Category Archives: Creative Cloud

Bad Bridge Behavior (2014)

This discussion applies to Windows machines in particular. We welcome your comments on whether the same problem occurs on Macs.

In Summary

Installing Photoshop CC 2014 on a Windows machine may have unpleasant side effects and one of those side effects is being forced to use ONLY Photoshop CC 2014 from Adobe Bridge.

The Details

Adobe Bridge is a rather powerful tool. In fact, we recommend it when using the Advanced Stacker PLUS. However during a live webinar recently Bridge stymied us.

Despite the release of many CC 2014 versions, there is currently no Adobe Bridge CC 2014 – the latest available is CC. Within Adobe Bridge CC a double click of a JPG or RAW file opens the file clicked in the most recently installed version of Photoshop EXCEPT if there is already a version of Photoshop running. If, for example you have Photoshop CS5 running and the most recent install is CC, then a double click would open the file in CS5 rather than CC. Adobe Bridge default file open still behaves the same way even after upgrading to Photoshop CC 2014. However other parts of Adobe Bridge do not behave the same.

The Tools -> Photoshop -> Batch operation previously worked just as described. No matter what the default version of Photoshop, using the Tools -> option would kick the currently running Photoshop and elicit Photoshop’s Batch menu. UNFORTUNATELY, The “Tools -> Photoshop -> Batch” operation does NOT work the same way once you install Photoshop 2014 CC.  With Photoshop CC 2014 installed, Tools -> Photoshop -> Batch will ONLY open Photoshop CC 2014. If you have another version of Photoshop already running, the Tools operation effort silently fails.

You can determine what version of Photoshop will be invoked by the Bridge -> Tools menu by selecting a file and doing  a “right click” and inspecting what is listed in the Open With list.

Default association

Default association


Also particularly unpleasant is the fact that only ONE of the Photoshop CS versions is listed as a choice in the Open With dialog even though on our windows machine we have 4 versions of Photoshop installed (CS5, CS6, CC and CC 2014). We’d love it if we could choose which Photoshop to open, but Photoshop CC 2014 confuses Windows into thinking that ALL versions of Photoshop are CS 2014. Normally in the the windows file browser you can right-click a file and “choose a default” program to open it.


Here we’ve chosen to associate a default to a PNG file.

Window_FileAssociation_Step1 The next step is to navigate to the program we want to open with by default… Here we will select the Photoshop CS5 folder, and next the photoshop.exe

After selecting photoshop.exe in the CS5 directory, we are disappointed to see the result look like this:WindowsPSCC2014_Confused

To Change Associations For Different File Types

While Photoshop does continue to make useful improvements, not all of those improvements are as easy to navigate. If you would prefer that Adobe Bridge open a different default version of Photoshop you can change the file associations within Adobe Bridge as shown. (Select Edit -> Preferences or Ctl-K).

Changing File Association

Changing File Association – click for a larger view

Creative Cloud – 7 Things That Might Make You Like It

Er Spinnt [C_073871]

I’ve had great sport taking Adobe to task for their miscues and missteps. Legions of people have been in an uproar since Adobe announced they will no longer sell perpetually licensed versions of their most popular software – Photoshop, in particular.  And while I still think that for the hobbyist, those with miserable or expensive internet access, and those people who are far less than thrilled knowing that the plug can be pulled (or made more expensive) at the whim of Big Brother Adobe, I think it’s also worthwhile to note some aspects of Creative Cloud that don’t see much press. Things that may sway you toward the software rental model.

Much of what I write here I learned “from the horses mouth” Terry White, Adobe Evangelist, who flew to Adobe headquarters in San Jose to address the local Creative Suite User Group headed by Sally Cox.

Unfortunately since I original released this article in early June, 2013, I have discovered that 3 of the “10” benefits are either not delivered or were mis-represented. Still, there are some advantages you may not have thought about.

Some of the things you get with a Creative Cloud perpetual payment that you may not have considered include:

  1. Access to media – an online training site with some pretty great content.  This is through “Adobe.TV” and is roughly a $20/month value assuming the whole of Lynda content is available, but likely not.  It’s also not clear if the CreativeCloud access is equivalent to the Lynda normal or premium plan.  I discovered, unfortunately, the there is only paltry amount of content from available through the Cloud.  Serves me right for believing the Adobe evangelist and repeating what he said without thoroughly checking first. For example, there is a 13 hour series by Ian Robinson covering After Effects CC.  It’s on Lynda, but NOT available through Adobe.TV – and worse, what IS available appears to be a mish-mash of promotional videos and deep details on specific things.  No After Effects CC tutorial (i.e. for those just starting) seems to exist.
  2. Creative Cloud storage. 20Gb. Think Dropbox only more primitive and more featured, too! It’s more primitive in that sharing of files and folders is a bit less functional, but what is possible is optimized in a way that allows e.g. viewing and editing of your Cloud content from iPhones, iPads and similar devices as well as allowing browsers to see layers in a layered document.  A “coming soon” application will allow syncing files between your desktop and the cloud.  Approximate value $2/month (DropBox charges $8/mo for the 100Gb plan)
  3. Behance – I don’t get why this is such a great thing, but it’s a sharing site for creatives.  Think 500px or Flickr or Pinterest with a few features specific to attracting attention.  Approximate value ~ unclear there is no cost listed.  But it does look like another way to get “liked” and perhaps attract some business and it’s easy to share to Behance.
  4. 5 free websites. They must be on “Business Catalyst” – you’re not going to plop down a WordPress site there, but apparently it’s viable for many purposes including commerce. Approximate value $5/month – the going rate for economy webhosting. I see both praise and horror stories regarding Business Catalyst which tells me it’s about equal to other offerings.
  5. “All photoshop settings upgrade over the web” – That’s what Terry said, though I know this is far, far from accurate unless what you mean is “color palettes and brushes”. Actions and scripts don’t synchronize, for example.  Still, anything that helps keep two configurations up to date is an improvement. Approximate value… not clear, but could be time saved.
  6. More than two installations. This isn’t the official policy, but the strong hint was “if you’re not using more than two at a time you can have as many installations as you want.”  For the permanent license, 5 installs was all that is allowed before you have to “invalidate” licenses.  You’re still going to have to double pay if you use more than two systems at a time.  Approximate value – potentially significant because you can install on both a Mac and a PC. The perpetual plan allowed 5 installs.
  7. 99 days of off-net usage under the annual plan. I suspect there are many ways for this to blow up and lock down unexpectedly, but I’ll give Adobe the benefit of the doubt until proven guilty. No additional value here.
  8. TypeKit Fonts (also called WebFonts, usable on your website). This is pretty cool – THOUSANDS of downloadable and installable fonts – if you can find the ones you’re interested in, that is – the search mechanism is pretty anemic.  The implication is that the license for these is perpetual.  Unfortunately it is listed as “coming soon” not available now in my Creative Cloud app.  Approximate value – significant, could save substantial money over font purchases, perhaps $200 a year or about $15 month.   Still undelivered after 3 months.  A beta for this apparently just started in mid August, 2013.
  9. New, continuously updated content.  This remains to be seen, of course. After all it has been a year since the last Photoshop release.
  10. Endless hours of learning patience while waiting for the behemoth packages to download.  Photoshop CC took 35 minutes to get to 35% complete, and over an hour and 10 minutes to install on my reasonably fast DSL connection.  It seemed to hang at “95% installed” for a LONG time.

The net is you may find that the Creative Cloud plan adds about $40 $20 $10/month of value beyond the obvious access to the Adobe products. Your mileage will vary of course and you have to compare against what you might have spent in your normal upgrade process on a perpetual license.

What’s not clear to me is whether the “one application only” plans include some or all of the above.  If the $9.99 first-year plan for Photoshop includes Lynda, and you want Lynda, that would be a great deal. But I’m pretty sure it doesn’t. That’s one of the frustrating things about the whole cloud business.  Nothing is well defined anywhere. For example the official Adobe FAQ doesn’t say how much storage you get with an account, and as best I can tell doesn’t mention Lynda at all.

One thing that Adobe pointed out in the discussion is that they are well aware that raising prices may cut their own throats.  It’s not clear to me that the disincentive is that much to assume that Adobe won’t become like the cable TV providers. The difference, of course, is that you probably did not build your business on the TV channels you get.

Don’t worry, if this hasn’t swayed you. We’re buying up a number of Photoshop alternatives to evaluate them and let you know where you can get photomanipulation satisfaction without fear of inclement weather from the cloud.

On the other hand, maybe realizing that the websites, fonts, and online instruction rolled into that monthly sum, may make it a bit easier to swallow.  What do you think?  Does this make the picture reasonable for you? Or are the benefits not worth the cost?

Foul Weather Warning: Creative Cloud and Photoshop CS6 are at enmity

Perhaps you paid attention to my ordering debacle v.v. Creative Cloud. Adobe was dangling a first year $20/month price in front of me then pulling out the football ala “Lucy” of Peanuts fame and telling me that I wasn’t eligible.  After a week, a dozen emails and more than a few phone calls that all seems to be straightened out.  Adobe people reset my password in the middle of the night (and forgot to tell me) but somehow magically made me eligible – after I created a new password, that is. Yippee.

Now comes the grisly, horrible news.

Photoshop CC doesn’t EXIST. It’s vaporware.

Shocking?  I thought so! Perhaps you didn’t notice the fine print:  “All-new tools and services will be available in June.”  I thought they meant that they were overhauling Creative Cloud – not hyping all the features that aren’t released yet. Hey, they don’t even say WHICH June this will happen so theoretically June 2021 is good for them.

But wait… it’s worse. Even more popular than our webinars here at StarCircleAcademy has been our Advanced Stacking Action for creating star trails and cool effects.  I’ve spent several hundred hours making sure the soon to be released Advanced Stacker+ works with all of the Photoshop versions I have installed: CS3, CS5, and CS6 so I figured… Hey… I should make sure it all works with the spiffy new Photoshop in the Cloud.  I joined the Cloud and discovered the next, horrible, gruesome problem:

You have to deactivate your perpetually licensed CS6 to get the new features!

[See here]

Apparently this is true. Because the not fancy new Adobe Application Manager that comes with Cloud insists that right now my Photoshop CS6 is Up to date. That old thing?


And because it’s up to date, I can’t install anything newer. New ACR 8? Nope.  You’ll have to install a trial version of Lightroom 5 to get that.  If, in fact that works… can’t verify that.  I do know that trying to install the Adobe Camera Raw 8.1 Beta says (and I’m quoting):

Adobe Application Manager 5162013 82117 PM.bmp

That’s the brand new Adobe Application Manager that came with the Cloud it’s talking about.

I am incredulous. I’m also feeling really smug. Many MONTHS ago I reported that there were problems for people who were trying to interwork between the Cloud version and the perpetually licensed versions. Adobe people repeatedly commented that those problems didn’t exist any longer after updates to the Adobe Application Manager – perhaps because their solution is to disable the perpetually licensed version!

I guess I shouldn’t complain too much. Adobe has given me so much material to write about. I’m working on a column for Photoshop alternatives which will be an interesting read if the new, mandatory perpetual payment system is not one you’re comfortable with.

Again, in the interest of fairness, the Creative Cloud *will* make financial sense in many cases, but perhaps not to those who like to own things and not merely hold them for a time.  And apparently not for those like me who would like to straddle both worlds.  The Cloud doesn’t make sense for:

  1. The once-in-a-while user.
  2. Users with restricted or unpredictable incomes (e.g. students, freelancers).
  3. Users with little or no internet bandwidth, or where that bandwidth is prohibitively expensive.
  4. Users who frequently go on assignments – especially extended assignments where there is little or no internet.
  5. Developers and designers who regularly use more than two computers.  You’ll have to pay for double licenses then.
  6. Anyone who is worried about untimely failures of the authorization process (hundreds of reports of this so far, including people unable to use their Cloud Licensed tools to make on-premise customer demonstrations, failures when visiting their cabin in the woods, daily re-authentication prompts, etc).
  7. People worried about long term financial stability.  Adobe has been very tight lipped about what pricing they will have in the future. If you want to do multi-year budget planning, you’ll have to assume that everything will at least double in cost.

Oh, and I found that Jeffrey Tranberry, Chief Customer Advocate at Adobe, is a saint – or should be. A lot of vitriol has been directed at him, but he’s been doing a great job answering questions. Unfortunately I didn’t find his column until after I discovered that Photoshop CC is vaporware.  It would have saved me from bothering to sign up for the Creative Vaporware, I mean cloud, and the week of “ineligibility” that ensued.

When I upgrade to Creative Cloud will I have to uninstall CS 6 and reinstall a new version?

Photoshop CS6 will work side by side when Photoshop CC is released. There is no reason to uninstall CS6.

While Jeffrey says that the two will work, side by side, the official Adobe site also says to deactivate CS6… I’m not sure whom to believe.  I’m still actively using my Photoshop CS6, so I can’t risk deactivating it to see if it will all work out – or the “call Adobe hassle” to reactivate (went through that pain once before already).

If someone who has a properly working Photoshop CC, or whatever is the current version from the Cloud would be so kind as to try out our Test Stacker and let us know how it goes, we’d appreciate it!  The Test Stacker does all the things our original stacking action did, plus more, but, of course it has fewer features than our Advanced Stacker.

Facing the Onslaught [C_073278-32li16%]