This article was published 10 years ago, therefore the contents of this post may be out of date.

As we all should know now that owning any Adobe Product is a past time as we are now renting these apps from Adobe as they have switch into a subscription model that had infuriated many users as they wanting to own a physical copy (aka a few Discs), don’t want to paid a monthly subscription, don’t want to waste their download limits on big download items  or plainly don’t want to use Adobe anymore and searching the web for alternative. So for this post you will see some alternative apps that you can use and unfortunately in this roundup most of the apps featured below will only work for Mac

Please note that I’ve haven’t cover all apps that you can find on Adobe Website as I mainly wanting to put focus on software that most developers and designers use each day.

Photoshop Alternative

Pixelmator – $29.00


As Pixelmator is almost know as the alternative to Photoshop and this is for a very good reason as this app which is exclusively for Mac users only is a beautifully designed, easy-to-use and it’s a fast app that has almost the same amount of features that photoshop has and what people needs.

Acorn 4 – $49.00


Acorn is seen strictly as an image editor because it’s so simple but this app can create more complex things like site designs. Acorn is really good for enhancing images as it’s quick and easy and many of the effects are editable and non-destructive.

Gimp – Donations


GIMP is an open source project that probably the second best known alternative to Photoshop which is free. This app is now a native app on the mac so you don’t have to deal with X11 to run it anymore and works on Linux and Windows.

With GIMP you can do tasks such as paint program, quality photo retouching program, online batch processing, mass production image rendering, an image format converting, image composition and image authoring all can be done without any fuss.

SketchBook Pro 6 – $59.00


Autodesk SketchBook® Pro 6 is a fun and intuitive paint and drawing application that can transform your normal Mac into an artistic toolkit. With familiar tools designed for professional artists, illustrators and designers. SketchBook Pro’s easy-to-use interface will help unlock the creativity in everyone.


Sketch – $69.00


Sketch is a designer’s dream toolbox that combines a beautifully simple interface with powerful tools. Sketch supports multiple fills, borders and shadows per layer, has powerful non-destructive boolean operations and makes exporting a breeze with easy to use slices and automatic @2x export. Making beautiful graphics isn’t challenging anymore. We set out to build a better app for graphic designers. Not to copy but rather to improve.

Inkscape – Donations


Inkscape is an open source vector images editor that’s very similar to programs like Adobe Illustrator. With Inkscape you can create almost anything in this app, whether you wanting to create a logo or a site design. Inkspace use of Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG), an open XML-based W3C standard, as the native format.

iDraw – $24.99


iDraw is a powerful feature-packed vector design and illustration application that is available for both Mac OS X and iPad, this app has all the tools you need to create everything from detailed technical illustrations to beautiful works of art.


Coda2 – $75.00


Coda2 is a single window, all-in-one web development and design app that contains a tone of highly-requested features such as a better User Interface, Text Editing, File Management, Clips, Sites Management.

Espresso – $75.00


With Espresso You can design and develop for the web as Espresso turbo-charges your workflow with the perfect blend of features. Speed through day-to-day edits with extensive language support, contextual completions, powerful smart snippets, and Zen actions. Use the Navigator and code folding to prevail over the most complicated documents.

You can even watch your web pages update in real time with live styling, visualise and inspect your layouts with X-ray, then push the changes to your server with Sync or Quick Publish and also Espresso has CSSEdit 3 is built in.

Sublime Text – $70.00


Sublime Text is a sophisticated WYSIWYG text editor for code, markup and prose as it’s insanely fast, has more packages that add extra features than you can count, includes innovative features such as multiple cursors and a built-in search and open tool that makes it quick to jump between your projects.


Scribus – Free


Scribus is an Open Source app that brings professional page layout to Linux, BSD UNIX, Solaris, OpenIndiana, GNU/Hurd, Mac OS X, OS/2 Warp 4, eComStation, Haiku and Windows desktops with a combination of press-ready output and new approaches to page design.  Underneath Scribus is a modern and user-friendly interface and supports professional publishing features, such as color separations, CMYK and spot colors, ICC color management, and versatile PDF creation.

QuarkXPress 10 – $999.00


QuarkXPress is a pro tool that has a price tag to show for it and has been redesigned from the inside out to deliver stunning graphics, virtuoso productivity features and a design canvas to accentuate your creativity.

Swift Publisher – from $29.95


Swift Publisher is a page layout and desktop publishing app for designing and printing fliers, newsletters, brochures, calendars, letterheads, booklets, and much more.


13 of The Best Alternative Apps to Adobe Creative Cloud