Graphic Design Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for Graphic Design professionals, students, and enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I create quite big illustrations with a lot of small complex symbols/icons in it, for example different kinds of servers etc. Some icons/symbols are used multiple times in one illustration. Would it improve the performance of illustrator if I convert those icons to illustrator-symbols and use those ones? From my point of view illustrator would only have to save the location of a reference to a symbol instead of all the details of the icon...

share|improve this question
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'd imagine so, but whether you'd notice the difference is another matter. Sounds like you should be using symbols anyway given your use case.

share|improve this answer

In your case, possibly a little bit.

I use symbols extensively when creating layouts for GUI and I will convert bitmap screenshots and Illustrator objects to symbols for ease of updating dozens of instances. I find it does improve redraw a little for me, but not to the point where I would automatically turn every unique object to a symbol.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.