PCWorld (USA)

Adobe’s web-based Photoshop will soon be free for everyone

Adobe says the online version of its ubiquitous photo editor will soon have a “freemium” version.

- BY MICHAEL CRIDER

Photoshop is the indisputab­le industry standard for photo editing and image generation. It’s also indisputab­ly expensive. After coming in the Creative Suite for $700+ for years, Adobe now sells it only in Creative Cloud subscripti­on form starting at $120 a year ( fave.co/3dklt9y). That’s not the most effective way to get new users—in fact, it’s a great way to make people search for some free alternativ­es ( fave.co/3o2gglx). But it looks like Adobe is getting a little more consumer-savvy with its recent web-based version of the tool, and plans to make it free for everyone.

If you’re not familiar with the web version of Photoshop, it’s effective if somewhat stripped-down in terms of features. As a Photoshop user of nearly 20 years, I’d say the online version is somewhere between

Photoshop Elements and the full Creative Suite, though Adobe has been adding more complex tools since the version launched in October last year ( fave.co/3zl2zyu).

“Free Photoshop” is enough to make any cash-strapped graphic designer and/or prolific meme poster salivate. But of course there will be limits. The Verge reports ( fave.co/39xhjb2) that the free version of web-based Photoshop is currently available to users in Canada, where all one needs is a free Adobe account to access it. The current version of the tool is wide open, but it won’t stay that way. Adobe says in the future it will allow users to access most of Photoshop’s standard editing tools while locking some more advanced features (time-savers like content-aware fill, for example?) behind a subscripti­on.

Exactly when the web version of Photoshop will become free outside Canada wasn’t mentioned, but I know a few million Chromebook users who can’t wait for it to arrive.

 ?? IMAGE: DIPU THAKURIA/SHUTTERSTO­CK ??
IMAGE: DIPU THAKURIA/SHUTTERSTO­CK
 ?? ?? Some of Photoshop’s more advanced features won’t be available in the free online version.
Some of Photoshop’s more advanced features won’t be available in the free online version.
 ?? ?? There’s a wide range of free Photoshop alternativ­es, including Photopea ( fave.co/3kcavej), pictured here.
There’s a wide range of free Photoshop alternativ­es, including Photopea ( fave.co/3kcavej), pictured here.

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