Adobe Creative Cloud

Last Updated: 05/16/2017

Adobe Licensing

For Adobe Acrobat Pro (for working with PDF files) users can purchase a permanent license through the CU Marketplace. For most other Adobe products licensing comes in the form of a Creative Cloud (CC) license subscription which must be renewed annually.

The CC subscription model allows subscribers to receive automatic and continuous feature updates from Adobe, rather than new versions every year or two. For general information on this new subscription model, visit Adobe's Creative Cloud website.

If the information below regarding obtaining Adobe licensing for your CU computer leaves you with unanswered questions, please contact Bruce Fast at or call 303-492-8995.

How can I buy a license for Acrobat Pro only?

Acrobat Pro is a product still available for "standard CLP perpetual licensing", apart from the Creative Cloud subscription program. CU M@rketplace vendors GovConnection and CDW-G both offer the license for about $80, which covers both of a user's two computers. Insight Public Sector is also an approved CLP Reseller.

Other Adobe products available for standard CLP perpetual licensing include: Captivate, Contribute, Photoshop Elements, Premiere Elements, Presenter.

How can I buy a Creative Cloud license/subscription?

For institutional computers purchased with university funds, volume-discounted rates are available via CU's "Value Incentive Plan" (VIP) in one of two ways:

  • For an individual user's computers, a Named-User license allows a specified user to install on the institutional computer and on a 2nd computer (either personal or institutional), and includes online cloud services for that user. The 2017 rate is $19.84 per month per user.
    To order a Named-User CC license, contact with the following information; First/Last name of the user, CU email address of the user, and the Speedtype to be charged.
  • For lab/multi-user workstations, a Device-Based license covers a single computer in a classroom or lab, for multiple users but without online cloud services/storage. The 2017 rate is around $14 per month per workstation.
  • To order a Device-Based CC license, send the following to; the device name of the workstation, the name of the person who administers the workstation, and the Speedtype to be charged.
What is a workstation's Adobe device name?

For Creative Cloud Device-based licenses, the license identifier is the computer's device name.

When requesting an Adobe CC device-based license, the person who administers the computer -- the one who actually installs and activates new software -- should be sure that the device name is set, and report that name as part of the request. Please don't guess at the name; make sure you provide the actual device name because the Adobe license for an unrecognized device name will be deactivated remotely by OIT.

Most computers come with no set name, or something related to a serial number or IP address. You can set and change the name to something meaningful and recognizable. Then provide this hostname when requesting a device-based license.


  • Open the System Control Panel.
  • Click on "Change" or "Change Settings".
  • Set the desired hostname, then (if necessary) reboot. 2.

Mac OS X

A Mac can actually have 3 different names, called the ComputerName, the HostName, and the LocalHostName. Adobe only uses the 2nd of these, the HostName. Open a Terminal window and type these commands to see the workstation's current hostname, and to set a new one:

scutil --get HostName

sudo scutil --set HostName newhostname

What products are included in the Creative Cloud Suite?

The Creative Cloud Suite includes Acrobat Pro, After Effects, Audition, Bridge CC, Scout, Dreamweaver, Edge, Encore, Fireworks, Flash, InCopy, InDesign, Illustrator, Lightroom, Media Encoder, Muse, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Prelude, and SpeedGrade.

Single-app CC licenses are available (at about half the price of the full suite) for After Effects, Animate, Audition, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, InCopy, InDesign, Muse, Photoshop, and Premiere Pro.

I was able to buy concurrent licenses for my Adobe products. Can I do this with Creative Cloud?

There is no concurrent licensing with Creative Cloud. In particular, VIP licensing is on a per-device basis, and is not concurrent.

What are some alternatives to the Adobe apps?

PDF Editor/Reader Alternatives

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader (for reading PDF files) is free from Also, all Macs have the program Preview, which displays and exports PDF, JPG, and PNG files.
  • Mac OS X has a simple way to "print" any document to a PDF file; choose Print from the menu, then look for the PDF choices in the lower-left corner of the the printer dialog box.
  • For Windows there are free PDF writers that will let you print any document to a PDF file, especially CutePDF Writer,
  • Certain programs provide their own PDF-export support, especially Microsoft Office; just open the menu, select Export, and select "Create PDF/XPS Document".
  • To split and merge individual PDF pages, PDFSAM (PDF Split And Merge) is opensource freeware, for Mac and Windows and Linux: see:
  • To create PDF files from any program, digitally sign and encrypt, PDFCreator is opensource freeware (for Windows only) see:

Photoshop Alternatives

Illustrator Alternatives

InDesign Alternatives

Dreamweaver Alternatives

A web search may find other possible alternatives for Adobe apps for you.

Do I need to buy an Acrobat Pro license in addition to my CC license?

No; Acrobat Pro is included in Creative Cloud subscriptions, so CC subscribers don't have to purchase an Acrobat license separately. However, when the CC subscription lapses, Acrobat Pro also expires.

On the other hand, purchasing an Acrobat Pro license separately, through CU M@rketplace, gives permanent licensing, independent of any CC subscription.