Last Updated on October 13, 2023
Adobe is a large multinational computer software company with over 26,000 employees. Its flagship products include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, XD, Acrobat DC, as well as the ubiquitous the Portable Document Format (PDF). Their products are wrapped up and marketed as the Creative Cloud, a subscription-only way of accessing more than 20 desktop and mobile apps and services for photography, design, video, web, UX, and more.
We are long-standing admirers of Adobe’s products. They develop many high quality proprietary programs. It’s true there are security and privacy concerns in relation to some of their products. And there’s considerable criticism attached to their pricing practices. But the fundamental issue regarding Adobe Creative Cloud is that Linux isn’t a supported platform. And there’s no prospect of support forthcoming.
What if you are looking to move away from Adobe and embark on a new world of online freedom, where you are not tracked, monetised and attached to Adobe’s ecosystem. We only recommend free and open source alternatives. Our recommended software don’t necessarily replicate every feature of their Adobe counterparts but they offer sufficient functionality for many tasks.
Adobe Photoshop is a raster graphics editor. Photoshop can edit and compose raster images in multiple layers and supports masks, alpha compositing and several color models including RGB, CMYK, CIELAB, spot color, and duotone.
Photoshop uses its own PSD and PSB file formats to support these features.
What are the best free and open source alternatives?
GIMP stands for the GNU Image Manipulation Program, a freely distributed program for photo retouching, image composition and image authoring.
GIMP offers artists the features and flexibility to create truly original artwork.
The software sports a large feature set. It can be used as a simple paint program, an expert quality photo retouching program, an online batch processing system, a mass production image renderer, an image format converter, and much more.
Krita is a professional free and open source painting program. It’s made by artists that want to see affordable art tools for everyone.
Krita is really sublime open source software. It’s very easy to use, intuitive, and offers features and tools for a wide range of digital painting.
We particularly admire its excellent support for displaying brushes, its highly customizable user interface, and easy editing.
MyPaint is an open source paint program with dynamic brushes for graphic tablets.
This is a pressure sensitive Wacom tablet paint program. A number of prominent artists use this software.
All articles in this series:
|Alternatives to Adobe's Products
|Acrobat Reader is a multi-platform PDF reader. It lets users view, print, sign and comment on PDF documents.
|After Effects is digital visual effects, motion graphics, and compositing software used in the post-production process of film making, video games and television production.
|Animate is a multimedia authoring and computer animation. Animate is used to design vector graphics and animation for television series, online animation, websites, web applications, rich web applications, game development, and more.
|Audition is a digital audio workstation featuring both a multitrack, non-destructive mix/edit environment and a destructive-approach waveform editing view.
|Bridge is a creative asset manager that lets you preview, organise, edit and publish multiple creative assets quickly and easily.
|Character Animator is software that combines real-time live motion-capture with a multi-track recording system to control layered 2D puppets based on an illustration drawn in Photoshop or Illustrator.
|Dimension is 3D rendering and design software. It's designed to build brand visualizations, illustrations, product mockups and other creative work.
|Dreamweaver is a web development tool. It includes a code editor that supports syntax highlighting, code completion, real-time syntax checking, and code introspection for generating code hints to assist the user in writing code.
|Fresco is a vector and raster drawing and painting app. It's primarily used for digital painting by artists, illustrators, animators, and sketchers.
|Illustrator is a vector graphics editor and design tool. The software lets you create everything from web and mobile graphics to logos, icons, book illustrations, product packaging, and billboards.
|InCopy is a professional word processor that integrates with InDesign. The software enables editors to write, edit, and design documents.
|Indesign is a desktop publishing and page layout designing application. The software is used to create posters, flyers, brochures, magazines, newspapers, presentations, books and ebooks
|Lightroom is a creative image organization and image manipulation. Its main uses include importing/saving, viewing, organizing, tagging, editing, and sharing large numbers of digital images.
|Lightroom Classic is a creative image organization and image manipulation software. This photo editing app is optimised for the desktop.
|Media Encoder is an encoding engine for Adobe Premiere Pro, Adobe After Effects, Adobe Audition, and Adobe Character Animator.
|Photoshop is a raster graphics editor with multiple layers, masks, alpha compositing. It edits and composes raster images in multiple layers and supports masks, alpha compositing and several color models.
|Premiere Pro is a timeline-based video editing tool. It is geared towards professional video editing.
|Scan provides a portable scanner that recognizes text automatically (OCR) and allows you to save to multiple files formats including PDF and JPEG.
|XD is a prototyping tool for user experience and interaction designers. Adobe XD features are used for creating wireframes, prototypes, and screen designs for digital products.