Adobe is moving to a subscription pricing model for its major software products (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, etc.). I signed up for a $20 or so monthly introduction offer but then forgot that I got upgraded to around $55 charge after one year. This is probably good value if you use many Adobe products, and use them frequently.

As a presentation designer, I fall in between the typical user segments. Here is how I use Adobe products:

  • Acrobat:
    • Stitching together multiple PDFs into one
    • Reducing file sizes of image-heavy PDF files
  • Photoshop:
    • Removing backgrounds from images
    • Compressing, re-sizing large image files
    • Putting text on blank 3D objects
  • Illustrator: opening, selecting groups, re-coloring of stock vector files before saving them as PNGs.

Is there a combination of alternative software packages that could do these basic functions?

Some responses to an earlier tweet:


Art: Typesetter at the Enschede printing factory (was located behind the St. Bavochurch) in 1884, painting by the American artist Charles Frederic Ulrich.