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Adobe Creative Cloud: 5 benefits from the campus agreement

Bill Lutz, vendor manager for the Office of Software Licensing

Bill Lutz, vendor manager, Office of Software Licensing

By Larrisa Beth Turner

Whether you've been on campus a few days or a few years, it's unlikely you know all of the amenities available to the University of Utah community.

You might, for instance, know about complimentary rides on UTA buses and trains, staff and faculty specials on sports passes, or free and discounted tickets through the Arts Pass for students. But did you know you also have a no-cost, all-access pass to Adobe Creative Cloud?

Bill Lutz, vendor manager for the U’s Office of Software Licensing (OSL), says "you'd be surprised" at how many students, staff and faculty currently don't know about or take advantage of the university's campus agreement with Adobe for Creative Cloud software, services and features.

"Since January 2018, we had over 11,000 unique users accessing the Adobe Creative Cloud apps," Lutz said, adding that that number is just "a fraction of people [who could be using the software]."

In fact, the U educates and employs more than 60,000 people, which means the majority of the campus community still has the opportunity to activate a no-cost account.

The most recent agreement, which started in May 2017, makes accessing Creative Cloud easier than ever. Previously, students, staff and faculty had to get a redemption code from a third-party vendor every year to keep their licenses going, and faculty and staff had to pay to use the software on a personal computer. Now, however, all users activate the software for free thanks to a named user licensing agreement by simply signing in with a university-issued email address and password. And under the new agreement, faculty and staff can activate the software on a home computer for work purposes.

Here are five reasons why you should take advantage of the campus licensing agreement.

1. Free access!

That's right: Active students, faculty and staff can access, activate and download Creative Cloud apps, services and features at no cost — "a wonderful deal," Lutz said. That's thanks to a campus-wide agreement between the university and Adobe that is supported by a mix of campus software licensing and student computing fees.

Individual users (students, faculty and staff)

Department computers managed by IT administrators

Already paying for a Creative Cloud account? Through the university’s agreement, individual subscribers can terminate their contracts without penalty.

2. Downloads by the dozens

Under the agreement, more than 50 Adobe apps, features, services, tools and support services are available. You'll find core apps like Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, and Acrobat DC, as well as others designed for web, video and audio production. In addition, you can access archived apps that Adobe no longer develops or updates.

"It's a really good package of apps for everybody," Lutz said.

Beyond apps, you can access Creative Cloud support services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, as well as hundreds of hours of free online tutorials through Creative Cloud Learn.

And should you ever want to purchase an app not included in the agreement, the Office of Software Licensing can provide a custom quote.

3. Access it anywhere

Since all Adobe's apps live in Creative Cloud, Lutz said U students, staff and faculty "can basically access the software from anywhere in the world now."

Under the agreement, you can activate Creative Cloud on up to two devices at a time by logging in with your uNID email address and password. From there, you can download and install various apps on multiple devices, including tablets and smartphones. The only catch: You cannot use the software on more than one computer at a time — so be sure to close the apps after you're finished.

4. Keep it in the cloud

Under the agreement, Adobe provides each subscriber 20 GB of cloud-based storage. With the extra capacity, you can save large projects without using up space on your computer or mobile device. You also can access files stored in the cloud from any device using file sync or a web browser.

That makes things a bit easier, especially for faculty and staff. "When they go home at night, if they still want to work, they can just sign on their computer at home and continue working," Lutz said.

Note: Creative Cloud storage should not be used for files containing sensitive, restricted, or PCI/credit card data.

5. Never miss an update

The new campus agreement also makes it easy to stay up to date with the latest Adobe apps, services and features — including new releases, Lutz said.

"Once an active student, staff or faculty member activates their named user license," he said, "it's good for them to use for the full term of the agreement provided they remain an active member of the university … and they don't have to pay for anything."

That means you can upgrade your software anytime during the term of the agreement, which runs through May 2020.

There's an app for that!

In addition to Adobe Creative Cloud, OSL offers dozens of other great programs for little to no cost to students, staff or faculty.

Popular software includes:

  • Microsoft Office (Windows, Mac): Word, Outlook, OneNote, Excel, PowerPoint and more
  • MathWorks: MATLAB, Simulink and 49 companion products
  • Clarivate Analytics: EndNote
  • ESET: EndNote Protection Advanced
  • OriginLab: OriginPro
  • SAS: SAS EAS for Teaching and Research
  • SAS: JMP/JMP Pro for Teaching and Research

To learn more about these or other apps, visit

Transition to named user licensing

Starting November 30, 2018, Adobe will end the use of serial numbers to log in to Creative Cloud. Instead, users should log in through the named user method — OSL can help transition users still using serial numbers so their access isn't interrupted. For more information about the change and help making the switch, visit the OSL website.


Last Updated: 3/27/19