I love Illustrator for graphic design, but for tablet drawing it's a real pain. Why?

  • You can't rotate the artboard like you do in Photoshop. When drawing on real paper it's very natural for me to rotate the paper for making lines in certain directions.

  • When using the pen, you can't see what you are drawing until the shape is done. Sure you see a preview in the layer color, but unless you are drawing on a white background it's not always perfectly visible. The blob brush works well in that aspect but then it's not the right tool for other reasons.

Can you recommend a vector software for mac that has those features?

I just want to be able to draw vectors naturally with my tablet... and I stil haven't found a good option.

  • I'm not aware of any vector tool which allows rotation of the artboard/canvas. Doesn't mean there's not one out there, just that I haven't seen one and I've been shopping quite a bit since Adobe's horrible subscription introduction. Not sure I understand the second point. You can change the layer highlight color in Illustrator.
    – Scott
    Jul 18, 2013 at 16:00
  • @Scott Yes you can change the layer color. That means every time you want to use the pencil over a new color you have to change the layer color... it would be a lot simpler if you could actually see something instead of small dots.
    – Pier
    Jul 18, 2013 at 17:38
  • I absolutely agree. I've submitted a couple feature request.. to allow a global layer highlight color and to improve the pencil preview. No clue when or if those will be implemented though.
    – Scott
    Jul 18, 2013 at 19:32

2 Answers 2


Rather than rotate the canvas, just select everything in the document, rotate it, then continue drawing.

For nicer drawing w/ a tablet, Macromedia Flash started as FutureWave SmartSketch, a drawing tool for Go Corporation's PenPoint (it then became Splash, an animation tool, then was renamed as Flash when Macromedia bought FutureWave) still retains the path features which made drawing in SmartSketch a pleasure.

Another alternative would have been Atebits Scribbles, but it seems to've vanished since the company got bought:



Well it seems the only vector software in the world that does what I want is Toon Boom, an animation software. They have many types of products, I don't know if those features are in all of them.

  • Artboard rotation for natural drawing
  • Visible drawing tools


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