Adobe offers the best programs in the creative industry, and unfortunately, that means that usually, its programs don't come cheap. Thankfully, there are several free programs, some Adobe discounts, and plenty of free trials at your disposal to help you get what you need. Take advantage of these offerings to determine what works best for you and get creating!
Best Adobe deals
The very best deal available to anyone at present is the Adobe CC Students and Teachers discount. This Adobe discount provides you with over 20 of the very best Adobe programs at 60% off the full price. However, you will need to provide proof that you are a student or teacher in order to obtain this subscription option.
Adobe CC Students and Teachers |
$54.99/mo now $19.99/mo (opens in new tab)
Save over 60% on this bundle of powerful apps which include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat Pro, XD, Premiere Pro, and more. This is by far the best deal as it allows you to check multiple programs out at a low price.
Adobe Stock | Get 10 free Adobe Stock images (opens in new tab)
Creating work can become significantly easier when you've got access to high-quality stock images and that's what Adobe Stock is all about. You can check out the 30-day trial and receive 10 images free while being able to cancel at any time. If you decide you like it, you can pay $29.99/mo for the service.
Free Adobe trials
Almost every big Adobe program offers a seven-day free trial. This includes the heaviest hitters like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, and Premiere Pro. After the seven days are up, you'll need to pay a subscription in order to continue to have access, but you can always cancel at any time.
Adobe Photoshop| Free trial for Mac, iPad, or PC (opens in new tab)
Adobe's flagship program is considered the very best photo editing software out there. Check it out with this seven-day trial. If you decide you like it and don't want to cancel, you'll pay $20.99/mo for access.
Adobe Lightroom | Free trial for Mac, iPad, iPhone, and PC (opens in new tab)
Lightroom is a photographer's software of choice. It allows you to easily edit your work, organize your photos using metadata and tags, store your work on the cloud, and easily share your creations to social media or email. See how you feel about it with this seven-day free trial and if you decide you want to keep it, the lowest plan is only $9.99/mo.
Adobe Illustrator | Free trial for Mac, iPad, or PC (opens in new tab)
When it comes to creating logos and other vector-based graphic design projects, Illustrator far outshines the competition. Test it out with the free seven-day trial and if you like it you can swap to a subscription of $20.99/mo. You can also cancel it whenever you'd like.
Adobe InDesign | Free trial for Mac, iPad, or PC (opens in new tab)
InDesign is the go-to tool within design and print publications. Use it to help place text and images perfectly within a format. See how well it works for your needs with the seven-day free trial. If you decide to keep access after the trial, it will be $20.99/mo. Otherwise cancel the subscription whenever you'd like.
Adobe Express | Free for iOS and Android (opens in new tab)
Formally known as Adobe Spark, Adobe Express is the program that allows you to easily make social media content, logos, and banners from your mobile device. Best part of all? It's absolutely free.
Adobe Premiere Pro | Free trial for Mac and PC (opens in new tab)
Love making and editing videos? Then Premiere Pro is the program for you. Touch up your shots, add captions, create animations, and optimize your videos for every social channel you post to. Check it out with the seven-day free trial. If you like the program, the subscription is $20.99/mo.
Adobe Dreamweaver| Free trial for Mac and PC (opens in new tab)
This program provides you with the tools you need to make websites from scratch using HTML, CSS, and other coding engines. You can test it out with the seven-day free trial. If you decide you want to keep access after the trial, it's $20.99/mo and the subscription can be canceled at any time.
Adobe After Effects | Free trial for Mac or PC (opens in new tab)
After Effects allows users to add motion to their images to create professional animations. So you could add text, create effects surrounding your images, and get them looking extremely professional-looking. Check it out with the free seven-day trial and if you like it, you'll pay $20.99/mo after that to keep it.
Is Adobe worth a subscription?
Adobe is by far the biggest software company for creatives. Each of its programs has a specific focus whether that be raster (pixel) photo editing with Photoshop, vector-based graphic design with Illustrator, video editing with Premiere Pro, and much more. In each case, the software is usually considered the best option in the industry making it compatible with more people and often more powerful than alternatives.
Now the one big issue many people have with Adobe is that most of its programs are subscription-based rather than one-time purchases.
If you're specifically interested in a competitor to Photoshop, there are plenty of other photo editing app alternatives that you can obtain with a single purchase. But before you leave Adobe completely behind, you should consider the simplified programs Adobe has to offer. For photo editing and video editing apps, there are Photoshop Elements or Premiere Elements respectively. They are $100 each or $150 for the two bundled together. That's far less costly than a one-year subscription of Photoshop or Premiere Pro.
As far as drawing apps go, Adobe Fresco is something you shouldn't skip out on. It's absolutely free, offers a far more simplified interface than Photoshop, and works incredibly well. It's available for iPad, iPhone, Windows, and Microsoft Surface. In fact, it's one of my very favorite programs.
Photoshop Elements 2023 & Premiere Elements 2023
Love taking photos as well as videos? Help get them all touched up and ready for sharing with this two-program bundle. Your projects will look even better than you could have imagined.
Draw just about anything you can put your mind to on iPad using this free drawing app. There are tons of brushes to choose from and the interface is simplified from more complex programs for an intuitive experience.
Download from: Adobe (opens in new tab)
Best devices for Adobe programs
It's a very well-known fact that many creatives prefer to use Apple devices when creating their work. This is also seen from Adobe's perspective as the company often prioritizes software compatibility and updates for Mac, iPad, and iPhone over other tech. This being the case, Adobe programs function extremely well on Apple gear — making Mac and iPad best for artists. Combined with the Apple Pencil, an iPad can really give you the control and pressure sensitivity you want.
Of course, most Adobe programs also work well on Android, PC, and Microsoft Surface devices. However, you'll need to check each program's requirements on Adobe's website to know for sure which devices can access them. While the Surface Pen for Microsoft Surface devices is also admirable, it isn't as responsive as the Apple Pencil, but can still serve you well.
Some programs are designed specifically for Mac and PC, but also have mobile counterparts for iPad and iPhone. Meanwhile, there are also other Adobe programs that were intended specifically for mobile.