Adobe Alternatives – 24 Apps to Rival Adobe Creative Cloud (Free & Paid)

Adobe Alternatives – 24 Apps to Rival Adobe Creative Cloud (Free & Paid)

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Looking for a affordable Adobe Creative Cloud alternative? We’ve compiled the best Adobe alternatives into one post, including free Adobe CC alternatives.

As a well-known creative developer, Adobe’s suite of innovative, industry-standard apps is often preferred by creatives and professionals across the globe. So, why do so many people look for Adobe CC alternatives? Are the applications somehow missing the mark and not performing as advertised?

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Adobe Creative Cloud Discount

Adobe has been #1 in the industry and offers a wide range of creative tools. But, it can come down to who can afford the expensive monthly subscription and who can not! That is the major reason many beginners, freelancers, small businesses, and professionals look for Adobe alternatives. Another reason is the difficult learning curve of some apps.

The good news now is that Adobe has plenty of competitors in the creative industry. Other companies are developing some powerful and user-friendly tools. Many of these tools are open-source, available for free, while others have a one-time fee or lower subscription charges, compared to Adobe’s plans.

So whether you are just stepping foot in the world of digital content creation for the first time, or you have a ton of experience with Adobe and other apps, I have listed below some of the best alternatives for different Adobe tools. These are great apps for both beginners and professionals. Let’s dive right into it.

What are the best alternatives for Adobe CC?

Adobe Alternatives
The best alternatives for Adobe Creative Cloud
  1. Affinity Photo — Best Adobe Photoshop alternative
  2. Inkscape Best Adobe Illustrator alternative 
  3. Skylum Luminar — Best alternative to Lightroom
  4. Affinity Publisher — Best AdobeInDesign alternative
  5. PDF-XChange and PDFexpert — Best Adobe Acrobat Pro alternative
  6. DaVinci Resolve — Adobe Premiere Pro alternative
  7. HitFilm Pro — Best alternative to Adobe After Effects
  8. Figma — Best Adobe XD alternative


Best Free Adobe CC Alternatives

If you’re looking for free Adobe alternatives, we’ve compiled them here for you as well.

  1. Pixlr — Best free Adobe Photoshop alternative
  2. Inkscape — Best free Adobe Illustrator alternative
  3. Raw Therapee — Best free alternative to Lightroom
  4. Scribus — Best free Adobe InDesign alternative
  5. PDF-XChange and PDF expert — Best free Adobe Acrobat Pro alternative 
  6. HitFilm Express — Best free Adobe Premiere Pro alternative
  7. Blender — Best free alternative to Adobe After Effects
  8. InVision Studio — Best free Adobe XD alternative

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Adobe Creative Cloud Discount – 40-70% Off

Save 65% on Adobe Creative Cloud

If you don’t find an Adobe alternative, we have an exclusive discount with Adobe CC that offers up to 40-70% off Adobe’s apps including Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, XD, and more.

See our guide to Adobe Creative Cloud Discounts and how to get Adobe Creative Cloud Express for free.


Best Adobe Alternatives – Our Top Picks for Adobe CC Alternatives

1. Affinity Photo — The best Adobe Photoshop alternative

Affinity photo
Affinity Photo. Image credit: Affinity

Affinity Photo is the best alternative for Photoshop on the market. It is not free, but it doesn’t have an expensive subscription plan either. With a one-time fee, you can get the application for yourself. Though you need to pay for Windows, Mac, and iPad separately. Apart from this, you need to pay for any updated versions as well which will not cost you much. The software has a delightful and easy-to-navigate interface with a lot of basic and advanced features for creatives and graphic designers.

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The app lets you edit a handful of photos together and allows you to dive in for advanced edits. With a fixed price of $50, it has a definite appeal and is the perfect Adobe Photoshop alternative for beginners and professionals.

Some more alternatives to Adobe Photoshop:

  • Pixlr — Best free Photoshop alternative
  • CorelDRAW — A Photoshop alternative for vectors
  • Procreate — The best alternative for digital illustration
  • Photopea — A browser-based option
  • Rebelle — A great software for replicating painting techniques
  • Krita — One of the most robust design and editing software
  • Sketch — The best professional Photoshop alternative
  • GIMP — The Photoshop alternative software with similar UI


2. Inkscape — The best Adobe Illustrator alternative

Inkscape. Image credit: Inkscape

This long-time free and open-source software is very popular and has an impressive set of features. The user interface is pretty friendly for beginners with drag-and-drop rendering, node tool, Boolean operations, and customizable fonts. The Bezier tool equipped with Inkscape lets you create and draw accurate tracks.

Both the beginner-friendly and advanced features of this application let you create detailed and intricate artwork. Certain professionals avoid this free alternative because the processing of images is a bit slower in the Mac version. Overall though, it is a good choice for creatives and most certainly the best free Adobe Illustrator alternative.

Some more alternatives to Adobe Illustrator:

  • Affinity Designer — The best value Illustrator alternative
  • Sketch — An award-winning app made for MacOs
  • CorelDRAW — The most powerful Illustrator alternative
  • Gravit Designer — Basic web-based illustrator tool (Free)
  • Vectr — A great software for vector graphics


3. Skylum Luminar — The best Lightroom alternative

Skylum Luminar
Skylum Luminar. Image credit: Skylum

A popular RAW photo editor for years, it now comes with digital asset management capabilities. For image editing, the AI-powered image enhancement features have taken the app to new heights. From beginners to professionals, the image editing app is great for one-click edits and advanced edits.

With over 70 great-looking presets and the Luminar libraries feature, this app is extremely easy to use, making it super flexible for designers to edit images. The standalone lifetime license of this app is available with a one-time payment, making it just around seven months’ worth of Lightroom subscription.

More alternatives to Lightroom:

  • Raw Therapee — Best free Lightroom alternative
  • Lightzone — An open-source digital darkroom software
  • Exposure X6 — A creative photo editor that’s great for workflow
  • ON1 Photo RAW 2022 — An alternative to organize, edit and share photos
  • DxO PhotoLab 4 — An award-winning photo editing software
  • Darktable — An open-source photography workflow application


4. Affinity Publisher — The best Adobe InDesign alternative

Affinity Publisher
Affinity Publisher. Image credit: Affinity

Affinity Publisher is like Adobe InDesign, but it costs much less. So, without cleaning out your wallet, you can easily get on with your designing ventures using this feature-rich tool. Whether you’re designing books, posters, or graphics for websites or print media, the excellent set of page layout tools simplifies the process.

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With a lighter and more intuitive interface than InDesign, features like the smart color picker and preflight checker are great for publishing and editing. Some book publishers will find it lacking since Affinity Publisher does not support footnotes or endnotes. Overall, the one-time fee makes it an outstanding alternative to InDesign.

More alternatives to InDesign:


5. PDF-XChange and PDFexpert — The best Adobe Acrobat Pro alternative

PDF-XChange. Image credit: PDF Expert

PDF-XChange is a great alternative to Adobe Acrobat for the Windows platform. You will find all the basic and advanced functionalities for playing with your PDF files. Easily browse documents, use text and drawing tools, perform simple annotations, and place text smoothly wherever you want in the document. There are more features like image recognition, OCR, and security support. You can even use this app to apply custom stamps and markups to your documents, all of it at a very reasonable price.

On the other hand is the PDFexpert, which is a robust alternative for Mac users. You can read, edit, and comment on PDF files with ease. Change images and enter text in no time as this app runs without any lag on Mac, iPhone, and iPad. It also provides smooth scrolling and uses search indexing to find things quickly. What’s more? The tool automatically detects font size and opacity so you can edit the documents easily. All of it for free!

More alternatives to Adobe Acrobat:


6. DaVinci Resolve — The best Adobe Premiere Pro alternative

DaVinci Resolve
DaVinci Resolve. Image credit: Black Magic Design

DaVinci Resolve has quickly made its way among the best movie studios across the globe. The interface has different workspaces for editing, audio, color, and visual effects, and all the workspaces are packed with excellent features. The color tool is pretty impressive and when combined with other functionalities, creatives are in for an incredible experience.

The unique collaboration mode makes it easier for editors, creatives, and sound designers to work on the same file in real time. Often preferred by professionals, this software also comes with a free version that offers basic and advanced features for beginners.

More alternatives to Premiere Pro:


7. HitFilm Pro — The best Adobe After Effects alternative

HitFilm Pro
HitFilm Pro. Image credit: FXhome

HitFilm Pro is an all-rounder video-editing, 3D compositing, and visual effects software for professional editors, motion artists, and filmmakers. If you are looking for out-of-the-box special effects and detailed graphics editing, this is the best alternative to After Effects.

The VFX suite is non-linear when compared to After Effects’ layer-based system, although the feature set is pretty similar to create realistic effects and objects. With over 850 ready-to-use presets and visual effects, you can turn your clips into something amazing with stunning graphics and effects. All of this can be yours with a one-time payment for a lifetime license!

More alternatives to Adobe After Effects:

  • Wondershare FilomraPro — A video editor for professional editing
  • Blender — A great open-source 3D animation and visual effects tool
  • Natron — An open-source visual effects and motion graphics software
  • Eyeon Fusion — One of the most advanced compositing software for visual effects artists


8. Figma — The best Adobe XD alternative

Figma. Image credit: Figma

Figma is a powerful design tool with an intuitive user interface. The app is so easy to use and navigate that it looks like Google Docs for design. With smooth sharing and useful features, it is the perfect alternative to Adobe XD available on the web. So, it works on all different desktop OS like Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.

The community support is good, which makes it easier for designers to learn new stuff. Also, you will find a wide range of ready-made templates for your designing ventures. There is a free version available, followed by another version offering more functionalities. This subsequent version is available with a reasonably priced subscription plan.

More alternatives to Adobe XD:

  • InVision — A great digital product design and collaboration alternative
  • Axure RP — A UX tool for building realistic and functional prototypes
  • — A great UX tool that can be used straight from your web browser
  • UXPin — A  UX design software for realistic interaction and simulation


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best alternative to Adobe Creative Cloud?

For Adobe Photoshop, Affinity Photo is the best alternative, and for Adobe Illustrator, Inkscape is the best. There are many alternatives for all the other tools in Adobe CC.

Who are Adobe's biggest competitors?

SAP, DocuSign, Salesforce, Getty Images, Shutterstock, Apple, Dropbox, Microsoft, Autodesk, and IBM are Adobe’s top competitors.

What is the best video editor?

Premiere Pro is the best video editing software.

What is the best Adobe Photoshop alternative?

The best Adobe alternative for accesibilty would be Pixlr. After this however, Affinity design and Canva make good Adobe alternatives as well.

What are the best free alternatives to Adobe?

The best free Adobe alternatives are Pixlr, Inkscape, Raw Therapee, Scribus, PDF-XChange and PDF expert, HitFilm Express, Blender, and InVision Studio.

Can we use Adobe programs for free?

The Adobe program is available for free but it is for only a handful of tools and features. Subscriptions are required for access to the primary applications and advanced features.


Adobe Creative Cloud Discount – 40-70% Off

If you don’t find an Adobe alternative, we have an exclusive discount with Adobe CC that offers up to 40-70% off Adobe’s apps including Premiere Pro, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, XD, and more.

See here for our guide to Adobe Creative Cloud Discounts.

Adobe CC


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