As I've seen several people do as well, I am constantly switching back and forth between illustrator and photoshop. Illustrator, IMO, is much easier to work with when creating graphics (as far as strokes, type, live color, etc.) and photoshop proves to be necessary for editing rasterized images - clearing background, cropping, etc.

I've had the hardest time when trying to create ONE file, but using both programs. And sometimes, when I save a file from illustrator for my blog, it is a little blurry. What's the deal? Anyone have a simple (grandmaw-ish) overarching explanation for this? I could detail all the issues I have, but I figured that a guru would already know exactly what I'm referring to.

Please discuss/comment if you're in the same boat!

  • Why do you feel you need a single file? 99.5% of the projets I do are not "single file" projects and often include Photoshop and Illustrator files, if not Indesign files as well.
    – Scott
    Mar 27, 2013 at 20:30
  • @Scott right and I agree. I guess I just need to learn best practice for switching between the two (or three) without sacrificing image quality. Any tips? I seem to have the biggest struggle with illustrator messing up my pics. Sometimes snapping to pixel helps....
    – Brighton
    Apr 11, 2013 at 17:35

2 Answers 2


Short answer: (I'll try to come back later and edit it with details)

Illustrator is for Vector stuff, Photoshop is for Raster stuff...


1 - If you are using Illustration as the final software to save a raster image make sure you check the "Align New Objects to Pixel Grid" when creating a new file.

If you have an existing file with shapes n stuff in it you can find that option later in the "Transform" Panel: "Align To Pixel Grid" (you'll find this option in the Transform Panel only if you click the little poiting down arrow, upper right and check the "Show Options")

2 - If you save stuff for your blog, you are probably saving as jpg or png, that is a raster image, not a vector, if you can, and it works in your case try the .svg file extension, works on the web and its vectors, sometimes even smaller in filesize than .jpg

3 - Try and move(copy/paste) everything to Photoshop as a Smart Object and Save from there, if it doesn't work as Smart Object try as Pixels... play around :)

  • ok yes to save you, I know this much!! I'm trying to AVOID smart object... (thank you though!)
    – Brighton
    Mar 27, 2013 at 0:33

I would probably avoid going back and forth from one software to another. As a designer, I predesign my work in photoshop—sort of laying out my ideas first. Then I go back to illustrator where I create the type (logos) and headline text because I have so much more control in illustrator. I also create my basic shapes in illustrator. For example, I do children's illustrations. I copy and paste all of this from illustrator into photoshop. If your ultimate goal is to have something on the web, then you should create the final in photoshop and add elements from illustrator and same as a jpeg. If you goal is to print a file, then you should always create either in InDesign, bringing Photoshop files and Illustrator files into InDesign or Illustrator. Hope this helps.


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