Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Upgrade: Fails to preserve user preferences

Posted by Pierre Igot in: Macintosh
June 7th, 2011 • 6:39 pm

It really does boggle the mind. How can it be that, when you install the Creative Suite 5.5 upgrade on top of your existing CS5 setup, the individual applications are totally unable to preserve the user preferences from their predecessors?

I don’t want my Adobe applications to open their documents in tabs instead of windows. I want InDesign to display graphics in high quality by default. Etc.

All these settings are lost and I have to restore them manually one by one in each application. This is ridiculous. It’s not like the new applications are completely different beasts. They are small, incremental updates that, in many cases, barely qualify as “upgrades” in the first place.

How can Adobe justify such disregard for the user’s carefully tuned existing work environment? Don’t they realize that graphic designers have better things to do than to restore all their preferences manually after each upgrade?

And it does not stop there. InDesign, for example, is completely unable to preserve custom keyboard shortcuts from one version to the next and does not offer any in-app feature for exporting/importing shortcuts. Instead, if you want to copy your shortcuts from one version to the next, you have to quit the application, manually locate the appropriate “.indk“ file in your user library (using the file path indicated on this page) and manually move it to the corresponding location in the folder for the new version, and then relaunch the application and manually select the shortcut set in the “Keyboard Shortcuts” dialog.

What a pain!

It really is scandalous that Adobe continues to perpetuate such antiquated computing practices and requirements. Adobe really has become the new Microsoft, with the difference that, at least, Microsoft’s Mac products have some level of competition.

[UPDATE: A reader points out that you can manually move your preferences from one folder to the other in your home library to force InDesign to reuse your existing preferences, similarly to what is described above for transferring the keyboard shortcuts from one version to the other. It helps avoid having to readjust each and every setting manually. But it does not explain why InDesign is not able to do this automatically, or at the very least prompt the user with the option to preserve existing preferences from within the application, instead of requiring multiple trips to one’s home library folder. Why should the user have to do all these things manually before launching the new version of the application for which he has paid at least several hundred dollars? There is also no indication, from one version to the next, of whether the file format for the preference files themselves might have changed, making old preference files incompatible with the new version and a potential source of instability and corruption.]

One Response to “Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Upgrade: Fails to preserve user preferences”

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