The programs that I am mainly interested in is Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator (create vector art), Adobe Flash (for animation), Adobe Premiere Pro (edit video), Adobe After Effects (VFX/motion graphics), Adobe Dreamweaver (code HTML/CSS). But can boil down to a video editing software, graphics software and photo editing software.

I understand alternatives such as Inkscape is like Illustrator, Blender is a good substitute for Adobe Flash. Notepad++ for Dreamweaver but if you haven't noticed, these programs are from different companies. What I do appreciate about Adobe is under the master collection, I get all these programs, but I don't appreciate the price (because I can't afford) or the subscription model (I like to buy once and forget) they now have.

I have searched online and can't find something that packs in programs such as Adobe, even if it's just a photo editing software and vector software.

I found Corel Draw, but I'm so confused if they provide a master collection (collection of their software for a price) that will satisfy my needs.

Is there an alternative to Adobe Creative Suite for designers/enthusiast?

  • Corel do have at least one CS-like suite, but their website is so bad I personally couldn't tell you anything about it even though I tried to look into it a few months ago... I eventually gave up in disgust. I remember there were two Photoshop-like programs and I couldn't figure out the difference. Nov 28 '13 at 21:23
  • That is exactly what I thought to myself as well. I found another company named Serif but have the same issue. This just makes me wonder if Adobe own the market with their products simply because they offer a "all in one" package. Nov 28 '13 at 21:56
  • Oh yeah, I forgot about Serif. I've heard they're not bad for the price (never tried it though). Nov 28 '13 at 22:02
  • I guess I can call Serif and see if they can provide a bundle collection of some sort. I don't think its work buying each product separately. Worst comes to be I'll bite my tongue and go with Adobe Master Collection, thats only if they let go of their subscription model. Thanks for replying user568458 Nov 28 '13 at 22:10
  • 2
    One advantage of using a mix and match approach is that you wind up with a more open workflow in the sense that no one part of the file chain is proprietary (or at least limited parts). Call it sort of an object-oriented approach to the workflow. This can free you from reliance on any one software developer. The problem with this ideal is that nobody else cares and you wind up receiving critical source files in proprietary formats that cost you $500 just to open. As an old hack, I will say that none of the software and formats I used when I started are used now except tiff.
    – horatio
    Dec 4 '13 at 19:29

Here is a list of ABOBE PRODUCT simply click the desire product and select from the list below.

They have free, open-source, and commercial for linux windows Mac BSD iphone the site has alternatives for many commercial softwares that will cost you nothing more that an afternoon of learning their product.

Most do not provide collections, but they usually emulate adobe collection by using the same file formats. Leaving the learning curve of a new software as your only obstacle... Most likely you will have individual different company providers for each software package but they will work the as an alternative to your master suite experience.

After Effects
Premiere Pro


If you buy CorelDRAW Graphics Suite X6 you will get:

  • Corel Draw X6 (Alternative for illustrator)
  • Corel Photo-Paint X6 (Alternative for Photoshop)
  • Corel PowerTrace X6 (Tracing utility)
  • Corel Connect
  • Corel Capture X6 ( a screen capture utility )
  • Corel Website Creator X6 ( Code-free website creation, so no alternative for dreamweaver)

More info : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CorelDRAW

I like Coreldraw a lot and photo paint works very well with coreldraw. The other utilities are not that good in my opinion.

  • 1
    Now... run those on a Mac... without X11.
    – Scott
    Dec 4 '13 at 9:00
  • I've heard that Corel is popular in fashion illustration (not sure why, but I think Corel encourage it with community resources aimed at fashion related things). It's worth mentioning that Corel hasn't run on Macs for 10 years or so - but Macs and PCs are pretty much the same for design purposes these days, I'd choose software then device then operating system. Dec 4 '13 at 9:47

Here's what I use. There are many other options as well. Note that I run these on OSX for the most part.

Adobe's Photoshop -> Pixelmator

Pixelmator is the closest I've gotten to the full 'Photoshop' set of tools. It's still lacking in areas, though. It can open PSD files but note that it can't fully understand the new features in later versions (such as smart objects).

Adobe's Illustrator -> Inkscape

I've always preferred Freehand over Illustrator and, to me, Inkscape is much closer to Freehand. It's my main design tool these days.

Adobe's Flash (for animation) -> Flash is dead. :)

Adobe's Premiere Pro (edit video) -> iMovie. It's fine for an 'enthusiast'.

Adobe's After Effects (VFX/motion graphics) -> I don't have an alternative for that.

Adobe's Dreamweaver (code HTML/CSS) -> Sublime Text

DW was never a great product. I much prefer a good text editor. I use Sublime Text these days for my markup.

Big disclaimer: The big challenge with finding replacements--especially open source ones, is that so few are focused on print design. If your design work is primarily print based where you're dealing with Pantones and printers and the like, you probably just have to bite the bullet and accept that paying Adobe's protection racker--er, I mean 'licensing fees'--is part of 'doing business' in this industry.

  • 3
    Well your Flash alternative is superb!
    – JohnB
    Dec 4 '13 at 22:46

This is an oldie question, some parts are still relevant.

I am a fan of Corel Draw (and PhotoPaint), but probably the other pair of programs program that is a very good combo: Affinity Designer and Affinity Photo They affordable options but very capable programs.

Regarding After effects and Premiere, one great free option is Hit Film Express, which has a compositor and a video Editor.

For video editing, there are some other great free options, like Davinci Resolve, VSDC and Avid First.

For Dreamweaver, the truth is that a good option is to actually learn Html and CSS and use Notepad++


Here is a quick list that I put together of programs and their alternatives.

Photoshop - Gimp

Illustrator - Inkscape

Premiere Pro - Final Cut Pro

After Effects - Apple Motion

Dreamweaver - Coda 2

Unfortunately there isn't an alternative to Flash since its Adobe's proprietary code/software. There are programs that will export swfs, but that doesn't mean that it is a full alternative solution. The good thing is that Flash is dying and can be replaced with HTML/CSS/JS.


The only thing that sticks out to me other then the Corel which you mentioned, and is really not much of a competitor, is Autodesk.

Autodesk has made some serious strides in the last few years. Starting with porting AutoCAD to Apple OSX. Now they have a full suite of very, very innovative technology including ownership of AutoCAD, 3D Studio Max, and Maya. In the Photography space one of the leading apps for smartphones, Pixlr is AutoDesk. In the growing 3D printing space it too is dominated by AutoDesk's extensive suite of software in their 123D line. They've also got their Sketchbook suite for smart phones and tablets which is a leading illustration package.

They've also been making lots of moves in the video game design and engine realm. Particularly, Scaleform, is used on some very popular games. In today's news alone Autodesk acquires Bitsquid, another video game engine.

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