The launch of a new version Mac OS X is met with as much trepidation as excitement by many designers. While you'll get access to whizzy features, better performance and some new apps, you also have to worry if your creative tools will be compatible with the latest OS -- especially if you haven't upgraded to the latest version of your software.

This is compounded by Apple's decision to offer only the latest version of Mac OS X on its Mac Pro workstations and MacBook Pro laptops as soon as Mac OS X 10.6 ships. Unlike with Windows PCs you can't officially get a 'downgraded' Mac -- though resellers may have limited stocks of Macs running OS X 10.5.

Adobe has released FAQ covering compatibility with Snow Leopard.

"Apple and Adobe have worked closely together as always with new OS releases, to test compatibility," writes John Nack on his Adobe blog.

"As for CS4, everything is good with the exception of auto-updates to Flash panels - which I guarantee you're not using, the auto-update part, I mean - and Adobe Drive/Version Cue (which doesn't work at the moment on 10.6."

A PDF of the FAQ can be found here or on

John Nack adds that CS3 and earlier versions haven’t been tested with Snow Leopard.

However, in response to an upswell of comments about that remark, Nack later updated his blog with more information. "No one said anything about CS3 being “not supported” on Snow Leopard. The plan, however, is not to take resources away from other efforts (e.g. porting Photoshop to Cocoa) in order to modify 2.5-year-old software in response to changes Apple makes in the OS foundation," wrote Nack.

In a recently published FAQ Adobe announced that future versions of the Creative Suite will run only on Intel-based Macs.

In explaining the move, Adobe cited Apple's announcement that Snow Leopard would no longer support PowerPC based Macs.

Quark ready for Snow Leopard

QuarkXPress 8 is compatible with Snow Leopard once the 8.1 update is installed, according to Quark. Read our review of QuarkXPress 8.1 here.

"QuarkXPress 8.1 is Snow Leopard-ready but we can’t officially certify it until the final code is available," says a Quark spokesperson. "We have been working with Apple for a number of months on this and we are confident that we are Snow Leopard ready."

We've contacted a number of other companies to see if they're ready of Mac OS X 10.6, and we'll be updating this story when they provide us with the details. As Apple doesn't always provide developers with final code before launch, many companies won't get the chance to check full compatibility -- so expect to see a rush of minor updates over the Bank Holiday weekend.