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GIMP, Inkscape and Scribus offer free alternatives to popular Adobe products

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Over the years, Adobe has gobbled up companies like Aldus and Macromedia, incorporated those company's products into their own offerings and continued to enhance and offer top-of-the line design and development software available to those who create websites, illustrations, newsletters, business cards, motion graphics, videos, audio and so on.

When Adobe decided to offer subscription services for their products, they made them more affordable for designers and developers on tight budgets, but there's still a monthly fee that must be paid or you lose access to the subscription software. That means that if you pay every month for 24 months and then you can't or decide not to renew in month 25, you lose access to your Adobe subscription and the only way to get it back is to start paying again.

Some of you may be saying, "I'll just get a physical copy, and I can keep using it even if it's outdated." No, you can't. Adobe has also decided not to continue to offer physical versions of its applications after version CS6, and they are already in their second version of CC. The only way to get the programs after version CS6 is through download.


Combining the fact that you have to pay monthly to stay up-to-date with Adobe software and the fact that you can only get newer versions via download, and if you're one of those people who can't or don't want to pay monthly for your applications there's always open-source applications that are free and downloadable.

In particular, there are three open-source applications that compare to three of Adobe's most popular products.

If you're looking for an open-source product like Adobe Photoshop, try GIMP.

Some of GIMP's features include:

  • photo enhancement
  • phot retouching
  • photo manipulation
  • customizable interface
  • support for many file formats (JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, PSD, TGA, BMP, XWD, XPM, PIX, CEL, MNG, PPM, PCX)
  • support for pressure and tilt sensitive tablets

A great deal of what you can do with Adobe Photoshop can be done with GIMP and for free.

If you're looking for an open-source product like Adobe Illustrator, try Inkscape.

Some of Inkscape's features include:

  • text support
  • path operations
  • fill and stroke manipulation
  • object manipulation
  • object creation

A great deal of what you can do with Adobe Illustrator can be done with Inkscape and for free.

If you're looking for an open-source product like Adobe InDesign, try Scribus.

Some of Scribus' features include:

  • PDF creation
  • CMYK and spot colors
  • professional publishing features
  • color separations
  • color management

A great deal o what you can do with Adobe InDesign can be done with Scribus and for free.


Try one of them or all of them. What have you got to lose? If you decide you prefer the Adobe products more, then you've only invested a bit of time and not had to give up one, thin dime.