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3 Reasons To Keep Your Old Photoshop Version

By Helen Bradley

3 reasons not to delete old versions of photoshop opener

If you’re moving from Photoshop CS5 or CS6 to Photoshop CC you may be tempted to clean up your computer and remove the older Photoshop version from it. After all there’s no point leaving it there if you’re not using it is there? Well I, for one, won’t be removing Photoshop CS5 anytime soon and I suggest you think twice about removing your older version too. Here are my reasons:

1. Adobe Axed Picture Package

Adobe axed Picture Package quite a long time ago but it could be easily made to work with Photoshop CS5. For a time there I also had it running with Photoshop CS6 until an update to CS6 permanently knocked it out. So, because I like to use Picture Package for assembling images and because it works just fine with Photoshop CS5, I’ll be keeping that version. Anytime I need to assemble multiple images into a layout I only need choose File > Automate > Picture Package and I’m off and running.

If you want to know how to add Picture Package back into Photoshop CS4 there’s a DPS blog post that I wrote explaining all about it here in Multiple Image Printing in Photoshop CS4.

For Photoshop CS4 and CS5 I also created some training for Mediabistro.com which you will find here.

And for Photoshop CS6, I wrote a post on my blog about how to add it to Photoshop CS6. While many readers are finding it still works, sadly while I can tell you how to do it the actual solution no longer works for me.

3 reasons not to delete old versions of photoshop 1

2. Adobe Axed Pixel Bender

Yep, in Photoshop CS6 Adobe took the Oil Paint Filter from Pixel Bender, built it into Photoshop and promptly dumped everything else. I found that disappointing – I kind of like Pixel Bender – in particular some of the fractal effects that you can create with it. I also have a Droste filter for it that is awesome and that I use from time to time.

Since I plan to keep Photoshop CS5 I’ll still have access to Pixel Bender – thank you very much Adobe!

Just in case you’re interested – the Pixel Bender extension won’t work with versions of Photoshop later than Photoshop CS5. Again, I wrote a DPS blog post on Pixel Bender, how to install it and what you’ll find when you get it here.

And a post on Tom Beddard’s awesome Droste Filter here.

And I have a YouTube video that shows you how to use the Droste Effect filter here:

3 reasons not to delete old versions of photoshop 2

3. I Don’t Trust the Licensing Model

If you’re reliant on Photoshop for your day to day work – if you’re a Photoshop teacher, for example, then problems with the new licensing model might cause you unexpected grief. In this scenario you will start your computer one day and Photoshop will lock you out citing some issue with your license. Of course you have a paid up license, but the software won’t recognize this and it will go into lock down mode.

Until you can call Adobe Support and get them to fix the issue you won’t be able to get into your software – one more reason why I suggest you keep an earlier version of Photoshop on your computer just in case.

Now I haven’t had problems with Photoshop CC but I have had issues with a subscription license for Adobe Captive – on two separate occasions both within the last 12 months and both without warning. If I had been teaching a class, it would have meant that I simply couldn’t do what I was being paid to do. The problem with the subscription licensing is that it’s not full proof and if it fails you may be locked out of your software until you can get support to fix the issue and that’s going to take time.

In Summary

While I wholeheartedly encourage you to enjoy the new features of Photoshop CC I do recommend that you keep an earlier version of Photoshop on your computer. Then, you’ll have access to Picture Package and the Pixel Bender feature (once you install them) and a fallback position if you get locked out of your software unexpectedly.

So now it’s over to you – if you’ve installed Photoshop CC do you still have an older version of Photoshop installed? If so, what is your reason for not removing the earlier version?

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Helen Bradley is a Lifestyle journalist who divides her time between the real and digital worlds, picking the best from both. She writes and produces video instruction for Photoshop and digital photography for magazines and online providers world wide. She has also written four books on photo crafts and blogs at Projectwoman.com.

  • sillyxone

    … or learn GIMP

    it’s not the software that’s free; it’s you

  • http://tomassobekphotography.co.nz/ Tomas Sobek

    I wholeheartedly agree with using free-libre software. Perhaps not an option if you are a professional who needs all the latest bells and whistles – then you need to suffer the terms of licence agreements and all the problems that go with it. However as a hobbyist I switched to free-libre software and never looked back. I still pay for my software by donating, however I am not subject to any accidental licence problems, licence changes, or other abuse by the vendor. And I am supporting community, not shareholders pockets. This is a social justice question, not only a technical difference. I would encourage everyone to give it a try!

  • http://www.frugal-foto.com Dee Shneiderman

    I keep CS5 (which I purchased as a stand-alone) on my desktop because it’s a Vista machine and Photoshop CC won’t run on Vista. I run Photoshop CC (for which I have the single-app license) on my laptop because it has Windows 8. I had CS6 on my Vista desktop for a while but it was so memory-hungry it was hard to keep it running.

  • http://www.projectwoman.com Helen Bradley

    @Dee, you make an excellent point here. Operating system requirements are another reason to keep old software around. At our place we still have someone who has a Windows XP laptop so their software choices are even more limited.

  • http://www.cramerimaging.com Pocatello Photography, Cramer Imaging

    Adobe has this thing about providing the best quality graphics software out there and being a downright pain about letting people use it. I’m keeping an older version around for this reason. I don’t need the high end video editing or the extreme graphics part. I’m just a photographer and want the photo editing portion. I don’t even need the extreme range of filters either. Older versions work very well for that. Perhaps it’s time for someone else to get out there and compete with Adobe so that they will stop being so onerous about using their product. I’ve used the GIMP before and, while it can do much of the same things as Photoshop, it is organized very differently and calls stuff different names. It takes a while to adjust to and I’m just lazy that way.

  • mike mcgowan

    Does anyone know where I can download Photoshop CS5? I have a legitimate copy, but I have carelessly deleted the installer.

  • http://patalexanderphotoart.com/ Pat Alexander

    I think I beat everybody here on having the oldest working version of Photoshop. I am still using photoshop 6 with the classic environment and will keep it (along with my dinosaur Illustrator) on my ancient power Mac, even though I just bought a new iMac on which I’m using Gimp. Just tried a month’s trial subscription of photoshop and found it bloated as the devil plus a monster hogger of computer real estate.

  • mark ant

    I agree with a lot of what is written here that some times the old software does things better – also one advantage of CC is that things can be changed modified and new features maybe added at any moment, one big disadvantage is features can also be removed! As has been he-lighted in the article above!

    Pat I agree with you about Gimp for the most part, I would say however its really like using a watered down and older version of photo-shop! With many of the new tools added to Photoshop actually being directed at the photographer I would argue that its still the number 1 tool for editing photos.

    This is not to say the Gimp can’t do most of the stuff that photo-shop rather it takes a lot more time. My personal favorite editor is light-room as has some neat tools for editing and is none-permanent. However if running a Mac – I Photo does a similar job and comes with the computer.

  • http://patalexanderphotoart.com/ Pat Alexander

    @Mark: For some odd reason I have never tried iPhoto editor though I’ve been loading photos there for ages. Will give it a whirl.

  • BV

    Typo: “fool-proof”

  • J

    Will photoshop cc ever “fix” the issue with the “portrait package” – as a school photographer I use it in creating my own packages for prints – it’s wonderful!

  • Ran May

    I would go for adobe photoshop cs6, I just dont want to pay for it every month, And I bought the lifetime license on student-photoshop.com

Some older comments

  • Pat Alexander

    September 21, 2013 02:40 am

    @Mark: For some odd reason I have never tried iPhoto editor though I've been loading photos there for ages. Will give it a whirl.

  • mark ant

    September 20, 2013 11:40 pm

    I agree with a lot of what is written here that some times the old software does things better - also one advantage of CC is that things can be changed modified and new features maybe added at any moment, one big disadvantage is features can also be removed! As has been he-lighted in the article above!

    Pat I agree with you about Gimp for the most part, I would say however its really like using a watered down and older version of photo-shop! With many of the new tools added to Photoshop actually being directed at the photographer I would argue that its still the number 1 tool for editing photos.

    This is not to say the Gimp can't do most of the stuff that photo-shop rather it takes a lot more time. My personal favorite editor is light-room as has some neat tools for editing and is none-permanent. However if running a Mac - I Photo does a similar job and comes with the computer.

  • Pat Alexander

    September 16, 2013 02:54 am

    I think I beat everybody here on having the oldest working version of Photoshop. I am still using photoshop 6 with the classic environment and will keep it (along with my dinosaur Illustrator) on my ancient power Mac, even though I just bought a new iMac on which I'm using Gimp. Just tried a month's trial subscription of photoshop and found it bloated as the devil plus a monster hogger of computer real estate.

  • mike mcgowan

    September 13, 2013 01:34 pm

    Does anyone know where I can download Photoshop CS5? I have a legitimate copy, but I have carelessly deleted the installer.

  • Pocatello Photography, Cramer Imaging

    September 10, 2013 05:43 am

    Adobe has this thing about providing the best quality graphics software out there and being a downright pain about letting people use it. I'm keeping an older version around for this reason. I don't need the high end video editing or the extreme graphics part. I'm just a photographer and want the photo editing portion. I don't even need the extreme range of filters either. Older versions work very well for that. Perhaps it's time for someone else to get out there and compete with Adobe so that they will stop being so onerous about using their product. I've used the GIMP before and, while it can do much of the same things as Photoshop, it is organized very differently and calls stuff different names. It takes a while to adjust to and I'm just lazy that way.

  • Helen Bradley

    September 10, 2013 04:46 am

    @Dee, you make an excellent point here. Operating system requirements are another reason to keep old software around. At our place we still have someone who has a Windows XP laptop so their software choices are even more limited.

  • Dee Shneiderman

    September 10, 2013 04:09 am

    I keep CS5 (which I purchased as a stand-alone) on my desktop because it's a Vista machine and Photoshop CC won't run on Vista. I run Photoshop CC (for which I have the single-app license) on my laptop because it has Windows 8. I had CS6 on my Vista desktop for a while but it was so memory-hungry it was hard to keep it running.

  • Tomas Sobek

    September 9, 2013 10:47 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with using free-libre software. Perhaps not an option if you are a professional who needs all the latest bells and whistles - then you need to suffer the terms of licence agreements and all the problems that go with it. However as a hobbyist I switched to free-libre software and never looked back. I still pay for my software by donating, however I am not subject to any accidental licence problems, licence changes, or other abuse by the vendor. And I am supporting community, not shareholders pockets. This is a social justice question, not only a technical difference. I would encourage everyone to give it a try!

  • sillyxone

    September 9, 2013 09:49 pm

    ... or learn GIMP

    it's not the software that's free; it's you

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