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In Adobe’s ongoing quest to add even more value to their Creative Cloud software subscription service, they are now including free online video tutorials on many of the products that make up the Creative Cloud suite. These tutorials are only free to Creative Cloud subscribers. They have been produced by some of the top software training companies, who will continue to add new content each month.

Under their agreement with Adobe, Adobe gets exclusive access to these new tutorials for 14 days, even before the training development companies can make them available to their own paid subscribers. What’s more, the tutorials will remain permanently available to Adobe Creative Cloud subscribers. You can access them from anywhere on any kind of Net-connected device by logging in to your Creative Cloud account and clicking on “Learn” in the black menu bar at the top of the screen.

7-day free trialAs good as this training is, and as good as free is, it’s not as good as our favorite source for online training, Lynda.com. There are a couple of reasons for that. First, it’s just not as comprehensive. Adobe currently has a couple of hours of instruction on each of the products covered, 22 courses in all right now. I know that this is just the initial rollout of a new service and that they will be adding to it monthly, but it’s just not fully there yet. Lynda.com offers hours and hours of training on Adobe products — on not just the most current version, but many previous versions as well. As for the number of courses offered, it’s not even close. Lynda.com currently has over 2,000 courses available to their subscribers, and not just on Adobe products, but just about anything you can think of. That’s 2,000 complete courses, not just individual training segments. Viewing a course on Lynda.com is like attending an expensive workshop or seminar on the given product or procedure.

My other critique of Adobe’s free training is that in addition to not being comprehensive, it’s also not cohesive. Granted, I haven’t watched a lot of it, but in the time I spent in the InDesign training area, I saw videos from three different training vendors. In other words, Adobe has assembled training segments from various different sources and cobbled them together to make a topical package. Once again, I like the Lynda.com approach better, where you have one or two industry-leading instructors that teach the entire course. I have some assurance with this approach that there are no gaps in my instruction. If it’s an Intermediate Photoshop Techniques course, I trust that I’m getting a thorough and consistent overview of that level of common Photoshop features.

So kudos to Adobe for launching a service that comes at no extra charge to Creative Cloud subscribers. I look forward to it becoming more fleshed out and valuable in the months and years to come.

If you know me very well, you know that a motto that I live by is, “If it’s for free, it’s for me!” That’s almost always true. Not this time. For the very reasonable price of $25 per month (or $250 for a full year), you can subscribe to what I believe to be the best value in online software instruction available, worth far more than the very reasonable price of the subscription. So if you have some training money left in your budget or you want to make yourself more valuable to your employer (or more marketable to your next employer), check out Lynda.com. Click on the ad above to sign up for a free 7-day trial. You’ll be glad you did. Here’s a sample of a training video from Lynda.com. (You’ll need to move your mouse over the black rectangle below to access the video.)

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