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Why There Are So Many Apps in the Adobe Creative Suite

Image of a woman with a tablet working in Photoshop on a computer

Let’s say you have a design project with illustrations, photo editing, and a few paragraphs of text. If you have the Adobe Creative Suite, there are several apps that could help with one or more of those tasks, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, and Bridge.

Logos of Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Lightroom, and Bridge

These apps are all used for photo editing and design. Why are there so many Adobe apps with overlapping functionalities?

For instance, Illustrator is the best at drawing vector (pixel-less) illustrations, but you can also create vector art in InDesign or Photoshop. And while Photoshop, Bridge, or Lightroom would be best for photo editing, you could easily export the modified image and do all the layout work in InDesign.

If the apps are already so much alike, why can’t Adobe just create one master app?

Well, sometimes it’s easier to have apps that are tailored for different needs. For example, you could lay out a book in Illustrator, but InDesign’s interface makes the job easier. And if you’re creating vector art in Illustrator, layout tools aren’t necessary. The extra processing power you’d need would just slow down your computer…and you. (Can you imagine scrolling through a huge, comprehensive menu of fifty different options? Yikes.)

In short, each app does a set of tasks well. Each one can help you with a specific kind of project. On the other hand, you have to learn how to use each one.

What do you think? Should some of the Adobe Creative Suite apps be combined? Or are there advantages to having separate apps?