Adobe Alternatives

There are numerous free and lower cost options that may replace some or all of the functionality in different Adobe products. The OIT Software Licensing Management group has reviewed and approved the Terms & Conditions of the licenses for the following applications. They can be used by all campus users unless otherwise noted.

Have suggestions or need help?

Please contact us at help@sciences.ncsu.edu

Software costs listed below are current as of May 21, 2019. Go to the product site for the latest pricing information as licenses costs and terms change.

Free and recommended

These tools are in wide use and have active online communities.

Image editing: Gimp

Gimp is a full featured image editing tool that essentially has feature parity with Adobe Photoshop. The interface is similar.

Cost: Free and open source

Site: https://www.gimp.org

Platforms: Windows 7 /8/10 , macOS 10.9 (Mavericks) or later , Linux, Solaris, BSD

 

Page design: Scribus

Logo

Scribus is a full featured page layout program that includes LaTeX and Lilypond support, and is a challenger to Adobe InDesign.

Cost: Free and open source

Site: https://www.scribus.net

Platforms: Windows, macOS X, Linux, FreeBSD, PC-BSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, OpenIndiana, Debian GNU/Hurd, , OS/2 Warp 4, eComStation, and Haiku

 

Vector graphics: Inkscape

Inkscape is a professional vector graphics editor that is an alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

Inkscape

Cost: Free and open source

Site: https://inkscape.org/

Platforms: Windows, macOS 10.13 (High Sierra) or higher with MacPorts, Linux

 

Video editing: OpenShot Video Editor

OpenShot is a video editing package that is an alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro. It does not have feature parity, but does have a strong feature set and is usually sufficient for the average user.

OpenShot Video Editor Logo

Cost: Free and open source

Site: https://www.openshot.org/

Platforms: Windows 7/8/10, macOS 10.9 (Mavericks) or higher, Linux

 

 

Other options

These applications are clickwrap approved unless otherwise noted. They may have an associated cost or may not be cross-platform or approved for student use.

They may be viable alternatives for your specific needs.

Image editing (Photoshop alternatives)

Photopea

A browser-based image editing application that provides a set of tools suitable for many needs. Supports Photoshop and Gimp files.

Site: https://www.photopea.com/

Cost: Free (ad-supported) or $9/mo or $20/3 mos for Premium (no ads)

Platforms: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, possibly others

Krita

An open source painting program

Site: https://krita.org

Cost: Free

Platforms: Windows, Linux

Affinity Photo

Includes an application for iPad for an additional cost

Site: https://affinity.serif.com

Cost: $49.99 one time,  $19.99 for iPad add on

Platforms: Mac, Windows 7/8/10

Corel Paintshop Pro

Presents itself as a well designed, low-cost alternative to Adobe Photoshop

Site: https://www.paintshoppro.com/en/products/paintshop-pro/

Cost: $39.99 – $99.99 depending on version

Platforms: Windows

 

 

Page design (InDesign alternatives)

Canva

Perhaps closer to Microsoft Publisher than Adobe InDesign, offers many templates

Site: https://www.canva.com/

Cost: Free for basic version, $12.95/month or $119.40/year for Pro version

LucidPress

A collaborative, cloud-based page design application that links to Google Drive

Site: https://www.lucidpress.com

Cost: Free for educational users (up to 10 documents), request quote for EDU Premium version (unlimited documents)

Platforms: Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, possibly others

 

Vector graphics (Illustrator alternatives)

Gravit Designer

Online, cloud-based graphic design tool. Offline editing available in Pro verison.

Site: https://www.designer.io/

Cost: Free for Designer, $49 for Designer Pro

Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux, ChromeOS

Note: Approved for faculty/staff use only. Do not use in classrooms or student computer labs. May request an accessibility review if student use is desirable.

BoxySVG

Popular vector graphics manipulator

Site: https://boxy-svg.com/

Cost: $9/month

Platforms: macOS, Windows, Linux

Note: Approved for faculty/staff use only. Do not use in classrooms or student computer labs. May request an accessibility review if student use is desirable.

Affinity Designer

Includes an application for iPad for an additional cost.

Site: https://affinity.serif.com

Cost: $49.99 one time,  $19.99 for iPad add on

Platforms: Mac, Windows 7/8/10

 

Video editing (Premiere Pro alternatives)

Note: Almost any product that uses FFMPEG, including most open source video editors, cannot be approved for use on campus due to a legal issue (patent violation).

DaVinci Resolve/DavVinci Resolve Studio

Full featured professional video editing application

Site: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve/

Cost: Free for Resolve, $299 for perpetual license for Resolve Studio (all future versions at no additional cost)

Platforms: Windows, macOS, Linux

Videopad

A popular alternative to Adobe Premiere Pro

Site: https://www.nchsoftware.com/videopad

Cost: $69.95

Platforms: macOS, Windows, iOS, Android

Note: Approved for faculty/staff use only. Do not use in classrooms or student computer labs. May request an accessibility review if student use is desirable.

Camtasia

Screen recorder and video editor

Site: https://www.techsmith.com/video-editor.html

Cost: $169 for educational version, volume discounts available..

Platforms: Windows, macOS

 

 

Want to use an application that’s not listed above?

  • Check the Reviewed Clickwraps list or contact software@help.ncsu.edu to make sure the license has been approved.
  • This applies to any software that has a license agreement, even free software. It is quick and easy to request approval if there is another product you’d like to use.
  • Please contact us at help@sciences.ncsu.edu if you’d like help submitting a request for clickwrap approval.