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InDesign vs Illustrator: Which Software Should You Use

2021-11-29 13:58:10 • Filed to: Indesign Features • Proven solutions

It seems that many people Google search InDesign vs. Illustrator to find out which program is best for their needs, meaning there must be some confusion surrounding the different between the two products. InDesign is a desktop publishing program, whereas Illustrator is a vector graphics editor. Both programs can be used for some of the same purposes in some areas, but not all. You can transfer files between the two programs as well. This article will outline the main differences between the two programs.

Top 5 Difference between InDesign and Illustrator

Read the list below to discover the main differences between InDesign and Illustrator:

1. Overview

What is InDesign? It is a desktop publishing and typesetting program that is mainly used by publishers and artists. It can be used to make flyers, posters, magazines and newspapers. It is auto integrated with Adobe Publishing Suite.

What is Illustrator? Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics editor which is used to create and edit existing vector graphics images. It is popular within the animation industry. The most common formats that are supported by Illustrator are EPS, PDF, WMF, SVG and VML. It is auto integrated with Adobe creative cloud, so you can save your work there.

2. What are the programs used for

Adobe InDesign: When it comes to comparing InDesign to Illustrator, one thing that should be noted is that InDesign can be used to handle multiple pages to create master files. It can modify the layout of multiple pages.

Adobe Illustrator: Unlike InDesign, Illustrator uses a mathematical grid to create graphics. It can be used to create logos with the help of built in brushes. The best part is that logos can be manipulated in such a way that they are added to each page of the book that is being made or the brochure that is under development.

3. What both offer

Adobe InDesign: Though there are many similarities between Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, they also have some major differences. InDesign is a modification of PageMaker, which was a program used in the past. InDesign can be used to create content for tablets, which Illustrator cannot do.

Adobe Illustrator: Illustrator is mainly used for generating logos. Illustrator is also used to make sure that logos are consistent in appearance. This program is regarded very highly be design professionals.

4. Features of the programs

Adobe InDesign:

  • PDF comments can be imported.
  • Layout of the files can be altered from the original.
  • The interface has been changed to add a “Properties” panel.
  • The user can add spacing between paragraph styles.

Adobe Illustrator:

  • Color blending is available with freeform gradients.
  • Similar elements can be edited across multiple boards.
  • The toolbar can be customized as per your requirements.
  • You can scale the project and program to fit your screen.

5. Benefits of Both Programs

Adobe InDesign:

  • Increases the usability of documents with each device.
  • Tags are added to pages to help users review them easily.
  • Footnotes can be marked so you can go through each page easily.
  • The project can be published in HTML format as well.

Adobe Illustrator:

  • Used to create pixel designs that have a professional aesthetic.
  • The pixel grids and the paths associated are auto aligned.
  • It offers 3 snap to pixel options.
  • The user has access to 90 million free images.

Best Alternative to Adobe InDesign and Photoshop

If you want to increase productivity, you can also try using PDFelement. It is a great alternative to the programs listed above. It is highly interactive and allows users to achieve the best outcomes when it comes to PDF editing.

PDFelement is used to edit and manipulate PDF files for any type of user. This discounted alternative offers high end features that can perform many of the same tasks as features available in InDesign or Illustrator. The best part is that it is a simple and lightweight program that does not take up a ton of space on your system!

indesign vs illustrator
  • The program is used to open, save, print and markup PDFs.
  • Documents can be approved and signed digitally with this interactive software.
  • The OCR feature can be used to extract text from images.
  • Password protection can be used to ensure that the document is not accessed by a third party.

Tips: how to Import Illustrator Files into InDesign

If you want to know how to import Illustrator files into InDesign follow the process below:

  • 1. Create a multilayered file in Illustrator. Please keep in mind that the Illustrator sub layers cannot be modified in InDesign.
  • 2. Save the file in Illustrator format. The path is "File" > "Save As" > "AI format".
  • 3. In InDesign head over to "File" > "Place". Check the “Import” option in the dialogue box and select the Illustrator file.
  • 4. You can also change the layer visibility in InDesign by using the selection tool.

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Elise Williams

chief Editor

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