Installing Extensions From Adobe CS5 or CS6 Into Creative Cloud

April 16, 2014 Interactive Design / Development 0

Recently, we were switched from various versions of Adobe’s Creative Suite to Creative Cloud at work. Well, I would love today that this was a smooth process, well at least as smooth as Adobe makes it out to be…it wasn’t.

Once of the biggest issues we had within the Interactive department was that many of the extensions we rely on in things like Dreamweaver and Photoshop were gone and we could not get them installed again. We were furiously trying to figure it out and it was not until I basically bricked my iMac that I stumbled across the answer.

First of all, I did not find the answer anywhere within the Adobe forums…they are basically useless. Even our IT director had trouble trying to get help from them. So where did we turn? To GOOGLE of course!

Long story short, the Extension manager within Creative Cloud was released having at least one very important tool removed…the one that let’s you convert the now deprecated .MXP files to the new .ZXP format. Silly right? Why would they remove the ability to convert. They don’t know if you are migrating from 4, 5, or 6 after all. If you are running Creative Cloud and looking to get your old extensions running for any of your applications, here is what you need to do:

1. Download and install Extension Manager CS6. It can be run as a standalone application and so far I have not noticed any issues with it and Extension Manager CC running on the same machine. If you want to be really safe, you could designate one computer to be used to perform the conversion. You can download Extension Manager CS6 from here:

2. Make sure that you have the MXP files in question ready to go someplace handy

3. Open Extension Manager CS6 and once it is open, click on “tools”, and then click on “Convert MXP Extension to ZXP”…it should be the first one in the list

4. Select the file that you wish to convert, and click “Open”

5. Enter the name you would like to save the new file as, or leave the default alone and then select where you would like it to be saved…when done click on “Save”

6. Now open Extension Manger CC and feel free to install your newly created ZXP files!

A few additional words. I do not make any guarantees that the process above will generate files that will actually work in your CC applications. For example, I converted an extension for Dreamweaver that allowed us to generate Air based HTML applications for internal distribution. When I tried to install it, I kept receiving an error “DWMenu_Help_Reference” that would cause the install to fail. The extension was converted just fine, but Adobe made some additional changes to CC that was causing trouble. Luckily, as I discovered, they disabled some features that they felt were not longer needed, but they didn’t actually remove them completely. To fix the issue I mention above, I had to do the following:

(I am on a mac but the paths are fairly similar for PC users)

1. Locate the following file: /Users/[username]/Library/Application\ Support/Adobe/Dreamweaver\ CC/en_US/Configuration/Menus/Menus.xml

2. Open the XML file in your editor of choice (other than Dreamweaver if you are trying to update it)

3. Search the file for “DWMenu_Help_Reference”…you should find it with a comment block at the beginning and end of it

4. Remove the !- – at the beginning and the – – at the end…be sure to leave the <> on both ends (look at the grouping above it in the XML file to see what I am talking about)…you should have something like the below when you are done:

5. Save your changes and close the XML file

6. Go back to Extension Manager CC and try to install it again, it should install with no issues. If you see another error, simply check the file that it references in the error and repeat the above, if possible, to correct the issue

So hopefully this will help someone else out there stop the screaming and cursing that I was doing. If there are any questions or comments please feel free to let me know and I will update the post accordingly.