Last November, Adobe had a 25 percent off offer on its Creative Cloud subscription plan for Black Friday. And now the company is offering a near identical deal: a 24.5 percent off sale. Not quite as good an offer, but still a hefty savings. So is it a good time to take the plunge if you missed the November sale?
If you were planning on subscribing for the first time or upgrading from your dependable old (old, old) perpetual-license version, then this is a good time to do it -- and you have until midnight PT on March 1 to take advantage. But if you just want to kick the tires, there are some other factors to take into account before plunking down your credit card. Let's explore your options.
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What's the deal?
There are two Black Friday discounts on the table:
- 24.5 percent off the All Apps individual plan of $480 per year or $40 a month, which is about $156 off, compared to the normal price of about $636 ($53 a month).
- 20 percent off the All Apps Students and Teachers plan (requires institutional affiliation) for a price of $240 a year or $20 a month, which is $120 off compared to the normal price of $360.
That's 20-plus Adobe apps, including Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, Premiere Pro, After Effects, Lightroom and Dreamweaver. You also get access to all of Adobe's fonts -- the service formerly known as Typekit -- along with 100GB storage, Adobe Portfolio and.See at Adobe
What's the catch?
A few important things to note:
- The offer's for a year's subscription, albeit paid in monthly installments.
- It's still a year's commitment. If you want to cancel, do so within the first 14 days or you'll be out half the annual cost.
- The discount is only available to new subscribers and it's limited to one subscription per customer.
- At the end of the year, it will automatically renew at the full price. And full price is what you'll be paying in perpetuity because I've never seen a discount for an existing customer. But Adobe does offer discounts at least a few times a year, so you'll likely get another chance at a deal.
What's not to like?
If you just want to see whether you'd like the CC ecosystem or give the 2019 applications a go before committing, you may be better off getting the seven-day free trial and taking it for a spin before the end of the week. You can then subscribe if you still want it.
Why isn't a year better than a few days? The tar pit problem. If you really use the system, trying to get all your work out if you choose not to continue is at best an aggravation and at worst, impossible. Once you've got a couple thousand photos catalogued in, getting them out with all the metadata -- ratings, keywords, captions and so on -- is a pain. You can save the metadata for a whole catalog into the individual photos' sidecar files, but it takes a while. And having Lightroom save the metadata to the file as you update them bogs down the software -- choose your poison. And if you take advantage of the coolest new features, like range masking, those don't travel with the file. You only keep the basic adjustments.
Love the libraries? I do. But you can't download anything in them. The only way to use the assets is within Adobe's apps. Graphics produced by the Adobe Capture mobile app go straight into libraries, and they're standard SVG files. But to get them out of CC, you can only save them one at a time, and only using the mobile app. Forget about styles, color palettes or patterns.
You get the idea.
Is any of this unusual? Lots of companies lock their best stuff within a walled garden. But that's the caveat you have to watch out for before sinking a lot of time and money into an expensive year-long trial: It may not be as easy to move on as you'd think.
Originally published Feb. 27.
Update, March 1: Added details about sale end time.