Adobe Creative Cloud Alternatives

By Ann Young 7 days ago Softwares Reviews

Are there good free alternatives to Adobe Creative Cloud?

adobe creative cloud alternatives

A request for Adobe Creative Cloud Alternatives is getting more and more popular because not everyone like Adobe’s every month subscription system. To help you avoid paying a few dollars to the company again and again, I’ve decided to create a top 13 list of the best alternatives to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Adobe Photoshop Alternatives

Take a look at the best alternatives to Adobe Photoshop which are similar to its functionality but are completely free of charge. With their help, you can perform picture retouching, drawing and graphic design.

photoshop logo   Download Photoshop Free to test this photo editing software before installing its alternative.

1. GIMP

Best alternative to Adobe Photoshop

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Rank (4/5)
Online
Mac OS / Windows / Linux | Read GIMP review
Pros+
  • Open source
  • Supports almost all file formats
  • Can be expanded with plug-ins
  • Layers and masks
Cons-
  • Lack of batch editing
  • Needs refinement of some tools
 

It is a free Photoshop alternative that is more than just good. This photo editor supports almost all file formats, including RAW, PNG, GIF and PSD. However, it doesn’t support batch photo editing.

One of its peculiar features is a customizable interface. You can adjust panels, delete or add them to a particular place, stretch or reduce the size as well as pick one of the available colors.

GIMP includes layers, customizable brushes, filters, tools for automatic image enhancement and supports a large number of plug-ins (some of them are preinstalled while others are available for download separately).

For more advanced users, there are also a lot of possibilities, including layer masks, Bezier curves, filters and animation packages. Also, I would like to mention the open source. This image editor is built on it. With its help, you can manually fix errors, program bugs or add different functions to it.

2. Pixlr

Free alternative to Adobe Photoshop

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Rank (4/5)
Mac OS / Windows / Online / Android / iOS | Read Pixlr review
Pros+
  • Plug-ins support
  • Cross-platform
  • Professional tools
Cons-
  • Lack of batch editing
  • Intrusive advertising in the basic version
 

Pixlr is a unique cross-platform picture editor and a great variant of free Adobe alternatives of Photoshop CC. It’s unique because you can use it literally everywhere. Download to desktop, open via browser or a mobile app.

The differences will be minimal, which means it’s ideal for using anytime, anywhere. Pixlr offers a large choice of filters – both funny and classical (b&w, sepia, film) ones. In addition, it provides the support of layers and masks for advanced photo editing.

All brushes and other tools are customizable. There are quick keyboard shortcuts for frequently used parameters, such as levels and curves.

You can adjust each aspect of your photo manually customizing colors, exposure and levels. But there are also automatic tools that can help you enhance your pictures as fast as possible.

This Adobe Photoshop alternative supports RAW files but doesn’t provide batch editing.

Adobe Lightroom Alternatives

To work with photo color correction, you will need a really decent alternative to Lightroom. The software should have a large number of tools for working with color as well as such features as batch image editing and creating/installing presets.

lightroom logo   Download Lightroom Free to test this raw photo editing software before subscription.

1. RawTherapee

Free alternative to Adobe Lightroom

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Rank (4/5)
Mac OS / Windows / Linux | Read RawTherapee review
Pros+
  • Non-destructive photo editing
  • Supports RAW files
  • Effective cataloger
Cons-
  • Inconvenient export
  • Can lag from time to time
  • Not many professional tutorials are found
 

RawTherapee is a free open-source variant of alternatives to Adobe Lightroom. Since Adobe Lr isn’t available for Linux, RawTherapee will be the best decision.

RawTherapee establishes itself as a fast, effective cataloger that supports RAW files and offers the function of management and photo editing in different picture libraries. This image editor allows you to edit RAW files and has improved color correction, histogram matching and displaying of tones with high dynamic range (HDR).

It also offers plenty of tools for tone correction, noise removal, rotation, change of shadows, light, exposure control, settings for tone and white balance.

RawTherapee represents something in between Photoshop and Lightroom in the form of Adobe Camera RAW. I would like to point out that this photo editor is built on non-destructive picture editing. All made changes will not be applied until you export a RAW image that you are editing.

2. LightZone

Simple alternative to Adobe Lightroom

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Rank (4/5)
Mac OS / Windows / Linux
Pros+
  • Easy and fast to edit pictures
  • Non-destructive photo editing
  • The browser perfectly organizes images
Cons-
  • May be too simplistic for pro users
  • Lags from time to time
 

Lightzone is a free RAW converter. It is Adobe Lightroom analog but with some differences. This application is built on open source and has a similar interface. However, it doesn’t have so many settings for batch editing and provides poorer overall workflow. Nevertheless, it’s free and not less effective if you are not a professional retoucher.

This option of alternatives to Adobe Lightroom allows you to make non-destructive changes to your pictures. You edit them through a series of modules, each of them offers its aspect of image editing.

You can add seven tone curves or adjust the color in 13 modules. Among its features, I like the “real-time preview” function. One more important feature is its styles which can help you add some creative effects to pictures, including high dynamic range (HDR), sepia, etc.

3. DarkTable

Open-source Lightroom alternative

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    Rank (3.5/5)
    Mac OS / Windows / Linux / Fedora etc.
    Pros+
    • Frequent updates
    • Excellent raw developer
    • Fast photo editing
    • Non-destructive edits
    Cons-
    • Can’t be used on mobile devices
    • Slower performance compared to Lightroom
     

    If you are looking for free Adobe alternatives, Darktable is a perfect option to consider. It is an open-source image editing software and an advanced tool for developing RAW images. Darktable features a virtual light table to view RAW photos and a darkroom to enhance pictures. This software was developed specifically for photographers to perfectly organize their images.

    Darktable features non-destructive image editing which allows you to make all the necessary adjustments in the photo with the ability to easily revert back to the original image. There is an array of RAW developer software on the Internet. But Darktable stands out from all these programs as it has features similar to those in Lightroom. Moreover, it supports RAW image processing for more than 400 cameras. Also, Darktable has tools that are not included in Lightroom CC, like split toning and curve adjustment.

    Adobe Premiere Pro Alternatives

    For convenient and high-quality video editing, you will need a program that will simplify your workflow as Premiere Pro does it. Such software should include standard tools for video editing, the ability to work with color and a wide array of export settings.

    adobe premiere pro logo   Download Adobe Premiere Pro Free to test this video editing software before subscribing.

    1. DaVinci Resolve

    Free alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro

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    Rank (4/5)
    Mac OS / Windows
    Pros+
    • Many visual effects
    • High-performance modules
    • Great sound mixer
    • Supports color plug-ins (LUTs)
    Cons-
    • Complex learning curve
    • Limited export settings
     

    Even though this software has a complex learning curve, advanced amateur filmmakers will appreciate all f its possibilities. DaVinci Resolve 15 includes four high-performance video production modules for editing, color grading, sound reproduction as well as video effects and motion graphics.

    This Adobe Premiere alternative offers classic timeline with a multimedia pool, effects and sounds libraries, sound mixer, inspector and a possibility of an unlimited number of audio and video tracks.

    The program also provides new audio plug-ins and functions, editable page title templates, browser of a color pages’ lookup table (LUT) and common color knots.

    However, I don’t like that its export settings are limited. You can’t export MXF to broadcast or perform work with subtitles, which are necessary for television.

    2. VideoPad

    Simple alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro

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    Rank (4/5)
    Windows
    Pros+
    • Supports 4K video
    • Advanced Chroma key tool
    • Built-in automatic video stabilizer
    Cons-
    • Lack of some professional functions
    • Small bandwidth
     

    VideoPad from NCH Software is a basic program for video editing that has plenty of tools and features. This alternative to Adobe Creative Cloud has a familiar workflow of timeline/storyboard which means you can view your project linearly or for each individual object no matter how long it takes.

    The library of visual effects and transitions is quite simple. You can crop shots of the captured material, pan and zoom, add motion blur and adjust such image values as shade, saturation, exposure, etc. In addition, this program allows you to import, edit and export 4K videos with ultra-high resolution.

    Among its peculiar features, I would like to mention the Chroma key tool (green screen), video stabilizer and closed captions for hearing impaired. These functions allow you to create videos at a professional level without investing in expensive professional softwares about $200 per month.

    Adobe After Effects Alternatives

    Adobe After Effects allows you to create stunning motion graphics and trendy visual effects. However, this program may seem difficult to learn and it is rather expensive. That is why, more often users are in search of free programs like After Effects.

    adobe after effects logo   Download Adobe After Effects Free to try this motion graphics editor before subscription.

    1. Blender

    Free alternative to Adobe After Effects

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    Rank (4/5)
    Mac OS / Windows / Linux
    Pros+
    • Accelerated rendering process
    • Professional visual effects
    • Powerful video editing features
    • It’s easy to import footage and perform basic cropping
    Cons-
    • Complex learning curve
    • Some tools need significant refinement
     

    Blender is a free open-source graphics editor. This intuitive multi-functional photo editor offers plenty of tools for creating animation films, visual effects, 3D-printed models, 3D applications and video games.

    This option of programs like After Effects has a built-in tracking engine which allows users to achieve ultra-realistic rendering. It’s equipped with comprehensive modeling tools letting them quickly create, edit and transform their models.

    Besides, Blender provides tools for falsification and animation, which are ideal for creating short films, advertisements and shows. Users can also combine 2D with 3D in a preview window.

    The program offers a character pose animator editor, functions for independent movements and reverse kinematics. It will be possible to carry out automatic skinning while creating posable characters, edit bone layers and colored groups using fast rigging tools.

    2. Natron

    Open-source program like Adobe After Effects

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      Rank (4/5)
      Mac OS / Windows / Linux
      Pros+
      • Open-source
      • Supports plug-ins
      • Works with 4K footage
      • Portable version is available
      Cons-
      • May be unstable
       

      Natron is a non-linear video editing system and a completely free open-source project. This After Effects alternative can be used even for commercial purposes. Natron allows you to work with an unlimited number of video and audio tracks, add various special effects and apply all kinds of filters.

      A strong advantage of Natron is that it has a version for 64-bit operating systems and a portable version that does not require installation and can work from any device. Rich functionality, a well-thought-out modular interface, support for 4K video and OpenFX plug-ins make Natron promising video compositing software.

      Adobe InDesign Alternative

      InDesign is used for professional typesetting and desktop publishing. An Adobe InDesign alternative should have tools for creating leaflets, posters, brochures, books and more.

      adobe indesign logo   Download Adobe InDesign Free before subscribing to know what this program offers.

      1. Scribus

      Free alternative to Adobe InDesign

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      Rank (4/5)
      Mac OS / Windows / Linux
      Pros+
      • A large number of ready-to-use templates
      • Productive
      • There is a possibility of text flowing inside a shaped frame
      Cons-
      • Few additional tools
      • Incomplete documentation
       

      Scribus is a free program that will help you create all types of documents quickly and effectively – from brochures to business cards. You can use one of the available templates or create the design manually using built-in advanced tools.

      This graphics editor comes with many useful tools, including different shapes, Bezier curves, selection tools. It also provides a comprehensive tool for knots editing, where you can attach a text to a track to create better visual effects.

      There is a text flowing inside a shaped frame and associating these frames with the text flow through multi-page documents. This alternative to Adobe InDesign creates separate or multi-page documents that contain texts, vector graphics and imported images from the main apps.

      2. LucidPress

      Web-based Adobe InDesign alternative

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        Rank (3.5/5)
        Web
        Pros+
        • User-friendly
        • Offers numerous templates
        • Constant upgrades
        • Provides great templates and tools to start your design project
        Cons-
        • Free version could have more fonts
         

        If you don’t regularly use desktop publishing software, try LucidPress. You do not need to download and install any software on your computer as it is possible to do everything online. LucidPress is an easy to use tool, so learning its functions doesn’t require much time. However, its main downside is that the free features are very limited. For example, you can’t edit documents with over 3 pages. In addition, you can use only 25 MB of storage.

        Nevertheless, if you want to try typesetting or create an invitation, LucidPress will be a perfect option. One of the biggest security challenges of online desktop publishing is to preserve the idea. Therefore, LucidPress has the paid version for professional use.

        Adobe Illustrator Alternative

        Although many users may find Illustrator an indispensable vector graphics tool, there are free alternatives. Their functions aren’t inferior to this software.

        adobe illustrator logo   Download Adobe Illustrator Free before subscribing to Adobe’s plans.

        1. Inkscape

        Free alternative to Adobe Illustrator

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        Rank (4/5)
        Mac OS / Windows / Linux | Read Inkscape review
        Pros+
        • Open source
        • A lot of advanced tools
        • Useful plug-ins
        Cons-
        • Interface visuals should be improved
        • Poor tools for text formatting
        • Bad compatibility with Illustrator
         

        Inkscape is an open-source app for creating and editing vector graphics. Tools and functions of word processing here are basic and very similar to those you can find in other free programs.

        Among interesting tools, I would like to point out “Bezier”. With its help, you can either draw an approximate track that will be changed later or add exact curves on track to minimize work carried out after creating the track.

        Other tools such as Spray, Eraser and Gradient offer a few convenient shortcuts for creating very interesting effects without much effort. For instance, Spray can use another object as a selection.

        Eraser automatically redraws changed contours without the erased part. Gradient can take medium highlight color as an argument. In this Adobe Illustrator alternative, you will find a suitable trace tool for converting color and black and white bitmaps to vectors.

        2. Affinity Designer

        Adobe Illustrator alternative for professional use

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          Rank (4.5/5)
          Mac OS / Windows / iOS
          Pros+
          • Supports AI and EPS files
          • The ability to send Designer documents to Affinity Photo
          • An extensive number of tools
          • Advanced features
          Cons-
          • Lack of an image-trace feature
          • Doesn’t offer warp, mesh fill and extrusions
          • Doesn’t support custom scripts or plug-ins
           

          The interface of Affinity Designer resembles Adobe Photoshop. It is worth noting that the developers have created similar interfaces on purpose, for the users to quickly get used to the new program.

          Affinity Designer’s and Photoshop’s layer mask features are almost the same. You can use layer effects, styles, all types of blending modes and masks. However, Designer doesn’t have the Layer Lock button (you have to go into the menu every time). The Add layer button looks like a folder, which is rather unusual. With a 95% probability, Affinity Designer will open PSD files, preserving layer styles, transparency, etc. There are no PSD files exporting capabilities yet, but the developers have already announced that they are going to provide it. All these features make Affinity Design a great Adobe Illustrator alternative.


          Ann Young

          Hi there, I'm Ann Young - a professional blogger, read more

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