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Free 212-Page eBook! Get New Edition of "Adobe Design Basics"

With over 30 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?

Get the New Adobe "Creative Cloud 2023 Design Basics" Book for Free – Download Now

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 latest CC 2023 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 apps present a vast array of options 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.

The 13 chapters in this book (detailed below) look a bit like tutorials. As with tutorials, you work in the programs as you follow along with the reading content. But unlike tutorials, the steps here present the informa­tion in a way that is geared to having you actually learn the material (called “working lessons”), not just a list of steps to get something that looks decent.

Download the Free Primers for Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, XD, and Dreamweaver

You can download the e-book in PDF form after signing in with your Adobe ID (which is easy to create if you don’t already have one). The full book file is about 5 MB in size and fast to grab:

Download now

If you don’t have the software yet, you can download a free working trial of any 2023 product for either Windows or macOS (or try the whole Creative Cloud) – then install, run, and start your training…

If you’re interested in Lightroom (photo­graphy) or Dreamweaver (web design) too, then you should know that Professor Payne also offers terrific free books on Lightroom, Photoshop & Photography and on Dreamweaver as well.

These books are written with a Macintosh in mind, but with the change of a few keys they can easily be used with the Windows versions of these apps. Knowing that the Mac Command key is the same as the Windows Control key, and the Mac Option key is the same as Windows Alt key is about all you need.

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Since it is essential to work while reading, the book’s pages have been optimized to read on a portable device. If you are using an iPad or tablet, you can view it with two pages side by side or vertically page by page. With a smart­phone, this book can be read with the phone in the hori­zontal orientation. If you need to read these pages on a computer, use a different system or monitor than the one you are working on to avoid having to switch back and forth on the same screen.

Install now: Get all new Creative Cloud 2024 direct download links and free trials.

Table of Contents

Preface . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . iii
1  The Applications. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
2  Illustrator Basics. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9
3  Illustrator Paths. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
4  Illustrator Type . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
5  Photoshop Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 73
6  Photoshop Layers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
7  Images to Illustrator . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
8  InDesign. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
9  XD . . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
10  The Right Tool . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
11  More Illustrator . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
12  More Photoshop . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
13  More InDesign. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 197

Get it now

And to continue learning, don’t miss dozens more free books for many Adobe products, covering recent versions of all major applications… This large collec­tion includes the official Adobe user manuals, which are comprehensive in size and scope!

If you prefer video training instead (or in addition), then check out all the courses and sessions from the recent MAX conference on many different tools and topics here: 200 Free Classes and Tutorials from Adobe MAX.

See Also

Get the New Creative Cloud 2024 Direct Download Links

Do you have any questions about this article? Just ask them below and we’ll get you answers fast!

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32 thoughts on “Free 212-Page eBook! Get New Edition of "Adobe Design Basics"”

    • Not sure why; we just tried it in 4 different browsers and had no problem…

      Clicking the Download button above should bring up the book page where you can see (scrolling down a little):

      Teaching Material Assets (1)

      Downloads:  Adobe CC Design Basics – 2.82 MB

      You may need to sign in with your free Adobe ID.

  1. Thanks for the link to Adobe CC Design Basics. I’ve never really gotten into Illustrator, but this will finally give me the incentive.

  2. Hi. I live in Tanzania. I’m a big fan of your products but the problem is in my country CC subscription is not accessible. For long time I have been checking if this issue has been resolved to no avail. My question is… Have you come up with any plan for designers who live in countries where CC is not accessible? In my case I don’t have any problems in paying the subscription fee. Please help. Thanks

    • Welcome Said, thank you for your questions. We apologize that Adobe is not yet offering “Creative Cloud for Individuals” in the country where you live… The list of where CC can be purchased is now up to 94 countries (see the Country Availability List) and always growing larger.

      However, if you happen to have a billing address and form of payment (including PayPal) that is based in any one of those other countries where Adobe offers their products online, then you should still be able to purchase CC direct – even if your home address is elsewhere…

      [Note that your Adobe ID needs to be associated with the same country as your credit card or billing address, so if it isn’t then you may have to create a new Adobe ID.]

      But even if that doesn’t work, then you should still be able to buy Creative Cloud for Teams from a reseller in your country. Yes, CC for Teams is offered there, and shown on the countries list linked above – so you should be able to purchase it, even if only for 1 single license.

      If the reseller option doesn’t work for some reason, then we would suggest contacting Adobe directly about that and expressing your feedback:

      Finally, while not everyone has full access yet, Adobe tells us they continue to work to expand the availability on an ongoing basis – so look for still more countries to be added going forward.

      But whatever you do, avoid any illegitimate version at all costs!

  3. Thank you for your prompt response.
    …But whatever you do, avoid any illegitimate version at all costs
    That last sentence almost made me cry because that is exactly what I’ve been doing since I couldn’t get a genuine illustrator program. This my confession and I wish to seriously apologize to the adobe team. I’m always haunted by a sense of guiltiness to the point that I’m completely unhappy with whatever I earn through my works. To me, this a very big sin and a burden on my shoulders. I therefore ask for forgiveness from the whole of the adobe team. Please.
    I want to clean up my acts and start afresh. I hereby request you or anyone amongst you to clearly direct me on how to go forward with the above-mentioned process involving registry in another country or any other fruitful way. Actually, I don’t fancy this team thing.
    There must be a way to help me. Adobe Illustrator is my life!
    My plan is to go for the annual payment plan once this issue is resolved.

    • Hello again Said, thank you for sharing your thoughts and for your earnestness. Regrettably it’s not within our power to control which countries Adobe sells their software in. But we hope that the availability list continues to expand and eventually covers all countries in the entire world.

      However, with your comments in mind, we intend to raise and follow-up on this issue personally with relevant Adobe staff at the upcoming MAX Conference later this month. We can only try, but it’s worth a shot.

      Thanks again, especially for wanting to do the right thing!

  4. Hi. I noted a couple of things after reading your messages. Now please check if the following plan can bear fruit:
    1. I have a relative in Norway. His name is Ahmed. So I instruct him to send money via PayPal or some other applicable means. This means your payment is sent from Norway.
    2. In the meantime, I am going to create a new adobe id. The name will be same, Said Mtezo but instead of indicating my country as Tanzania, I indicate it as Norway. My email address will also be there.
    3. After receiving payment, adobe sends the program through the email I provided and eventually, I receive my package here in Tanzania.
    Now, tell me, Is this plan feasible?
    Thank you

  5. What kind of amateurish operation are you running?

    The links take us to adobe then to blurb where the book is $14.39.

    This book isn’t free at all!

    • That’s wrong. The blurb option is only if you want a printed hard copy of the book.

      The 211-page ebook is completely free and right there for the downloading… Just look.

      It is a PDF with the same exact content as the printed for-sale book.

    • Hi Michael,

      Sorry to hear you’re having difficulties downloading the free Adobe book… The link should work fine, and it does for us. Importantly, did you try it with a different web browser, or using another computer or device?

      You do need a free PDF reader already installed (such as the Acrobat Reader) to read the book.

      Typically when someone has problems accessing the books, it’s because of an issue with the browser being used, or because there is something running on the desktop system that is restricting the web content.

      Are you blocking or filtering anything with your browser(s) – like cookies, downloads, or any sites or URLs? Adobe recommends turning those things off for downloads…

      Or are you running any utilities that might restrict your web surfing – like Ghostery, AdBlock, or Disconnect? Or possibly your firewall, antivirus program (esp. Kaspersky), or other third-party security software?

      Occasionally some folks have difficulty accessing the books but usually it’s because of over-aggressive software or utilities like these. We suggest temporarily turning off anything that might be interfering, -and/or- trying it with a different web browser or another computer.

      An alternative would be to try downloading the book PDF for mobile usage and reading with a tablet/iPad or smartphone/iPhone… That would avoid any issues with the desktop and then you could then share the books back to your computer using Dropbox, Box, or Creative Cloud online storage.

      Hope that helps!

  6. Dear Sir,

    I need an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) Reader course book through which I want to learn and improve my skills. Can it be provided me for free?

    I shall be very thankful to you.

  7. The page for “Adobe Design Basics” does not seem to have a link to download the book. I’m already logged into my Adobe account.

    • Just look for the blue “View all 1 pieces included” button at the upper right of the page.

      That will bring up the book’s full PDF in your web browser, as well as a download button if you want to download it to your computer desktop or mobile device.

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