Adobe Production Apps Alternatives


Think again. From the very beginning, every app you’ve ever used has been subject to a license. Go back and carefully dissect your EULAs. That is what you’re buying, a right to use the app, not the app itself. The discs are just convenient storage. Are EULAs legal? Provided that they aren’t grossly outrageous, sure. The US court system has already upheld the notion that a EULA exists as legal, binding contract. The moment you open the package, install, or click “AGREE” you’re bound to the terms.

I can sell my old version of CS and so can everyone else who did not upgrade using it to get to CC.

Equally debatable. Some companies certainly allow for license transfer, but it’s not a legal requirement. EULAs, being binding contracts, can work around the limitations imposed by first-sale doctrine. You can be prevented from reselling your software.

My CS Production Premium still holds value - CC does not.

You might own the physical copy, but it’s really Adobe that decides whether or not your CS copy is worthless. Activation being what it is, they can terminate your license for any number of reasons.

In Europe the people won against AD and can re-sell the software.

That case, afaik, was also tried here in the US and, you’re right, the people DID win that case against ADSK. Unfortunately, that verdict was also overturned just 2 years later.

But you can’t do that with CC so Adobe found a way to get around that pulling the wool over politicians eyes

There’s no pulling the wool over anybody’s eyes. They just removed the availability of the physical copy and switched their business model to something service-related. There’s nothing illegal about subscriptions or rental. As long as they’re prepared to deal with the monetary fallout, it’s Adobe’s right to change their modus operandi. At most, they’re just guilty of being greedy.

I may not like the concept of subscriptions, and I don’t, but they’re the gatekeeper and always have been. The only difference between then and now is that, now, I can actually see the puppet master pulling the strings.

I’m certainly not spitting into the wind. I’m still using my old CS and not having to worry about having nothing after stopping paying.

No. You just have to worry about Adobe eventually shutting down the activation server. You just have to worry about your app becoming obsolete enough not to run on whatever future OS comes our way.

I know somebody who drove a 1973 Vega for about 25 years. Their argument was, “It still runs. Why bother upgrading?” Eventually, it stopped running and upgrading became less of an option and more of a necessity.

I’m also not worried about another recession and having to pay a monthly rental fee JUST to open and edit my files.

That’s ridiculous. Saving your files to the cloud isn’t a requirement and formats like PSD, PDF, and AI are so common that you’re not bound to Adobe’s apps to open them.

Also, even if you cancel your subscription, you’ll still have access to your files in the cloud. Even if you’re you’re over a 2GB limit of the free service, you’re still given 90 days before you have to think about off-loading your files and reducing your usage to that 2GB freebie level.

Read the FAQ.

No, they’re not going anywhere. But how do you think shareholders will feel if/when they continue to have dismal profit figures?

That’s the beauty of Adobe’s stock buyback program. The number of shareholders they now have to deal with is far, far less. They still have to answer to them, but not as many of them. They’re down from 17k+ public shares to just 2k. Adobe has, in effect, reduced their level of accountability. Hell will likely come from their customers and their board.

You’re right, Adobe IS the standard and they have taken advantage of that - but not all of us are helping them do it.

Good luck with that. You’re likely to bend and break before Adobe. Never say never. You could use alternatives, but your results will vary. I’ve found that the alternatives are either not up to snuff or you need more of them to do the job of one Adobe app. I’ve found that the alternatives saved me money and freed me for Adobe’s “tyranny”, but they as easily tended to complicate my workflow.

I bet they figure that if they can’t make enough profit on rental-only software they will come out with another solution that may have something to do with ownership

That certainly sounds conspiracy tinged. :wink: Businesses are made up of people. Sometimes, these people have a hard time striking a sensible balance. If Adobe does once again offer a perpetual license option, which I feel that they might, it’ll be because they’re looking for that sweet spot, not because they got backed into a corner. Finding that balance isn’t always easy.

Adobe still has enough of a financial cushion to adjust course. Even if their margins are way, way down, it’s not like they’re in the red.


In my nearly 41 years on this Earth, I’ve heard that same argument every year. It just doesn’t hold water. When I was a kid, the cost of subway fare cost $0.50. People always said that, if it went up to $1, they would no longer be able to afford to go to work. It’s now up to $2.75 for a single ride and people are still managing to survive. Even if it goes up to $5 one day, that won’t change. Inflation aside, people will always find a way. It might mean having to cut something else from their personal budget, but that’s life.

The next crisis to come will make the 2008 one look like a walk in the park.

Maybe. I can’t speak for the global market, but the US has certainly seen much worse than the so-called “Great Recession”, which topped out at 10%-12% unemployment. We recovered from the Great Depression and the unemployment rate topped out at 25% back then. I’m not saying that we can’t be brought to our knees and to ruin, but we’ve survived worse than than 2007-2009.

Yes, I know, bike isn’t really suitable for long distances but hey… you can still travel.

And if you live in the country, but your job is 2 hours away (by car) in the city? (Don’t say “get another job” because that isn’t always an option, especially if you’re in a specialized field. If you’re supermarket checkout clerk, sure. The work is everywhere. If you’re a rocket scientist, not so much.)

In highschool, I had a teacher who used to commute 2.5 hours each way, every day, to work. If her car died or the rail system got downed by severe weather, she was either stuck at home (losing money) or in the city (also losing money). Not to harp on the bike issue, but they’re not THE answer. They’re only good to a point.

ANYWAY, that’s neither here nor there. I was just saying, when backed into a corner, you’re going to choose the lesser of evils. Knuckling under over a few $$$, while distasteful, is often preferable to unemployment and financial hardship.

     No, actually you think again. We all KNOW that you can't reverse engineer the software - you don't OWN the code. Please stop bringing up this POV - every time someone brings up "ownership" someone else has to step in and wave their hands saying "but we don't ACTUALLY own the software." We DO own the license.
     No, NOT equally debatable. Right there on the Adobe site it has stated for YEARS that you can sell your Adobe license. You can debate all you want but it would be a waste of time. And since we are talking about Adobe here, end of story.
     And since it states clearly on their website that you OWN the license and CAN sell it, you can make up anything you want AND can say that IF Adobe decided....   they can end your license. I don't see that happening, do you?
  For AD and various other software in the US you are correct. But for old ADOBE software you are wrong - they (again) allow resale.
     Obviously you haven't been following what has been going on over in Europe and how the politicians have been viewing "the Cloud" and software. 
     Really? And how many years do you think THAT will be? I'm still running AND using Lightwave 5.5 along with the latest version so YES, I have been upgrading ALL along. I have a number of computer systems up and running that will allow me to use my copy of CS for MANY years to come. And shutting down the activation server? Not likely. AD was going to do that with old copies of Motion Builder but there was a backlash and I and MANY others contacted the FTC and BBB and AD backpedaled. That EULA goes both ways. 
     This is a typical straw man argument. Those of us against rental-only would be upgrading if there was something to upgrade to. But there isn't. So we use that "'73 Vega" until the new Vega comes out that I can OWN.
     I'm sorry, but do you really understand what has been said? This is not ABOUT "the Cloud" and keeping files IN the Cloud. Try to open up a PremiereCC file in PremiereCS. Just because you can open up a PS CC file in CS doesn't mean that you can automatically open ALL of the files you created in CC in a previous CS application. There have been numerous problems already with opening these newer files - just check the Adobe forums. And this is only a year or two into CC. Wait until the gap gets wider. Then when you STOP paying how are you going to open and edit your files? It has NOTHING to do with "the Cloud."
     So? "Far, far less" isn't ZERO. If the stock doesn't perform, stockholders get "angry" and sell. This devalues the stock and Adobe is worth less. How long can they go if the stock price continues to decline?
     And yet...   their profits are WAY DOWN.  :)
    And I already use alternatives. I'm not going back to Adobe. They lost me as a customer. That of course CAN change, but I wouldn't even consider it until ownership is restored. And looking at various forums and blogs - AND their profits - many of us are not buying Adobe. And before you start with the "well why are you complaining" line...  again, this is NOT about just Adobe, but the future of our software. I don't want to wake up ten years from now having virtually nothing but rented software. I don't WANT to have to rent everything (or nearly everything) I use. This is why some of us rent cars and some of us buy - CHOICE.
    Conspiracy tinged? LOL They've already confirmed it - back in May-June right after they first came out with CC-only. If you recall, there was a HUGE backlash of anger and Adobe was forced to say "we're looking into this and we'll see what we can do" - but they have said NOTHING. It's painfully obvious that they're waiting to see how this turns out before they make ANY "permanent" decision.


That’s why they called it the GREAT RECESSION - the worst downturn since the Great Depression. And the worst downturn that the majority of the public have EVER faced. I’ve lived and worked through MANY recessions, but this recession cost us 95% of our business. No jobs were available to supplement our income and we did not expect it to last so long - in fact we’ve still only recovered MAYBE 40% of our business. I’ve said MANY times that you buy software when the times are good, and hold off when times are tough. With rental-only software that can’t happen. There were MONTHS when we would have one customer come to us and ask us for one small change to a project - something that would have taken just a few minutes - and that $50 a month rental fee wouldn’t cover that. And this went on for a few years - customers asking us for small changes here and there to their files - not enough to cover renting the software. But then we didn’t have to worry about that because we BOUGHT our CS suite when we had the cash and could easily open and edit our files.

And with the latest budget deal - approving the CRomnibus - the safeguards implemented by Dodd-Frank have been removed and once again the taxpayer is on the hook to repay the mistakes of the banks. Another Great Recession WILL happen again.


Interesting and relevant discussion. But I do want to be midful of the thread topic. I’m still compiling the list in the first post, so if you have any favorite ‘permanent license’ apps, please post them or PM to me.
I think a photoshop equivalent that is reasonably priced would change the game at this point.


Bloom looks pretty cool. Anyone using it and can comment?


It seems that you guys never heard of :slight_smile:


“Bloom” is the new name for “ORMR”. It is still under (very slow) development, and very buggy and prone to crash. It is not a complete product yet.

The GUI is terrible in my personal view, and requires a rethink. Having said that, it is interesting that everything is truly non-destructive, and it does sport some interesting ideas.


Well, if you disregard the video and 3d functionality of Photoshop, Photoline comes to mind. In a number of areas it does a better job than Photoshop.


Now that Hitfilm3 express is free… any got a chance to test it ?


Hey guys has anyone tried Photoline ?as a Photoshop replacement. I downloaded it and played a bit. I like it quite a lot. Will probably buy it.


It seems to me that I tried Photoline a couple of years ago. Looking at the current version, it looks pretty cool! Definitely give the one month trial a go.

Also for vector graphics I’ve been using Drawplus 8. It has some great features. Not as robust as AI, but it does some things better.


I’ve been using Photoline for about a year now. It is well designed and pretty feature rich and I now use it more often than PShop CS6. I still have not gone to the cloud.
I will state that I do much less graphics these days…

FWIW, and I’m not profiting in any way, I did receive a notice of a discount (thru tomorrow) on 2 new apps for photo/vector workflow. I purchased them, but it will be awhile before I can report on how much I like them, but looking at their product pages, they look pretty darn promising. Even without the discount, they are inexpensive.

The apps are Affinity Photo and Affinity Designer. The store, w/product links, is here. .


It’s a shame that autodesk end of lifed ‘Sketchbook Designer’ :frowning:
Anyway, I can get that old version? Thanks.


That’s why I have always avoided them. There is no reason to buy and/or discontinue so many products. They could make them free, they could open source them, etc. It just looks like they don’t treat their acquisitions with the same love as their homegrown products. At least they did make meshmixer free, for some reason.

Anyway, isn’t ArtRage pretty similar to Sketchbook Designer?


Actually, I think that ArtRage is probably closer to Corel Painter instead. Both are natural media focused. I could be wrong, but I was under the impression that SketchBook Designer leaned more heavily on vector. SketchBook Pro, otoh, is strictly a raster endeavor.

I wouldn’t even say that ArtRage is a SBP alternative simply because one does something exceedingly well that the other does not. For example, imo, SBP probably has the best, most accurate, looking and feeling pencil around. ArtRage, however, might not have as good of a pencil, but the paints & brushes are outstanding - especially when you turn on RYB mixing.

It’s a shame that SketchBook Pro moved to subscription only after v7 though. I’m happy with my perpetual v7 license, but can’t see much reason why ADSK would make such a small app a subscription only affair. It’s just greedy. Even Adobe keeps perpetual license versions of Photoshop and Premiere as part of their Elements line.

I’m not sure if there’s a 1:1 alternative to SketchBook Designer. I know that the recently released JugiPaint does raster & vector painting, but not nearly in the same class as ADSK’s app. Inkscape is probably closer, but much more of an Illustrator alternative.


I’ve been using Affinity Photo and Designer for about a year. They are still a bit rough around the edges, but I seldom open Illusttrator and even less PhotoShop.
Recently I started using Topaz Studio, which is the coolest graphics app I’ve seen in a long time. Even the free version is a great tool.


The new GIMP 2.10 is a pretty solid Photoshop alternative:

That’s partially because it is basically a clone of Photoshop with almost exactly the same functions.


Is there any (especially FOSS) software that’s an alternative to Adobe Animate?? Something which lets you export to HTML5?


This site gives alternatives to almost any software:

Take a look at the softs listed, and you might find one that costs zero and exports to HTML5 as well.