The Adobe set. What is really needed and is the full subscription worth it?


I think it’s essential that I touch base here and start off by admitting I am and always have been quite an Adobe fanboy. So, reading this article might at times seem quite bias, and it probably is.

I want to start off by addressing the huge quantity of software that Adobe produces. True, their latest endeavours have gone far more abstract using devices, motion capture, blending one app into another and really blurring the line of work and play to a large degree. It’s not really their fault, with the Apple and Google store brimming with freebies it’s only natural that Adobe, a paid for product, would want to stay ahead of the curve releasing premium versions of all sorts of art and code programs.

It’s also true to note how far into mobile/tablet development any future releases are forecasting. This again, seems down to natural selection with the decline of the desktop and rise of the handheld devices.

So, I’m now going to go head-on into my opinion here and state wh

at I think is necessary to be a frontend developer today.


Yes, the reliable Photoshop that the web seems intent on replacing but really cant. Not yet at least. Honestly, Photoshop hasn’t significantly improved since version 6. True, I won’t use version 6 today but I do still use a retro CS5. Mainly because I like the speed of it on my PC and I’ve never fallen in love with any of the modern features which seem to go out of date from version to version.
Verdict: It is needed for now.


I’m hard pushed to open up illustrator but now and then it has to be done just to save your files right. Photoshop has a knack to bloat certain file types and make a bit of a mess of vectors. Version wise, Illustrator went through a huge makeover at one point (just before the subscriptions perhaps, correct me if I’m wrong) but its core function has remained the same. I used to love and use Flash for all my Illustrator needs but Flash has taken on a different role today so the two are more incompatible than in the past.
Verdict: It is the best out there and still market leader.


Several of you might scoff at the idea of using Dreamweaver but it’s honestly still the best GUI for web based programming. Of course, trusty Chrome/Firefox developer kit does the same thing pretty much but Dreamweaver still feels a little like you have a cheat mode activated that inserts the code for you (really badly at times admittedly). Dreamweaver is one of the list that requires a modern version to use it correctly. With the advent of HTML5 all old versions render the page as a mess… much like IE 😉
Verdict: It has had its day. Unnecessary but user friendly.

Acrobat DC:

Not a Web or Graphic tools but necessary to create clean, modern PDFs. I thought I’d add it to this list as it is one of the Adobe tools I use on a regular basis with almost web intentions. Clients use PDFs and they are read by every device so it’s always worth bearing in mind that Acrobat DC is more than just a conversion app.
Verdict: Only needed for set tasks. There is likely to be serious competition in the near future over the device and browser friendly PDF.

Is it worth getting?

Well, that’s all I’m going to say in-depth about the Adobe suite and what I use on a daily basis. Overall, no I don’t think the full subscription is worth it. I think it’s really overpriced in today’s market and they seem to know it too and luckily there isn’t a worthy competitor with the same sort of influence ready to take their place. With all the free tools out there it really is a matter of time before the universities drop Adobe from their budget and teach kids how to find effective solutions without pay a kidney. That is the key point right there. Its industry standard because it has been the only player with the education system. People like free and will invest time and effort with getting the most out of nothing.

Really is a matter of time before a better business model (I call advertising already) comes out that takes over. Adobes new fascination with devices isn’t really the key most people are after. No one is really looking to pay a subscription for a whim-sickle app, no, its the businesses that pay for it for its traditional software that dont know any better, or worse, are forced into it by their employees as it is the only software they are fully comfortable with. I call the new additions gimmicks with the exception of Photoshop and Illustrator, which have been doing the same thing since the 90s.

My closing notes will mention that I do use Adobe pretty begrudgingly. Their software does work and it works really well if not CPU intense. The future battle will all take place online however. Adobe know that and there will be a new war waged over getting the user base over to its side. Whoever wins, I hope we see advancements in all areas and it is the end user that wins out.

In the future, I’d like to discuss all the tools I use on a daily basis.

Thanks for reading.