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Open InDesign CC in CS6

  • Published on June 4, 2021
Open InDesign CC in CS6

You can open an InDesign CC file in CS6, or open an InDesign CC 2014 document using InDesign CC, but it requires a bit of work or some help from a plug-in to open your InDesign files in earlier versions of the application. Adobe InDesign is unique among the Creative Cloud design tools. Unless you are willing to do some extra work, to open and edit an InDesign document in its native format you must have the version of InDesign that is the same or newer as what was used to create the document. For example, if a client sends you a file completed in InDesign version CC, and you are using the older InDesign CS6, you won’t be able to open the document. Similarly, if you have InDesign CC, but receive a document created with the recently released InDesign CC 2014, you also will not be able to open the document created in the more modern version without some effort or purchasing a plug-in. Adobe hopes you will avoid these options, causing all InDesign to upgrade to the latest version to more easily share files. If you work with a client or business partner that is using the most recent version of InDesign, and they send a file to you, you would not be able to easily open the document.

Yet it is possible to share InDesign documents between different versions. One way to open InDesign files created in a more recent version. If you want to open a file created using InDesign CC in CS6, is to have the original file saved into the IDML format at the time it is created. To do this, the person saving the document needs to use the Save As command instead of the typical Save command, and select IDML from the file type option. This requires the person saving the file to know that the recipient is using an older version of InDesign. The person saving the file must also know about the different file formats that can be saved from InDesign. Saving a file from InDesign that you want to be opened in earlier versions of the application require that you save the document in the IDML format, which stands for InDesign Markup Language. This requires that you pay careful attention when saving the file so that it is saved in the correct format. Once a file is saved in the IDML format it can be opened by anyone with InDesign versions CS4, CS5, CS6, CC, and CC2014.

If you have already received an InDesign file and don’t have the option of asking the original author to use the IDML format, you can use an InDesign plug-in to open the InDesign document. This will allow you to open InDesign CC in CS6. This plug-in is from Markzware, and is called Markz Tools, and allows you to open documents that were created using the more modern versions of InDesign. This lets you avoid updating your copy of InDesign, but you will need to still buy the plug-in. Like Adobe, Markzware doesn’t sell the plug-in, rather they license it to you. Many people who haven’t updated to the Creative Cloud didn’t like the subscription model, which requires annual payments in order to continue to use the Adobe tools such as InDesign. The decision by Markzware to require a subscription for this tool may cause people to avoid their conversion plug-in. For only a little bit more than the cost of converting a document, a user can subscribe to the full Creative Cloud. As users with InDesign CS6 and earlier generally have perpetual licenses of the software, which allow them to use the tools indefinitely, they will likely only want a plug-in that they can use indefinitely as well, rather than a subscription.

Regardless of the version, users can benefit from the Adobe InDesign training classes offered at American Graphics Institute or find InDesign classes near you. These courses are available in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, all with a live instructor in the classroom. Private InDesign training can be booked at your location. Online InDesign training is also available for those looking to learn InDesign but who are not able to make it to the classroom training centers where the InDesign courses are offered. These options provide an easy and fast way to learn InDesign, including how to save documents so they can be opened using the different versions of the InDesign application.

About the author

Christopher Smith is president of American Graphics Institute in Boston, Massachusetts. He is the publisher and editor of the Digital Classroom book series, which have sold more than one million copies. At American Graphics Institute, he provides strategic technology consulting to marketing professionals, publishers and to large technology companies including Google, Apple, Microsoft, and HP. An expert on web analytics and digital marketing, he delivers Google Analytics classes along with workshops on digital marketing topics. He is also the author of more than 10 books on electronic publishing tools and technologies, including the Adobe Creative Cloud for Dummies. Christopher did his undergraduate studies the at the University of Minnesota, and then worked for Quark, Inc. prior to joining American Graphics Institute where he has worked for 20 years.