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Read This Before Installing InDesign CC 2015!

Adobe released the new versions of InDesign CC and 14 other Creative Cloud applications at 9 pm Pacific Time on June 15. The new update is called InDesign CC 2015. You can read about the features in InDesign CC 2015 in InDesign CC 2015.

However, Adobe also made some changes in the installation process and requirements which may cause some pain and consternation. Here are a three things you need to know to make your installation as easy and pain-free as possible:

1. Have the Current Version of the CC App

Creative Cloud applications are installed and uninstalled with the Creative Cloud desktop app, and it’s critical that you have the most recent version of the CC App before updating other apps. You may have already had a “silent” update to the version of your CC desktop app. You can check by opening the desktop app, selecting the “gear” icon to view the menu, and then selecting Preferences to view your current version. The current version as of today’s date is


If you don’t have the current version, choose Quit from the Creative Cloud desktop app menu. Then re-launch the Adobe Creative Cloud app from your Applications folder. You should be prompted to update Creative Cloud. Accept the update. If for some reason this doesn’t happen, or if the Creative Cloud app window doesn’t appear correctly, re-start your computer. That should prompt the update.

If you have any further problems updating, go to Adobe’s Creative Cloud Download & Install forum for further help.

2. New Mac System Requirements for InDesign CC 2015

The system requirements for Windows users remain the same as for InDesign CC 2014, so if you already have that installed, you should see an update appear for InDesign CC 2015.

However, to update to InDesign CC 2015 on a Macintosh computer, you must be running Mac OS X 10.9 or 10.10. If you’re still using 10.8 or earlier, you probably won’t even see updates for the 2015 versions of CC apps. Apple provides a free update to the latest version of OS X (10.10).

3. The Installer Will Remove Previous Versions!

By default, if you install CC 2015 apps, your previous versions will be removed. This is a huge change from the way it used to work.

Adobe believes (although many of us disagree) that most Creative Cloud users only want the current version of their Creative Cloud apps. So beginning with this release, it has changed the default so previous versions will be uninstalled by default, and settings will be migrated to the new version. If you’re happy with that, then in the Update dialog box, just click Update.

If you want to change that, here’s how: after you click Update, click the arrow to the right of Advanced Options. Then in the Advanced Options, deselect “Remove old versions,” then click Update.


Of course, if you didn’t see the arrow (or if you read this after you’ve had your previous versions removed), you can still reinstall the previous versions which are removed.

To reinstall previous versions, in the App menu of the Creative Cloud app, scroll down to “Find Additional Apps”. Click All Apps, then choose View Previous Versions. You will see the apps which were removed (as well as other apps you haven’t installed before), and you can select them and choose Install.


Many of us are unhappy with the way Adobe has foisted this decision (to uninstall previous versions) on us with very little notice. It should be far more obvious that a major change will happen if you click Update. It seems obvious that many people will have installation problems, and Adobe will be responsible for that. Please pass this information on to your friends and colleagues!

Steve Werner

Steve Werner

Steve Werner is a trainer, consultant, and co-author (with David Blatner and Christopher Smith) of InDesign for QuarkXPress Users and Moving to InDesign. He has worked in the graphic arts industry for more than 20 years and was the training manager for ten years at Rapid Lasergraphics. He has taught computer graphics classes since 1988.
Steve Werner

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200 Comments on “Read This Before Installing InDesign CC 2015!

    • Hello,

      I have InDesign CS6 installed on my system at work, and when I updated to CC 2015, my InDesign CS6 install wasn’t messed with and to be sure, I fired CS6 up with no problems. I also left all options at the default when starting the CC 2015 install but as usual, your mileage may vary.

      • Ugh, I realized I left out some important information….I should have said that I have ID CS6 installed, and I was upgrading from CC 2014 to CC 2015 AND NOT from CS6 to CC 2015. Sorry for the confusion.

    • No CS6 will be present after installation It only removed CC2014 you can ZIP CS6 and after the installation unzip the only problem I believe is that if you use Suitcase Fusion Indesign CC2015 won’t start anymore.

  1. Steve,

    I had three plug-ins installed (EasyCatalog, InData and SmartStyles) and dragged a copy to the desktop before installing CC 2015. During install I left Remove Old Versions checked and noticed that those 3 plug-ins did not get deleted from the Applications > Adobe InDesign CC 2014 folder. It appears the installer recognized the plug-ins and kept them, but deleted everything else in the folder.

  2. On Windows it works a bit differently. There’s no ‘Advanced options’ button in the main screen. Instead, click Update. Now you’ll see a window with three options: Update, Cancel, and Advanced options. To keep older versions, click Advanced options and uncheck ‘Remove old versions’.

    • Yes, this is the same on the Mac. Steve was working with prerelease software when he wrote this, I believe. We have edited his description slightly above, and added a screen capture from this morning’s release.

  3. Thanks for the tip! Worth pointing out that the Advanced options only appear *after* the large ‘Update’ button has been pressed…

  4. So it’s Tuesday 6 am. I open the CC panel and there’s the big announcement.

    I click to see the ID What’s New. I click to install.


    Not only did Adobe make the default to remove the old applications, they made it hard to even find that default.

    At the very least there should have been no “Advanced Options”, just the two options visible immediately. Keep prefs can be checked with no problems. But Remove old applications should have NOT been checked by default. (Default of dah program is in our stars.) Especially since ID is a file format change. I’m in the middle of a huge project. I would be in big trouble if I didn’t know about this default and suddenly were working in a new format without realizing it.

    Part of the problem is the same word “Updates” is used for incremental changes and/or bug fixes as well as big changes that require file format changes. This isn’t as big a deal with Photoshop and Illustrator. But for ID it is really important. Most people understood the difference between an “update” and an “upgrade.” And they were slower to upgrade.

    I agree with the folks who are angry about this. It runs counter to the process I’ve seen since 1986 for how new versions of software are installed.

    Blog posts such as these are helpful, but if I wasn’t the sharp, on-my-toes, well-educated person that I am, I would be so frightened of what’s going on, I would just close up the CC panel and not update again.

    I just wonder what team is behind this. I suspect it is the CC team that was tired of people wondering why they had version CS6, CC, and CC 2014 all installed. They were tired of fielding all those support calls that people’s hard disks were becoming bloated with CC software.

  5. So much for migrating preferences!

    I kept the option to migrate my preferences checked.

    I was quite surprised to see my “Open Recent” menu was populated in CC 2015. Nice, I thought. Until I saw that the files listed are from over 8 months ago.

    There’s got to be something wrong with that.

  6. It definitely needs to be more transparent. It should be highlighted and explained clearly what option to choose.

    I agree with Sandee, when working on large ongoing projects switching to a new application install is not practical or sensible.

      • Sorry, my cut-and-paste skills sometime come up lacking. I intend to do that all-important Cmd-C but don’t, so pasting is the previous link. I also send a lot of ‘file included’ emails without the file included. I sometimes tell people that I missed my true calling, which was to be an absent-minded college professor.

        I couldn’t find that webpage quickly, but Adobe does have a webpage about what updating does. It’s not like they said nothing. The problem is that this is one of those changes in which they need to be “in your face” about choices. Having said it somewhere isn’t enough.

        It’s the Clippy syndrome, after the widely hated feature Microsoft added to its Office products in the 1990s. All the big software companies from time to time assume they know what’s best because they have teams whose profession is, they think, figuring that out. They do something automatically rather than “confuse” users with a choice. People hated Clippy because you couldn’t turn the little pest off.

        Most people probably won’t be affected by a kill-all-before update. I’ve not used CC since CC-2014 came out. But then I’m not a heavy user of scripts. But Adobe should not have assumed most mean all.

        I’ve only had two gripes about this upgrade other than still-no-endnotes.

        1. Custom page size templates not only don’t seem to be brought along for the update, there loss reflects back into the 2014 version. My 6×9 books based on a 6×9 page size, suddenly became 8.5×11. Fortunately the fix was easy. Simply create and apply a 6×9 template. But that should not need to be. My GREP scripts moved with the upgrade. Those pages templates should have done the same.

        2. This is a real pain. Adobe’s file windows still seem to assume that I’m only working on one project at a time. I happen to be working on two and many are probably working on far more than that. So when I’ve been on #1 and turn to #2, all my file open/save dialog boxes will be for #1. That’s a real nuisance. Even the package save window does that.

        The problem is that all those settings seem to be app specific, meaning saved for InDesign as a whole. They should be document specific, meaning linked to the current document. If I do a “Save as,” I want it to show me the same folder as the original document was in. Instead, it shows me the last folder I saved as into. It’s a frustrating #1 and #2 dance. It almost seems like ID knows what I want and presents me with the exact opposite.

        And that is a big time waster.

  7. This is really important for DPS users. CC2015 will only support the new Digital Publishing Solution. For anyone wishing to continue using the original DPS, you must leave CC2014 in place.

  8. Suggestion for those who do have CC2014 and CC2015 of ID installed:

    Make the one that you want to use the most the interface color you like the most.

    Make the other that you want to warn yourself your using another interface color.

    In my case, for right now, if CC2015 opens a file, my entire world turns dark.

      • Agreed, great tip Sandee. (Hi Bob) Another option is coloring or tinting your App icons. Maybe ID CC 2014 is a 50% tint of magenta, this new release 100% of the color.

    • Another way to tell the difference, though much less obvious than changing the color of the interface: in CC2014, the ID menu is labelled ‘InDesign’; in CC2015, ‘InDesign CC’. Sadly, it seems that one cannot, on Mac OS X, assign 2014 to one desktop and 2015 to another.

    • Oh, one more thing.

      Ever since InDe-Illu-Shop started to all look alike, I sometimes don’t know which program I’m in.

      What I do then is play around with the Tools panel.

      InDesign keeps the default single-column panel on the left.

      Illustrator gets a single-colum panel on the right.

      Photoshop gets a double-column panel on the left.

      But this technique could also be used to differentiate between 2014 and 2015 applications.

  9. Thanks for the post, Steve!

    Also of note: with CC 2015 installed, I can no longer install extensions for any CC version of InDesign. The extensions appear installed in Extension Manager, but the files do not get added to InDesign’s application folder.

    • Justin, this happened to me in the last version. I believe it may be due to having previously installed Adobe’s prerelease software. I’m curious if Extension Manager works for other people.

      • I installed 2015 with the option to keep my previous version.

        The Extension Manager opened through CC 2015 does not list 2015 in my applications.

        This machine has never had any of the current pre-release software on it.

      • Extension Manager shows nothing at all on my (Windows 8.1) system that I had prerelease versions running on. It’s fine on my Windows 10, which didn’t. David, did you discover a fix, other than a thorough uninstall/reinstall?

  10. I mentioned above that I left Remove old versions checked when updating to InDesign CC (2015) and noticed my InDesign CC (2014) folder kept the 3rd party plug-ins and also just noticed it kept the Scripts I added as well.

  11. Did Adobe also start charging for Reader? My in laws went to print a file the other day and were promoted to subscribe in order to have the print feature. I wouldn’t know because I have CC, but talk about monopoly behavior on Adobe’s part if this is the case. Sad.

  12. Adobe is going to kill itself. Since they started their extortion, er subscription model, I’ve been looking at alternatives. They need to get rid of the bean counters who only care about the next quarter’s profits rather than building a long lasting company. Down with Shantanu Narayen. Down with CC! I am sticking with my master suite CS 5.5, works just fine. Down with Adobe!

    • I’ve been waiting for a replacement since they moved to renting their software. As soon as a viable alternative exists I will no longer be an Adobe customer. Looking forward to that day.

      Boggles my mind that people think Adobe actually cares about what they think. Duh… no, they don’t. Especially now since Creative Cloud users don’t have a choice.

  13. Working in a prepress environment for a commercial printer, having InDesign remove older versions of the app is definitely not a good thing for us. We keep multiple versions of InDesign on each computer in our art department since we must support previous versions of InDesign in order to properly open customer files.

    Opening a document created in an older version of InDesign, while it converts to the newer version with no problems the majority of the time, forces our staff to continue edits to that document in the newer version. When a client wants the edited file back, we must save it as an .idml file which may not support some of the edits we made to the document if it requires features in the newer version of InDesign. It also locks in that document to the computers in our art department that have the newer versions of InDesign loaded.

    This leads me to the new system requirements. Some of our computers are still running older versions of MacOS (10.6) due to compatibility issues with mission-critical software that is not compatible with MacOS versions greater than 10.6 Those systems are land-locked to previous versions of InDesign CC.

    So now we have islands of compatibility with InDesign that will require us to delay upgrading until we reach a sufficient customer base with documents that require us to do so.

    The solve for this entire situation is for Adobe to eliminate the version exclusivity for InDesign documents. Illustrator will open newer versions of documents with a warning that unsupported features may not draw correctly but they still open. Photoshop has not changed its file format since version 3 with the introduction of layers. Creating a new file format for each successive version of InDesign puts users on a upgrade death march that not all are ready to take.

    • >The solve for this entire situation is for Adobe to eliminate the version exclusivity for InDesign documents.<

      If it were possible to do that, it would have happened a long time ago. Adobe InDesign files are actually a form of database, and making changes to major features changes the database. It's totally different than the way Photoshop or Illustrator files are structured.

      Saving as IDML is the workaround, but wouldn't work for prepress where it's important there never be reflow (which can happen between versions).

      In my opinion, the solution for prepress is to accept PDF files which don't require opening up the old version INDD files.

      • We do recommend that customers send us press quality PDF files. However, there are many times where they ask us to complete or edit their existing files.

        We also offer design services in addition to prepress, so we are creating new documents that are locked down to the computers with that version of InDesign.

        Although we have worked with this issue for years, it is a hassle that I wish was solved.

  14. If you’re mid a massive project that requires CC 2014 (as I am right now) (Hi, Sandee!), a second frustration will be that Bridge makes Id CC 2015 the default and offers no alternatives on the right-click “Open with…” menu. All is not lost, however. If you go to Preferences > File Associations and change the InDesign default to CC 2014, both versions will show as options in “Open with…”.

    The InDesign team has come a long, long way in easing the pain of migrating to a new version. Still have a bit to go, though.

    • I’ve been using Rorohiko’s Soxy to control multiple versions of CC but I’m not sure if it will be updated. I don’t see a version for CC 2015 on the website.

      • Soxy has its uses, but in this case I just need to keep this one large project in CC 2014 because of the indexing plugin that’s critical to the project. Everything else I’m working on can convert.

  15. Anyone tried the 2015 ID with a 2014 document that has a non-default page size? I had big trouble when I did.

    A 6×9 book opened with all master pages changed to 8.5×11 well as misplaced frames on the main master page. It is a total formatting disaster.

    Fortunately, I saved a copy of the 2014 version. Unfortunately, that doesn’t help. I opened the 2014 document in the 2014 app and the problem exists in it too. All master pages are now 8.5×11.

    The key fact is that my 6×9 Page Size template has disappeared from Document Setup in both apps. It looks disturbingly like, rather than import my existing page size templates, this ID upgrade has overwritten them with only the defaults sizes. Perhaps the CC synching is playing a part in that. The 2015 update destroyed all but the default page sizes, imposing 8.5×11 on my existing 6×9 master pages. Then CC synching forced that same reduced set of page size templates onto the 2014 version.

    I am a bit paranoid. I do have a backup of everything on my hard drive from yesterday as well as of all presets etc. from before this upgrade. In a matter of minutes, I could be working as if this upgrade had never happened. But if this problem of mine proves common, there will be a lot of people in deep trouble. They won’t have those backups.

    My suggestion. Back every thing on your hard driveup via Superduper or something before trying this upgrade.
    I’m going to be filing an bug report with Adobe on this one. I hope it is just me, but having an old document running on the old ID get trashed in exactly the same way doesn’t look like my doing.

    • I will add that the fix for my page-size problem above seems easy enough. I simply created a 6×9 inch page size template again and applied it to the book in iD 2015. All the master pages became 6×9. All the formatting fixed itself. All seems well.

      I then went to the 2014 document in ID 2014. The 6×9 book template did not exist there. I did not try manual synching, but when I create and applied a 6×9 page size to the document, all became OK.

      So this problem is hopefully not a killer. But it could be a hassle, particularly for those working on numerous documents of various page sizes.

      And I draw a blank when I try to come up with a way I could have triggered this one. I’ve been working with 6×9 book templates in ID since I first began using ID maybe ten years ago. I can’t understand why that page size would disappear or why the loss would push itself back into the 2014 version. Other preferences, including my custom GREP searches are still in the 2014 version and have migrated to the 2015 fine. Only custom page sizes seemed to have gone missing.

  16. Thanks Steve, that is exactly what I was looking for! I lose functionality with many of my InDesign plug-ins with new updates until the manufacturers get caught up. I continue to use ID CS6 for plug-ins that would be costly to update.

  17. Can anyone tell me what’s happened to the libraries in InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop 2015? I’ve been in touch with Tech Support – I followed their advice, as they were very helpful but unfortunately, the libraries have gone AWOL!!! I’ve found that InDesign is the only app working at approximately 80% of its capabilities – the rest are all over the place.

    Also, the new update has completely wiped all Adobe data from my computer logs as well as any semblance of CC 2014.

  18. Thnx for the article! My Indesign didn’t started anymore after the 2015 update. It constantly crashes while starting up.
    Restarted computer but gave no effect. Reinstalled the older version of Indesign.

  19. Another thing, in the Creative Cloud App it says “There are x amount of updates available” and beside each app is “Update”.

    That should really say “Install”

    • I suspect they are trying to distinguish these from apps that one has not installed on one’s computer, for which the button does say ‘Install’. As someone suggested above, ‘Upgrade’ would be preferable to ‘Update’.

  20. Just an additional warning:
    If you have third party extensions installed, they might show up in CC 2015 only partially operational!

    We need to create new installers for all In-Tools products to avoid this issue. Without creating incredibly complex installers, there’s no way we can support CC 2015 as it currently stands.

    Adobe messed up on this release in more ways than I can count… :(

  21. I would like to add a little additional heads-up for everyone. Every major release of the Creative Suite/Creative Cloud (CS4/CS5/CS5.5/CS6/CC/CC 2014/CC 2015) requires a major new release of 3rd party plug-ins. You cant expect to use CS 4/5/6, CC or CC 2014 plug-ins with CC 2015. We (I represent Recosoft) are working on the next releases of PDF2ID and ID2Office that brings CC 2015 compatibility.

  22. According to Reem Kawas, writing in the WoodWing Community Forum, ‘Smart Styles CC2014 doesn’t work with the new release of CC2015. Smart Styles CC2015 might be released in Q3 of 2015, but this is subject to change.’

    • update from Tom Pijsel, Product Manager Enterprise, WoodWing: ‘Unfortunately we need to postpone the release of Smart Styles for CC 2015 till November 2015.’

      • Further update from Tom Pijsel, 11 November, in the WoodWing Community Forum: release of Smart Styles CC 2015 is officially delayed until the first half of January but WoodWing is working hard to release it in the first half of December. A prerelease version is expected by the end of November.

  23. What does the option “[ ] Login to AEM Assets” do?
    In Steve’s screenshot of the CC App this option is ticked off…


  24. Yet another reason why I’m glad I’m near retirement age. While I HAVE to use CC at work when a client sends their files in that version, I have not and WILL not upgrade to CC when I’m doing my freelance work at home. The CC versions of InDesign are buggy, slow, and have an impact on everything else that’s running on my computer when they are. Dialogue boxes sometimes appear partially drawn. Others require me to click into the text box with my mouse several times to get it to recognize that I really really want to type something there. CS6 rarely crashes; CC crashes almost as much as Quark! Most of the time I have to force quit the applications to get them to shut down. On days when I work primarily in CS6, everything runs smoothly. As soon as a CC application is launched, everything slows to a crawl. And I’m not the only one at my job who experiences this; everyone has a different Mac model and in some cases different iterations of OS X. I may continue to work part time when I retire, but I’ll still be using CS6 (unless Adobe tries to take my license away and force me into the Creative Cloud).

    • I’ve none of the symptoms you describe when using InDesign CC or CC 2014. Maybe you should have you computer checked.

    • On another note I only started this because for some reason my cloud screen went blank and this was one of the ways to get the Creative Cloud Blank window issue working again.

      Very, Very Frustrating.

    • Meh, mine does that all the freaking time, updates or not. I just click the other button, the one about signing in or subscribing or whatever. I don’t know why CC can’t keep track of my subscription. It always recognizes my login info each time, but it doesn’t stop it from popping up with that box every week or so (and it does this with any CC product I use, not just InDesign).

    • We had the same issue at my work, does anyone know why or how to change it from saying trial after the CC2015 update?

  25. If anyone wants to keep InDesign, Photoshop, and/or Illustrator CC 2014 on their taskbar and wants icons that make it clear that they are the 2014 version, I’ve created icons for those three programs that look just like the original ones only they have “2014” added below the two letter abbreviation. I put them on a public Dropbox folder that anyone can access here:

    I have no problems with anyone sharing or using them or doing whatever, lol.

  26. Steve,

    I am curious do you know if there is a way to convert the files after changing?

    By that I mean I have over 400 indesign files made in CC 2014, when I open I have to save them down as CC 2015 files.

    Is there a way to convert all my .indd files to CC 2015?

  27. CircularFLO for fixed layout ebooks (read aloud, KF8 export, custom animation support) is InDesign CC 2015 ready. We will also continue to support CS6 and later as many of our large publisher customers here in the UK continue to use CS6 and avoid paying subscriptions.

  28. InDesign CC 2015 is full of bugs and keeps crashing.

    It always crashes when I try to link text frames.

    The master pages don’t show the column guides or margins.

    It is really frustrating!

  29. Adobe has officially mastered the art of self-immolation with this CC 2015 disaster. At the advice of Adobe’s tech support, I uninstalled all of that 2015 garbage and returned to 2014 versions. If this is the what the future looks like for CC updates, I’m going off the grid with my pirated CD-ROMs. I just want to do my job; I don’t want buttons to share on Behance or the need to navigate through five layers of an Inception dream to get a compatible file.

  30. I guess I will have to do some research about CC2015.
    Can anyone here tell me how I can use grep to select variable number of characters between two symbols and also select the symbols?
    Sample text: one two three five six
    I need to be able to select the and and delete the characters and the symbols on either side..

  31. Is there a way for Indesign to remember the location of an CC 2014 file openend in CC 2015? Because when I hit “save” it has no idea where the file came from. And I have to manually tell it where it was located. Would be great if someone could tell me if this is an option that I’m just not seeing, or if it’s just the way it is.

  32. Yes, I was searching for help regarding this problem and based on your article, it just looks like this is a new ‘feature’ to the Adobe software. They definitely should make users aware before installing their products.


  33. I have just been informed that I updated the Creative Cloud to the latest version approximately one hour ago. I did no such thing – I didn’t realise that it had been going on behind back!! :) Now, none of my apps will open! My mac thinks its under attack!! Can someone please tell me what’s going on?

  34. This is what I found:
    “Version released on 7/7/2015

    Creative Cloud desktop app no longer pops up in the middle of your workflow.
    The Exchange plugin will now correctly install Adobe Add-ons.
    Additional bug fixes have improved overall experience.”

    However, everything’s crashing!

  35. We’ve discovered that the latest InDesign is stable in the office, but not so when we leave the building and try to work from another locale. The app crashes and/or gets hung up mid-action. Has anyone else encountered this issue?


    • Since I installed InDesign CC2015 on my iMac running Yosemite 10.10.3, it consistently hangs and eventually decides it can’t connect to the network before forcing me to quit it. There’s nothing wrong with out network so why does this keep happening?

  36. Sorry if this has been discussed already but how do I tell InDesign CC 2015 to save the current file I’m working on to save in the directory in which it resides? Every time I go to save a new file it defaults to the last directory I was in before opening the current one. Hope this makes sense..

  37. My indesign is extremely slow, especially starting up. (CC 2015- updated very recently). We work on servers & on google drive with lots of space. I thought it was the servers possibly, but my co-workers do not have the issues like I do. Is there something slowing me down? How can I avoid this? I have had to re-start my computer many times, and even used the shift-key trick. Nothing seems to work, and at random times, InDesign works perfectly! Majority of the time, though, it is SO SLOW!

  38. Hello – Unfortunately I did not see this warning before updating and lost my previous version on INDD 2014. Do you know a way of reinstalling it?

    Thanks for your help!

  39. thanks for the info. i am running mac os 10.9.5 and have the latest version of cc installer, but illustrator cc 2015 still will not load. some problem with plug-ins (seem to be standard plug-ins, not ones i’ve added). uninstalled 2015 and reinstalled 2014, waiting for an update. annoying.

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