Adobe Sucks!


If you aren’t a fan of the Adobe suite of products, you might not know the company’s latest abuse of users. The short version is they converted to a subscription service that will cost $49.99 per month to use the full suite of programs. That puts it squarely in the realm of the professional only. Amateurs and students are not welcome. There are short term discounts and at least for now Photoshop can be accessed for $19.99 per month but that’s not good enough to entice me or anyone else I know. That fee is just to get you started. Can you imagine what Adobe will demand next year or the following year?

The coupe de grace is that Adobe has forced retailers to remove from their shelves any remaining discs and return them to Adobe. One retailer told me this morning that Adobe demanded the discs but hasn’t issued credit tying up his company’s money for an undetermined period of time. In other words, they don’t know when Adobe will refund their investment in the recalled inventory. So not only has Adobe pooped on the public, it’s done that to retailers, too.

Well, that’s the end for me. This is about profits and I’m fine with companies making money. But my bottom line counts, too. So not one dime will be spent on an Adobe product by me ever again. The old versions of Photoshop won’t install on replacement computers or after reinstalling an operating system as we have proven time and again. If a computer dies, Photoshop dies along with it. That’s bad faith and a no-no in my book.

GIMP is the only semi-substitute I’ve used recently. It lacks some features, but for my purposes it will do. I won’t even use Adobe Reader since, just like Photoshop, my version of Acrobat no longer works after reinstalling Windows. Another mark against Adobe. I’ve lost some functionality but PDF Architect will allow me to read, scan, and create basic PDFs. Unfortunately, Quickbooks insists on using Reader for the PDF format or I wouldn’t have Reader on my system at all.

I lack the knowledge and skills to contribute to the development of open source software, but I can promote it. GIMP and Open Office meet my needs. The most important caveat to using GIMP is having to manually save frequently since it will freeze from time to time. This is part of my routine in other programs like WordPress so it isn’t a problem for me.

Before getting acquainted with Photoshop, I used Corel software. At that time their products were less feature-rich but otherwise good for creating handsome graphics and editing photos. Smart enough to see an opening when it presents itself, Corel is offering temporary special pricing to users of Adobe CS4-6 who think the cloud is all wet. Take advantage while you can. The photo editing suite is a mere $54 with free shipping at Amazon which sounds like an amazing deal compared to Photoshop.

While we’re on the subject of software, there are several free programs that I can recommend. NoteTab Light replaced Notepad as my text editor ages ago. It has a lot of extras built in but you can run it lean by hiding most of them. Rounding out my basic programs are Evernote, Firefox, Avast, Spybot, Dropbox, and Janetter for Twitter access. Evernote is the best of the lot and I am still finding ways to integrate it into my workflow. Give this one a go if none of the others.

If you want to play with some other photo or drawing programs, take a look at the Top 10 Best Free Photo Editing Software You Should Try in 2013. They look like a lot of fun to me and that’s exactly what being creative ought to be.



  1. Thanks, Inkophile.
    Unfortunately, that is the way the world has been moving. The least we can do is to shout against this bad behaviour.


    • I never thought about using caps (shouting) for emphasis. Too bad I missed that opportunity. Will remember it next time. 🙂


  2. I’m a fan of Open Office, but starting to look at Scrivener [and moving to an Apple computer next time I need hardware]. Many writers swear by it as it’s designed specifically for writers with special plotting features.

    Evernote and Pocket are freebies on my system and Dropbox is wonderful! I like the way it will pull photos off my iPhone when I plug it in.

    I love Pandora as well as I’ve found more new music I would not otherwise have heard.

    Did you know you can send PDF files to the Kindle emulator program on your computer? Try that for reading.


    • Ah, Scrivener. I played with it during a trial period but Final Draft is the weapon of choice here. No reason to have both.

      I don’t own a Kindle and haven’t tried an emulator program. Is this something I need?


      • If you search the Amazon site, you can download software for free that lets you read Kindle-formatted books on your computer. This includes a Kindle-linked email address you can give folks or use yourself to mail PDF documents to be read on a Kindle or via that software. There are other formats readable on a Kindle such as doc. Some agents have writers stick to certain formats so they can scan prospective manuscripts on their e-readers.


        • Thanks for the Kindle info. I’ll check it out later after the plumber and the appliance repairmen leave. (We had a challenging weekend.) 🙂


  3. Thanks for the info on Adobe. Since I read it this morning I’ve taught 3 classes and I passed out downloaded copies of your post, and so far my students all agree that Adobe sucks and will pass on the info to whomever thay can, and will swear off Adobe.


    • Thanks, Jo. Glad to help. 🙂


  4. We’re struggling with the new price structure at the day job as well, but it’s discouraging to find Adobe has left very little space for future and amateur customers who could possibly turn into professional users. But this sort of behavior has been typical of Adobe, and many other companies (*cough* Quark), and only time will tell if their customers will reply in kind (again, *cough* Quark).

    One alternative I’ve found to be closest to Photoshop is Pixelmator, which is Mac only unfortunately. But it has decent curves and sharpening tools, and all for $15 — a great option for more casual use.


    • Hi Mia!

      Is Quark still around? I gave up on that one ages ago.

      Adobe is betting your company and a gazillion others won’t spend the time, effort, or money to move to another suite of programs. The death knell was heard when they acquired Macromedia creating a virtual monopoly but it has been shortsighted in this latest travesty. Students will go to other products and thus not build up either a brand loyalty or the skill set employers expect. If PaintShop Pro or another program doesn’t fill the void in the near future, I will be very disappointed. Competition is always good for innovation and it is long overdue in this arena.

      Thanks for mentioning Pixelmator. No Macs here so I didn’t know about it. Is it full-featured enough for a college level student?



  5. It really is unfortunate, but the problem stems from the fact that people are refusing to pay for the software in the first place. People act like they deserve everything for free simply because they have an internet connection, and have no qualms whatsoever about stealing these items that cost millions to make. This means that those of us who don’t steal them are paying far more than we should have to to use them, and after price raise after price raise after price raise, we simply can’t pay any more. Ultimately companies like Adobe are not making enough to sustain further development. Its easy to only blame the company and say they’re just doing it to bleed customers, but the problem is much larger than that. If people could be trusted with physical discs you can bet companies wouldn’t go through the expense and trouble of developing other ways to distribute their products, but that’s just not the case. Don’t blame money-hungry CEOs, blame the money-hungry masses who believe they are entitled to every single thing they want without payment. Whatever happened to saving for something you want?

    On top of which (sorry this is so long) with how often Adobe releases a new CS, the payment per month is about the same as it would be to buy the discs outright. Which actually makes it a lot more budget friendly to those who don’t have a $1700 on-hand, as it ends up being like a payment plan.


    • I’ve read the bootleg/pirate explanation elsewhere, but thank you for taking the time to explain it to those who haven’t considered that point of view.

      Adobe reneged and pulled its products from the shelves despite saying it would not. That’s a breech of trust with both retailers and consumers and was the final straw for me.

      Check out the financial data for Adobe. The stock has declined since the announcement. That says something about the marketplace. How the subscription service will affect Adobe’s bottom line won’t be known for months. Removing the cost of producing a physical product should improve profits unless users move to other programs.

      Not everyone, especially students and individual users, needed to upgrade at each new release. As an example, a student could use a Photoshop disc for four years of school without an upgrade. Purchased from one of the companies that supplies software to students enrolled at participating colleges, the cost of Photoshop CS6 was $186 as of four weeks ago. Averaged over four years, that comes to $46.50 per year.

      The announced monthly fee could go up or down, but since Adobe has proven to be untrustworthy, at best future fees are uncertain. As a non-professional, I won’t spend the money. I would rather buy ink and pens.


      • Whoops, sorry it took so long to respond! BTW, the first link doesn’t work, but I get the gist of the comment.

        I know that pulling products off the shelves seems drastic and untrustworthy, but for the reasons I stated above, I don’t think its them just being greedy about it. And while I totally understand the point of view that Adobe’s new prices put it out of reach for non-professionals I have to say that CS isn’t for non-professionals. With the modern day school of though “I have a food blog/Instagram and therefore I’m a photographer” everyone thinks they need photoshop (or at least that it gives them some creative cred), but for the most part people don’t use 1/16th of the tools PS offers for professionals. And for those purposes Adobe makes products to specifically fit those needs. Lightroom and Photoshop Essentials cover everything 99% of users will need, and the prices reflect that. They are also available outside of Adobe Cloud. I know professional photographers who almost exclusively use Lightroom. Those of us who need the extra tools provided in Photoshop are compensated for the price in the cost of our services/pricing.

        Also, as a grad student I can tell you that no student truly NEEDS CS. Schools will provide students with the required software in computer labs where most of the work is done. And most schools will at least provide a discount if not (like the school I’m currently attending) completely pay for the necessary programs.

        Again, I understand why people are against Adobe’s new practices, and you make some good points. But I just don’t agree. As someone who works in the industry, and have numerous instructors and acquaintances who work directly for Adobe, I have yet to hear anything but praise for them. They’re a great company to work for, and they’re extremely responsive to working with schools and students.


        • Defend Adobe all you like. I won’t rehash my earlier points. This isn’t about Adobe employees or who is in the “industry” or not. I used to create and run websites using Adobe products including Photoshop. I am not currently “industry” but I am entitled to an opinion. I also have a college student in my family so I have experience with what it takes or not to buy software. I will say that employers want newly hired staff to know how to use Adobe products before coming on board. If Adobe wants to be the industry standard, making certain students get the requisite training prior to sending out a resume is beneficial to all concerned.

          Asserting that “CS isn’t for non-professionals” is based on what? The tools are suitable for all manner of photo manipulation and graphics creation. Perhaps, one should be required to submit credentials to purchase it. For now the only credential is money and plenty of it. I empathize with the individuals and small businesses left in the dust. A tough road just got tougher.

          Anyway, you’ve expressed your opinion and I have mine. ‘Nuff said.


    • Adobe makes over a billion dollars a year…. AFTER expenses. they can easily afford to develop all they want. Just google their published income statements. The switch to cloud is all about greed pure and simple. But its going to backfire when people just keep using the old software or even turn pirate themselves.


  6. I have paid a ton of money for Adobe products. I use them on machines not connected to the internet. They no longer work off line. The company and their support stinks.


    • Love the products. The company? Not so much.


  7. I have just wasted an entire morning being given the runaround by customer service. I want to subscribe to the Acrobat OCR service for $19.99/year, but the page keeps redirecting me. I think they want me to join the cloud, but at 49.99/month that’s ridiculous, so I will no longer be accepting work in PDF format. It’s not worth the effort for the paltry sums I make.


    • We’ve switched to PDF Architect. The free version will do for simple uses and the modules can be added as and if needed. GIMP works well enough for image manipulation. I hope you can find good substitutes for your needs.


  8. Anyone who falls for the “cloud computing” scam deserves what they get. I hope Adobe goes bankrupt. They deserve it for ruining so many good programs.


    • Microdaft is heading that way with their “365” version of Office. I’m heading to Open Office for my few remaining PC products.


      • Dang. Another one bites the dust. I’ve used Open Office for many years and am happy with their products. Let me know how they work for you.


  9. Adobe sucks. I can’t get into my own blurbs that I entered on a pdf document. And trying to get help, I have spent more than an hour how to contact support (they make it very hard to find this contact information) And even after finally finding and contacting support you are on hold for now over 12 minutes and still holding and if you are using mobile phone, wasting your minutes. Then the support person who responds does understand what the problem is and keeps saying it cannot be done when under the “properties” it says copying allowed. Then I ask to speak to the supervisor and after a hold of several more minutes, even the supervisor does not know and says she will escalate it higher and gives a case number and says they will get back with a solution in a day or two. All this has taken over 2.5 hours and still no support. Even when I want to give feedback, there is no way to do that on adobe’s websit (if there is , I couldn’t find it, add that too).Earlier I used to think Microsoft was bad, add adobe to it now.


  10. Hi 😉
    I just had one of those WTF-Adobe – moments today and below is what I posted on FB…
    I used to work as a programmer and a bit in Video-Editing/Effects, too, and have to admit that Adobe After Effects gave me the least headaches of all Adobe products I worked with. But nevertheless its got that strange Adobe- feel and look and handling. And Photoshop… dont get me started…

    sorry if I repeat myself, but almost everything what ADOBE did in the last years, is a huge stinking pile of shit… Just wanted to edit s.th. simple with CS5 Photoshop.
    They ruined Flash (formerly in the hands of Macromedia) , they ruined almost the whole visual Internet, and their App’s GUI/logic/ “Integration into MacOS and human decency” is just a piece of … U know the rest…

    And their Acrobat-PDF READER/not WRITER… a few years ago it was sth. like 200 MB for this ridiculous slow and crappy software on WIN. where is it now actually…? 1 TerraByte for a Program to read PDF’s… ?
    Your SW somehow sometimes works but, YOU STINK, ADOBE !
    You deserve to go bankrupt !!!
    Since few years they even create the GUI of their Programs (Photoshop, Illustrator, whatever) with FLASH… What could possibly go wrong with that…??? *TRIPLE FACEPALM*
    Give all your source code to some guys, who know what they’re doing and are actually using the SW they code themselves. And then go sell Lemonade at a Lemonade stand in a suburb of Portland. You will be great at that job ! (y) Trust me !

    (just another piece of the stinking puzzle – https://inkophile.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/adobe-sucks/)

    Goddamn it… ! Even love + Deephouse wont cure that Company 🙂


    • Indeed!


  11. This is absolutely spot on.. Adobe has become a complete monopoly on the internet in regards to graphic programs and video programs. They also know that they are a monopoly and that alot of professionals need these programs so they kind of have people by the balls. I bought recently (this past summer) the premier elements bundle with photoshop elements 11 and premier elements 11 and everything worked fine.. well up until they released adobe premier elements 12. Once they released version 12 all of a sudden things on my version stopped working altogether most noticeably the online uploader which is a pretty important part in order to save time. At the adobe forums ive gotten a bunch of BS answers that basically do everything to negate any responsibility from Adobe. Personally im just gonna let this be more than likely the last Adobe product i ever buy. Corel has some decent video editing programs also. I wanted to get PS CS6 but it looks like they are trying to force you into this adobe creative cloud subscribtion sh*t.


    • Corel does seem to have the best alternative programs and I was satisfied with them in the past. I really miss Macromedia, but when they sold out to Adobe, I never looked back. For video editing Avid and Final Cut are the most used or Video Editor on a limited budget. There must be others, but these are the ones I’ve run across.


      • I had planned on getting adobe premier elements 12 for a time up until version 11 that i had started acting weird (conveniently around the time that version 12 came out). I also considered after effects or premier pro.. but i dont like the direction Adobe is going.. it seems like they want you to rent their software as a subscription while never really owning it. Adobe has just become another online monopoly and when companies become monopolies they just run right over people. Google would be a prime example of that with how they completely jacked youtube. I used to use macromedia fireworks and i liked that.. i never tried the adobe version of it though. They are just creating a huge monopoly in the realm of graphics programs/photo editing/video editing etc. It sucks because i would like some comparable options.. i dont really feel like shelling out 700 bucks for photoshop, especially if i can only download to a working computer once and then it will become obsolete in the future once newer versions come out. As far as Corel i think its right up there with adobe on quality and ease of use. Another that gets good reviews is power director 12.


        • Adobe is a monopoly in the vein of Microsoft. I prefer Open Source when I can find a suitable program for my needs. Corel will get my money when I need a program that doesn’t have a good Open Source version. My son uses Final Cut at school and says it’s #1 in the pro world while Avid is #2. That makes Adobe #3. Hope they don’t climb higher. Better to see competition and development than a single company dominate the realm.


  12. They are as bad as AT&T and Comcast the 2 most hated companies in the world!


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