Chances are, you’ve heard of Photoshop, right? And seen a Photoshopped image. You’ve probably also participated in some kind of social media, whether you started years ago with Myspace or Facebook, or have recently gotten into the TikTok craze. At the very least, you’ve seen a YouTube video or a commercial on TV and picked up a book (even if you didn’t read it).
But what do all of these things have in common?
They were creatively designed.
And the creators used a similar set of tools. One set of tools that has played a major role in all of these creative projects is Adobe Creative Cloud.
What is Adobe Creative Cloud?
Adobe Creative Cloud is a set of applications designed by Adobe for the purposes of creative design. They’re the “world’s best creative apps and services” designed with the idea that you can “make anything you can imagine, wherever you’re inspired.”
There are 6 primary categories the apps fall within: photography, design, user experience (UX), video, web, and social media. Don’t let these labels fool you, though. Creative Cloud applications are used in almost every industry for all kinds of things! It’s even in their motto: “Creativity for all.”
Applications Included in a Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription
One of the best, and biggest, part of the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription is the number of programs included. There are more than 20!
Here’s a look at what you can access with a Creative Cloud subscription:
Acrobat Pro is “the complete PDF solution.” You can create, edit, and sign documents, as well as turn other kinds of files into PDFs. Acrobat also gives you the ability to organize multi-page documents in a PDF file.
Acrobat Reader allows you to view, annotate, collaborate, and sign PDF documents.
Adobe Scan is a free mobile app you can use to scan documents right from your phone. You have the option to scan receipts or handwritten notes—whatever it is you want to digitize—and the app recognizes text and saves it as a PDF.
Adobe Spark allows you to quickly and easily create branded social media and web content from your phone. You can create images and videos, and because there’s an option to upload your branding before you design, it’s simple to add your logo and stay on-brand with anything you create.
Adobe Aero is a new program that lets you dive into the world of augmented reality without having to do complex coding. You can “build, view, and share immersive AR experiences” on desktop or from your phone or tablet.
After Effects is one of Adobe’s most well-known and complex programs and the industry standard for television motion graphics and visual effects. Its specialty is Motion Graphics and Visual Effects.
Adobe Animate allows you to add animation to graphics. Whether you’re working on an ad or a video game, or even a cartoon, you can use this program to add motion and publish your new creation to a number of platforms quickly and easily.
Adobe Audition is a “digital audio editing” software. The program allows you to clean up and restore audio, edit audio for video, design sound effects, and even do podcasting.
Adobe Bridge provides an organizational tool for your digital assets. You can do simple tasks such as view and organize your images, as well as edit information like metadata. With the option to add labels and star ratings to each asset, your images and assets become easily searchable. Bridge can also collaborate with Libraries and publish directly to Adobe Stock.
Adobe Capture is a mobile app that allows you to take your photos and turn them into vector art. Through the app, you can turn images into patterns or shapes. You then have the ability to use your creations in desktop apps including Illustrator, Photoshop, Photoshop Sketch, Dimension, and XD.
Character Animator allows you to create characters from Photoshop and Illustrator and bring them to life through animation—in real-time. It uses your motions and facial expressions to do the animations, and because of the real-time component, you can even stream yourself doing the animations.
Adobe Dimension is an application for building 3D models. Within Dimension, you can “drag and drop” a vector image onto your model to see how it would look, or add stock images from Adobe Stock. The program is great for product mockups, brand visualizations, and illustrations.
Fill & Sign
Adobe Fill & Sign works with Adobe Acrobat to make any document signable. You can take a picture of any form, even a printed one, and sign it digitally. Once you’ve digitally signed, it’s easy to send and share from your computer, tablet, or phone.
Adobe Fresco was designed to provide a realistic drawing and painting experience on touch devices like tablets and iPhones. It has the “world’s largest collection of vector and raster brushes” alongside live brushes that feel like you’re really painting. It also pairs exceptionally well with Photoshop for iPad, which allows you to easily enhance your paintings with the tools from either app.
Adobe Illustrator is the industry-standard vector art and illustration software. Its specialties are creating scalable images, like logos and icons, as well as intricate design work often found on product packaging and in patterns.
Adobe InCopy works with Adobe InDesign as a collaboration tool for copywriters and editors. Designers can collaborate within InDesign on the design elements, and writers and editors can collaborate in InCopy for stylizing text elements and tracking changes—all simultaneously without erasing anyone’s contributions.
Adobe InDesign is the industry-leading program for page layout and design. It's the “king” of typography because of its typographic tools and capabilities. InDesign also excels at long documents and is widely used in the publishing industry for designs such as book covers and the interior pages of books.
Adobe Lightroom is a newer and simplified version of the Lightroom application. Photos edited within the program are automatically stored in the Creative Cloud rather than as local copies, which is useful if you want to easily access them across devices. One advantage of Lightroom is that you can use it on the desktop app, on the web, or in the mobile app.
Adobe Lightroom Classic is the original lightroom app and is used by many professional photographers because of its robust features, such as being able to locally store images. It’s optimized for a desktop user experience rather than on the go.
Adobe Lightroom Web is the web version of the Lightroom app. You can organize and share images, as well as do basic editing like applying presents, cropping, and making color adjustments.
Adobe Media Encoder is an application to process media. It allows you to “ingest, transcode, create proxies, and output to almost any format you can imagine.” You can use it on its own, but also as a companion to other Adobe programs including After Effects, Premiere Pro, Audition, Character Animator, and Prelude.
Adobe Photoshop is the industry-leading photo editing software. With a wide range of capabilities for color correction, retouching, compositing, and special effects, it’s one of Adobe’s most popular and most used applications.
Adobe Photoshop Camera is a free mobile app that allows you to take beautiful photos and add the right filter to make them picture perfect. In fact, the app even suggests the best filters and lenses for the photo before you take it, and new ones are added every week.
Adobe Photoshop Express is a free mobile app that lets you edit and share photos on the go. While it doesn’t have the full capabilities of Photoshop, you can upgrade to Premium features, which unlocks more advanced features like better healing tools and the ability to work with RAW photos.
Adobe Premiere Pro is the industry-standard video editing program. With this software, you can import video, music, sound, voiceovers, and graphics, put them into a timeline, and edit out unwanted parts to create a polished final video.
Adobe Premiere Rush is a mobile app that allows you to edit video footage on your phone or tablet. You can “shoot, edit, and share high-quality videos” and easily share them online.
Adobe Spark allows you to create beautiful branded graphics and short videos quickly and easily. With the ability to upload your brand colors, fonts, and even logos, you can make a big statement in no time on your website and social media.
Adobe XD is a vector-based design app for user experience (UX) design, specifically created for mobile and web apps. Within the program, you can animate, wireframe, collaborate, and prototype—plus test how users might interact with your content before you send it to web developers to be built.
Other Subscription Perks
With more than 20 applications, Adobe’s Creative Cloud subscription is already pretty tantalizing. But, you get more than the programs themselves when you subscribe.
There are a number of Creative Cloud Services included that aren’t programs but are great perks nonetheless. Creative Cloud Services include:
- Adobe Fonts: A stock of 1000s of beautiful fonts, some of which can only be accessed through an Adobe subscription
- Behance: A place for creative professionals to publicly showcase their creative work and get inspired by others in the creative community, essentially a social media platform for designers
- Creative Cloud Libraries: A place to store and share all of your creative assets
- Adobe Portfolio: A space to host your creative portfolio
- Adobe Live: Live streaming through the Behance platform
- Adobe Color: A creative community to get inspired and create your own color themes
- Adobe Stock: A stockpile of creative assets such as images, videos, and soundbites that you can draw from when you’re doing a creative project
- Easy Collaboration: Simultaneous editing and review features in each major program allow you to quickly and easily give and receive feedback, as well as share assets with your team and across multiple devices
- 100 GB cloud storage: To store your digital files no matter what type