Subscription-based software: Pros and cons Show More I remember when Adobe made the switch. A large corporation has the budget to shoulder monthly fees, but small businesses and home users may balk, especially for programs used only occasionally.
But a subset of users have largely left their beloved Adobe software behind for a variety of clones, shareware, and open-source products. I actually use them all—Adobe and the alternatives—because each program has unique features I can pick and choose for my projects. We also talk to experts about why software subscriptions are on the rise.
The filters and special effects are what distinguish them from one another and from Photoshop. I also appreciate that GIMP works on multiple platforms, uses minimal system resources, and is super-easy to use. The best free software for your PC ] 2. The Film effects are spectacular, the new SmartClone feature is amazing, and the Refine Brush, which finely details selections around difficult outlines such as hair and animal fur is superb.
Its highlight features include custom brush nibs called Nozzle tips, which modify the shape and size of your lines as you draw them. Symmetry mode creates amazing kaleidoscopes, and the best Dispersion effect I have ever seen. You can even record and save actions as macros. Even if you own both PaintShop and Photoshop, this little gem is more than worth the ticket. Adobe Illustrator alternatives Photo editing software can now do almost anything that illustration programs can do.
For alternatives, check these out. Apache OpenOffice Draw free open-source The interface is intuitive if a bit outdated , and the product packs a punch. It also offers advanced rendering, lighting and texture effects, an efficient 3D controller for creating shapes, plus all the standard editing and manipulation tools.
Inkscape free open-source Inkscape is a free and intuitive vector graphics editor used to create and edit vector images. You also get embedded bitmaps; a nice gradient editor; impressive color palettes and ramps; and standard object editing and manipulation tools, though scaled down a bit from its competition. Also nice: You get lots of new presets for symbols, shapes, and lines; more options for custom gradients, textures, and styles; and unlimited layers, masks, and groups.
A big plus: Adobe InDesign alternatives InDesign and the programs listed below are page layout, design, and desktop publishing software. There are no substitutions for this group unless you want to use Microsoft Word or another word processor, but those applications are not really equipped to function as a layout and design program. Easy to learn, easy to use, easy Help language. Scribus free open-source Scribus is an intuitively designed desktop publisher with loads of predesigned templates to create brochures, posters, greeting cards, invitations, business cards, and more.
It also offers layout and design templates for books, magazines, and newspapers. Big plus: Familiar features include text wrap, drop caps, facing page spreads, tables, advanced typography, artistic text and text styles, plus an amazing set of tools.
The graphical interface is user-friendly, the Help guides are easy to understand, and the menus are quite intuitive. Check it out and see for yourself. For them, subscriptions can be a trap. Then one day, you wake up and realize that you could have purchased the program for half the cost of all those fees that you are now obligated to pay in perpetuity.
It used to be on my hard drive, accessible and on demand in a few seconds. After a few weeks of that, I uninstalled it and reinstalled the old Pro version that I had on a disk. Even if you download it from the Internet, pay the extra money to have them send you a physical disk. Companies go out of business, original serial numbers or proof-of-purchase documents are lost; or vendors refuse to honor the version I lost.
And the cloud? The freedom and independence of the desktop computer, with everything on your own hard drive with regular backup, right? It reduces the initial cost of the sale, because the up-front cost for a desktop program is much bigger than a single monthly fee. Subscribers pay only for what they use. Subscriptions change the dynamic between vendors and end users. Vendors must earn those ongoing subscription fees by providing regular updates, patches, and new features; easily accessible support; and creative incentives that convince customers to renew their subscriptions.
So costs go up more than customers can afford, until they start to rebel. When you purchase something after clicking links in our articles, we may earn a small commission.
Read our affiliate link policy for more details.
Can you buy Adobe software without a subscription? (CS6 or earlier) perpetual license applications such as Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe InDesign, Adobe Premiere Pro, and Adobe After Effects are no longer available for sale from Adobe (see below). They are now available only as part of a paid Creative Cloud subscription. Adobe Creative Cloud membership (one-year) All the tools you need to create, collaborate, and stay in sync. Jun 28, · The problem is, we've got some older InDesign at our office, most of them CS6 and we are happy with them. Upgrading to CC means there is a problem with downgrade compatibility, right? Therefore we'd like to take another CS6-versions rather than CC. In let's say years, we need to upgrade anyway. But it seemed to be impossible to buy CS6.