Hi everybody. :)

After three days of doing two live Photoshop CS5 seminars a day with the NAPP crew, and fielding thousands of questions from viewers, I wanted to address a few of them here, but I also wanted to address one upgrade topic in particular, that’s starting to wear on me a bit. Here goes:

Q. I just got Photoshop CS4—-how can Adobe already be bringing out CS5?
A. Adobe released Photoshop CS4 back in September of 2008. It’s April of 2010.

Q. Yeah, but I just bought it recently.
A. Why’d you wait so long?

Q. I dunno.
A. Neither do I. I know you want to blame Adobe, but the fact that you waited this long isn’t Adobe’s fault.

Q. I know. But it seems like CS4 just came out.
A. That’s because you waited so long to upgrade. But I have a question; How long do you think Adobe should wait between upgrades? Two years? Three years? Personally, I don’t want to wait two years to get the new features I want. In fact, I want them now (if they had more frequent updates, I’d be all over it, because I can always choose not to upgrade, right?).

Q. Well, since I just got it, do I have to pay for the CS5 upgrade now, too?
A. That depends on your definition of “just got it.” Does that mean you “just got it” last week? Last month? Three months ago? If you really just bought it (in the past 30 days), I can tell what I’d do. I’d call Adobe Customer Service and ask them if they’ll move you up to CS5. You never know what they might do for you until you ask. Maybe you fall under some “internal grandfather clause,” that’s not publicly stated because of the broad definition of “just.” (Wink Wink).

Q. Well, what if I have Photoshop CS2. Can I upgrade all the way to CS5?
A. Yup.

Q. Are you sure?
A. No. But I do believe Adobe’s policy is that you can upgrade from three versions back.

Q. Why aren’t you sure?
A. I don’t work in Adobe’s Customer Service Dept.

Q. Are they sure?
A. I’m not sure.

Q. Can we change the topic?
A. No.

Q. I have the free Adobe Acrobat Reader. Can I upgrade to Photoshop CS5?
A. No.

Q. I have Microsoft Office. Can I upgrade to CS5?
A. I believe Adobe does let you upgrade from MS Office to Photoshop CS5.

Q. Really?
A. No.

Q. Rats! You had me there for a minute.
A. I know.

Q. I saw that the upgrade costs $199 for a standard Photoshop CS5 upgrade. Why so much?
A. Adobe has the right to charge whatever it wants for its upgrades just like we have the right to buy them or not. By the way, how would you feel if people told you that you should charge less/make less per hour/job, etc.? You’d probably tell ’em “Hey, this is what my work is worth. If you don’t want it, try someone else with a lesser skills.”

Q. So, do you think the Photoshop CS5 upgrade is worth it?
A. Absolutely!!!! I think it’s the most important upgrade Adobe has released in years, and because so much of it either makes you faster, helps you get your work done easier, or replaces a load of expensive plug-ins that we’d normally have to buy, I think it’s worth every penny and then some.

Q. Do NAPP members get a discount?
A. Yup. 15% off individual upgrades, full suite upgrades, and apply even if you’re buying the full product from scratch.

Q. Yeah, but what if I’m not in the U.S.?
A. This time we were able to get a number of International discounts on Adobe upgrades as well, so it’s not just the US (which we’re really thrilled about).

Q. Yeah, but I just bought CS4!
A. Oh boy. Here we go again. ;-)

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About The Author

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for Photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books.