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ProDesignTools Greatest Hits: Our Best Adobe Articles & Tips Ever

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 14 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 Dozens of Free Adobe Books Now!

Creative Cloud (CC)

Download Adobe Creative Cloud

Adobe Photoshop

Download Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Lightroom

Download Adobe Lightroom

Adobe Acrobat

Download Adobe Acrobat Pro/Standard

Students & Teachers

Get the Adobe Discounted Education Versions

Direct Download Links

Get Adobe Software Direct Download Links

General How-to’s

Everything Else


What’s missing? Anything that you’d like us to cover? Any burning questions you’ve got on Adobe applications? Just let us know in the comments below and we’ll get you answers…

It’s been a great twelve years so far, and we’re looking forward to an even better 2024 – Happy New Year!

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373 thoughts on “ProDesignTools Greatest Hits: Our Best Adobe Articles & Tips Ever”

  1. Hi Sandra,

    So I’d uninstall acrobat XI and run the adobe creative cloud cleaner tool:

    …to get rid of any leftover adobe files and folders.

    Install Acrobat XI again, but this time make sure you are not connected to the internet. This is important as the very first Adobe update is for Adobe Application Manager (AAM) which will update to the Cloud version of AAM, which I think is causing the problem.

    This will stop AAM from updating. Next install update Acrobat Update 11.0.19 from the following Adobe update page:

    Pick the appropriate update for you operating system. Do this all offline. Don’t go back online till you check to see if Acrobat is now working.

    After the installation completes, check to see if Acrobat XI is working both offline and online.

  2. I just bought a MacBook Pro with macOS 10.14.6. I want to get and install PS elements 2020 or 2019. How do I do that? I want a one-time download. How much is it and how do I pay for it? Is there a free trial period.

    • Hello Norma, thanks for your question. The answer is that Adobe sells only the latest release of Elements.

      Meaning, you cannot purchase a license or serial number for any other version than the current one, which is Elements 2023.

      Sorry! That’s Adobe’s policy, not ours. The issue for you is that macOS Mojave (from 2018) is too old to be supported by any recent software.

      Elements 2023 requires macOS 11 or macOS 12. I guess the MacBook Pro that you just bought must have been an older machine?

  3. I have a new HP Laptop. My Adobe CS3 programs are on my old computer. I tried to copy and paste, but they are asking for the license number which I do not have. Am I reading your page correctly, that I can download Adobe CS3 or CS4 from your website onto my new laptop with Windows 11?

    I am a therapist and make MP3 recordings for my clients. I currently need and use Adobe Premiere Pro for my voice/music mixing and Adobe Soundbooth to convert from .wav to mp3. My old computer is about to go bye-bye… I am panicking that I can’t save my Adobe CS3 program. You say “free trial.” Does that mean that after trial period I will have to pay for the program? Help!

    • Very sorry, Patti – some years ago, Adobe decommissioned the aging activation servers for CS3 (from 2007)…

      So, it’s no longer possible for CS3 software to be activated or permanently installed on new systems, even with a valid purchased serial number. Only the 30-day free trial can be run.

      Unfortunately, this fate is liable to happen to all of the old CS programs eventually, as they were written in a different era with dated APIs and obsolete (insecure) security protocols.

      In fact, none of the CS tools will even install on newer Macs past macOS 10.14 “Mojave,” due to changes that Apple made to remove all support for 32-bit applications.

      For a new computer like what you purchased, the best option would be newer versions of those programs, although of course this costs money… Wish we could tell you otherwise.

      (Note that Soundbooth has been replaced with Audition in the modern Adobe suite.)

  4. HELP… from your website this morning I ordered Adobe Photoshop Elements 2021 to run on my Mac Catalina OS ver. 10.15.7. Thru PayPal, my bank account was charged $99.99… OK.

    For whatever reason, all I could order was ver. 2020 which I did and then got an auto upgrade to 2021… All was going well until I got to the final step. In a window from Adobe titled “Your Product” it showed:

    Platform: Multiple Version 21.0
    Registration Date: Feb. 3, 2023
    Adobe Order # AD01234567890CUS.

    But, when I clicked Download in the Photoshop Elements window on that page… ver. 2021 was NOT there, only 2023 – which I did not choose, as it is not compatible. Adobe somehow has gone ahead and ordered me ver. 2023… HELP

    I REALLY would like to speak to a human instead of a computer… In advance, I Thank You for your help.


    • Hi Leon,

      Wish we could help, but we are not Adobe – we are publishers of an independent website who report on their software, and don’t have any power or control over their products or orders. We do not sell anything here.

      So you’d be best off contacting Adobe directly here with your inquiry:

      PLEASE NOTE: Adobe ONLY sells the latest release of Elements (currently version 2023). It is impossible to buy any other version of Elements from Adobe’s site.

      To make matters confusing, “Elements 2023” is technically version 21.0 of the software itself.

      Thanks and good luck!

  5. I downloaded Acrobat 2017/2018 for Mac, the standalone version.

    There’s supposed to be a free 7-day trial. I don’t have a serial number (yet).
    But it won’t allow me to use a trial, it insists on a serial number, but I don’t have one.

    How can I buy this product from you?
    Do you have a trial version product key I can use?

    Please reply if you could.

    Thank you, Gene

  6. Hello guys, how are you doing?

    I contact you here because I’m having a lot of problems trying to get an older version of premiere pro. Adobe Support will only gave me the base 2021 release which is version 15, and I need version 15.4 to keep working on some projects. They tell they aren’t able to gave me that version.

    But the base version won’t open my projects and also won’t have the transcribe feature which is the reason I uninstalled premiere in order to install it again, just to find that I don’t have the installer anymore.

    I’m on macOS Mojave, so I can’t use newer versions. I asked all the possibilities but Support from Adobe won’t give me an answer.

    Do you guys have the dmg or pkg installer for the 15.4 version of premiere pro? I pay my subscription as many other users do, but Customer Care won’t solve my issues and I’m in the middle of some projects so I can’t afford to lose more days of work.

    Thank you very much in advance!

  7. Sirs or Madams,

    Do you know anything about Kelvin Designs?? They have lots of software packages such as brushes, patterns, etc etc on sale for 57 bucks. But I do not see any reviews of Kelvin Designs company on magazines or on Internet.

    I am wondering if you know that company by reputation and it is not scam artist or crappy brushes and add ons?

    Thank you for your attention in this matter. Looking forward to your answer.



    • Hi Aharon,

      We don’t have any direct experience with Kelvin Designs, but it is mentioned on the Adobe Forums a couple of times, like here and here.

      Other than that, you could maybe check for comments on their Facebook page and/or see if they have a money-back guarantee.

  8. Hi,
    I have an older computer – Mac Os Catalina version, and have checked that version 21 from CC 2020 works.

    How does your download manage, do i subscribe to Adobe with the regular price for the Creative cloud monthly plan, even if i use an older version ?


    • Hi Lo,

      Current Creative Cloud subscribers can use earlier versions of the tools if you wish, including going back to CS6 – Adobe won’t force you to upgrade and there is no extra charge.

      In other words, you can run older versions of the software with with your paid subscription, instead of the latest releases.

      We posted instructions for how to get Creative Cloud 2020 here, but some readers have reported that Adobe has stopped providing this version.

      We have not tried in a while, but last time it worked with some repeated persistence and requesting a supervisor. Adobe should still be giving out CC 2020 installers for exactly the reason you mention… Many paying customers have older Mac systems which cannot upgrade their operating system nor run the latest CC release.

      You could try Creative Cloud 2019 instead. It works with Catalina and is still available to everyone for download here:

      All Adobe CC 2019 Direct Download Links, for Windows and macOS

  9. I am looking for the Adobe Photoshop CS6 Free Download & Installation for PC Windows. I was redirected to your website. Am I able to get the creative suite from you for free with no subscription?

    • Sorry, Adobe no longer sells perpetual Creative Suite software.

      The official CS6 installers that we link to are mostly useful for customers so that they can reinstall previously-purchased software on a different computer, or if they misplaced their disc or installer file, no longer have a DVD drive, etc.

      However, current subscribers to Creative Cloud can use earlier versions of the tools if you wish, going back to CS6 – Adobe won’t force you to upgrade and there is no extra charge.

      In other words, Adobe’s $10/month Photography plan will get you both the latest release of Photoshop as well as Photoshop CS6.

      You just sign in to the software as normal and the older release will be automatically validated and activated. In other words, CS6 is not a 30-day free trial for paid Creative Cloud members.

    • Welcome, Robin.

      The last version of Elements to support macOS “Catalina” 10.15 was Elements 2022.

      We don’t sell anything here – and unfortunately, Adobe sells only the latest release of Elements, which is currently Elements 2024… And at this point, it would be hard to impossible to find a safe and legal copy of Elements 2022.

      Sorry the news isn’t better!

      Did you try reinstalling the software, or restoring your backup from Apple Time Machine?

  10. Hello,

    I am desperate for help.

    For many years I have served as editor (and compositor and graphics artist) of Mammoth Trumpet, the quarterly news magazine published by the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University. My workhorse is Adobe InDesign CS5.5, which I purchased in 2011 to replace PageMaker 7.0. Recently my computer suffered a fatal hard disk crash, which cost me all my loaded software. When I attempted to install InDesign in my new computer, Adobe refused, saying I have exceeded the activation limit.

    In desperation I downloaded the current InDesign and discovered that it does not recognize Adobe type 1 fonts, which is for me a crushing disappointment. Over the years I have built an extensive library of fonts, many of them Adobe type 1. They give issues of Mammoth Trumpet a family look.

    Can I obtain a working copy of InDesign CS5.5 from you? If so, please inform me of details, including the price.

    With thanks in advance,
    Jim Chandler

    • Hey Jim, sorry to hear of the troubles.

      Adobe is discontinuing public direct download links for older software. Instead, you can now download legacy installers here through their website, or get the latest Creative Cloud installers here. For more details and complete info­rmation, see our new explainer post here.

      However, that will not help with the activation limit you’ve reached for your serial number. Regarding that issue, check your online Adobe account to see if you can deactivate it from your account page.

      Caveat: It may not be possible for software that old, and further, we hear that Adobe customer support reps no longer have the ability to reset or increase the activation count for legacy products like Creative Suite.

      For your custom fonts, you could try converting Type 1 / PostScript fonts to OpenType format, which would work with newer software like Creative Cloud and other applications.

      The latest version of InDesign should be able to read and import your older .INDD files (meaning that you could bring them up to the latest format and supported version), but download and run the free trial first to make sure.

      If you don’t want to run/buy the entire Creative Cloud (“All Apps”), then it’s possible to just sign up for a single app like InDesign.

      Hope that helps.

    • Hi, I hope that ProDesignTools will let me post this. No one recommends that you seek alternatives for downloading the old perpetual versions of Creative Suite from other than Adobe.

      But Adobe granted you a perpetual license, e.g., “a permit allowing a user access to an application indefinitely, provided they remain in compliance with established terms” when you purchased your version.

      It is my opinion that they have reneged on that when they stop providing people from accessing downloads and updates, period.

      You purchased that software at a premium price at that time and Adobe should honor that license in perpetuity. That by the way means forever.

      To now deny access to fixes, updates to software that is broken, and licensing servers is a breach of contract. They promised a forever license and now will not honor it.

      So until someone forces the issue, that leaves the rest to seek alternatives to download their software.

      The safest place to find that Software is the Internet Archive in my opinion.

      You should be able to find what you need there. Most of the perpetual licensed Adobe software was released as trial software that you could download for free directly from Adobe.

      But you have a fair use claim against Adobe as you purchased a copy of that software from them, so that can’t just negate that license.

      The problem is that a single individual who purchased perpetually-licensed software is not likely to have the funds to sue a conglomerate to get a remedy.

      The right thing for Adobe to due is release that old software to the public domain if they are not going to honor their perpetual licenses.

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