Longtime readers know that we offer a series of free books for Adobe software with over 30 different titles that anyone can download on how to best use the different major products… These books have been extremely popular and well-received.
But since Adobe software is all about creating, for a long time there was a missing part: a collection of free books simply about building your creativity – something that everyone in the world can use and benefit from… So here is that set! You can legally download and use the five PDF e-books below to inspire your own creative process and help improve your work, no matter what you do in life. They are (in our view) all easy, enjoyable, and enriching reads.
Book #1: The Creative Aid Handbook (142 Pages)
Co-creators Richard Tapp and Nicole Smith of Kooroo Kooroo rightly describe The Creative Aid Handbook as a outside-of-the-box resource to get your creative juices flowing: “We wrote, designed, and illustrated a book featuring unusual tips to nurture your creative well-being, boost your creative intellect and foster internal inspiration. Meant to serve as a mini-resource for your creative projects and food for your creative thoughts. Read more…
Hard to believe, but today Adobe Photoshop officially celebrates its 30th anniversary (or birthday, depending on how you look at it)… The first version of Photoshop shipped on February 19th, 1990, at a price of US$895.00. Adjusted for inflation, in today’s dollars that would cost over $1,800! And as recently as 2012, customers paid $699-$999 to get Photoshop. Today, of course, there are tens of millions of users of Photoshop who can now pay $10 a month for the latest-and-greatest release of this iconic, industry-leading tool.
[IMPORTANT NOTE – Adobe stopped selling CS6 entirely several years ago – here’s why… So the CS products are not being made by the company, nor legitimately for sale through any channel in any country, from any vendor or reseller.]
Some folks think it might be a good idea to try to save a few bucks and buy Adobe software off of eBay, Craigslist, Amazon Marketplace, or from any vendor or seller who is unfamiliar. It could be Creative Cloud, CS6, Photoshop, Lightroom, Acrobat, Elements, or any other title – in a retail, student, full or upgrade version… or sometimes it’s the “OEM” scam, or the plausible-sounding “extra” volume/enterprise license swindle, or an illegal black or “gray market” import.
But it’s actually not a very good idea at all. Why?
The first problem is that Adobe does not recognize these venues as valid or authorized resellers, they are fully disregarded and invalid. So as a result, Adobe will not officially recognize any of those buyers as actually owning their software. Yes, you read that right.
Meaning, you think you own the genuine article but effectively you don’t. You cannot provide an accepted proof of purchase – so you can’t formally prove you own the products. You may not be able to transfer the software to someone else, nor be able to get product support or upgrade to the next version, etc… You also aren’t able to return the software to get your money back from Adobe like you normally can.
Let’s face it, Adobe’s traditional product prices seemed expensive over the years, especially if you’re on a student’s budget. The last perpetual version available, Creative Suite 6 from 2012, historically had full prices ranging from $399 for Dreamweaver through $999 for Photoshop Extended and on up to $2,599 upfront for the Master Collection suite, which contained all CS6 applications. As cool and powerful as this software was, it’s hard to afford when you’re in school – even after the student/teacher discount.
Adobe stopped selling CS6 several years ago, as the version reached EOL and end of support – but fortunately the company still offers deep discounts for education customers on the latest CC release. A few years ago, in fact, they increased the discount on Creative Cloud to up to 70% off the regular prices. And while there are a lot of misconceptions about CC, the main products like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, etc., still download and run on your desktop as normal.
With over 18 million paid members for Creative Cloud and growing, we often get this question from readers: “What’s a good book to get started with the most popular Adobe tools?” While there are a lot of great CC books for sale on Amazon, why not begin with an excellent title that’s available to everyone for free, and that you can download instantly?
Over the years, we’ve compiled a collection of over 30 free books that you can download and use for learning all of Adobe’s different creative tools… But there’s one volume that always stands out as a favorite – and even better, it has just been republished in a brand new expanded edition for the CC 2020 tools.
So if you’re just getting going with (or would like a solid primer covering) the core Creative Cloud design tools, then what better than a step-by-step guide that will teach you the essentials of Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and Adobe XD from the ground up?
So here it is: the very helpful “Adobe Design Basics” that will give you all of this for free, courtesy of author Professor Thomas Payne… The book works by introducing and explaining the tools in a logical way that builds upon what is previously learned. These applications present a vast array of buttons and gadgets that can be overwhelming to the new user. This book makes sense of it all, not showing how everything works, but instead giving a foundation and a path to learn about all those controls and what they can do for you.
In November, Adobe shipped the new 2020 collection of tools and services – a milestone marking the eighth major release of the Creative Cloud product line, which replaced CS6 from 2012. This latest CC version contains thousands of new features and advancements compared to CS6 (across all creative applications), and it is available only via Creative Cloud membership – a community which now surpasses 18 million paid subscribers.
Adobe MAX—The Creativity Conference is lined up for October 19–21 back in Los Angeles, California – and planning is already underway to make the 2020 MAX experience better than ever: “Join over 15,000 like-minded creatives from around the world for a week of sessions, labs, speakers, events, inspiration and fun — everything you need to keep you creative for the rest of the year. Can’t wait to see what we come up with in LA for 2020!”
Adobe has also quietly launched a free MAX 2020 pre-registration portal where you can quickly guarantee a US$500 discount off the regular price if you decide to go.
Seven years ago, Adobe acquired Behance – the leading online community and social media platform for creative professionals, which is often referred to as “The LinkedIn for Creatives.” Back then, Behance had about 1 million members. Since that time, with Behance’s inclusion into Creative Cloud (even with the free level), growth and participation have exploded – and the Behance community now boasts over 18 million members receiving 70 million project views per month.
With Behance, you can easily upload your photographs, projects, or portfolios and gain a fantastic way to showcase, share, and get exposure for your work as well as receive feedback from your creative peers, and get inspired for future work. You can publish many types of media such as images, text, illustrations, video and audio, and follow statistics on how many views your projects are getting, and potentially make money. There’s even a helpful job list for creatives and freelancers, with hundreds of employment opportunities.
With one year wrapped up and a new one just beginning, it seemed a perfect time to put together a review of the best and most-shared posts published here since our site launched in 2009 (over 10 years ago now!), including some very popular free books.
These are the top posts that consistently have the highest readership on our site, month after month, covering all major Adobe software products… They’re broken out by topic below in case you’ve missed any, or are new here – so bookmark, share, and enjoy!
Free Adobe Books
- Download Adobe CC Design Basics, Free! New 243-Page Book
- Two Free Books! Get the Lightroom Quick Start Guides (134 Pgs)
- Learn Animate Free – Download 59-Page Guidebook + Assets
- Download Now: The InDesign New Features Guidebook
- Learn Adobe Dreamweaver CC + CS6 – Download 79-Page Book
- Free! Download 30 Adobe Books at No Cost, Learn All Products
For decades now, Adobe has provided industry-standard standalone installers for their creative products, for many valid reasons… Recent examples include the company publicly posting the direct download links for virtually the entire CC 2019 and CC 2018 releases. In our view, the need is strong and they should continue to do the same going forward.