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Free Adobe alternatives for image editing, video editing, PDFs, and more

Free Adobe alternatives for image editing, video editing, PDFs, and more

Adobe is the market leader in many software solutions for graphic artists and designers. Adobe Photoshop is synonymous with image editing and Adobe InDesign is familiar to every layout artist.

I myself regularly use Adobe Photoshop CC and I am willing to spend money on it. But the Adobe Creative Cloud products are not cheap. Meanwhile they have switched to a subscription model and charge money monthly for their use.

That’s why I have compiled free Adobe alternatives in today’s article and present them in more detail below. In addition, I describe my experiences with it.

I am very happy about your feedback and your experiences with suitable alternatives.

Free Adobe alternatives for image editing, video editing …

In this article I don’t present all Adobe alternatives, because there are simply too many of them. You can also spend a lot of money with other providers, but I have concentrated here on free alternatives, because especially start-ups, but also other self-employed people would like to save money.

One gets Adobe Photoshop alone together with the photo administration software Lightroom for approximately 12 euro per month, but all Adobe products together cost per month approximately 60 euro, which is already more, than many existence founders can afford. I have nothing against Adobe and am quite willing to pay money, but nevertheless I like to use open source software.

Depending on the alternative, you have to accept restrictions, which is not surprising. After all, behind most of the alternatives there are no companies, but volunteers.

Another aspect is free availability. Just recently, Adobe blocked access to the Creative Cloud for all paying (!) users in Venezuela. So you are already tied to the manufacturer and are therefore a little dependent.

But now to the interesting alternatives.

Adobe Acrobat

With Adobe Acrobat you get a tool with which you can not only view PDF files, but also create and edit them. For example, you can convert different formats into PDFs and sign them.

Splitting and merging PDF files is just as possible as creating interactive forms and much more.

The free alternative

The free PDF24 Creator software also enables you not only to view PDF files, but also to create and edit them. You can create PDF files directly from other programs such as Word.

You can also sort pages into PDFs, delete pages, merge PDFs and more. The tool is available for Windows.

Overall, the tool offers some useful features to create and edit PDFs. However, it does not come close to the functionality of Adobe Acrobat.

Suitability as an alternative

Adobe illustrator

The vector graphics editor Adobe Illustrator has for some time been the industry standard for creating and editing logos and other illustrations.

The mathematical vectors allow these graphics to be scaled arbitrarily while maintaining quality.

The free alternative

Inkscape is a very good open source software and leaves almost nothing to be desired when editing vector graphics.

Of course there is full SVG file format support and many other formats are also supported. There are templates for business cards, CD labels and DVD covers.

Adobe Illustrator Alternative – Inkscape

The software has a German interface and is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.

Inkscape is really very good, I think, and for me it is a fully-fledged alternative to Illustrator.

Suitability as an alternative

Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is used to create and edit printed matter. The professional layout and layout program is used by publishers and agencies, among others. Magazines, brochures, posters and so on are created with it.

It offers templates, vector editing, different formats, typography settings and much more. This makes it very widespread and is used by many professionals in the DTP field.

The free alternative – Scribus

Scribus is a free alternative. The tool has been developed for a long time and offers many functions.

You can select the document layout at the beginning and also define a default layout and other settings. Of course, extensive graphic and typygraphic settings are also possible.

Adobe InDesign Alternative – Scribus

In addition, the surface is very reminiscent of InDesign, so that you can get along with it quite quickly. The export is also possible in a printable PDF format.

The software is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS and is in German.

Scribus is a very good and sophisticated free alternative for the design of print documents. The range of functions is large and I will also use Scribus for the design of future eBooks.

Suitability as an alternative

Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Lightroom is software for editing and managing photos. In this way you can keep track of your photo archive and optimize many photos at once.

The program specializes in processing RAW files. One can optimize and adapt the “raw data” of the pictures.

The free alternative – Darktable

The Darktable program is an open source solution that also allows you to manage and edit many photos. The “non-destructive” processing is possible as well as the processing of RAW files.

Adobe Lightroom Alternative – Darktable

Many basic functions for image processing are included here. Contrast, brightness, saturation, shadow, cropping, rotation, exposure, white balance and more. Also the administration of large image stocks is given by filters and sorting possibilities.

The program is available in German and there are versions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.

Darktable is a good alternative for Lightroom and for the image management of freelancers, bloggers etc. mostly quite sufficient. Professional photographers, on the other hand, will miss a few things.

Suitability as an alternative

Adobe Photoshop

Photoshop is certainly Adobe’s best known program. Image editing is the industry standard and used by most graphic artists and designers.

Photoshop has a lot of functions. These include of course the well-known functions, but also special features, such as face-related liquefaction, finding a suitable font, various filters, masks and so on.

The free alternative – GIMP

Photoshop is already very powerful and the alternatives are a bit difficult. For the most important image processing and design functions, however, the free GIMP is suitable.

Adobe Illustrator Alternative – GIMP

Not only can you use the many standard functions, but GIMP also offers many more complex possibilities. However, I don’t like the interface that much, but it’s a matter of getting used to.

But there are many more Photoshop alternatives that you can have a look at.

I personally use Adobe Photoshop, but GIMP has really developed into a first alternative in recent years.

Suitability as an alternative

Adobe Premiere

Last but not least we have the video editing software from Adobe. Adobe Premiere has also been available for a long time and is quite usable.

This makes professional video editing possible and the Lumetri Deep Color Engine has been integrated for better color editing. Many formats are supported.

The free alternative – DaVinci Resolve

There is a free version of the video editing software DaVinci Resolve, which can also be used commercially.

The software offers an extremely large function range and is nevertheless very well usable. In addition to video editing, there are very good tools for color optimization and sound editing. Also the possibilities for visual effects can be found in this tool.

Adobe Premiere Alternative – DaVinci Resolve

Unfortunately the software is not yet available in German, but it is still usable without problems. Especially since there is a German manual. The software is available for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.

I love DaVinci Resolve and have been editing my videos with it for quite some time. The software is very reliable and you can get used to it very quickly. For me a super alternative to Adove Premiere.

Suitability as an alternative
More information can be found in my article about DaVinci Resolve.


It’s hard for me to say goodbye to Adobe completely, because Photoshop CC is simply the best image editing program for me. The alternative GIMP didn’t convince me. Since it comes with the package, I also like to use Lightroom.

Beyond that, however, I rely on free alternatives. Not because I don’t like Adobe, but this way I save money and for what I need, the alternatives are sufficient. In addition, some programs are simply better, like the video editing tool DaVinci Resolve.

But everyone should decide in the individual case and consider well which software solution is the best. This is especially important from the point of view of cooperation with others. After all, many creative people use Adobe products.

What alternatives do you use and can you recommend? Just leave a comment.

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