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The 10 Most Frequent Myths About Adobe's Creative Cloud (CC)

What's in the Adobe Creative Cloud?

With over 22 million customers having already signed up in the nine years since it launched, Adobe’s Creative Cloud product line has been a success exceeding even the company’s own expecta­tions. Still, there are quite a few misconceptions we see from time to time, or that some folks seem to believe… Here below we dispel and debunk the top 10 most common myths we’ve heard – and hopefully even if you already know the scoop or use Creative Cloud you’ll pick something up… read on!

Myth #1: “‘Creative Cloud’ sounds like cloud storage only – which is just a way to store your files, and I already have Dropbox which is free.”

Some say the name is a little misleading – but the Creative Cloud is actually a comprehensive collection of creative tools and services built around the new CC 2021 release of desktop products, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Dreamweaver, Animate, Acrobat, and more – the full working versions… You do also get 20-100 gigabytes of online storage space for syncing and sharing your files, but that is only one piece of of the big picture.

Myth #2: “I don’t want to be constantly connected to the Internet to start and run my creative apps; what happens when I’m on a plane?”

You do not have to be continually connected to the Internet. After the CC applications are installed and running on your desktop, online access is only required once every 3-4 months for revalida­tion of your annual membership. Plus there are solutions in place if you’ll be offline for an extended period – like traveling for six months without web access… just contact Customer Service.

Debunking the Myths About Adobe Creative Cloud

Myth #3: “The applications can’t be very powerful if they are running in a browser – trying to run Photoshop over the web is going to be really slow.”

None of the the tools mentioned above are hosted or web-based versions… These are the genuine desktop products that you download and install right on your computers, and work just like usual – these are not web applications, it’s not “software as a service” (SaaS), and your CC programs like Photoshop will run as normal. The Creative Cloud also includes mobile versions of some tools – but these supplement rather than replace the desktop versions.

Myth #4: “The subscription model for the new versions sounds like it might be more expensive than the previous perpetual licensing, so maybe it’s not worth it?”

When you add up the price tags of all the individual products you can use in the Creative Cloud, the total value is over US$10,000. The Master Suite by itself historically sold for $2,600, and that’s just part of what you get with the much newer CC 2021 release… All ongoing upgrades are included, as well as free professional training. You can access these leading products for $10-$53 a month, one year at a time, so CC’s upfront cost is far less than CS6. And you can install and run the apps on up to two of your computers (including both PC and Mac).

Myth #5: “So I can have the entire latest Master Collection and more for $1-2/day, and do anything with it – it must be too good to be true, no?”

There’s no catch. It works exactly as described; you can imagine and create without bound­aries using all of the world’s best tools for photo, image, video, audio, graphics, illustration, web, print, mobile, publishing, gaming, animation, development and design. As one prominent customer recently said, “As someone who’s been using Creative Cloud now for a little over five years, I can tell you that this is the best service that Adobe has ever offered, and I would never switch back to a perpetual license even if I was given the option.”

Myth #6: “Well, then Adobe is going to entice everyone to the Cloud – and once we are all hooked, they are going to jack up the prices.”

Adobe has offered subscription-based creative products for over a decade, and over that time their prices (inflation-adjusted) have only fallen, never risen… You’ve got elasticity of the demand curve – the lower the monthly rate, the more people sign up, the greater the cost is spread out, and repeat. It’s a virtuous cycle in our view – and we think the cost will continue to drop as the Cloud and its “network effect” grow… One indication is Adobe’s introduction of the lower-cost $9.99/month plans. The bottom line is raising to unaffordable rates would be counterproductive. But if you’re still worried, then you can always choose to lock in your pricing in advance.

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Myth #7: “If my friend or client or colleague isn’t a Creative Cloud member, I can’t share my files with them.” …or… “But I don’t want to share all my work publicly/online.”

If you’re concerned about sharing files with people using older versions of the CS tools, check out our CC File Compatibility Guide. And using the cloud storage is not required. For any files you choose to store online in Adobe’s Cloud, you can easily set different levels of sharing – from keeping them fully private to sharing them publicly with anyone at all. Viewers will be able to do many things like see thumbnails and larger previews, change layer states of PSD files, step through Illustrator artboards and InDesign and PDF pages, and see file metadata all from within their web browsers [watch video demo here]. But you can also keep your files entirely offline on your local disk as normal, because saving a copy to the online Cloud storage is completely optional.

Myth #8: “The Creative Cloud isn’t free (is it?), so if I leave then I will lose all my files.”

You will never lose any files which you’ve stored locally on your own computer – and if you cancel a paid membership, then you’ll have a 90-day grace period bring any cloud storage down to the size of 2GB free (or can buy additional storage separately if you like). Without a paid membership, you may no longer be able to open some filetypes without access to the apps which created them. However, you can resubscribe at any time for as little as one month, or you can download and run a free trial of a future Creative Cloud release. Many CC files can also be viewed using Adobe Bridge, which is permanently free and part of the free level of Creative Cloud membership, giving you over a dozen terrific benefits for life.

Myth #9: “Even if I only use one or two applications, I have no choice but to buy the complete Creative Cloud membership, right?”

Adobe's Best Offer: Get Both Photoshop and Lightroom for Just $9.99 a Month

No, this is untrue. Just like it was with the previous suites and point products, you still have the option to buy either the discounted bundle of everything or just a single program if you prefer. If you only want to use an individual tool or two, then you can sign up for a Single-App Membership at a lower price ($10-20). For example, Adobe offers a special Photography Plan worldwide that gives both Photoshop + Lightroom (the full desktop and mobile releases) for $9.99 a month.

Myth #10: “With the Cloud you can’t ever stay on or run previous versions if you want to, you are always forced to update to the latest release, right? I might not always be ready to do that, plus some plug-ins might not yet work with the newer version.”

No, in fact it’s optional – and your call. Creative Cloud makes updates avail­able for those who want to install them, but the applica­tion manager will not automati­cally update your tools without your go-ahead… You can continue using the versions you have already downloaded, and then choose if and when to install the new releases, whenever is convenient and best for you. On average for each CC tool, the pacing of available upgrades has been every 3-4 months. And IT administrators can use the powerful Admin Console or the Packager utility to fully control all aspects of deploy­ment on any group of computers.

Do you have any questions, thoughts, or other myths you’ve heard about the Creative Cloud?  Check out our extensive Creative Cloud FAQ, or just post them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

What is Adobe Creative Cloud? (In Under Five Minutes:)

See Also

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414 thoughts on “The 10 Most Frequent Myths About Adobe's Creative Cloud (CC)”

  1. Hello and thank you for replying to my previous question,

    I tried to change the country but the Deepak, the guy I was chatting to said I had to choose a new plan and could not help me with my question… or chose not to!

    Maybe you can please give me an answer, I only use Photoshop and Illustrator and occasionally Lightroom, but I am not interested in that actually. I only want Ps and Ai, how much is that going to cost in GBP once I change over? Is it not possible to get these as a bundle…..because Adobe know that Ai is so popular?

    I just want to know how much for both of these per month because I do not use the rest of the CC.


    • Per the links above, Adobe says to contact them when you have an active subscription and have changed countries… They should be able to help you with that, and select the plan you want in your new country.

      It sounds like you want to select the Photography plan, and then add the Illustrator single-app plan. So that’s what you should tell them. We cannot help you with that, unfortunately.

      Both plans in the U.S. would come to about $30 a month. By contrast, the All Apps plan is about $50 a month.

      (And BTW, Lightroom automatically comes with the Photography plan – and it’s actually cheaper with it than without it.)

  2. Gian:
    What happens in the case of cancelling a subscription? Do you still have the ability to open and edit files you created while subscribed or is your access to the files revoked? Thank you.

    Happens this: after cancelling your CC subscription, you go straight to the Mac App Store or the Serif AppStore and buy their bundle of 3 main apps (Affinity Designer, Photo, Publisher avail. for macOS and Windows) which even before the massive 50% discount running now, would cost you a total of $150 for a perpetual license (with the discount applied it’s only about $90) not taking into account the offering of the vast collection of brushes (now also with a discount). In fact, the discount I’m talking about has been for quite a while. If you want a more pricey solution, you can choose Quark Xpress which eliminates the need of using the pack of Adobe applications pushed on you via CC subscription: it costs more than Affinity – $450 on the Mac App Store, but it’s still a far cry from what you paid for CS that this blogger uses as the starting point of comparison. They say that nothing is worth more money than freedom. $150 or $450 is less than Adobe will suck out of you in the course of providing you all these cherished “$10/month” updates and it’s what is the real bargain indeed. If you navigate to Quark’s website then you’ll see that they do offer the so-called QuarkXPress Advantageous – a subscription plan that follows Adobe’s philosophy, only there are a couple of crucial differences: (1) you can buy QXpress either as a standalone product or as a subscription (2) if you ever stop paying a subscription fee you keep the app as is, at its current version, without any compromises and use it as before, full stop. Modern software is sophisticated enough for anyone who is talented to materialize his/her ideas and the typewriter example fits perfectly here so the current version will suffice for many years ahead. Nobody of your clients can ever tell what tools have you used to create this work of art.

    Notice what this blogger said: it took him/her 2 lengthy posts to mention all choices, alternatives, none of which is easy and straightforward, and the question was simply, “will I be able to use the app and keep my files?” The response was more like meandering which in most cases, means no, otherwise it would be as simple as “yes and yes.” But it’s no and no.

    Now, let’s take a closer look at this forced argument, “you pay only $10/month” which begs the question: what benefits of paying these $10 will you gain in return? What part of Adobe customers use the entry tier and what part of them use more expensive tiers? You don’t think there’s no difference between $10, $50 and $100 do you? Won’t you end up going with the $50 option, not $10? It’s true that $10 x 12months = $120/year (almost 3-pack by Affinity but with Affinity you pay only once [and you’re not obliged to buy all 3, you can buy only what you really need so the price can be even lower], so as they continue releasing updates then the next year you’re not paying and the year after that you aren’t paying either etc., whereas it’s going to be $240 for Adobe CC combined for 2 years and $120 each subsequent year), however, with $50/month it’s $600/year (more than QXPress standalone and even more than any QXpress Advantageous subscription option including the most expensive one). Speaking of the QXPress subscription, if you divide their price by 12 months it seems to be higher than “$10/mo” but remember what I said earlier: QXPress not just one app, it’s sort of an IDE for designers with the functionality of InDesign, Illustrator and DreamWeaver mixed together and these 3 apps cover the majority of use cases for those who design: usually designers don’t do professional video editing, so not having After Effects and Premiere Pro isn’t a big deal. How many people use every app of CC? Close to none. If you want a subscription buy QXPress Advantageous because they don’t strip you of the full functionality in the event that you unsubscribe from them, or go the old trusty way and buy Affinity apps.

    How does Adobe push down your throat their CC model? By doubling the number of options (applications) in the offer package and carrying out the intensive PR campaign to convince you’re a bimbo if you’re not willing to shell out your money for “latest and greatest.”

    On a side note – testimonials don’t work: everyone can write them and sing praises, so that shows your weakness more than the strength of the arguments.

  3. Outstanding comment, James. You nailed it. I’m still using LR6 and CS6 but I also have Affinity Photo and am digging into that more and more. Their latest release 1.9 is excellent.

    I’m running Mojave on my Macs as the subsequent OS releases break both Adobe apps. Adobe in their wisdom (or cynicism) made CS6 a 64-bit app but not the attendant helper/install apps, so no good after Mojave.

    I also created a virtual Mojave machine on my Mac and both Adobe apps run fine. A bit slower but fully functional so that opens up the possibility of maybe running a virtual Mojave machine on the newer Mac OS releases.

    Having the latest and greatest from Adobe is meaningless for me. I can do absolutely everything I need to do with my (now very old) LR6 and CS6. If Affinity had a content management product, I’d drop Adobe immediately and use only Affinity.


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