Though Adobe Photoshop CS6 came out more than six years ago, there are a good many people still using it in 2018. Some don’t need to upgrade, others can’t afford the monthly fee, and still others refuse to buy into the software as a service model.
I’m in a different position in that I split my time in two places with two desktop computers and one laptop that all have photo needs. I’m a Creative Cloud subscriber, but that unfortunately only lets me install the software on two computers. That means my third computer, one of the desktops, soldiers on with my previously paid-for version of Photoshop CS6, as it doesn’t make sense to pay for another full license on an occasionally used machine.
As software grows stale though, it gets harder to run on newer machines and software, and so if you’ve got a shiny new Mac but no reason to upgrade to CC, here’s how you can eke a little more life out of your current version of Photoshop.
Make Use of Adobe’s DNG Converter
Adobe stopped updating Camera Raw for CS6 three years ago, at version 9.1.1. That means many newer cameras, such as Canon’s 80D or 5D Mark IV, aren’t supported and you won’t be able to natively open raw files from newer cameras in the older version of Photoshop. That’s where Adobe’s DNG converter comes in. You can drop your camera’s raw files into the DNG converter and convert them into the digital negative standard, which is still able to be read by Photoshop CS6. This does add an extra step in the process to opening your photos, but that’s the price of hanging on to older software.
I found that Adobe’s automatic updates on CS6 weren’t working in the move to macOS High Sierra, and so I had to download Camera Raw 9.1.1 manually to get it working.
Update Your Plugins
I’m a heavy user of the Nik Collection, but found that in High Sierra that it was constantly crashing. While there are some workarounds to keep it going, it sometimes pays to pay, and the one-time charge ($69) for the new version gets you service and support and more compatibility than the neglected old free version (now called Nik Collection 2012) from when Google owned the software. If your plugins aren’t working, check if there’s an upgrade available.
Think Before Upgrading Your OS
My laptop is my main workhorse machine for my business. It’s a version behind on software, running macOS Sierra. This isn’t laziness. I need it working more than I need the latest macOS, and so my last piece of advice is the timeless “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mantra. If CS6 and your current operating system are working, and you don’t need to upgrade, why tempt fate?
All of this said, if you’re still running CS6 out of a refusal to buy into the Cloud, you’re missing out on a lot of features that have been added since 2012, especially if you’re a 360 content creator or running a newer camera. If photography is your business, the expense of Creative Cloud is worth the upgrade just so you don’t have to rely on workarounds to keep your software running, or add an extra conversion step before being able to access your photos.
How many people are still running CS6, or have you upgraded to the cloud?