Adobe: General Information and License Restrictions

  • License Information and Restrictions
  • Faculty/staff licensing
  • Student licensing
  • Computer Lab licensing
  • Support Information

 License Information and Restrictions

At no cost, Duke provides Creative Cloud subscriptions to all students (while enrolled) and creative cloud software for all Duke-owned lab computers.  Faculty/Staff licenses for both Creative Cloud and Document Cloud (Acrobat) are available for purchase through OIT.

  • Location Restrictions: None
  • Hardware Restrictions: Licensed software may only be installed on Duke-owned computers or faculty/staff/student-owned personal computers.  No computers owned, used, or leased by non-Duke entities.  
  • Additional restrictions for Lab Computers: The no-cost version available for lab/classroom computers requires that the computers (1) allow use by ALL Duke students, and (2) require each user to enter a NetID or other Duke account to login. Faculty/staff must purchase named user licensing to use the software, and are not eligible to use the no-cost lab version. Computers where access is restricted to specific users/schools/departments or where login is not required do not qualify and would require named user licensing
  • Affiliation Restrictions: Duke faculty, staff, students, and affiliates only.  Alumni (without any of the other affiliations) may not purchase or use this software under the Duke agreement.


Licenses (accounts) for both Adobe Creative Cloud and Adobe Document Cloud (Acrobat Pro DC) are available for purchase through OIT by Duke faculty and staff.

The purchase of an account/license for or by a faculty/staff member entitles that person to license and install licensed products on both Duke-owned or personally-owned devices for personal use. Each account allows an individual user to install and activate desktop applications on two computers, regardless of operating system, for individual use.  Accounts may not be shared.

The default method of deployment for faculty/staff is self service.  With this method, users will download products directly from and install and update the software themselves.

For shared or managed computers, there is a "Named User" package that can be deployed.  Named License deployment ties the usage of Adobe apps and services to an individual user. Named licensing works well if the product and service requirements are closely associated with a user or a role. Named licensing provides IT admins complete control to add and remove product licenses for a user at any time. Named licenses require periodic Internet connectivity. Computers must connect to Adobe servers for initial activation, and then at least once every 99 days.  The default named user package has the creative cloud apps panel (allowing users to install and updated applications themselves) and updates disabled.  A new named user package will be made available during winter and summer academic breaks.

No cloud services are enabled, so attempting to sign into some services within certain applications will result in an Access Denied error message.


All Duke students have access to Adobe creative cloud at no cost. Students will log in with an Enterprise ID at and access desktop downloads.  All student licensing will be self-service, allowing students to download products directly from Adobe and install and update the software themselves.

Student accounts are automatically provisioned and de-provisioned as they enroll at and leave Duke.  No cloud services are enabled, so attempting to sign into some services within certain applications will result in an Access Denied error message.

Lab Computers

Duke may deploy Creative Cloud software within its Enterprise on Duke-owned computers in computer labs and classrooms for use by students only. Faculty/staff must use named-user licensing (sign in/out). See the detailed licensing restrictions above for limitations.

IT administrators will be required to sign an SLA in order to gain access to lab installers.  Please contact OIT Software Licensing for more information.

Support Information

For account support and licensing questions, e-mail OIT Software Licensing.  For product support, contact Adobe support through normal channels.

Knowledge base Articles:

Select the option to sign in with an Enterprise ID whenever there is a prompt to log in.  Enter, then press enter.  This will redirect you to the Duke netID sign in for authentication.

Article number: KB0022716

Valid to: August 3, 2024