So, can you use Adobe XD without paying a single cent? In one word, yes. In this article, I’ll show you how to download it and use it for free, legally.
Adobe offers Adobe XD under different subscription plans: Free (Starter), Single or as part of a Creative Cloud subscription. The Starter plan (the totally free version) is instantly available; it doesn’t require an active subscription and offers access to design and prototyping tools. The only limits are on the sharing and collaboration features.
Adobe XD is an intuitive and powerful and fully packed vector-based application that is perfect for designing and prototyping user interfaces, websites, and mobile apps. It includes all the essential tools that designers need to produce high-quality, industry-standard designs.
It’s super easy to get started with Adobe XD, no matter the platform of choice, macOS or Windows. This powerful vector-based application can help designers throughout the design process, from wireframing to prototyping, and it is free of charge.
Well, first, it includes lots of features to help designers streamline their processes. Here are some of them worth mentioning.
They are a really neat concept. They are basically a set of elements, such as text, images, shapes, or lines. Once they are defined, they act as a blueprint (a.k.a. a guide for what to do next). You can easily place components “instances” on your design and, once you edit a blueprint (a.k.a. Master), then all the instances will be updated. Neat!
Of course, there are many other benefits to components, but I’m trying to keep this article short. If you want to learn more about Components and how to work with them, you can find more details here.
This is another cool feature of Adobe XD. Content-Aware Layout works with groups and artboards and automatically knows the relationships between objects. When resizing the group or the artboards, it keeps the position or the padding of the elements. You can learn more about Content-Aware Layout here.
If you already have tons of designs created in PhotoShop or Sketch, migrating them to Adobe XD is a breeze. You are able to directly open these file formats, so you don’t need to recreate them from scratch. This is also great news if your workflow is a mixed workflow requiring you to use multiple design tools.
The plugins in Adobe XD open the doors to so many possibilities. They allow you to extend and supercharge your workflow to fit your needs and to automate or connect to other 3rd party tools. You can learn about plugins from here.
Having a feel, in context, about what you are designing is crucial. The Adobe XD Mobile App Previewer is a mobile application that allows you to preview your prototypes in real-time.
As I said before, you can use the Starter version for free. To download the latest version, use the following link to the Adobe XD Create Cloud.
The Adobe XD Starter plan includes unlimited prototyping and design features, but with limits on collaboration and sharing. You can prototype to your heart's content.
Keep in mind that you still need to have a Creative Cloud account, but you don’t need to have an active subscription.
Also, if you already have the Creative Cloud desktop app installed, then all you need is to install it. The free Creative Cloud membership already includes Adobe XD with the Starter plan.
By default, when installing the first time, Adobe activates Adobe XD in trial mode. Don't panic, after the trial is over the subscription will be downgraded to the free version (a.k.a. Started plan).
Adobe acquired Figma in the fall of 2022. While Adobe has decreased its funding for XD and there are indications that Adobe might be planning to discontinue XD after the Figma acquisition is fully completed in 2023.
So, if you are someone who favours Adobe XD, you do not have to hurry to shift to Figma as Adobe will probably provide support for it for some time and at one certain point we will probably have an official way to import existing Adobe XD files into Figma.
Penpot - A free open-source alternative to Figma. Penpot also has several features that make it a powerful tool for design and prototyping. It provides a range of tools for creating vector graphics, including shapes, text, and paths. It also supports layers, groups, and blending modes, allowing designers to create complex designs with ease.
Figma - A cloud-based platform that allows designers to collaborate in real time with ease. Utilizing Figma's advanced UI/UX design tools, it's a breeze allowing you to create beautiful, user-friendly designs for websites, mobile apps, and more.
Axure RP - This is an ideal prototyping solution for designers, providing a wide range of powerful and versatile features for building robust prototypes. Its intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to create wireframes, flowcharts, mockups, user journeys, and more without having to write any code, so you can quickly and accurately bring your ideas to life.