The Non-Rental Suite for Creative Pro’s

Many people have asked me whether there are high-quality tools available for Creative Pros other than the rental suite of Adobe’s Creative Cloud.

I leave it up to you whether you prefer renting a software suite or whether you like to keep/own your tools (the license that is).

Though for me the model of “software vendor adds features and time savers into software – user decides whether it’s worth the purchase/upgrade” just feels to be more fair than “continue paying vendor as long as you use software and if you stop paying you can’t open your work files anymore.

So here are my personal recommendations for high-quality tools that do not force you to rent:

  • Illustrations:
    Renting: Illustrator
    Perpetual: CorelDraw (Win only), Gravit Designer, InkScape, Krita
  • Image Editing:
    Renting: Photoshop
    Perpetual: Acorn (Mac only), Affinity Photo, Photoline, Photo-Paint (Windows only)
  • Motion Graphic:
    Renting: After Effects
    Perpetual: Apple Motion (Mac only), Fusion
  • Music Production:
    Renting: Audition
    Perpetual: Bandlab (Windows only), Garageband (Mac only), Waveform
  • Page Layout/Design:
    Renting: InDesign
    Perpetual: QuarkXPress
  • PDF Touchup:
    Renting: Acrobat
    Perpetual: pdfToolbox
  • Prototyping:
    Renting: Experience Design (XD)
    Perpetual: Lunacity (Win only), Sketch (Mac only)
  • RAW Editor:
    Renting: Lightroom
    Perpetual: Capture One, DxO Photolabs, ON1 Photo
  • Video Editing:
    Renting: Premiere
    Perpetual: DaVinci Resolve, Final Cut (Mac only)
  • Web Design/Web Animations:
    Renting: Muse
    Perpetual: Hype (Mac only)
  • Web Editor/Websites:
    Renting: Dreamweaver/Muse
    Perpetual: BlueGriffon, Hype (Mac only), PineGrow

And of course this is just a personal preference, there are many others.

Which tools are you recommending and using?


URLs (as of May 18, 2018):

Affinity Photo:
Apple Motion:
Capture One:
DaVinci Resolve:
DxO Photolabs:
Final Cut:
Gravit Designer:
ON1 Photo:

Both an engineer and a layout artist, Matthias bridges the gap between technology and people.

Before joining Quark, Matthias pioneered print, Web, and multimedia products for multiple German publishing companies. Since 1997 he has played a central role in shaping Quark’s desktop and enterprise software.
Starting 2003 Matthias has focused on Quark’s interactive and digital publishing solutions. He is an active participant in design and publishing communities and represents Quark in the Ghent PDF Workgroup.

Since February 2014 Matthias heads Quark’s Desktop Publishing business unit and is therefore responsible for QuarkXPress.