Buying Adobe Software
A practical guide
So you’re ready to plunge into the exciting world of design, creating logos, building marketing collateral or editing video? The only thing you’re missing is the right Adobe software but you’re not really sure what type of licence to get. You heard that some people are still using version CS6 and others using the latest cloud version - CC 2021. In a nutshell we can already tell you that there’s no reason to choose CS6 over a Creative Cloud licence and the frequently asked questions on this page will help you understand why.
Adobe Creative Cloud
1. WHAT’S THE MAIN DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CS6 AND CREATIVE CLOUD?
The main difference between the two is how your licence is handled. You sign up for a yearly subscription which you pay monthly or annually, and that subscription will feed you all the latest updates and features, keeping your software up to date. While with CS6 you’d buy the software licence and that’s it, you’d not receive any new features (unless you pay the upgrade fee every time). On top of that, the software would only be compatible for the hardware and OS versions of that time. Meaning that if Windows or Mac launched a new OS, there was a chance your Adobe software wouldn’t function properly on it. So your Adobe software would gradually become outdated.
2. WHATS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CC & CC 2021?
Adobe launched the first version of the Creative Cloud in mid 2012 and was referred to as CC. The latest version is named CC 2021 and became available late 2020. An overview of Creative Cloud features can be seen on this Adobe page.
3. HOW MUCH IS CREATIVE CLOUD?
The subscription cost varies depending on what type of licence you need, if you have owned a previous CS version, if you are from a school or university etc. and can be purchased from the Adobe website. Costs range from $14 to $116 per month.
4. 7 DAY FREE TRIAL
The great thing about Creative Cloud, is you can download a free 7-day trial any test it for yourself. At the end of the trial, you can simply switch the software from trial mode to licence mode by subscribing. The trial version acts exactly like the ‘real’ version and any files created during that time, continue to be available after the trial expires.
5. SO A CREATIVE CLOUD LICENCE IS EASIER TO MANAGE?
Creative Cloud also takes away the hassle of keeping endless serial numbers to manage your installations and users. Instead you use a login and password to identify yourself as a user, which entitles you to using the software. The advantage of this is that you can use your Adobe software on any computer because this is an online identification system, and not a serial number that’s only tied to a specific computer installation. It’s like being able to check your webmail on any computer. So there’s also no hassle if your computer breaks down or gets stolen, just log in with your account on a different device and continue working. And don’t worry, if you run out of WiFi for a moment, the software jumps to “Trial mode” which still gives you access to the product for 30 days. So you can continue to use your software as long as you log-in to your account at least once a month. So you don’t have to be online all the time to use your Adobe products, a common myth about Creative Cloud.
6. WHAT ABOUT THE FEATURES, DO I GET ANYTHING EXTRA?
The value you get out of your Creative Cloud subscription is enormous. And though not every user will have a purpose for every software product you can utilise, the potential for your business is huge. That’s why we are strongly convinced that every user should at least have an idea of what the Creative Cloud products can do. Here’s a quick rundown of the advantages:
- Receive all of Adobe’s flagship software products for creating print projects, web sites, doing video editing, building apps or designing games. Think of Photoshop, Premiere Pro, InDesign, Dreamweaver and so on.
- Receive exclusive products that weren’t available with Creative Suite like Adobe Lightroom, Adobe InCopy and the new Adobe Muse and Edge Tools Suite products for creating highly interactive web sites,
- Receive these products for both Mac and PC environments.
- Get all the latest updates and bug fixes. And if new program features are released you’ll have them the moment you’re ready to download them. So no extra costs for upgrades again, ever.
- You can install all programs in all languages, (Creative Suite required a surcharge for localised versions)
- Receive 20Gb to 100Gb of online storage per user to backup your Adobe files and share them with clients.
- Included in your licence is a Business Catalyst membership, which offers you free web hosting for up to 5 web sites (using Muse or Dreamweaver).
- You also receive an Adobe Typekit subsciption, giving you access to around 1,000 design fonts (and more being added frequently).
- Publish your creative work on Béhance, an online platform to show off your work and manage your portfolio.
- Last but not least, you can publish an unlimited number of digital publishing apps using Adobe InDesign and the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.
7. SO THERE IS ONLY ONE TYPE OF LICENCE LEFT?
When you purchase your Adobe software today, you can be sure it’ll be via a Creative Cloud subscription. Today there is no reason to choose CS6 over a Creative Cloud licence, why should you buy outdated or limited software? But there are a few different “flavours” available, based on the needs of your organisation:
- + Creative Cloud for individuals: for freelancers and other individuals who need to manage a single licence,
- ++ Creative Cloud for teams: for small and medium sized businesses requiring 2-150 licences.
- +++ Creative Cloud for enterprises: for enterprises that require centralized administration and customized solutions for managing +150 licences.
As for payment you can choose to be billed monthly or annually, so there’s a solution for everyone. Plus there are special discounts available if you’re upgrading from a CS installation to Creative Cloud or if you’re in the educational sector.
8. WHAT IF I ONLY NEED ONE ADOBE PRODUCT?
If you want you can subscribe to a “single app” service, meaning you pay to use only one Adobe product e.g. Adobe Illustrator. Technically this is possible but it’s very rare to only need one single product as every Adobe application has a role to play in your production process. And you’ll see that subscribing to two individual apps will cost you about as much as signing up for a “normal” Creative Cloud plan that offers you all the programs.
9. I’M A PHOTOGRAPHER AND I ONLY NEED PHOTOSHOP OR LIGHTROOM
Then there’s good news for you. Adobe does recognise the limited number of apps that a photographer uses and brought out a special Creative Cloud bundle called the Photoshop Photography Program which gives you access to Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom at a very low price.
10. HOW DO I GET STARTED?
You can subscribe to Creative Cloud via the Adobe website and book everything online. However, if you want to manage multiple licences or have any specific questions we’d suggest you contact a reseller. Adobe occasionally has certain promotions that aren’t always advertised on their website so it might be a good idea to get in touch with them to get you organised. Remember, if you need your software very urgently you can always download a free 30-day trial of any Adobe product to bridge over any waiting period you might have before receiving your official licence.
What is Adobe CS6?
1. WHERE IT COMES FROM
When it comes to Adobe software programs, there is no “one size fits all” and you’ll need to use multiple Adobe products when working on a certain project. E.g. you’ll need Adobe Photoshop for creating graphics and retouching pictures, Illustrator for designing logo’s, and then you’ll put it all together using Adobe InDesign and finish your print layout. And because these programs go hand in hand, Adobe stepped away from only selling individual programs in 2003 and offered these applications together in what we call the Creative Suite (CS). And you had a CS for the three main types of media design: print, web or video. This way you could purchase the Creative Suite you needed and use all the programs that were included in it.
2. THE PROBLEM WITH CREATIVE SUITE
Ever since the arrival of mobile devices like iPads, smart phones, responsive websites and other technology. It became clear that a new approach was necessary to keep your software up to date. And besides the constant need for new features and bug fixes, the software also needs to be able to run on the latest hardware configurations which are also changing at a very rapid pace. Unfortunately, CS only offered a software update every 18 months to accommodate for these latest technologic evolutions. And if you wanted to have these new features, or if you wanted your software to run on your latest computer system, then you had to pay an upgrade fee to get the latest version of the software. On top of that, it was really expensive to purchase an extra single-product licence of a program that wasn’t included in your main suite. E.g. owning the print suite but also needing just Dreamweaver to edit a bit of HTML.
3. CREATIVE SUITE TO CREATIVE CLOUD
Because of the reasons mentioned above, Adobe decided to change their software licence system from perpetual licences to subscription based licences. Using subscription based software isn’t a new phenomenon. Other software companies started doing this way before Adobe did, and more large software corporations started offering subscription based products e.g. Microsoft Office 365. So in 2012, Adobe announced the next version in their software evolution: Adobe Creative Cloud. And using this new online way of distributing software and managing users, it suddenly became a lot easier to offer the latest Adobe technology without the user having to wait 18months for the next version to come out. Plus this way you have access to any Adobe product your business might need, without any extra costs.