OS X Mountain Lion and Adobe CS Compatibility

If you are a Mac user, then you probably are well aware that Apple released OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion this week.  By all accounts, it’s an improvement over 10.7 Lion.

If you are a holdout (like I was), then you may still be using OS X 10.6.8 Snow Leopard.  I was concerned about losing 32-bit app compatibility, quirks in other 64-bit apps and the death of Spaces (something I use all day, everyday).

Having mulled Mountain Lion over for several weeks, I bit the bullet this week and upgraded from Snow Leopard.  Based on most of what I had read, CS6 app stability and speed improves with Mountain Lion.  Since that’s the software suite I use more than anything else, I went for it.  

I spent a good bit of Friday in Premiere Pro CS6 on my 2011 MacBook Pro and it certainly appeared that playback performance improved.  In a sequence that I had been editing over the past week or two, playback was smooth on effects that simply weren’t playable without rendering before the OS upgrade.  I don’t technically know what was going on, but Premiere Pro CS6 certain seems to work better in Mountain Lion.  And that’s without OpenCL hardware acceleration.

From the CS6 FAQ:

Adobe and Apple have worked closely together to test Adobe® Creative Suite® 5, 5.5 and CS6 editions and individual products for reliability, performance and user experience when installed on Intel® based systems running Mac OS X Mountain Lion (v10.8). Earlier versions of Adobe Photoshop® (CS3 and CS4) software were also tested with Mountain Lion and there are currently no known issues.

As with any new release of an operating system, there may be unexpected issues that arise that were not discovered during testing. If you encounter any issues, please report them on our bug reporting form.

Video team member Todd Kopriva notes,

Mountain Lion (Mac OS v10.8) upgrade improves performance and stability with Premiere Pro. Be sure to check for drivers for third-party I/O hardware and such, which may not yet be available for your accessories.”

So if you’re working heavily in CS6 apps and don’t have any other software or third-party hardware compatibility questions holding you back, pulling the trigger on Mountain Lion seems like a good idea to me at this point.

As for the lack of Spaces, I’m learning to live with Mission Control’s half-baked answer.  Thus far, Mountain Lion has yet to figure out my southern accent during my attempts at dictation. And, I’m still getting accustomed the the upside down scrolling business that started in Lion.  Other than that, it has been pretty smooth sailing.

Anyone else have thoughts on Mountain Lion compatibility issues with photo or video editing software?

[quotes via John Nack]



  1. Brian says

    scrolling is an easy fix: system preferences > touchpad, then turn off NATURAL scrolling

    Was also a 10.6.8 hold out. Sick of MS Entourage I also changed to Mail. Had issues with mouse lockup due to graphics card and iPhone/iPad monitor software that took a bit to fix. Still getting used to evertything, but so far Adobe CS5.5 is working great.

  2. Alex B says

    At first I couldn’t stand Lion’s scrolling, but decided to give it a whirl since I use iOS devices like mad.

    Are you using a physical mouse? If so that will drive someone insane. I grabbed a magic trackpad about a year ago and love the multi touch gestures that were built in.

    • says

      I use a trackball most of the time; however, I’m starting to get used to it. The trackpad is definitely a better fit for iOS-like scrolling.

      • Alex B says

        Ah, an old trackball diehard. A trackpad does a great job especially to do things like zoom in and out and to quickly flip between things like mission control. I like you loved spaces and although mission control isn’t a great replacement it does work decently.

    • Alex B says

      Shouldn’t cause any issues over SL or Lion. Both my scanner and printer are fine.

  3. kenneth meharg says

    photoshop CS3wont open with mountain lion – adobe support told me they cannot help because


    they advised me to reinstall Snow Leopard

    Can anyone help?

  4. Leanne says

    I recently upgraded to Mountain Lion from Snow Leopard. I’m running Cs5.5. I’ve been finding my InDesign crashes at start up way too often after OS upgrade. Mail freezes at start up very often too.

    I haven’t reformatted the HD and start fresh with the Mountain Lion install. I migrated data from my old 2007 Macbook (running Leopard [upgraded from Tiger] then) to brand new 2011 MacBook Pro (running Snow Leopard). And now upgraded to Mountain Lion. Should I reformat to get rid of some of the “old junk” and start fresh install of Mountain Lion?

    My 2011 Macbook Pro has 8GB RAM and 300GB free HD space. Just wondering what anyone think what causes the Mail freezing at start up and InDesign crashing at start up. I’ve been thinking whether upgrading RAM will solve the InDesign crashing issues?

  5. Bill says

    I upgraded to CS6 and Mountain Lion when they were introduced. Both seem to work fairly well together, but I have experience a few bumps.

    – Illustrator was crashing quite a bit when creating a new doc or switching to a new template. Re-installed and updated and haven’t had any problems since.

    – Mountain Lion was crashing (full machine lock up) several times daily. Something I had not seen for several OS upgrade cycles. I had ‘upgraded’ Lion, so I decided to back-up my machine a do a clean install. Have not had a full lock-up since nor any problems with apps crashing. I would recommend doing a clean install if you have the time.

    – Spaces works for the most part, but does not look like you can ‘assign’ a space for CS6 apps to open in regularly. I’ve been able to do this for other apps. Perhaps that’s the problem the author has encountered(?).

    – FYI: If you have a problem with some website type looking weird or not displaying the usual typeface, try disabling any extra Helvetica fonts you have installed. There is one out there that conflicts with the Helvetica that comes with the OS.