Adobe (Adobe Systems Incorporated) is the leading producer of graphics and desktop publishing software
used by creative professionals. In addition to software such as Adobe InDesign and Adobe Photoshop for in-house and freelance designers, they also offer a plethora of enterprise-level publishing products as well as Adobe type products.
Adobe Creative Suite:
The Adobe Creative Suite is a convenient bundling of several core products in the Adobe line of software for print and Web publishing. Announced in 2012, Creative Suite 6 offers 5 bundles pluse the new Creative Cloud. The different editions of CS6 focus on print/Web and video. Most of the individual components of the suite are also available as standalone products or by monthly subscription so you can build your own custom collection. Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator come in all the editions of the Creative Suite. What You Get With The Adobe Creative Suite 6
InDesign is the successor to PageMaker, the original desktop publishing software program. It is a page layout software program available as a standalone package or in all but the Production Premium edition of CS6.
Adobe Graphics Software:
Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator are the primary graphics packages most closely associated with Adobe desktop publishing. Photoshop is a bitmap graphics or photo editor. Illustrator is for vector drawing and is often used for some page layout tasks. Both programs come as standalone products as well as in some of the Adobe Creative Suites. Similar to Photoshop, Adobe Photoshop Elements is another graphics program aimed at those who don't need the full power of Photoshop.
Adobe Acrobat and PDF:
Adobe Acrobat is for creating, editing, and organizing PDF files. PDF
is a de facto
standard file format for distributing and sharing documents across diverse platforms. Acrobat is available in Standard and Pro editions as well as the Adobe Acrobat X Suite (Windows only) that includes Photoshop and other programs. Additionally, the Adobe Acrobat Reader, is a widely used free program for viewing PDF files online and offline.
Adobe Web Design:
Adobe Flash is probably the best known animation software for the Web. Adobe Dreamweaver is the professional tool for professional Web designers and professional Web developers. All these programs come in some editions of the Adobe Creative Suite and as standalone packages.
Adobe Desktop Publishing Beyond the Creative Suite:
Other Adobe products associated with desktop publishing are FrameMaker and PageMaker. FrameMaker is a part of the Adobe Technical Communication Suite and is geared toward corporate and technical publishing. Although no longer being updated, there are still many users of Adobe PageMaker, the original desktop publishing software program.
Adobe Desktop Publishing Software:
In addition to the Adobe Creative Suite and its individual components, other key programs include After Effects for motion graphics, InCopy for editorial and design workflow managment, RoboHelp for authoring and developing Help systems, and Visual Communicator for video presentations. The list of Adobe desktop publishing and other products
changes and grows regularly.
Alternatives to Adobe Desktop Publishing Software:
The primary rival to Adobe InDesign for desktop publishing is QuarkXPress
. For those looking for less expensive options to either program there is Serif PagePlus
. Scribus (InDesign alternative), The GIMP (Photoshop alternative), and Inkscape (Illustrator alternative) are the ultra-inexpensive (as in free desktop publishing
Founded in 1982 by Charles Geschke and John Warnock, Adobe Systems Incorporated is an international company with its corporate headquarters in San Jose, California. They acquired Aldus Corporation (PageMaker) in 1994, Frame Technology Corporation (FrameMaker) in 1995, among others. See these Adobe Fast Facts
(PDF) for more quick info including tidbits such as "More than 90% of creative professionals have Adobe Photoshop software on their desktops."