Adobe Alternatives and Free / Inexpensive Software Suggestions

Here's my list of software for people trying to either move away from using an Adobe subcription or people getting started with design and looking for free or low cost design applications. Just because many of these are free to use doesn't mean they cannot produce top quality professional work.

Video Editing


Free and Open Source video editor. This is a great editor for most projects. It has many high end features so it would sufice for most people and projects. Alternative to Adobe Premiere.

Kdenlive screen

Editing / Compositing / VFX

DaVinci Resolve

High end professional editing software used by the film industry. The learning curve is a bit steeper than Kdenlive but you end up with top notch professional tools. The Fusion area of the app is a full compositor similar to Adobe After Effects, but it uses a node workflow as compared to AE's layered approach. The base version is free. Alternative to Adobe Premiere and After Effects.

Davinci Resolve screen

Digital Painting


Prefessional free and Open Source painting program. This is a great option if you are looking for a digital painting program as compared to an image editior. Alternative to Adobe Photoshop.

Krita screen

Photo / Image Editor


Free and Open Source image editor. Alternative to Adobe Photoshop.

GIMP screen

Photo / Image Editor

Affinity Photo

Commercial image editor similar to Adobe Photoshop. You can buy this for about the price of one month of Adobe's creative suite. Alternative to Adobe Photoshop.

Affinity Photo screen

Vector Design

Affinity Designer

Commercial vector design application with no subscription costs. Designer and Photo are highly integrated and can open each others' native files. Alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

Affinity Designer screen

Publishing / Page Layout

Affinity Publisher

Commercial page layout software. Integrates extreamly well with the other Affinity products. Alternative to Adove In-Design.

Affinity Publisher screen

Vector Design


Free and Open Source vector design application. Good software to edit and create all of your vector designs. Alternative to Adobe Illustrator.

Inkscape screen

3d Design


Free and Open Source application for 3d modeling, animation, texturing, sculpting and 2d animation. If you are starting out in 3d there really is no reason to use anything else. Blender has evolved into a robust full featured 3d / 2d application.

Blender screen

Design & Prototyping


Cloud based commercial web application for prototyping and vector design. There is a free plan which can work well for many indivuduals. Alternative to Adobe XD.

Figma screen

Reference Image Sheets


Create layouts with all of your reference images. You can zoom all the way in and arragne and organize your images. It supports a varity of image formats. Once you start using it, it becomes a must have tool for projects where you are looking at multiple reference images. The cost is low and you can try before you buy as well.

PureRef screen

Typography / Font Design


Free and Open Source software to create , modity and edit fonts. A great option if you are interested in font creation and have a love of typography.

FontForge screen
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