The Best Alternative Apps to Everything in Adobe Creative Cloud

It’d be hard to be a creative professional and not have heard the drama around Adobe’s move to subscriptions with Creative Cloud‘s release. We’ve covered the good and bad of the move to subscriptions, and even wrote an Open Letter to Adobe about the changes. Creative Cloud has many good things — it’s even cheaper than buying Master Collection and upgrading every time — and the upgraded apps have a lot of nice new features. There’s even the value-add of font and file sync. But, if you want to own your apps, or not have to pay for upgrades and new features you don’t want, though, it’s hard to see the upside to Adobe’s new move to a subscription-only system.

The good thing is, Adobe’s got more competition for its apps than ever before, especially on the Mac. There’s an embarrassment of riches on the App Store and beyond for everything from photo editing to web design to animation. We’ve rounded up the best alternate apps to everything Adobe sells, from Acrobat to Premiere and everything in-between, so if you’re not so excited about shelling out $50/month to Adobe, here’s your chance to jump ship with great new apps.


Photoshop — the app name that became a verb, much to Adobe’s chagrin — is to graphics editing what Microsoft Word is to document editing. It’s the absolute standard for photo editing, digital painting, and practically all other graphics work. But it’s not the only choice. There’s opensource alternates that are powerful even though they’re not as polished, and on the Mac especially there’s beautiful alternates that can get the job done for most of us. Here’s some of the best.



Pixelmator’s perhaps the most well-known Photoshop alternate on the Mac, and for good reason. It’s beautifully designed, runs fast, and has most of the Photoshop features that most people need. It has soft proofing and CMYK support, something most Photoshop competitors don’t include. It’s even got features that’ll keep you from being jealous of other new Adobe CC additions, with the tools to treat text as a shape that’s similar to Illustrator’s new Touch Type tool. It’s still lacking layer styles and a crop/resize tool that’s as simple and powerful as Photoshop’s, but both of those should be coming later this year.

Price: $14.99 from the Mac App Store, free trial available

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm Review

Acorn 4


Another image editing app designed for the Mac, the latest version of Acorn is designed to make image editing simpler than ever. It’s fast, has tons of layer styles and non-destructive filters that you can link together to make the effects you want, includes a brand new shape tool and brush designer, and more. Best of all, it’s designed to be scriptable, with deep support for Automator, AppleScript, and Javascript to make your own automated workflows, or Python and Objective-C for making your own plugins, so Acorn can do the dirty work of editing for you.

Price: $49.99 on the Mac App Store or Acorn’s own Flying Meat Store, free trial available

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm review

Can’t decide between Pixelmator or Acorn? Check out our just-released in-depth comparison of the latest versions of Pixelmator and Acorn to see which is best for your needs.

Photoshop Elements

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I know, I know: we’re supposed to be talking about alternates to Adobe’s apps. But if the main thing you’re wanting is a robust image editing app that’s not on a monthly subscription, Adobe’s own Photoshop Elements could be what you’re needing. You’ll find many of the features associated with full Photoshop in Photoshop Elements’ “Expert” mode (and can unlock, to a degree, more of them with plugins like Elements+), and can even install Photoshop plugins, brushes, and many Photoshop actions. You can even import most RAW photos into Elements, something you might assume would be left to the pro version, and also comes with many of the Adobe fonts you’d get in Creative Suite. If you need close computability with Photoshop, Elements is likely your best shot — and the full version only cost slightly more than one month of Creative Cloud.

Price: $69.99 from the Mac App Store, $99.99 from the Adobe Store (includes photo organizer not included in the App Store version). Free trial available.


GIMP is one of the most ambitious opensource projects, trying to take on Adobe’s Photoshop with a free program. It’s now native on the Mac, so you won’t have to deal with X11 to run it. It’s not perfect, but hey, for a free editor it’s nothing short of amazing. It’s an obvious choice on Linux and Windows, but on the Mac with competition like Pixelmator and Acorn, it’s a bit harder to decide to stick with GIMP unless your budget is $0. In which case, GIMP is great.

Price: Free for OS X, Windows, and Linux

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm review of GIMP for OS X from a Photoshop pro

Autodesk SketchBook

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If Photoshop was your digital canvas, then you might be more interested in alternate drawing apps — like SketchBook. Designed by Autodesk, the company best known for AutoCAD, SketchBook is a great sketching app that you can get for free or for $59 if you’d like the pro version. With tons of brushes, robust tablet support, and even PSD support, it’s the tool digital artists need on their Mac.

Price: Free for SketchBook Express, $59.99 for SketchBook Pro


Most people could name at least one Photoshop alternate off the top of their head, but there isn’t as much competition on the vector drawing space. That is, there used to not be as much competition. Today, however, there’s a number of Mac apps that can go toe-to-toe with Illustrator — and look great doing so.


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Sketch is designed from the ground-up to make designers’ lives easier, and the team’s dedication to their app shows. It’s built up quite the excited following in recent months after Adobe announced that they’re killing Fireworks, since Sketch can export your designs as CSS, making it great for web designers. But even if you’re designing traditional vector images, Sketch is a great Illustrator alternate, with layer styles, slice exports, beautiful text rendering, and more that make it a graphics app you’ll want to work in.

Price: $49.99 on the Mac App Store, free trial available.

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm review



Like Adobe’s new UI style, but not its price tag? Try iDraw for your vector drawing needs. It’s got a dark UI that looks even classier than Adobe’s new dark UI, and the vector drawing tools you need to create on your Mac or iPad. It can import Illustrator files, something most other vector apps can’t do, and with its just-released v2.3 it’s able to import Photoshop files as well, and more.

Price: $24.99 on the Mac App Store

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm Review


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Another nicely designed vector drawing app for the Mac, Artboard is designed to make it simple to get started creating vector graphics. It includes shapes and clip art to get you started, and has a wealth of pre-designed templates and tutorials to help you create stuff even if you’ve never used a vector drawing app before. For pros, it’s still got the power you need, with CMYK color space support and more.

Price: $29.99 on the Mac App Store, free trial available

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm Review


An honorable mention goes to Inkscape, the opensource vector graphics editor. It’s not the nicest designed, and on a Mac you’ll have to run it in X11 since it’s not a native Mac app. But, it is powerful, and has many of the Illustrator features you might need.

Price: Free


Adobe Fireworks took the web designer world by storm, as a vector drawing program designed for creating web graphics. Instead of slicing up Photoshop files to embed in websites, you could turn your designs into CSS3 and put it directly in your site’s code. Unfortunately, it’s not even living on in Creative Cloud, as even though it’s still available, Adobe’s said they won’t be developing it going forward.

But that doesn’t mean its place doesn’t still need filled. The best alternate to Fireworks right now is the aforementioned Sketch. It’s a full-featured vector graphics app that can export to CSS3 code, just like Fireworks, and its team is working to make it an even better Fireworks alternate. It’s the first app you should try if you’re looking for a Fireworks alternate, but it’s not the only game in town. Here’s another great app to try out:



You want to design vector graphics in SVG, take them to the web in CSS and HTML, and animate them with Javascript and HTML5 Canvas? WebCode is the app for you. Its older sibling, PaintCode, let you make graphics in code for native apps, and WebCode brings the same thing to web design. It’s a great app, one that’s not a direct Fireworks replacement but that should definitely find a place in your web design toolkit.

Price: $49.99 from the Mac App Store, free trial available.

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm Review


Adobe may have invented the PDF standard, but they’re far from the only ones that support it today. Every Mac has Apple’s awesome Preview app built-in for free that works better that Adobe Reader ever has — and includes basic markup features that keep most people from needing Acrobat. And, of course, almost every Mac app can save as PDF, and all can print as PDF, so creating PDFs shouldn’t usually be a problem. There’s only two things left to cover — editing existing PDFs, and OCRing text — and there’s other great Mac apps for both of those. Of course, if you are simply wanting to avoid Creative Cloud, Acrobat can still be purchased directly, but the alternates are nice enough that you should consider them as well.



If you need to edit PDFs, this is the app for you. For $59.99, you’ll be able to edit text, images, and more in PDFs, export them in other formats including Word format, OCR text in images, save filled out forms, and more. Jump to the Pro version for $99.99, and you’ll be able to create interactive forms, add and edit tables of content in your documents, and convert websites into PDF. There’s everything you could want form Acrobat here, and more, all for a fraction of Acrobat’s price (and just over the price of one month of Creative Cloud).

Price: $59.99 on the Mac App Store, $99.99 for the pro version. Both available directly from Smile Software as well. Free trial available.

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm review of the previous version.


If Preview handles your PDF needs, but you needed Acrobat for OCR, then Prizmo is the app you should try out. It’s a robust OCR app that can detect text in over 40 languages from your Mac’s screen, scanned documents, pictures, and more. It’ll help you OCR everything from documents to the text in street signs, in an intuitive interface that helps you extract just what you need from the images. It’s easily the nicest OCR experience on the Mac.

Price: $49.99 on the Mac App Store, plus a $49 in-app purchase for the Pro Pack to add batch document processing. Free trial available.

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm Review


Macs launched the desktop publishing revolution, with the original PageMaker from Aldus. Adobe later bought out Aldus, then later discontinued PageMaker in lieu of its own InDesign — which itself was the first OS X native desktop publishing app. But that hasn’t kept the competition away — if anything, there’s more desktop publishing apps still on the Mac than on any other platform. Here’s the best.



The original competitor to Adobe’s PageMaker and InDesign, QuarkXPress is running on over 16 years of experience as one of the leading desktop publishing applications. It’s a pro tool, with a price tag to show for it. Adobe’s nearly taken over the publishing market with InDesign, but QuarkXPress is still a force to be reckoned with. It’s got a new version coming soon designed for Mavericks, but until then, it’s the other market leader you should consider if InDesign’s subscription is too frustrating for you.

Price: $899 from the Quark Store


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Apple’s word processor is best known as Microsoft Word’s main competitor on the Mac, but it’s actually a rather good desktop publishing app as well. Sure, it doesn’t have the precision formatting features you’d expect in InDesign and QuarkXPress, but for the rest of us, it’s got most of what we need. You can layout your page designs however you want, create master pages, automatically generate tables of contents, and then publish your work in PDF and ePub formats. It’s sorely due for an update, but Apple’s already promised one later this year. We can’t wait to see what it brings.

Want more eBook publishing power? Check out Apple’s free iBooks Author app — though it’s really only aimed at making eBooks for the iBooks bookstore.

Price: $19.99 from the Mac App Store

Swift Publisher

Swift Publisher

You want full-featured page layouts without a steep learning curve? Then InDesign isn’t what you want anyhow. You’ll find yourself much more at home with Swift Publisher, where for a fraction of the cost you can make great PDF and print designs with a fraction of the effort it’ll take to master InDesign. It’s not perhaps aimed at print professionals, but for the page layout needs that most of us have, it’ll more than suffice.

Price: $19.99 from the Mac App Store

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm review


Another open source alternate to Adobe’s offerings, Scribus is a full-featured page layout application that includes most of the features even professional layout designers would need. It’s somewhat convoluted and difficult to learn, but then InDesign can be the same. If you’re just getting started with page layout, you’ll find Pages or Swift Publisher more to your liking, but if you need more power, you might want to give Scribus a try before switching to QuarkXPress.

Price: Free download


Working on a book collaboratively with your editors? If you team isn’t standardized on Microsoft Word, then there’s a good chance that you’ve standardized on Adobe’s InCopy for drafting your book before turning it into a printed volume in InDesign. For the collaboration side of things, you’ll often be best with web apps, from the aging office alternates like Google Docs to brand-new apps like Draft and Editorially. If you still want to work locally on your Mac, though, there’s two standout apps that are the best companions for writers — enough that you should cheat and use them for your own writing even if your team is standardized on InCopy or another app.


The writing app for serious writers, Scrivener is the place to plan out your whole writing project. You can write with the formatting you want — or in plain text, keep detailed info about every character and part in your work, write notes and comments throughout your text, tie in images and text snippets, and pull the whole thing together into a literary masterpiece. You can even use it to collaborate with your editor team via Dropbox. It’s great.

Price: $45 from the Literature & Latte store or from the Mac App Store

More Info: Mac.AppStorm review

Ulysses III

If you prefer to write in Markdown-formatted plain text, then the new Ulysses III is the app you should try out. It’s the perfect place to draft your thoughts, flesh them out further, then pull them together and export them in PDF, ePub, or rich text formats. It’s where I do most of my writing, and I love it. With the upcoming 1.1 release, it’ll include support for export templates that’ll help it replace InCopy and InDesign for basic publishing, and also includes a built-in search tool that makes it easy to find anything you’ve written across all of your current projects.

Price: $39.99 from the Mac App Store

More Info: Mac.AppStorm review


Lightroom’s one of the newer additions to Adobe’s lineup, and one of their only pro apps that’s still available for direct purchase (at $149, or the cost of 3 months of Creative Cloud). It’s a great tool for photographers to organize and tweak their photos without having to resort to a combo of Finder and Photoshop, and is one of the few Adobe apps that seems to get constant praise from all angles. Still, if you’re looking to replace it, there’s plenty of alternates for it too.



It’s Apple to the rescue again, with the pro version of their photo organization tool that you already own: iPhoto. Aperture may be getting a little overdue for an upgrade, but it’s still a great Lightroom alternate. It especially shines at organization and full-screen image tweaking on retina displays. Plus, it’s half the price of Adobe’s Lightroom — not bad considering that you’ve got way more than half of the functionality here.

Price: $79.99 from the Mac App Store

More Info: Mac.AppStorm’s Lightroom vs. Aperture comparison


Perhaps you want more than iPhoto offers, and you don’t want to pay a dime. You’re in luck. darktable, from the open source tradition that’s brought us replacements to almost every other Adobe app, is a rather nice looking photo organization app that actually looks pretty nice. It’s still rough around the edges, but hey, it’s free — and it’s still much nicer looking than many open source alternates.

Price: Free download

More Info: Mac.AppStorm review

Corel AfterShot


Corel’s one of the original Adobe competitors on the creative front, and while you may have not heard of them as much lately, they’re still keeping at it, making pro apps for drawing and photo retouching, among other things. Their AfterShot app was recommend by readers in our Aperture versus Lightroom comparison since its available on OS X, Windows, and Linux, a rarity among creative software. But that’s not all it has going for it. It also has a rich array of photo editing features, as well as photo library organization and bulk exports.

Price: $49.99 from Corel or $39.55 from Amazon

Capture One

Adobe’s not the highest priced — or most professional — offering in this lineup. Instead, that award goes to Capture One, another crowd favorite in the comments on our Lightroom/Aperture comparison article. It has brilliant photo rendering, amazing lens correction, and great filters to help you find what you want in your library. But that power comes at a price, one that’s twice as high as Adobe’s Lightroom and four times more than Aperture. At least it costs a fraction of the price of a high-quality lens still.

Price: €229 (around $300) from PhaseOne

More Info: Mac.AppStorm review

Web Designing with Flash Pro, Dreamweaver, and Muse

Adobe’s Dreamweaver seemed to hold the title of the most popular way to design websites for years. It had everything in one place, produced decidedly better results than the dreaded FrontPage, and came bundled with other apps you needed like Photoshop. Plus, you could use it right alongside Flash Pro to add interactivity to your sites.

Yeah. We’re long beyond those days. Sure, people still use Dreamweaver, but for the most part, we’ve moved on to better coding apps and a whole folder full of tiny utilities that help us out. The iPhone’s introduction was the death knell for Flash, and it’s only a matter of time before it’s fully irrelevant. Muse is interesting, but there’s other simple tools to make template-based websites.

We obviously can’t include every possible web development alternate to Dreamweaver, but here’s the best apps to replace Adobe for your web coding needs.



Hype 2

Want animations on your site, without the legacy weight of using Flash? You know you should be using HTML5, CSS3 and Javascript, but unless you’re a coding pro you’ll find it insanely daunting to make a fluid animation from scratch with web-safe tech even today. That is, unless you get a copy of Hype. The just-released Hype 2 makes it simple to create fluid animations out of web tech that work great in every modern browser. You can now even include audio, swipe and touch events, custom fonts, and more. It’s nothing short of amazing, and is everything that Flash should have turned into.

Price: $59.99 on the Mac App Store, but on sale for $29.99 for v.2’s launch

More Info: Our now-outdated review of v.1 — but really, give v.2 a shot regardless



Perhaps you really did want Flash. Ok. In that case, this is the app for you. MotionComposer is designed to help you make animated content in Flash or HTML5 — your choice. Without any coding, you can make animated content in either format, with a focus on HTML5 but an option to output Flash for older browsers that don’t support HTML5. If for some reason you actually still needed to work in Flash format, you still don’t have to stay in Adobe’s camp.

Price: $149 from the Aquafadas Store

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm review




You want Dreamweaver’s all-in-one approach to web development, with better standards support? Coda’s the coding environment for you. With a  beautiful code editor, Git and MySQL integration, Transmit-powered FTP integration, and built-in documentation that’ll help you make the best code possible, it’s a web developer’s dream come true in one package. Coda 2’s the #1 grossing developer tool on the App Store for good reason.

Price: $74.99 on the Mac App Store

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm review

Sublime Text

Sublime Text

If you want the best coding app for handcrafting your sites today, Sublime Text is absolutely the crowd favorite. It’s insanely fast, has more packages that add extra features than you can count, and includes innovative features like multiple cursors and a built-in search and open tool that makes it quick to jump between your projects. The upcoming v.3 only makes it faster and better. It’s the serious coder’s best friend.

Price: $70 from the Sublime HQ

More Info: Sublime Text tips and tricks from Tuts+




Having a beautiful site shouldn’t require learning how to code. That’s the promise of Muse, one that RapidWeaver has been fulfilling for far longer than Muse has been on the market. You can pick one of the included templates or browse through dozens of handcrafted themes available online, then add your content and customize it to your heart’s content. It’s the iWeb alternative we’ve needed.

Price: $79.99 from the Realmac Store or the Mac App Store

More Info: Our Mac.AppStorm tutorial


Freeway Pro

Coding a site doesn’t have to be all about coding. Perhaps you’re better with normal page design, and would like an app that makes designing a new beautiful site as simple as making a Keynote template. That’s what Freeway aims to offer. You can drag-and-drop elements, format text the same way you would in a word processor, and use simple tools for advanced CSS functions. With two versions, the Pro aimed at coding professionals and the Express for those who want to make a site with templates and without coding, it’s got something for everyone.

Price: $149.99 or $49.99, respectively, from the Softpress Store


For video editing pros, Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro the two heavyweights on the Mac. Each side has its fans, but when Apple released Final Cut Pro X, it initially got enough bad rap that Adobe was actively courting Final Cut users to make the switch to Premiere. Now, though, Apple’s polished FCPX’ rough edges, and its App Store ratings and general reputation have gone back up. Adobe, on the other hand, put Premiere in its subscription offering, leaving their customers wondering if they should switch.

Final Cut Pro

Final Cut Pro X

If you want evidence that Apple hasn’t fully forgotten the pro market, you don’t have to look further than Final Cut Pro X. Initially criticized as simply an iMovie Pro, Final Cut Pro X has finally proved its worth as a leading-edge video editor. It’s fast, feature-filled, and just what the doctor ordered for your footage. Plus, it’s price tag will hardly break the bank these days.

Price: $299 from the Mac App Store

Lightworks (coming soon for the Mac)


Want to really be blown away by a free offering? Meet Lightworks. It’s a complete non-linear editing system that’s 100% free, with a pro subscription upgrade if you’d like. It’s not on the Mac, yet, but it should be coming soon. Seeing as it was used to produce movies ranging from Mission Impossible to Braveheart, we’d like to get our hands on it on the platform chosen by most creatives.

Price: Free download; $60/yr pro version

After Effects

When footage itself isn’t enough, it’s time to bring in the special effects team. Perhaps you need them just to make add eye-catching banners to the bottom of your media (though we’d recommend against that), or to add cinematic effects to your credits. Either way, there’s alternate to Adobe’s AE for you.


Apple Motion

It’s Apple to the rescue again with best-in-class alternates to Adobe’s pro apps, this time with the Final Cut Pro companion Motion. Motion 5 comes with a new interface, on-the-fly edits, simple chroma keying, and simple-yet-powerful motion graphics tools. It’s the tool you’ll need to add to your inventory if you switch to Final Cut Pro.

Price: $49.99



One of the most beautifully designed open-source apps, Blender is an impressive project to make a free animation tool aimed at the likes of 3D Max. It’s shooting far beyond what After Effects and Motion aim for, but can still be used for the more basic motion graphics like animated credit sequences. Plus, it’s too cool to skip.

Price: Free download


Using Adobe’s audio tools to record, tweak, and mix your audio? There’s alternates for you, too, both from the open-source side and from Apple — and more. You don’t need to revert to analogue recording just to get away from Adobe.

Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X

Apple may be accused of having dumbed-down its pro tools, but Logic Pro X is still quite the audio powerhouse. Packed with everything from a redesigned interface and a new audio editor to track stacks, MIDI FX plugins, a brand-new virtual synthesizer, an iPad controller app, and so much more, it’s the audio app to reckon with on the Mac.

Price: $199.99 from the Mac App Store

More Info: A Tuts+ Walkthrough of the new features in Logic Pro X



The open-source alternate on this list that I’ve used the most, Audacity is a feature-packed audio recording and editing app that is free and works great. It’s not fancy, but it is decently easy to use. It’s absolutely not as feature-filled as Audition or Logic Pro X, but it will be more than enough for the most basic audio editing needs — and perhaps a bit more than that, too.

Price: Free download


Another alternate for the more basic audio editing needs, Fusion merges a beautiful interface with a simple editor that makes tweaking your audio simple. Definitely worth checking out if you’re looking for a less confusing way to improve your recordings without going all the way pro.

Price: $32 from the Rouge Amoeba store

More Info: Mac.AppStorm review

Avid Pro


Adobe may own the photo editing market with Photoshop, but audio editing is another area where there’s another 900lb gorilla in town: Avid. Their pro tools are the leading name in audio editing, and if your audio needs go beyond what Audacity and Logic Pro offer, they’re the tools of choice. They come at a price, but they offer the industry leading processing power you’d expect.

Price: $699 from the Avid Store

Adobe Media Encoder

The one Adobe Creative Suite app that’s hardly ever mentioned is Media Encoder. Perhaps it’s because it’s not available on its own, and always came along with Adobe’s other apps — even in Creative Cloud, you can’t download it individually. But that doesn’t make it any less useful as a tool to convert audio and videos to other formats. As such, though, it’s also easy to replace — and odds are you’re already using an alternate even if you have Media Encoder on your system. Regardless, here’s the best replacement apps:

Miro Video Converter

Miro Video Converter

It doesn’t get much simpler than this: you drag the video you want converted into Miro, select the device you want to play said video on, and click Convert. As soon as your Mac’s finished crunching through the conversion, you’ll have the file you want ready to play where you want. It’s simpler than Media Encoder, and while not as professional is plenty for most of our needs.

Price: Free download

More Info: Mac.AppStorm review



An opensource alternate that can easily outshine the Adobe competition, HandBrake is the serious video converter app you need. Whatever format you need converted — and whatever size, format, and more you want it turned into, HandBrake is ready for the job. It’s good.

Price: Free download

More Info: Mac.AppStorm review


Still need to burn media to disk? Encore is Adobe’s solution for making DVDs and Bluray disks from your media, but chances are you won’t be using it that much, opting instead to digitally distribute your media. But if you’re actually still making plastic disks of your videos, here’s the alternate apps for you.



Apple’s Final Cut Pro companion for when you need more flexible exports, Compressor is a fully featured if slightly dated-looking media burning and exporting tool. You’ll be able to make professional DVDs or Bluray disks, stream media online, or publish it on YouTube or as a podcast. It’s straddling the disk and streaming eras, and works great for either. In fact, it’s the Media Encoder alternate you need if your conversion needs are anything on the pro side.

Price: $49.99 from the Mac App Store



It’s not really aimed at making professional movie disks, but then, perhaps you just need an easy way to put your videos on a DVD for grandma. And that’s fine. Burn will make sure your data is on the disks you need, without any hassle. It’s simple, and works great.

Price: Free download

Adobe’s Online Services

Of everything Adobe offers in Creative Cloud, the online services are the namesake of the whole service and yet are the very easiest to replace. In fact, Adobe’s going to have to try harder to convince Creative Cloud subscribers to use their cloud services than you’ll have to try to avoid using them. You likely already use Dropbox or Google Drive or another cloud storage service to keep your creative files backed up, and likely host your site on your own server or hosting account, or use any of the dozens of hosted alternates to Adobe’s Business Catalyst hosting. You can still use Typekit for fonts on your site without having to get a full Creative Cloud subscription, but there’s a ton of alternate web font services as well.


So there you have it: the best alternates for everything Adobe has to offer. Owning Creative Suite has always been an expensive proposition, but if paying $49/month forever to get everything Adobe makes is too rich for your blood, there’s a ton of other apps that’ll keep you creative and productive for a fraction of the cost — over time, at least. It’s apparent that Apple’s tried hard to ensure the Mac is the platform of choice for creative pros, with their wide range of professional apps that can stand in for a good percentage of Adobe’s offerings, and once you combine that with the great apps in the App Store, open source alternates, and a handful of top-of-the-line professional offerings, and you’ve got everything you could want.

Have you ditched Adobe? If so, what apps are you using for your own non-Adobe suite of creative tools? We’d love to hear your favorites in the comments below!