InDesign low memory and old software on new platforms

A reader has an error with InDesign that appears to come from using it with a new OS.

indesign cs6 icon

A few years ago Adobe largely switched to a subscription model for its creative suite, now called Creative Cloud. While you can still buy individual components for some products, its recurring monthly and annual deals give access to what were formerly several thousand dollars’ worth of software purchase separately (even if you don’t use all of it), as well as frequent updates that add new features alongside bug fixes.

This can cause problems for users of older Adobe products, because while the company retains a commitment to keep current stand-alone versions up to date as operating systems advance, it’s a bit different from the olden days when Adobe and other companies sometimes released compatibility fixes a couple versions out of date for big installed-base applications. (Intuit has continued to release OS X updates for Quicken 2007 for Mac, which I still use, as its newer Quicken still lacks full feature parity.)

Andy Wangstad writes in with a problem related to this:

I upgraded recently to El Capitan. I have a MacBook Pro with a 500GB SSD. I have 215GB available. But every so often, InDesign comes up with a message that my memory is low and I have to close InDesign, remove files and restart. I just restart and it works…for a while. Arghh!

With some research, it appears that this affects InDesign CS5 and CS6 when used with El Capitan. The current standalone version is CS6…last updated three years ago. Adobe is, well, rather blunt about this:

CS6 is almost three years old, and Adobe has no plans to update it. Ever. In contrast, Creative Cloud features all the latest creative software, including more than 500 features that have been added since 2012. Want the latest version of Photoshop or Illustrator? You need to join to Creative Cloud.

Seriously, that’s on an Adobe webpage.

The short answer is that if you’re out of sync with a company’s business model, you should hold off on installing operating system models until you’re sure the software you own and rely on will continue to work. (My dad discovered an ancient version of Adobe GoLive stopped working with an OS X update, which was frustrating to him, but understandable.)

My long-time colleague and friend penned some advice about software updates at his CreativePro site that’s worth a read for those who work in production environments with Photoshop, InDesign, and other critical graphics and design software. David literally wrote the book on InDesign (and once, on QuarkXPress), so take his advice to heart.

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