Adobe takes on Canva with its newly launched Creative Cloud Express

Tips & Techniques

Remember Adobe’s recently announced web-based version of Photoshop? It’s finally available online and its name is Creative Cloud Express. It’s designed for experienced photographers and designers, but also those who’ve never used Adobe editing tools before. It’s a crossover between Adobe Spark and Photoshop Express, but it strangely reminds me of Canva, too.

Creative Cloud Express is available to use both through a web browser or on your mobile device. You can download the app for your Android/iOS phone or tablet and create and share content on the go. The tool is designed to be quite versatile, allowing you to design anything: social media posts and stories, video clips, invitations, logos, flyers, and banners. But from what I’ve seen at a quick glance, it’s not exactly Photoshop. In other words, you can’t expect to make elaborate edits as you do in Photoshop CC.

As far as editing photos go, you can drag and drop your own photo and perform some basic edits like brightness, contrast, saturation, highlights, shadows, warmth, sharpening, or blur. You can also add and adjust filters. And then, you can add a bunch of other elements to the image, such as text, icons, logos, and so on. You can also use Adobe Stock photos instead of your own, and rely on readymade templates. Basically, this is what Adobe Spark used to be, a sort of a new and improved version.

Here are some key features of Creative Cloud Express:

  • Simple drag-and-drop functions to quickly customize thousands of beautiful templates.
  • 20,000 premium Adobe fonts and 175 million royalty-free licensed Adobe Stock images.
  • Advanced search and discover capabilities, powered by the Adobe Stock Marketplace.
  • “Quick Actions” powered by Adobe Sensei to remove background features from photos, trim and merge videos, turn videos into GIFs and convert/export PDFs in a few clicks.
  • Shared Templates and Shared Brands to ensure brand consistency across teams.
  • Seamlessly manage social media publishing workflows with ContentCal features, once integrated with Adobe.
  • Integration with Creative Cloud Libraries.

If you’re an Adobe CC subscriber, you get Creative Cloud Express for free as a part of your subscription. You just need to log in with your Adobe credentials and you’ll have access to all the available tools. You can use it for free as well, but you won’t have all the options available: some photos, icons, and other elements are only available to the subscribers.

Still, if you’re not ready to pay for any of the CC subscriptions, or you just don’t need them, you can only pay for the Creative Cloud Express. It costs $9.99/month and you’ll get access to all the available features. You’ll find more information on the pricing and the perks of a paid subscription here.

As I mentioned, Creative Cloud Express reminds me a lot of Canva. The options are pretty similar, and I’d say the purpose is as well. Even the monthly price is identical. Most people I know who aren’t designers or photo editors use Canva to make social media posts, YouTube thumbnails, and other stuff. It seems to me that Creative Cloud Express is Adobe’s attempt to get more people like this under its wing. And might I add, it seems like it could be a successful one.

A CC subscriber or not, you can try out Creative Cloud Express here and let us know what you think.

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