There’s little room for argument that Adobe is the industry leader for all things creative. Its apps are heralded among many as being the golden standard in animation, illustration, production, and more.

While there are several apps available from Adobe, you can access most of them through the Creative Cloud. If you’re unfamiliar with this monthly subscription service, you’ll want to join us as we review Adobe Creative Cloud.

Here, you will learn all about the Adobe Creative Cloud subscription service, how it works, and the pros and cons of using this platform.

The Apps

Regardless of the Adobe Creative Cloud plan you choose, you will have access to all of Adobe’s apps. However, you can opt to get as many or as few apps as you want.

With that being said, there is certainly an incentive to go with the all-apps option, as you will have access to everything that’s offered through the Adobe Creative Cloud.

Before we jump into the monthly subscription packages available to you, let’s discuss the apps that you’ll have access to. As you will soon discover, all of the heavyweights are here, from Adobe Photoshop to Fuse.



If you’re into graphic design, Adobe Photoshop is an absolute must. This robust app lets you create, composite, and edit stunning imagery on your desktop or iPad.




For all of your photo needs, Adobe Lightroom will make it easy to store, organize, share, and edit your photos from anywhere.



If you like to create vector art, you’ll appreciate Adobe Illustrator and its easy-to-use user interface. This app can also be accessed from both your desktop and iPad.


Premiere Pro

Do you love editing videos? Thanks to Adobe Premiere Pro, you can easily and efficiently create videos and edit them with this powerful professional-level software.



Adobe InDesign is a key player in page layout and design. If you are in the digital print and publishing industry, you’ll want to add this app to your list.


Adobe XD

This Adobe program serves to let users create and share prototype designs, such as wireframes and screen designs, for mobile apps and websites.



Draw on the go with Fresco! Easily create works of art, such as simple sketches or detailed paintings, from anywhere you can access the Adobe Creative Cloud mobile app.


Premiere Rush

Have you been somewhere and got the urge to create and share a video with friends and family? Adobe’s Premiere Rush allows you to do so easily with this online service.


After Effects

Adobe’s After Effects lets users create motion graphics and cinematic visuals with ease, thanks to the user-friendly interface and robust tools.



This application is a must-have for business owners. With Adobe Dimension, you can create beautiful 3D images to be used in branding, package design, and product shots.


Acrobat Pro

No review of Adobe Creative Cloud would be complete without mentioning Acrobat Pro. This mainstay has been around for ages, setting the standard for what a PDF application should be. From creation to editing, Acrobat lets you manage PDFs like few others.



Dreamweaver will get you through the night and help you reach the morning light with its powerful website development tools.



Formerly known as Flash Professional, Adobe Animate lets you create interactive animations for a wide range of platforms.



Restore, mix, and record audio with the robust and powerful Adobe Audition. If you’re an audiophile, Audition needs to be among your program list.


Lightroom Classic

Use your desktop to assist you in editing photos like a pro, with multiple useful tools to help you bring your favorite pictures to life.


Character Animator

If you enjoy the art of animation, Character Animator is just the graphical companion you need. Make your own cartoons and skits in real-time with this powerful application from Adobe.



As one of the easiest, most efficient video creation platforms available, Adobe’s Spark is another must-have program for the creative mind. Thanks to this software, you can easily build video stories, create web pages, and design graphics with just a few clicks.



Whether you are designing graphics for a mobile app or building web pages for clients, you need a place to store all of your creative assets. Adobe Bridge is the perfect program for centralizing all of your proprietary work.


Media Encoder

If you create videos in any capacity, you’ll want to get your hands on Media Encoder. This simple tool ensures that your videos will work on any screen for easy sharing.



If you’re in the publishing industry, you’ll want to consider Adobe’s InCopy. With this software, you can easily share your work and collaborate with copywriters and editors so that your colleagues can make contributions and modifications.



Much more than simply combining video footage, Adobe Prelude lets you integrate media files into other editing software for easy collaboration on your work.



Paint stunning 3D images and textures with Adobe Substance. This industry-standard continues to make a name for itself among creators in the video game industry, architecture, film, and design.


Fuse (Beta)

Used in conjunction with Photoshop, Fuse lets you design your own 3D characters to be used in your creative projects.


The Prices

Now that you know what kind of apps you can choose to use, let’s talk pricing. The amount you’ll pay depends on your needs and the industry you work in. Below, you will find how this affects the price that you will ultimately pay each month.



If you need Adobe’s suite of tools for your personal use, this is the option you’ll want to go with. For $52.99 a month, the Individuals option gives you access to all of the apps listed above, as well as 100GB of cloud storage.

If you only need access to a single Adobe application, you will be charged a monthly fee of $25.49. As you can see, it would be smarter to pay the $52.99 fee if you need more than two apps a month.

Admittedly, someone who just wants to fiddle around with creative software might find this pricing structure to be out of their league. It’s not exactly designed to be used as a means to fulfill a hobby.

But if you are regularly creating works for clients, it could certainly be a solid investment if you bring in a decent income based on your workload. It’s important to budget yourself before committing to Creative Cloud in this context.

You want to ensure that your business ventures make up for the cost of the Creative Cloud service. The positive in this is that Creative Cloud is a monthly subscription. If your services allow you to see what you have planned for a certain month, there may be times that you don’t need Creative Cloud.

And you can always opt to “rent” the Adobe app that you’ll need the most, thereby saving you some money. It won’t be a substantial financial difference, but at least the option is there should you need it.


Students & Teachers

You can score big if you happen to be a student or teacher. Adobe gives you full access to all of its apps for a paltry fee of just $19.99 a month. When you first sign up, you get this fantastic offer for the first year. After that, the monthly fee increases to $31.86.

Even after the increase, that’s an incredible bargain that comes out to just a little over half of what Individuals pay per month for access to all of Adobe’s apps.

Being able to get all of these apps for such a low price makes Creative Cloud a no-brainer in a sense. The tools you’re getting are the best of the best, so even if you don’t use them all the time, the price under this option is worth it just to try them out here and there.



Since the Teams option is centered on more than one person using Adobe’s apps, you can expect to pay more for it. And the more people on your team, the more you’ll be charged per month.

Under this option, you are charged $33.99 a month to use a single app or $79.99 a month to use all of them. So, what are the advantages of using the Teams option?

For starters, you get vastly more cloud storage; 1TB, to be exact. That’s a respectable amount of online storage and one that makes a lot of sense for business entities. Depending on your normal workload, you may find that you use a large majority of that 1TB of storage, while others will barely scratch the surface.

What’s more, you can collaborate on video editing with your colleagues, as well as to reassign any license you want. This comes in handy when you have more members on your team than there are licenses.

Since not everyone might be using the same apps at any given time, Teams lets you hand out licenses to those who need them. And if you need to have access to more than 10 licenses, you will receive a discount based on volume.

The perks don’t end there. Teams customers also get tech support around the clock and the option to collaborate with design experts in your field. Additionally, you’ll have shared Stock plans and access to Adobe Talent, where you can take advantage of unlimited job postings.


The Price of Quality

While it’s true that Adobe’s monthly fees come to a lot of money – especially if you need access to their apps all-year-round – you can’t beat the stellar quality that their tools provide. Even the second-best creative tools from Adobe’s competitors don’t offer near the polish and accessibility.

That said, there are plenty of free apps available if you don’t mind taking a (big) hit in features and overall quality. It’s also worth mentioning that Adobe’s prices are actually quite good when you compare them to what you would pay for the full version of some of their competitor’s apps.

With access to Adobe’s tools, you can look forward to creating some of your best work yet. Depending on the field you’re in, Adobe could make all the difference.

At any rate, let’s direct our attention to some of the pros and cons of Adobe Creative Cloud. After all, this is an Adobe Photoshop Creative Cloud comprehensive review. We want you to know the good and bad.

So with that, let’s start with the pros.


One of the best things about the Creative Cloud Teams option is that it supports collaborative projects. When you create a video, for example, you can have other coworkers or colleagues making changes and adjustments to your work.

This approach opens the door to a whole new level of collaboration and synergy, which serves to expand your development so that it reaches heights that you likely wouldn’t be able to work on your own.

Oftentimes, the input from like-minded team members can make the difference between a project being a failure and a success.


Adobe Assets

Another big perk that you get when you subscribe to Creative Cloud is the wealth of Adobe’s valuable Stock assets. From photography and video footage to web page templates and other assets, Adobe Stock is your digital playground.

Best of all, these assets are all completely free for you to use. There is a caveat here, though. The free versions of assets are watermarked and lower in quality. You can, however, pay for upgraded assets that remove the watermark and display in a higher resolution.

If you are just posting a silly YouTube video, for example, you may not need to invest in upgraded assets. But if you are creating a business proposal or something of similar import, you can ensure the best presentation by taking advantage of upgraded assets.


The Cloud in Creative Cloud

We would be remiss if we didn’t discuss the cloud in our Adobe Creative Cloud review. After all, the cloud is what makes this service such a boon for creators. When you find an asset from Adobe Stock and upload it to Creative Cloud, it becomes accessible from your computer, smartphone, or tablet.

This is important, as you can share your library with coworkers and colleagues, thus giving them access to these assets. What’s more, any graphics you’ve created in After Effects or Premiere Plus can be shared this way, as well.


Stock up Adobe Stock

Stock assets have to come from somewhere, so why not take advantage of Adobe Stock by contributing your own assets? When you upload custom assets to Creative Cloud, you stand to earn royalties.

If an individual or business puts your uploaded assets in their final project, you will get a kickback. This is a great way to make a little money on the side in your spare time.

You may see some of your work as just a silly little side-hobby. But to others, it could serve as a key piece to their advertising project. As such, you should hold on to all of your work because you never know when it might earn you extra money through Creative Cloud.


What’s Missing

Now that we’ve discussed some of the benefits that come with subscribing to Creative Cloud, let’s talk about where it’s lacking. As good as this service is, there are, unfortunately, some things about Creative Cloud that we aren’t too fond of.



There are no two ways about it. Paying for a single Adobe app simply isn’t cost-effective. If you have use for all of the other apps, however, the service makes far more sense, monetarily. This is especially true if you need more than half of the apps that are available on Creative Cloud.

Realistically, though, there aren’t many people or even businesses that use all of the apps on a daily basis. Admittedly, that’s probably not what Creative Cloud is intended for. Most entities that subscribe to Creative Cloud likely need its apps intermittently throughout the month.

For that, the service is absolutely ideal. And the more apps you use, the better the monthly fee will make sense.


No Standalone Option

Sadly, Adobe doesn’t give you an option to buy its apps outright. As such, you are restricted to Creative Cloud if you need to use its services. The last time you could purchase apps for permanent use was all the way back in 2012.

Obviously, this ruffled the feathers of a lot of creators. As an individual, Creative Cloud can get mighty expensive. If you’re a business or studio, it makes a lot more sense.

Taking away the ability to buy a program, regardless of the application, is pretty telling as to where we’re headed. It appears as though it’s going to become increasingly difficult to own your own software.

Digital is king right now, and it will probably continue to be going forward. This wouldn’t be such a big deal if there wasn’t such a heavy reliance on needing the internet to use said software. And this brings us to our next gripe.


Web Browser Integration

Adobe Creative Cloud needs to use your web browser to handle much of its services. Again, it’s because Creative Cloud needs the internet to function. This is understandable; after all, it’s called Creative Cloud.

But at the same time, it can be quite frustrating, too. Some apps are downloaded to directly to your desktop, so it isn’t always a problem. Other apps, however, are not, leaving you dependent on your internet connection to deliver an acceptable user experience.

For some people, this won’t be a problem. But for many others who regularly suffer from poor internet service, this will certainly cause some headaches.



How Does Creative Cloud Work?

The first time that you download any of Adobe’s apps, Creative Cloud is automatically downloaded to your computer. From there, you will have to use Creative Cloud to use the Adobe app.

This applies to all other Adobe apps, as well. Any time that you wish to use these apps, you will first need to open Creative Cloud on your desktop. You will then be able to select from a wide range of apps.

While the apps are downloaded and installed on your computer, you’ll need to remember that you can only access them if you’ve paid for the current month’s service.


What if I Have an Old Adobe Program That I Paid For?

Fortunately, this isn’t a problem. If you have an old program from Adobe that you paid for, you can continue to use it as much as you like. Downloading Creative Cloud will not disable or delete that old version of software.

What’s more, you can use both without issue. For example, let’s say you bought the last full release of Photoshop. Clearly, this will be a different version than what is offered in the Creative Cloud.

One won’t affect the other in any way. You can use both without having to worry about interference from the other and vice versa.


Can I Use Creative Cloud on More Than One System?

Unfortunately, no. Adobe lets you download your Creative Cloud subscription on two machines. However, you won’t be able to use the software on both devices at the same time.



Adobe is a household name at this point and is responsible for some of the most notable software known to creators. It is unlikely that this is going to change anytime soon, as Adobe continues to innovate its products.

What’s more, the support behind their goods is exceptional, ensuring that you are investing in the best that creative software has to offer.

The pricing of Creative Cloud might not make good financial sense to single users, but that’s the structure we must adhere to. It’s expensive, sure, but you’re getting the most accessible, user-friendly, and revolutionary apps currently available.

When it comes to creating your best work, it’s hard to price on the software you use. And the fact that you get access to all of Adobe’s greatest hits is the icing on the cake. 

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Anthony Cornell

Anthony Cornell is a freelance technology journalist. He reviews educational software and writes in-depth online course reviews from popular e-learning platforms. You can reach Anthony at anthony@learnacourseonline.com

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