhone development, and so I can appreciate the extra work it takes to implement extra features, however I don't believe that Adobe has left this functionality out because of the added cost of development. More likely it a business decision. They must believe that not allowing people to save backwards will put pressure on others to upgrade.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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bsnebold wrote:


They must believe that not allowing people to save backwards will put pressure on others to upgrade.

More consipiracy theories. Keep 'em coming.

Bob

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Explorer ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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A conspiracy takes more than one player. In this case we're only talking about one: Adobe. So it's not a conspiracy theory, just a guess.

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Contributor ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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That's an oxymoron if I ever heard one.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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bsnebold wrote:

there should be a way to save back to older versions    

There is. You export to IDML or INX depending on how far you have to go back.

Bob

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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bsnebold wrote:

The basic point of this thread is that the lack of ability to save an InDesign file back to an older version is a problem that Adobe should address. Yes, in a perfect world everyone would have the latest version of the whole Creative Suite the moment it comes out, but that's not realistic, so as a favor to people who have spent the money to upgrade, there should be a way to save back to older versions. I think most people would see this as sensible. This has nothing to do with being an expert or seeing the value in upgrading.

But the point is that there IS a way to backsave. It's the Export to .inx/.idml. The complaint is there is no way to backsave from all versions of ID to ALL previous versions, rather than just the single most previous version.

I sympthatize, to a degree, with users who think they cannot afford to upgrade with every release, though I also am a firm believer in budgeting for known business expenses. I've suggested in the past that there should be some mecahnism for purchasing an older version license along withthe current upgrade, but I don't believe it should be free.

But more to the point, realisitically, there are certainly hundreds of users who don't upgrade every cycle, probably thousands, but how large a percentage of ALL users dopes that represent? Of those users, how many actually need or want to backsave more than a single version? Currently there are 270 posts in this thread, which is a lot, but there aren't 270 unique users participating, and not evryone posting is complaining. To add the ability to backsave to all versions (and anything less than ALL versions will simply move the argument to "why can't I back save to version x-1"), if it's even possible, is going to be VERY expensive in terms of engineer time and effort. Who pays for that? Ahould all the users for whom this is not a problem be subsidizing the small group who want it? Would any of you be willing to pay twice as much for your upgrades? You already say you can't afford the current price.

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Contributor ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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Amen... sounds like zactly what I said before, but in far fewer words!

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Explorer ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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Peter, telling people they shouldn't want what they want is not going to change their minds. In the end it's Adobe's decision and they will respond as they see fit based on market forces, not rants and raves by a select few. For now InDesign is the only real game in town. If Quark were still a real option, maybe Adobe would see fit to including the same type of Save as… functionality that Illustrator has had.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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You can't compare Illustrator to InDesign. You brought up Quark and conveniently ignored the fact that it too can only save back one version.

Bob

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Explorer ,
Feb 22, 2011 Feb 22, 2011

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Thanks for telling me what I can and can't do Bob. Both programs share a lot in common feature-wise, so I think it's a fair comparison. I only brought up Quark (which sucks by the way) to say that they were the major competitor to InDesign. It had nothing to do with the ability to save backwards.

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