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Best Alternatives to Adobe Suite Software Subscriptions in 2023

If you don't want to pay for an Adobe Creative Cloud software subscription, this guide will show you the best Adobe alternatives, both free and paid.

If you don’t want to pay for an Adobe Creative Cloud software subscription, this guide will show you the best Adobe alternatives.

Some of the Adobe replacement apps are free, and others are paid.

However, if your goal is to avoid an Adobe subscription, you’ll be happy with any of the alternative apps listed below.

Is There an Alternative to Adobe Creative Cloud?


There’s no single alternative to Adobe Creative Cloud since there are over 50 Adobe Apps included in the suite.

However, you can definitely find good alternatives to each of the individual software offered by Adobe.

Below we’ve included the most popular Adobe Creative Cloud apps and some valid alternatives for you to choose from.

What is an Alternative to Adobe Acrobat?

Adobe Acrobat is one of Adobe’s PDF applications. It allows you to open, create, manage, edit, and print PDF files easily.

There are many PDF editors out there offering similar services, such as:

1. Wondershare PDFelement – PDF Editor

PDFelement allows you to perform almost all tasks that Acrobat does, and it’s an amazing alternative because of the following reasons:

  • It’s much more affordable than Acrobat.
  • It allows you to combine multiple existing PDF files, images, blank documents, HTML, and screenshots in a single PDF file.
  • It can convert your PDF files into multiple other extensions. You can also use it to convert Images into PNG, BMP, JPEG, GIF, and TIFF.

2. PDF24 Creator

PDF24 Creator is one of the best free Acrobat alternatives. However, it works only on Windows operating systems. Here’s why it can be a great alternative to Acrobat:

  • It’s free and unlimited.
  • It’s fast, lightweight, and works well on lower-spec computers.
  • It works offline and has a clean, fresh interface that is user-friendly.
  • It has all the tools needed for creating, merging, converting, and compressing PDF files. In addition, it has extra tools like digital signature and OCR.

What is an Alternative to Adobe Acrobat Digital Editions?

Adobe Digital Editions are used to read eBooks that you download from online booksellers or library websites. There are many Digital Editions alternatives, including:

1. SumatraPDF

Sumatra PDF is a free app for Windows that allows you to read eBooks, PDFs, XPS, CHM, DjVu, and Comic Books. Here are a few reasons why to use it as an alternative to Digital Editions:

  • It’s Ad free.
  • It’s lightweight and consumes fewer device resources.
  • It’s portable, as you can use it through a USB stick with no prior installation.
  • It supports dark mode that’s really comfortable for your eyes in low light conditions.
  • It supports PDF annotation for highlighting, adding notes, and so forth.

2. Thorium Reader

Thorium Reader is another free, open-source, multi-language EPUB reader. It’s a great alternative for Digital Editions because:

  • It’s privacy aware and highly accessible for visually impaired people as well as dyslexic people.
  • It doesn’t contain any type of external advertising.
  • It lets you search for certain words or phrases from the inside of a document or database.

What is an Alternative to Adobe Illustrator?

Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based software that allows you to create logos, icons, drawings, and other types of illustrations. Here are two of the best Illustrator alternatives:

1. Inkscape

Inkscape is a free, open-source vector editor, and it’s an excellent alternative to Illustrator because of the following:

  • It supports many design formats, including Adobe Illustrator’s AI.
  • It runs well even on lower-specs computers.
  • It can be customized by technically skilled users according to their preferences.

2. Gravit Designer

Gravit Designer is an in-browser vector design app with editing tools. Here’s why it’s a great alternative to Illustrator:

  • Its paid Pro version is much more affordable than Illustrator.
  • It has a real-time collaboration feature that enables you to share work with the rest of your team.
  • It allows you to export files in more formats than Illustrator does.

What is an Alternative to Adobe Flash Player?

Adobe Flash Player was an app that enabled people to enjoy multimedia content and run high-quality Browser Games before it was discontinued in 2020 for security reasons.

Here are two of the best replacements apps for Flash Player:

1. Lightspark

Lightspark is a free, open-source alternative for Flash Player. Here’s why it can be a great alternative to Flash Player:

  • It can be used with every browser out there.
  • It’s compilable with 264 flash videos on YouTube.
  • It can easily render and playback all Flash content formats.

2. FlashFox

FlashFox is an ideal replacement for Flash Player for PC. Here’s why:

  • It runs flash content flawlessly.
  • It’s free.
  • It supports incognito mode and also offers the ability to clean up your browsing history conveniently.

What is an Alternative to Adobe Premiere?

Adobe Premier is a video editing software that enables you to create animations and edit movies. Adobe Premiere Pro has many alternatives, such as:

1. DaVinci Resolve

DaVinci Resolve is one of the best video editing software because:

  • It offers separate workspaces for editing, audio, color, and visual effects.
  • It features a unique collaboration model that allows all creative experts to work on the same project simultaneously.
  • Its paid version is much more affordable than Adobe packages.
  • Its free version offers many of the same features as Premiere Pro

2. Blender

Blender is an amazing video editing software. It’s a great alternative for Premiere because:

  • It’s free and open-source.
  • It has interactive editing and animation features.
  • It has many useful add-ons.

What Is an Alternative to Adobe After Effects?

Adobe After Effects is an editing and visual effects software for creating incredible videos.

While many film makers and animators want to buy After Effects permanently, unfortunately, since CS6, that’s no longer possible.

Fortunately, there are many alternatives to After Effects, which include:

1. HitFilm Pro

HitFilm Pro is an all-in-one video editing software for filmmakers and motion artists, and it’s a terrific After Effects alternative because:

  • It’s affordable.
  • It has audio visualization features.
  • It supports lights, shadows, and environment.
  • It has over 870 ready-to-use presets, available for any layer or clip.

2. Natron

Natron is a free, open-source software that makes a more than suitable After Effects alternative. Here’s why:

  • It has over 250 plugins.
  • It has tool sets that can generate unlimited layers of mattes, masks, and shapes.
  • It has a node-based engine.

What is an Alternative to Adobe Lightroom?

Adobe Lightroom is arguably the best photo editing software available in 2023. However, it does have many alternatives, including:

1. Skylum Luminar

Skylum Luminar is one of the most popular Lightroom alternatives because:

  • It’s affordable – see our Luminar Neo review.
  • It’s simple and fun to use.
  • It has impressive AI tools.
  • It has many one-click presets.

2. Darktable

Darktable is a wonderful free Lightroom alternative. Here’s what’s great about it:

  • It’s free and open-source.
  • It has a user-friendly interface.
  • It supports Multiple languages.
  • It has a powerful export system.

What is an Alternative to Adobe Animate?

Adobe Animate is a 2D animation software that allows you to create cartoons, doodles, and animations. Here are two of its best alternatives.

1. Krita

Krita is considered the best alternative for Animate for the following reasons:

  • It’s simple to use and has powerful animating tools.
  • It has layered onion skinning features.
  • It has over 100 preloaded brushes.

2. OpenToonz

OpenToonz can also be an excellent replacement for Animate because:

  • It contains fantastic features for professionals and beginners.
  • It’s easy to learn.
  • It has many customizable effects.

What is an Alternative to Adobe XD?

Adobe XD is a vector-based design platform, and it has many alternatives, including:

1. InVision

InVision is reportedly the best alternative for Adobe XD. That’s because it has the following features:

  • It’s highly affordable.
  • It’s easy to use.
  • It’s great for remote team prototyping.

2. Figma

Figma is another popular UI & prototyping design software that was recently acquired by Adobe. It’s a great alternative to Adobe XD because:

  • It’s easy to use.
  • It has excellent real-time collaboration features.
  • It enables you to design, prototype, and collaborate within a space.
  • See also: Figma alternatives

What is an Alternative to Adobe Photoshop?

Adobe Photoshop is a graphics manipulation program that needs no introduction. Photoshop has several good alternatives, including:

1. Canva

Canva is an excellent alternative to Adobe Photoshop. That’s because it has the following features:

  • It’s free to use.
  • It’s easy to use.
  • It’s great for quick graphic creation tasks.

2. Skylum Luminar

Skylum Luminar has some powerful AI features that can do similar things to Photoshop’s more advanced tools that are powered by Adobe Sensei.

  • It’s affordable.
  • It’s simple and fun to use.
  • It has impressive AI tools.
  • It has many one-click presets.

What is an Alternative to Adobe Audition?

Adobe Audition is a powerful piece of software for editing and remixing audio, which is particularly popular with podcasters.

Just like most of the other Adobe apps, Audition has alternatives, including the ones below:

1. Audacity

  • Absolutely free
  • Open source and community supported
  • Expansive library of plug-ins and tools
  • Very capable audio editing program

2. Ableton Live

  • One-time purchase with no subscription fees
  • Purpose-built for working with live music
  • Impressive collection of instruments
  • UI is easy to navigate

Final Words

It’s no doubt that Adobe offers a great variety of creative software. However, they can be too expensive for some, so it’s fortunate that there are so many alternatives you can take advantage of.

So, whether you need a free, open-source app or a paid one, you can always compare your options and pick what suits you most. Now, is it time to uninstall Creative Cloud for good?

\Let us know in the comments if you’re happy to keep paying for an Adobe subscription or if one of these options fulfills your needs.

Shotkit Writer, Product Tester & Instagram Manager

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.

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