Illustrator CS6 vs CC: What’s The Difference

Adobe Illustrator CC is an upgraded version of Illustrator CS6. One major difference is that the CC version is a cloud-based subscription using new technologies and the CS6 is a non-subscription version of old technology using the perpetual license. 

As a graphic designer and illustrator myself, there are so many things I love about Adobe Illustrator. I started my graphic design journey in 2012. After using different versions of Adobe Illustrator, I decided to stay with the Adobe Illustrator CC version.

Getting started with graphic design can be quite challenging and confusing. Well, the first step to success is finding the right path. In this case, find the best software program for you. So what’s the best Adobe Illustrator version? Honestly, it’s a personal choice.

Whether you are a newbie or a designer who’s thinking about upgrading your software, In this article, you will see a detailed comparison of two different versions of Adobe Illustrator and choose the version that works best for you (although most of us use the CC version today).

Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

What is Adobe Illustrator CS6 

You might have already heard of Illustrator CS6, the latest version of Illustrator CS released in 2012. The CS6 version is widely used by creative professionals to create stunning vector graphics. 

Although it’s the older version of Illustrator, it has already covered the main features that you can use for professional design work like logos, brochures, posters, and so on. 

The CS6 version, operated by the mercury performance system, is compatible with other software such as Photoshop and CorelDraw. This great feature allows you to edit the graphic and text freely online and offline. 

What is Illustrator CC

Similar to its previous versions, Illustrator CC, is also vector-based design software popular among all types of designers. 

The biggest difference is that this Creative Cloud version is based on a subscription package that allows you to save your artwork to the cloud. 

One thing you will love about the CC version is that all CC software such as Photoshop, InDesign, and After Effects are compatible with one another. Trust me, it’s so useful. And to be honest, you often need to mix programs to create the ultimate artwork you want. 

You can find more than twenty desktop and mobile apps for creatives like you. You will have a lot of fun exploring and creating. 

And you know what? Illustrator CC integrates with Behance, the world’s famous creative networking platform, so you can share your awesome work easily. 

Head-to-Head Comparison 

Illustrator CS and Illustrator CC are very similar, yet different. You may want to know the following factors before deciding which one to choose.


So, what’s new in CC that can be a game-changer vs CS6? 

1. Illustrator CC is updating its features every year. You can always get the latest version update.

2. With a CC subscription, you’ll be able to access other Adobe Software like InDesign, Photoshop, After Effect, Lightroom, etc. 

3. Convenient new tools, presets and even templates are now available in Illustrator CC. All these great features can save your precious time. 

4. The Cloud is just great. Your documents including their styles, presets, brushes, fonts, etc can be synchronized. 

5. As I mentioned above, it integrates with creative networks like Behance, where you can share your ideas with other creative professionals.  


Illustrator CC offers a few subscription plans that you can choose from. You can even get the All App plan if you are using other CC software. If you are a student or teacher, lucky you, you’ll get a 60% discount

You can still get the CS6 version today, but there will be no upgrade or bug fix because it’s the last version from Creative Suite, which now has been taken over by Creative Cloud.


It’s normal to encounter problems in your learning process, sometimes you could have software issues or membership issues. A little bit of support would be great right? 


Thanks to technology today, both software can work on different computer versions, even on mobile devices.

Final Words

Illustrator CC and Illustrator CS6 are both great for graphic design. The main difference is CC version is using new cloud technology. And the subscription plan allows you to use other Adobe products, which most designers do use multiple programs for design projects. 

Adobe CC is the most used version today. But if you already have a CS program or still want to purchase a CS version, just know that you will not get any new updates or bug fixes on your software. 

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  • Muhammad Abid

    Hi June, How are you?
    Do you have Adobe illustrator cs6?

    • June Escalada

      Hi Muhammad,

      No, I’m using Adobe Illustrator CC 2022.

  • Biju

    which is the best version of Illustrator in normal design DTP work?

    • June Escalada

      Can’t go wrong with Adobe Illustrator CC’s latest version 🙂

  • James

    I am using CS6 but run into issues when it is opened using CC and returned back to me for modifications. They are like distant cousins and a generation apart. I like the simplicity in CS6 of creating gradations and effects without having the huge block of color under the layers of the image. I would rather redraw the image than work with the “Blocks” and it breaks down the image into color and line. It is more technical than it needs to be. No I found out that I can’t expand an image I warped from a CC file…it’s frustrating. I am leaving the option open that part of this is ignorance on my part but without redrawing those components I am stuck.
    In some cases I have asked for the file to be saved so it can be read in CS6 but I am not sure at this point everything is compatible. Do you have any input that might ease my pain?

    • June Escalada

      Hi James,

      When you save the file in CC, it opens an Illustrator Options window and you can choose to save it as a CS version.

  • Sameer

    hi ,
    I want to install Abode illustrator in MacBook Pro I don’t how to install
    can you help me. there is any way to get the real website where I can download the illustrator ant version .