Why Creative Cloud Subscription Software is Here to Stay

Adobe has gone all in with Creative Cloud. Do you really understand what that means?

Love it or hate it, Creative Cloud is not going away. It’s time to deal with it.

It’s been more than six months since Adobe announced that it was going to a subscription-only business model for its Creative Suite applications while rebranding them under the Creative Cloud name. Today, there’s still a very vocal group of people blasting Adobe for that decision. I’ve had a few debates (okay, more than a few) about the topic and  I’m using this post to spell out why I believe that those waiting for Adobe to back down and offer perpetual licenses will not get what they want. The post isn’t so much about defending Adobe—though I do think they have a right to run their business any way they see fit—but to explain why I think they moved to this business model and why it won’t be reversed.

The idea for this post started when I was asked why I’m fighting those that are against Adobe and Creative Cloud. The fact is, I’m not fighting anyone or anything; I’m just looking at the reality of the situation and the current climate in the software industry. More choices would, in theory, be better. But in practice those choices would cost Adobe millions of dollars. Two licensing models and thousands of SKUs for suites and individual products doesn’t come cheap and it most certainly doesn’t carry with it a guarantee of any return on that investment.

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Adobe Extends Creative Cloud Photoshop and Lightroom Program to All

In September Adobe announced a special loyalty offer for Photoshop CS3 and later customers. The offer combined Photoshop and Lightroom along with a few other goodies such as online storage and a Behance Pro website for $9.99/month. Many professional photographers jumped on this but it left academic license owners and suite owners feeling left out in the cold.

Along with some other goodies, Adobe has put together a difficult to resist Creative Cloud offering for photographs featuring Lightroom and Photoshop.

Adobe has extended its Photoshop/Lightoom offer to all users from now until 9:00AM PST on December 2.

Many of you spoke loudly and clearly and Adobe has responded by opening this program up to everyone for a very limited time. Beginning today and lasting until December 2, there is no eligibility requirement at all to take advantage of this offer.

Update on December 6. It looks like this offer has been extended to December 31

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Digital Publishing Suite 101: Quick Tips for Scrollable Frames

Scrollable frames in Digital Publishing Suite is one of my favorite features. In addition to being able to stuff two pounds of potatoes into a one pound sack, it adds to the interactivity giving the user a more engaging experience. Of course like everything else in InDesign and DPS, they’re not without their limitations. I’ve put together a list of quick tips to help you use them successfully.

  • Add a text frame inset on the bottom and top of any autofit frame to avoid having descenders and ascenders cut off. I’ve found 5-8 pixel is usually enough.

frame insets

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Photographers Get Their Wish: A Photoshop/Lightroom Creative Cloud Package

Ever since Adobe announced its new subscription only policy in May one of the most vocal groups has been photographers. Almost immediately, Adobe began to promise to look for solutions for this group. This was met with a large degree of skepticism but it’s now official, as announced at Photoshop World 2013, Adobe has put together a special Creative Cloud package aimed squarely at Photographers.

Along with some other goodies, Adobe has put together a difficult to resist Creative Cloud offering for photographs featuring Lightroom and Photoshop.

Along with some other goodies, Adobe has put together a difficult to resist Creative Cloud offering for photographers featuring Lightroom and Photoshop.

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Creative Cloud Introductory Pricing for Students and Teachers is Back

Adobe-Creative-Cloud-LogoIt’s back to school time and Adobe isn’t being left behind on special offers for students and teachers. Until the end of October, eligible students and teachers can get the first year of Creative Cloud for only $19.99/month. That’s a savings of 33% over the regular academic priceand a 60% savings over the commercial price.

As I’ve pointed out in the past this is, in my opinion, and fantastic deal for anyone eligible for it. In the scheme of things, especially for students, comparing this to other costs is just a blip on the radar. Cell phones, text books, tuition and even a couple of trips to Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts will be more than this.

This deal does require a one year commitment but it allows for commercial work so a student or teacher could, in addition to learning the applications, use them to earn a few bucks.

In addition to buying directly from Adobe, you can purchase from any number of retailers including Amazon.

Digital Publishing Suite 101: Keep Text Sharp in Raster Slideshows

One of my favorite new features in Digital Publishing Suite over the last year or so was the addition of raster/vector settings for PDF formatted overlays. Before that, all overlays were rasterized…even if the folio was created using the PDF format. Because of that, text contained in an overlay tended to look a bit pixelated, especially on a retina iPads.

In case you’re not sure what I’m referring to here, let’s take a quick look at how this works and then we’ll talk about the pros and cons of vector and raster overlays. In the screenshot below, I have an multi state object selected in InDesign and Folio Overlays panel open to the slideshow pane. From there I can choose whether to use raster or vector format.

With an MSO selected you'll be able choose your slideshow options from the Folio Overlays panel

With an MSO selected you’ll be able choose your slideshow options from the Folio Overlays panel

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It’s Time for Adobe to Retire 32 Bit Windows Applications

When Creative Suite 4 was released in 2008 one of the great advancements was a 64 bit version of Photoshop for Windows. This allowed the traditionally RAM hungry application to access all of the RAM you could possibly install on a computer as long as you had a machine running Vista 64 (Windows XP-64 was never a supported operating system). The result was an impressively faster application, especially when editing larger images since Photoshop did not need to use a harddrive SWAP file for RAM.

Photoshop users, however, had and still do depended on many third party plugins to add functionality and at the time most of those plugins were still 32 bit. In order to allow the continued use of those plugins, it was necessary to produce a 32 bit version of Photoshop as well. The result was that following installation, there were two versions of Photoshop installed on 64 bit Windows machines.

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Is Your Computer Ready for Adobe’s New Creative Cloud Applications?

With all of the controversy surrounding Adobe’s move to Creative Cloud’s subscription-only model one of the facts that I see very little discussion about is the updated system requirements. If you’re a subscriber and planning to use the new applications that will be released on June 17, the most important change you need to be aware of involves the supported operating systems for most of the applications.

Those requirements for Mac are OSX 10.7.x (Lion) or 10.8.x (Mountain Lion). For Windows users, it’s Windows 7 Service Pack 1 or Windows 8.

So, what will happen if you try to install the new Creative Cloud applications such as Photoshop CC on earlier systems? Most of them will probably install and function on Snow Leopard (in fact, according to this page on Adobe.com, InDesign CC and Illustrator CC are supported on Snow Leopard), but you’ll be pretty much on your own if something isn’t working properly. Similarly, on Windows, you should be able to get it to install on Vista. For anything earlier on either platform, all bets are completely off and the applications aren’t likely to install at all.

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Adobe’s Creative Cloud: Perception vs Reality

Let me start out by saying that I intentionally waited a few days before writing this post. There’s an awful lot of people typing with emotion instead of thought and I didn’t want to get too caught up in that. I’ve done a lot of reading and admittedly a little head scratching because of it. Frankly I think it’s much ado about very little. Before you scroll down to comment, please read the entire post to see why.

Adobe has gone all in with Creative Cloud. Do you really understand what that means?

Adobe has gone all in with Creative Cloud. Do you really understand what that means?

When Creative Suite 6 was released about a year ago Adobe customers were given a choice to buy the same software packages and applications they were used to buying (Production Premium, Design and Web Premium, etc) or to move to the subscription model, Creative Cloud. I was all for this. Creative Cloud would add some services unavailable to perpetual license holders such as unlimited DPS Single Edition Apps, a TypeKit subscription, 20 gigabytes of cloud storage and even the occasional new feature such as the very badly needed Illustrator packaging feature. It included the entire Master Collection and allowed for a very inexpensive entry into the use of the software. But to me, the most important factor was that new versions of the applications would be made available immediately upon release.

However, even with everything packed into Creative Cloud there were those that preferred the upgrade path to Creative Suite 6; whether to individual applications such as Photoshop or InDesign or to the various suites. A while back, with the writing clearly on the wall, I asked what it would take to move all users to Creative Cloud. In that post I guessed that we were two to three years away from this move. Given that my blog was only a month old at the time I was rather surprised at the number of comments that it got. Even more surprising were the number of what I felt were valid concerns over a subscription-only plan.

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In Praise of Twitter or Why Sometimes 140 Characters is Enough

Normally I like to write about InDesign, DPS, and related technologies, but the nice thing about having my own blog is that I can write about whatever I want and today, I choose to write about Twitter or more accurately, why I use it.

I joined Twitter in July 2008 as a way to keep up with what some of my colleagues were up to but soon found myself caught up in it. A couple of weeks ago I passed 15,000 tweets. Frankly, I don’t know if that’s something to be proud of us or embarrassed by but I assure you, it pales in comparison to many others.

Normally I wouldn’t consider that much of milestone in my life but I’ve found that Twitter can really be a way to reach out to companies and voice both praise and complaints and I thought I’d share a few instances where I probably got more, and most definitely faster, action by tweeting than I would have any other way.

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