Adobe Alternatives and Dupes

A subscription to Adobe can get a little pricey after the first few months!  If you’re a student, you can take advantage of the discount for the first year, but after twelve months, your price will increase from $20 to $50.  But if you’re not sure Creative Cloud is worth the price, it’s okay! There are tons of free (or maybe just less expensive) alternatives available for you to use.  Check out these four dupes for popular Adobe programs, and see if any of them fit you better than Adobe!  There’s always an alternative, so we recommend shopping around with free programs until you find something that suits your needs.

All of these programs are available for PC and MAC users.


1) Affinity Photo

If you’re looking for a program that will let you manipulate images like a pro, without slowly draining your wallet of money, check out Affinity Photo!  For one payment of $49.99, you get access to top-class editing software with unlimited layers, a great workspace, and 32-bit editing. It also has a beta version that you can download for free, so make sure this program has all the tools you need before you pay for it!  Most reviews recommend that new users test it out with the beta version first, as there can be a steep learning curve in the transition from Photoshop.  Affinity Photo is still being updated, and you will lose some functionality in the transition (there is no direct workspace analog, for example), but it’s a decent dupe for Photoshop.

Another perk: Affinity Photo can read, open, and edit .psd (Photoshop) files!  If your subscription as run out, but you need to work on those pieces, Affinity Photo can help.


2) Affinity Designer

From the same company as Affinity Photo, Affinity Designer is a great dupe for Adobe Illustrator.  It has many of the same features, as well as a clean workspace that is easily navigable.  It also has a lot of easy-to-adjust hotkeys, has vector and graphic tools, and can export in most file formats. A few reviews complain about the running space of this program, and say that it will often freeze directly after opening.  You will lose functionality when transitioning, so make sure your computer has the power to run this program with extra space.

And, just like with Affinity Photo, you can open Adobe Illustrator files directly in the program!


3) Bootstrap Studio

A popular drag-and-drop feature, Bootstrap Studio is a good replacement if you want to work with Bootstrap but don’t want to do it through Dreamweaver.  For responsive websites that work well in a desktop app, Bootstrap Studio is a good bet.  The desktop app costs $50.00 at it’s base.  The first yearly update is free, but after that, you pay, unless you get the lifetime membership for $120.



3) Scribus

If you’re looking for an alternative to InDesign, Scribus is a good alternative.  With a well-made workspace and very few real problems in their reviews (watch out for the space this will take up on your computer!), Scribus is an ideal open-source alternative that has a bit of a learning curve to replace InDesign, but is manageable.  There are some pieces you have to install additional software for, so do your research before you download!


4) DaVinci Resolve 12

If you’re big into video editing, you can check out DaVinci Resolve 12!  The free version is available to everyone, though it has a limit of 4k resolution.  If you’re willing to shell out, you can pay $1,000 and get all the updates that follow without paying any additional fees, and own it for the rest of your life.  Resolve has a bit of a learning curve, but the software is relatively similar to that of Adobe Premiere, and the free version should have every functionality you need to create professional videos.


5) Inkscape

And finally, another dupe for Adobe Illustrator.  Inkscape is a good vector graphic editor that has nearly the same functionality, though it is not as powerful as Illustrator.  You can easily pick up its features, but you will lose some of the capability of Illustrator. Inkscape is a completely free program.

Another bonus: Inkscape is an opensource program, so regular users can adjust the code to run it in new and improved ways!  This may not be ideal for novices, but for people with coding experience, this may be a huge bonus.

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