With over 15 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 2019 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, Adobe XD, and Muse from the ground up?
So here it is: the very helpful “Adobe CC 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.
Knowing how to make a good selection is one of the most important things you can learn to do in Photoshop. With accurate selections and masks, you can completely control the placement and movement of all the elements of your image, or copy an object from one photo to another.
But making good selections and masks can also be one of the most time-consuming processes in Photoshop. And we take for granted what our eyes can easily see, yet a program cannot recognize without our involvement. But check out this
sneak peek video of a new feature in Photoshop CC that will give you a head start in this regard:
We’ve got another great resource for you – a freely-available collection of custom Photoshop textures to help set your work apart… This exclusive set of 29 different handcrafted textures has been released by War Unicorn Media at no cost and is 100% royalty-free. This collection comes complete with an 18-page guide (available online or as a downloadable PDF), filled with tips and tricks on how to best use textures in your Photoshop workflow, as well as how to create your own!
Textures are super-easy to apply and use in Photoshop. Just load the texture into a new layer above your composition, and then set its Blending Mode and Opacity for how you want it to impact the photograph or image underneath. More details and ideas are given in the short tutorial video included below.
Here is James Rodel’s introduction from the accompanying guide, which is packed with examples and entitled, “Textures, the Universe, and You“:
Here’s the brand new edition of a very handy resource from James Wamser – a complete reference to all versions and features of Adobe Photoshop from CS1 to CC 2019… Similar to his InDesign handbook, it’s called the Adobe Photoshop New Features Guide: From CS to CC – and this 97-page ebook is available for free download now:
The Adobe Research team is exploring what Photoshop would be like with a 3D canvas instead of 2D… With the Interactive Sculpting project shown the video above, instead of drawing and manipulating pixels, the tool operates on three-dimensional voxels. An artist uses all the familiar tools from Photoshop like brushes, layers, and filters to sculpt 3D objects. It also showcases some innovative tablet interaction model that uses simultaneous touch and pen input: the user rotates objects with one hand while sculpting with a pen at the same time.
Hi – is it really true that Adobe Bridge (the full version) is totally free to download and use forever, and I don’t have to pay for it or have a subscription?
The answer is yes, it’s absolutely true – although not that many people know about it because Adobe hasn’t really publicized it widely…
Previously available only as a special promotion (on Black Friday), and originally only offered to existing customers who were upgrading from older versions of Photoshop, Adobe has now made permanent a low-cost Photoshop/photography product bundle that anyone worldwide can take advantage of, with no prior purchase or software ownership necessary…
The new Creative Cloud Photography Plan comes with the latest and greatest full desktop releases of both Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC, plus other integrated tools and services. It includes all of the following components for only US$9.99/month with an annual membership (Adobe’s best deal ever on PS):
The newly-expanded 3rd edition of Pixel Perfect Precision for Photoshop is out – and it’s better than ever plus still free – so if you don’t have it yet, go grab it now…
Time-lapse photography videos never go out of style… Here is one of our all-time favorites from Norwegian landscape photographer Terje Sorgjerd – incredibly beautiful and perfect for the clear, dark nights of the season (watch full-screen):
Prior to the extensive video editing tools first introduced in CS6, Photoshop wasn’t normally known for its video capabilities – but in fact it’s always been possible to take a series of still photographs (manipulated as desired) and then quickly create your own timelapse video using Photoshop Extended…
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 (almost 10 years ago!), 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 228-Page Book
- Two Free Books! Get the Lightroom Quick Start Guides (108 Pgs)
- Learn Animate Free – Download 59-Page Guidebook + Assets
- Download Now: The InDesign New Features Guidebook
- Learn Adobe Dreamweaver CC + CS6 – Download New Book
- Free! Download 30 Adobe Books at No Cost, Learn All Products