Open Source Alternatives to Adobe Creative Suite

The Adobe Creative Cloud is the successor to Adobe’s Creative Suite, a collection of professional software applications for creativity and productivity.

Although the apps found within the Creative Cloud are powerful, they come with a hefty monthly subscription and may be financially unviable for individuals. Worry not, though; there are many open-source alternatives to almost all of Adobes applications that are entirely free to use, which we will look at in this article.

Photoshop Alternative – GIMP

GIMP is a free image manipulation program with many similarities to Photoshop. Both programs have tonnes of plugins available, and the amateur digital art community widely uses GIMP.

While GIMP doesn’t have as many features as Photoshop, designers and creators often have what they require, and there are many tutorials on the web that will help you get acquainted with the software.

The main difference between the two is that the plugin library for Photoshop is widely supported by industry-leading organizations such as Kodak. In contrast, GIMP is community-driven and lacks support from big names.

If you are an individual and don’t have the funding to pay for a creative cloud subscription to acquire Photoshop, GIMP is a fitting choice that should serve you well.

Illustrator Alternative – Inkscape

Inkscape is a free and open-source vector graphics software that runs on Windows, Linux, and Mac OS. Offering a great alternative to Adobe’s Illustrator, Inkscape is a feature-rich application for vector-based illustration work, typography, diagrams, flowcharts, infographics, and more.

Inkscape is a suitable choice for beginners who want to transition into creating vector-based artwork, as the feature set offers a lot for new users to dive into. With that being said, certain more advanced features present in Adobe Illustrator may not be available in Inkscape.

Inkscape has a strong community behind it, and finding support and help from advanced users should be easy. New users should head to to learn the basics.

InDesign Alternative – Scribus

Scribus is desktop publishing software that is free and open-source. Scribus shares many traits with Adobe’s Indesign software, and to the uninitiated, it may provide enough functionality to skip the $20.99 monthly fee Adobe requires for InDesign access.

With some research and learning through the tutorials provided by Scribus and the wider community, hobbyists will find that the free software can definitely trade blows with the professional-level paid offering.

With that said, the interface in Scribus is generally a little more tedious to work with, doesn’t come with Adobe’s top-notch support, or the excellent collaboration tools that would make working with graphic designers and other team members a little smoother.

Premiere Pro – Shotcut

Shotcut is a free, open-source video editing solution available for Mac, Linux, and Windows. Developed by Meltytech in 2011, Shotcut has a long and ever-improving feature set that shares many of the same functions found in Adobe Premiere Pro.

Shotcut is a good solution for those who want a simple video editor to add basic overlays, manage different clips, or do basic entry-level work.

While the basic features of both applications work largely in the same way, users may find that the wider support from plugin creators and other professional organizations Premiere Pro benefits from would be ideal.

Anyone serious about high-quality video production might want to consider one of the paid options, such as Adobe Premiere Pro, as other areas of video production are generally relatively expensive, and you will probably want to make the most out of that footage.

XD Alternative – Lunacy

Lunacy is a free and open-source vector-based UX/UI design application with a robust professional-level feature set that is mainly targeting web developers and graphic designers.

Lunacy works offline, has cloud sharing, and has been translated into 16 languages. It includes many free assets such as icons and symbols and has full compatibility with .sketch files for even more community-driven functionality.

If your team doesn’t require the collaboration benefits of working within the Adobe Creative Cloud, Lunacy is an excellent alternative that will be free forever.

After Effects Alternative – Natron

Natron is a free and open-source node-based video compositing software comparable to Adobe After Effects, which is similar but has some significant differences in that it is a layer-based software.

The difference between the two types of software typically comes in the workflow. Layer-based compositions can get quite large but generally are easier to work with for shorter compositions, and thus they are usually used for TV and commercials.

Node-based compositions have a smaller overall file size and are more suited to movies and film when working with longer compositions.

It is, therefore, a great idea to start learning node-based compositing with Natron over Adobe After Effects if that is your end goal.

Unfortunately, Natron does have many bugs and stability issues due to the complexity of the project and the general lack of funding.

Audition Alternative – Audacity

Audacity is a powerful, free, open-source multi-track audio editor available on Windows, Linux, Mac OS, and more, which has proved to be a solid alternative to Adobe’s Audacity.

Audacity offers users a range of tools that will suffice for many forms of audio production, including sound effects, trimming music tracks, and dialogue.

Audacity allows users to utilize unlimited audio tracks compared with Audition’s still-generous 128-track maximum and is still the go-to editor for quick audio tweaks, thanks to its straightforward interface and workflow.

On the negative side, Audacity is a destructive editor, meaning that once you save your work, anything that has been previously deleted and isn’t currently present on the track will be lost forever; this is not the case with Audition’s multi-track editor.

Audacity should more than suffice for most non-professional music needs, and non-pro users should probably only look to Audition if it comes as part of their Adobe Creative Cloud subscription with other applications they need.

Note : This is written by a freelance blogger : Jordan.

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