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.
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…
Over the years, we’ve put together a large collection of free Adobe books that we share with our readers here… This extensive set of helpful, no-cost books has now grown to over 30 different titles that you can legally download and use royalty-free, forever.
These digital books cover Creative Cloud, Creative Suite, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Acrobat, Dreamweaver, Muse, Lightroom and more – but until now, we haven’t always had a good and recent offering for Adobe Animate CC (formerly Flash Professional).
Fortunately, this has changed with the publication of the new “Creating Multiplatform Animations with Animate CC” guidebook, which comes from award-winning Adobe Education Leader and longtime Animate guru Joseph Labrecque.
Mr. Labrecque conducted a paid Animate CC workshop at the Adobe MAX conference this month, and is now making the class’s training materials available to the general public completely free of charge. This special offer includes the main 59-page course workbook together with 9 MB of sample working assets, all of which you can download for free here.
Here is the overview description of this course:
Did you make it to MAX this year? Adobe’s Creativity Conference once again broke records with 14,000 attendees coming together in Los Angeles last week, a full doubling from 7,000 only 3 years ago… In fact, it was the largest gathering of talented creative professionals that there has ever been in one room, anytime in history!
Those who were there enjoyed major new product launches, inspirational keynotes from creative luminaries, hundreds of enriching training sessions, countless opportunities for networking with colleagues, access to the latest cool technology on the Pavilion floor, meeting the Adobe product teams in person, and the always-mind-blowing “Sneak Peek” demos of amazing new features under development.
But if you didn’t make it, no worries – believe it or not, you can still tap into many of the best resources from the comfort of your own laptop, tablet, or phone!
Adobe recently added a brand new product to the Lightroom ecosystem, surprisingly called “Lightroom CC.” This cloud-based photo service is different from the longstanding version of Lightroom that we know and love, the desktop-focused application which was simultaneously renamed to be “Lightroom Classic CC.”
Here’s a very handy resource from Jamie Spencer – the complete set of essential keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for every major Adobe CC application… These comprehensive sheets can save you loads of time every day by speeding up your work and allowing you to bypass the need for mouse clicks and movements, getting you to the function you need in the fastest possible way. They are extremely helpful assets to have in your arsenal – and can easily be consulted anytime as an instant reference, or printed out in high resolution and posted, or even used as desktop wallpaper. They are completely free and available for download here:
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“:
Adobe Muse is a modern website builder that enables you to create gorgeous HTML5 sites that dynamically scale to any device – and Muse allows you to do this without writing any code. Muse is included for all Complete Creative Cloud (“All Apps”) members, as well as available via a Single-App Subscription. So with many millions of people already receiving Muse with their CC purchases, there’s a broad audience for training materials on how to get going with this helpful program…
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…
Here’s a fantastic new resource that you should not miss – and even bookmark/share… It’s a complete introductory-level class on how to best use Photoshop from the excellent training team at Adobe KnowHow – a course worth hundreds of dollars, but now completely FREE with no catch. It includes 5½ hours of high-quality instruction broken out into 16 chapters with 58 video tutorials (in HD or SD), covering everything you need to know to really get going with Adobe Photoshop – the world’s leading graphics and photo editing application – at no cost!