Illustrator: Vector drawing software

The Illustrator software allows you to create and edit drawings and vector paths. 

Illustrator Vectoriel drawing

Definition of Illustrator software

Adobe Illustrator is a software program produced by Adobe Systems and often works with other Adobe software, such as Photoshop, InDesign and After effect, though it doesn’t have to be. Illustrator allows you to create and edit vector drawings, i.e. graphics defined by mathematical curves and not from pixels, as with traditional images (bitmap formats).

Thus, these graphics have the advantage of not being limited by the working document’s resolution, and they retain their quality regardless of the scale at which they are observed. But they also allow you to precisely guide a tool, and this is why they are commonly used in machining or cutting and laser engraving. 

Illustrator allows you to :

  • Convert a bitmap image into a vector drawing
  • Draw 2D shapes defined by anchor points and their tangents
  • Color 2D shapes with patterns, solids, and gradients
  • Add solid or dotted edges and varied outlines
  • Create texts based on pre-defined drawings or inside shapes
  • Convert shapes and texts into paths, especially to convert lines into drawings
  • Create renderings thanks to tools like halo and perspective grid
  • Export to many vector design formats like SVG

Adobe Illustrator: List of Formats

Adobe Illustrator can import the following formats : 

  • The following image formats : JPEG, JPEG2000, PNG, TARGA, TIFF, BMP
  • The following vector formats : PDF , AutoCAD Interchange, AutoCAD, EPS, SVG, AI

Adobe Illustrator can save in the following formats : 

  • The following save formats : Adobe Illustrator (ai), Illustrator EPS (.eps), Illustrator (.ait), PDF, FXG (fxg), Compressed in SVG (.svgz), SVG (.svg)
  • The following export formats : PNG, BMP, Dessin AutoCAD (.dwg), AutoCAD Interchange (.dxf), Enhanced metafile (.emf), Flash (.swf), JPEG, Macintosh PICT (.pct), Photoshop (psd), TIFF, TARGA, TXT, Windows Metafile (.wmf)

As the vector file has no resolution, it can be adapted to any size, and therefore it is important when exporting to verify that the drawing is at the right scale. Inkscape and Illustrator do not use the same scales, so it is crucial to pay close attention to it. Illustrator works in 72dpi : 72 px = 1 in = 25.4 mm. 

Downloading and Plugins

Adobe Illustrator can be downloaded from the official Adobe website.

  • To obtain data on drawings (length, area, and volume)
  • To optimize drawing placement to reduce the total surface area occupied