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As a Windows 10 user, I found Inkscape is easier to learn as its commands and menus are intuitive as opposed to Adobe Illustrator.

For instance, in the case of Adobe Illustrator, as a self-learner, a simple copy-paste operation takes several days to learn (actually, I still don't know how to do that). Because, if there are layers, a simple Ctrl+A, Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V wouldn't work.

Why do people use Abobe Illustrator instead of Inkscape?

Is there any special reason?

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  • Why do people drive Ford cars instead of Chevy? Why do people use Windows instead of Mac? Just because you prefer Inkscape and find it easier to learn, that doesn't mean everyone will. And.... Illustrator was around for decades before Inkscape was a thought in someone's head.
    – Scott
    Apr 6 at 21:00
  • Use ctrl+F i stead of ctrl+V and change the layer option to paste remembers layers.
    – joojaa
    Apr 6 at 21:01
  • @Scott, isn't it rather why do people drive Lamborghini instead of Trabant? Nah, that's exaggerated, but for professional print use Inkscape just isn't there yet. Lack of proper CMYK support, spot colors and color management in general is a major deal-breaker when it comes to print. Another reason is Illustrator's seamless (sort of) integration with other Adobe applications. Typography also seems limited in Inkscape, although I must admit I've never dived deep into it. Does it even have styles?
    – Wolff
    Apr 6 at 21:15
  • @Wolff perhap McNugget v Coq Au Vin? :)
    – Scott
    Apr 6 at 21:25
  • @Scott, not quite "decades" - only 15 years. Inkscape 2003. Illustrator 1988.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 6 at 21:52

2 Answers 2

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Here is my diferent paroach.

I do not use Illustrator. I could but I do not like how some tools to work.

But Inkscape is not a real competitor in the full scope of work a designer using vector files needs. Especially regarding using CMYK modes, color profiles, and spot inks. The competition in terms of capability is Corel Draw and Affinity Design (I have not used Affinity) but do use Corel.

But probably the 3 main reasons are:

  1. The integration with two other tools that have no real competition, for now, Ps and Indesign. So it is easier to use them together. (I also could mention After effects, but it has some other type of competition)

  2. Users prefer using a tool they already know to experiment with new tools. Free is no reason to switch to Inkscape when your tool and productivity with it pay the bills.

  3. The integration with other users that also use the tool. It is easier to share files with external persons that use the same file format. This is true on almost any monopoly. For example, a social network is more likely to be a monopoly if the users know that other users they know already use it...

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  • It's true that the price could never be a reason for a professional to switch away from Adobe. Just 5 minutes wasted time every day costs more than the Adobe CC subscription. If I were to switch it would either be for emotional/political reasons or if the alternative was significantly better.
    – Wolff
    Apr 6 at 23:41
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There is no clear one-answer-fits-all, but for me it is:

  1. The usage ergonomics of Illustrator's snap functions are better. Yes, they are overzealously configured by default. *

    Grid snap works differently, and ties to arrow key nudging.

  2. Illustrator is built on EPS and then from that on PDF, and not SVG. This is a really big deal if you ever intend to publish your stuff on paper.

    Basically this allows you to work with spot colors and CMYK. It's tied to Adobe's color management engine.

    This also makes Illustrator a much better general vector tool for salvaging stuff from other documents. Though something has to be said about using Inkscape to remove DRM.

  3. Shape builder.

  4. Easier handling of multiple objects nodes at the same time.

  5. Illustrator files can be linked to InDesign and After Effects in a way that Inkscape cannot. This is a huge deal for several industries. Illustrator also works seamlessly with Photoshop but that's often less of an issue.

  6. Adobe's font engine.

  7. Appearance stack.

Note: The functions 1-4 are the only things I ultimately care of.

But yes, Illustrator is needlessly hard to learn. Mostly because Adobe wants to justify their new features and hide the old ones. Forgetting that you cannot actually do anything in Illustrator if you don't learn to use features that have existed since the 1990s.

So to effectively learn Illustrator you need to start by rearranging the GUI, and disabling two features and learning to avoid using the black arrow tool.

But at the end of the day you can't judge an application with a few weeks of usage. I mean I use Inkscape every 6 or 7 days, its passable. But wouldn't rely on it.

* Designing good snapping is hard because there are contradicting requirements. The defaults are OK if you want to use Illustrator as PowerPoint but really...

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  • I dobt even like illustrator, its ok. Its just that i can not find a single vector app that can substitute illustrator as my minimum requirement is pretty fixed. Ive been looking to get rid of illustrator for 15 years now but nothing ticks the boxes i need ticked.
    – joojaa
    Apr 6 at 21:33
  • Ditto.. @joojaa
    – Scott
    Apr 6 at 22:01
  • @joojaa, that comment is important to note. When professionals recommend using Adobe's applications, some people seem to think it's because they get paid saying it or are part of some kind of brainwashed sect. It's just that Adobe's applications are the best realistic alternative if you want to make money on graphic design. It's not because we don't yearn for something better.
    – Wolff
    Apr 6 at 22:07
  • ... and why Adobe should be investigated for anti-trust in my opinion. They are blackmailing users based upon their effective monopoly on the industry.
    – Scott
    Apr 6 at 22:10

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