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The Non-Rental Suite for Creative Pros

| March 21, 2018 | Matthias Guenther

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Many people have asked me whether there are high-quality tools available for creative professionals other than the rental suite of Adobe Creative Cloud.

I leave it up to you whether you prefer renting a software suite or whether you like to keep/own your tools (the license, that is).

For me, the model of “software vendor adds features and time savers into software – user decides whether it’s worth the purchase/upgrade” just feels to be more fair than “continue paying vendor as long as you use software and if you stop paying you can’t open your work files anymore.”

So here are my personal recommendations for high-quality tools that do not force you to rent:

Illustrations
Renting: Adobe Illustrator
Perpetual: Affinity Designer, CorelDRAW (Win only), Gravit Designer, Sketch (Mac only)

Image Editing
Renting: Adobe Photoshop
Perpetual: Acorn (Mac only), Affinity Photo, PhotoLine

Motion Graphics
Renting: Adobe After Effects
Perpetual: Motion (Mac only), Fusion

Music Production
Renting: Adobe Audition
Perpetual: BandLab (Windows only), GarageBand (macOS and iOS only), Waveform

Page Layout/Design
Renting: Adobe InDesign
Perpetual: QuarkXPress

PDF Touch Up
Renting: Adobe Acrobat
Perpetual: pdfToolbox

Prototyping
Renting: Adobe XD
Perpetual: Lunacy (Win only), Sketch (Mac only)

RAW Editor
Renting: Adobe Lightroom
Perpetual: Capture One, DxO PhotoLab, ON1 Photo RAW

Video Editing
Renting: Adobe Premiere Pro
Perpetual: DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut Pro (Mac only)

Web Design/Web Animations
Renting: Adobe Muse
Perpetual: Hype (Mac only)

Web Editor/Websites
Renting: Adobe Dreamweaver/Adobe Muse
Perpetual: BlueGriffon, Hype (Mac only), Pinegrow

And of course, this is just a personal preference — there are many others.

Which tools are you recommending and using?

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URLs (as of May 2018):

Acorn: flyingmeat.com/acorn
Affinity Designer: affinity.serif.com/en-gb/designer
Affinity Photo: affinity.serif.com/en-gb/photo
BandLab: bandlab.com
BlueGriffon: bluegriffon.org
Capture One: phaseone.com/captureone
CorelDRAW: coreldraw.com
DaVinci Resolve: blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve
DxO PhotoLab: dxo.com/us/photography/photo-software/dxo-photolab
Final Cut Pro: apple.com/final-cut-pro
Fusion: blackmagicdesign.com/products/fusion
GarageBand: apple.com/mac/garageband
Gravit Designer: designer.io
Hype: tumult.com/hype
Lunacy: icons8.de/lunacy
pdfToolbox: callassoftware.com/en/products/pdftoolbox
Motion: itunes.apple.com/app/motion/id434290957?mt=12
Pinegrow: pinegrow.com
PhotoLine: pl32.com
ON1 Photo RAW: on1.com/products/photo-raw
QuarkXPress: quarkxpress.com
Sketch: sketchapp.com
Waveform: tracktion.com/products/waveform

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