Adobe Creative Cloud logo.

Adobe Creative Cloud combines all of Adobe’s industry-leading applications in one service. Find out what a subscription includes, and who should use it.

Every Adobe Program, Under One Service

If you work in design, media, marketing, or photography, you’ve likely already used one or more of the programs in the Adobe Creative software suite. Apps like Photoshop, Premiere, and Lightroom are the industry standard for creatives.

However, Adobe’s individual software licenses used to be prohibitively expensive—especially if you’re a freelancer or independent professional.

The Adobe creative suite subscription page on the Adobe website.

Creative Cloud (CC) is Adobe’s way of making a wide array of its programs available as a service. Instead of a one-time purchase, you pay a monthly subscription fee. The fee varies depending on how many apps you use. CC also includes additional services to improve your creative workflows, such as 100 GB of cloud storage, a customizable portfolio website via Adobe Portfolio, and access to Adobe’s extensive font library.

The options and prices for individuals are:

  • All apps ($52.99 per month/$599.88 per year): You get access to the entire array of Creative Cloud apps, including Premiere Pro, After Effects, Illustrator, and Adobe XD.
  • Photography Plan ($9.99 per month/$119.88 per year): This option provides photographers with access to Lightroom, Photoshop, and 20 GB of cloud storage. You can also opt for a plan that includes 1 TB of cloud storage for $19.99 per month.
  • Single apps: You can also subscribe to each app individually. Single-app plans range from $4.99 to $20.99 per month, depending on the software you choose. These subscriptions also include 100 GB of cloud storage and access to Adobe Fonts.

Individual Creative Cloud plans are a great deal if you’re a creative professional who relies on one or more Adobe programs.

If you’re a business owner who also needs features like workflow management and collaborative video editing, check out Adobe’s business plans.

What Does Adobe Creative Cloud Include?

A menu of Adobe Creative Cloud components.

In addition to Adobe’s video- and image-editing programs that have been around for decades, you also get access to apps and services that are fairly new. This can be a great way to learn new skills.

The following are some of Adobe’s newer services with which you might be unfamiliar:

  • Spark: These apps allow you to quickly create web-based content on both mobile and the web. Spark Page allows you to make responsive web pages. You can also produce graphics for social media with Spark Post, or create short video stories with Spark Video.
  • Premiere Rush: An alternative to Premiere Pro, this program is for online content creators who want to edit videos quickly. It features a streamlined interface with fewer features. Premiere Rush projects can also be opened in Premiere Pro for further editing. An integrated mobile app is also included.
  • XD: This User Interface/User Experience (UI/UX) design tool for web and mobile is particularly for those who formerly used Photoshop and Illustrator to design interfaces.
  • Portfolio: This tool allows you to build a personalized website to show off your work—especially anything you’ve created with the Adobe software suite. It’s included with most Adobe Creative Cloud plans.
  • Fonts: Most plans also provide access to Adobe’s comprehensive library of fonts, which are compatible with every program in the CC.

While it’s unlikely one person would need every service in Creative Cloud, it’s nice to keep your options open. You can install or uninstall each Adobe program individually.

Is Adobe Creative Cloud Worth It?

There’s a case to be made that it’s more expensive to pay for a subscription long-term, rather than paying for a single, permanent software license. However, the consistent updates, cloud services, and access to new features make Adobe Creative Cloud a fantastic value. The all apps plan is great for creative professionals and content creators, as most use some combination of these programs.

If you ever switch careers or no longer need any of the apps, you can simply end your subscription. There are also several affordable alternatives to the Adobe suite you might want to check out.

Students or teachers who have the credentials should also look into Adobe’s student pricing. An all-access plan costs $19.99 per month for the first year, and then $29.99 for the second and onward. To be eligible, all you need is a university email address or a document proving your institutional affiliation.

Adobe also offers a free trial of CC, so you can try out the service before you subscribe.

RELATED: The Best Cheaper Alternatives to Photoshop

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Vann Vicente has been a technology writer for four years, with a focus on explainers geared towards average consumers. He also works as a digital marketer for a regional e-commerce website. He's invested in internet culture, social media, and how people interact with the web.
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