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Photoshop vs. Photoshop CC — What's the Difference?

Edited by Tayyaba Rehman — By Fiza Rafique — Published on January 8, 2024
Photoshop refers to Adobe's range of digital imaging products, while Photoshop CC (Creative Cloud) was the subscription-based version launched in 2013.
Photoshop vs. Photoshop CC — What's the Difference?

Difference Between Photoshop and Photoshop CC


Key Differences

Adobe Photoshop is the industry-standard software for digital image manipulation and graphic design. It has been around since 1988 and has evolved through various versions and iterations, each bringing new tools and capabilities. Photoshop is often used synonymously with image editing.
Photoshop CC represents a shift in Adobe's approach to software distribution. Launched in 2013, CC stands for Creative Cloud, where Photoshop became available on a subscription basis rather than a one-time purchase. With Photoshop CC, users receive continuous updates, cloud storage, and access to new features as soon as they are released.
Photoshop has been the go-to software for photographers, designers, and artists looking to edit and manipulate digital images. It’s known for its powerful layers-based editing, a multitude of tools, and extensive plugin support. The software has been available in different versions, like Photoshop CS (Creative Suite) before the advent of CC.
Photoshop CC offers the same core functionality as Photoshop but with added advantages of the Creative Cloud integration. This includes the ability to sync settings, brushes, and presets across multiple devices, collaborate with others, and access to Adobe’s stock photography service directly within the software.
Photoshop was traditionally purchased as a standalone product where users owned a specific version, like Photoshop CS6. However, Photoshop CC operates on a different model, a regular payment plan that ensures users always have the most current version without having to pay for upgrades.

Comparison Chart

Distribution Model

Traditionally sold as a one-time purchase.
Offered on a subscription basis.


Received through purchased upgrades.
Continuous updates included with the subscription.

Cloud Integration

Limited or no cloud features.
Extensive cloud integration and features.


Collaboration features not natively supported.
Enhanced collaboration via Creative Cloud.

Access to New Features

Only available in new purchases or upgrades.
Available immediately as they are released.

Compare with Definitions


A tool for retouching photographs to enhance quality.
The magazine cover was obviously Photoshopped to perfection.

Photoshop CC

Software for professionals with extended cloud capabilities.
He syncs his presets across devices using Photoshop CC.


A software for editing and composing digital images.
She used Photoshop to remove the red-eye effect from her photos.

Photoshop CC

The latest Photoshop version, available via subscription.
I upgraded my photo editing workflow with Photoshop CC.


An application for creating and designing graphics.
He designed the poster with Photoshop.

Photoshop CC

A part of Adobe Creative Cloud offering integrated online services.
Photoshop CC allows me to collaborate with my team in real-time.


A program used for digital painting and drawing.
She completed her digital art using Photoshop.

Photoshop CC

A cloud-based subscription service for image editing.
With Photoshop CC, I can access my files from anywhere.


A platform to manipulate images for web and print.
They Photoshopped the logo into the banner for the website.

Photoshop CC

An updated version of Photoshop with regular new features.
Photoshop CC just released new 3D editing tools.


To digitally edit or alter a picture or photograph.


A digitally altered image.

Common Curiosities

What does Photoshop CC stand for?

Photoshop CC stands for Photoshop Creative Cloud.

Does Photoshop CC include cloud storage?

Yes, Photoshop CC subscriptions come with cloud storage.

What is Photoshop used for?

Photoshop is used for image editing, graphic design, and digital art.

Can I buy Photoshop as a one-time purchase?

No, Photoshop is only available through a subscription model.

Does Photoshop CC facilitate team collaboration?

Yes, Photoshop CC offers features that support team collaboration.

Do Photoshop CC updates cost extra?

No, updates are included in the Photoshop CC subscription fee.

Is there a difference in tools between Photoshop and Photoshop CC?

No, Photoshop CC includes all tools from Photoshop plus additional features.

Is it possible to share Photoshop files with someone who doesn't have it?

Yes, Photoshop files can be shared and opened by users who don't have the program.

How often does Photoshop CC get updated?

Photoshop CC receives regular updates as part of the subscription.

Can I use Photoshop without an internet connection?

Yes, Photoshop can be used offline, but a connection is needed for updates.

Can Photoshop open files from older versions?

Yes, Photoshop can open files from older versions of the software.

Are Photoshop and Photoshop CC compatible with both Windows and Mac?

Yes, both are compatible with Windows and Mac operating systems.

Does Photoshop CC offer more advanced features than Photoshop?

Yes, Photoshop CC offers more advanced features, especially with cloud integration.

Can I cancel my Photoshop CC subscription at any time?

Yes, subscriptions can be canceled, but terms may vary.

Does Photoshop support 3D printing capabilities?

Photoshop has 3D capabilities, but Photoshop CC typically offers more advanced support.

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Author Spotlight

Written by
Fiza Rafique
Fiza Rafique is a skilled content writer at, where she meticulously refines and enhances written pieces. Drawing from her vast editorial expertise, Fiza ensures clarity, accuracy, and precision in every article. Passionate about language, she continually seeks to elevate the quality of content for readers worldwide.
Tayyaba Rehman is a distinguished writer, currently serving as a primary contributor to As a researcher in semantics and etymology, Tayyaba's passion for the complexity of languages and their distinctions has found a perfect home on the platform. Tayyaba delves into the intricacies of language, distinguishing between commonly confused words and phrases, thereby providing clarity for readers worldwide.

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