If you're thinking about purchasing or upgrading to the latest version of Adobe Photoshop, there are some important things you'll need to consider before you buy. For example, you'll need to learn more about the different purchasing options and choose the version of Photoshop that's right for you.
Photoshop purchasing options
If you're interested in buying Photoshop, you have several different options to choose from:
- Photoshop CC: If you want to buy the full version of Photoshop (Photoshop CC), you'll need to pay a monthly subscription fee for Adobe Creative Cloud. Photoshop CC is available for both Windows and Mac.
- Photoshop Elements: If you don't need all of the features of the full version of Photoshop, you might consider buying Photoshop Elements instead. Photoshop Elements is available for both Windows and Mac.
- Mobile apps: If you want to edit photos on the go, there are a few different Photoshop mobile apps available for iOS and Android. However, these apps will be less powerful and offer less control than the full desktop software.
- Alternative software: If you don't need all of Photoshop's features—or if you're trying to save money—there are many other image editing applications you can use. You can check our our lesson on Photoshop Alternatives to learn more about some free and low-cost applications you might be able to use instead.
Adobe Creative Cloud and Photoshop CC
Unlike many other applications you may have used, you cannot buy a boxed copy of Photoshop CC. Instead, you'll need a subscription plan through Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe's cloud-based software service. Then, you'll download Photoshop CC to your computer. A Creative Cloud subscription includes other benefits, such as cloud-based storage for your Photoshop projects. You'll also receive the newest version of Photoshop whenever it's made available, so you'll never have to worry about upgrading to the most recent version.
You can subscribe to Creative Cloud for about $10 per month (or about $120 per year). Previously, you could purchase a boxed copy of Photoshop without a subscription, but it would typically cost more than $700. While this means the cost of entry for using Photoshop is much lower than it was in the past, keep in mind that this subscription fee will add up over time, especially if you plan to keep the subscription for several years.
You can also buy other Adobe applications through Creative Cloud, such as Lightroom, Illustrator, and InDesign. There are different plans and pricing options available, depending on your needs. Go to this page on the Adobe website to learn more about purchasing a Creative Cloud subscription. If you still have questions about how Creative Cloud works, you can visit Adobe's Creative Cloud FAQ page.