Are you one of those techies that must have the latest gadget as soon as it comes out? Are you willing to wait in line for hours or even camp out for days in order to score that latest must-have device? If you are one of these folks, you probably feel the same way about your design software, and you may be a little crazy! Just kidding friends!
The latest releases of today's design and layout programs are jam packed with hundreds of new features. They offer new functionality that makes your job/life easier, and they fix problems/issues based on consumer feedback. The marketing departments for the software developers do a great job of hyping them up, making them almost impossible to resist.
Before you wait in line and buy brand new software, a word of advice about upgrading. Speak to your print professional and make sure they can handle your new files! Most design and print houses hold off on purchasing the latest software release for a few months. This gives the software developers a chance to fix any issues that arise after release. It's common for patches to be released in order to accommodate the issues that can only be identified when the software is used in the field. Your print professional may not have the capabilities to handle these new files from a new and relatively untested program. They may ask you to export your files to an earlier version or provide them in another format(such as a PDF).
As a print professional, I have seen this many times over the years. A client provides files that cannot be opened. This leads to delays in what is usually a tight production time-frame. When isn't a print production time-frame rush? It's the nature of the business! Holding off on will give your service provider the opportunity to upgrade themselves, thus eliminating any potential issues with compatibility before they can occur. So if you have to be the first on the block to have that new software, be sure to ask before you submit your files! Keeping up with the Joneses can hurt you wallet in more ways than one!