I work in CorelDraw. I also want to learn Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign. I think Illustrator and CorelDraw are similar. Output is same.

But I want to know how is InDesign used? What is the purpose of Adobe InDesign?

  • 1
    Hi Kanchan, thanks for your question. I don't mean to be rude, but have you googled your question before posting it here? Or have you looked at Adobe's InDesign website? We prefer well-researched, thorough questions, so we can give well-researched, thorough answers. Thanks for your understanding! If you have any questions, please see the help center or ping one of us in the Graphic Design Chat once your reputation is sufficient (20). Keep contributing and enjoy the site!
    – Vincent
    Jul 1 '15 at 13:50
  • Actually the longer I think about the question, the less clear the answer become to me. Sure, both are mainly vector based graphic programms, with InDesign focusing on typography and layout and Illustrator focusing on … everything else? I have been working for years with both programs and I know that there is a fundamental difference in the philosophy behind both programs, despite both focusing on vector graphics, yet I can’t really put my finger on it. What I want to say: Maybe the question, isn’t as stupid as it may apear at first, once you look beyond the most obvious answer. Jul 1 '15 at 14:09
  • I have been using Adobe InDesign for more than 15 years. I learnt the programme on my own. I have tried to use Corel draw but its not as user friendly as InDesign. Once you are familiar with the shortcut keys you will find it very easy to use InDesign. I have never come across a software as powerful as InDesign for layout designing. Oct 21 '18 at 3:13

As per the Adobe InDesign website:

InDesign is a page layout tool.

The program allows you to collect graphical (raster and vector) and textual content into a layout, enabling easy multi-page processing and powerful exporting options for both print and digital purposes. And I feel like an Adobe salesman now.

InDesign has powerful tools for easy workflows laying out large amounts of content over multiple pages in a publication. Its text handling tools far outshine those of Photoshop and Illustrator. Since it doesn't embed raster or vector files into its native file, it allows you to use preliminary versions and refresh those with the finals at a later time.

The main difference with Illustrator is that Illustrator is optimised for the creation of vector shapes and, well, illustrations, while InDesign has very limited vector tools but excels at multiple-page layout and handling text.

Illustrator makes you a logo, poster, flyer or maybe folder. InDesign makes you a leaflet or a book.


Put simply:

  • Illustrator is for creating vector graphics, logos and single page layouts.
  • InDesign is for creating single and multi-page layouts using elements created in illustrator/photoshop/corel etc

Yes you are correct that CorelDraw is basically very similar to Illustrator.


You're right that Corel Draw is like Illustrator.

InDesign is for larger, sometimes much larger publications and when combined with other Adobe applications is incredibly robust. A few key features that InDesign provides. I've never used Corel Draw so this is compared to Illustrator but did glance online to see which of these Corel Draw offers and believe my list is accurate. Anyone with additional Corel Draw knowledge is welcome to edit.

There's probably more but these are some of the main ones that come to my mind that make InDesign the program of choice for publishing and differentiate it from a Vector Based Illustration program.

On the other hand there are limits. InDesign doesn't do a very good job with Masking for example, only has basic vector tools, no real Photo tools such as Levels and Curves, and lots of other weaknesses. For the vector illustration and logo stuff you'll continue using Corel Draw (or switch to Illustrator as you mentioned) but for layout it will greatly improve your workflow.

On single page ads you can get away with Illustrator/CorelDraw (or really even Photoshop a lot of times) but once you have a multi-page book (could be 8 pages, could be 500 pages) you'll really appreciate the more robust features InDesign offers

Edit: Per comments CorelDraw unlike Illustrator does have some of those things I listed but not all and those it does have are not as robust as InDesign. So some features you can't get elsewhere such as GREP Support and InCopy, others are just better in a dedicated program.

  • 1
    I'm a little shame of editing your post. So Ill just comment. In Corel Draw you also have data merge, hyperlinks, styles for paragraphs and text. The advanced exported features, is imho relative, becouse also can export in multitude of formats, including html, but I never use it.
    – Rafael
    Jul 1 '15 at 19:15
  • @Rafael that's fair. For advanced export I should've probably been clearer I meant Packaging type of stuff and the ability to create ePubs. I'll edit that to be clearer and change the link to something more related. Is Corel Draw's Data Merge as robust as InDesign's? Perhaps if you know these things you could edit your answer instead to include some of this information.
    – Ryan
    Jul 1 '15 at 19:24
  • 3
    Oh, not as robust. That is probably the main diference (Not only the data merge) Robustness :o)
    – Rafael
    Jul 1 '15 at 19:44

The basic idea

Corel Draw and Ilustrator are mainly for vector based ilustrations. This is very broad, it can be a logo, and icon or inclusive almost photorealistic vector based images.

It can also be used for layout. This is for printed materials, flyers, posters, etc. This can combine photographs, vector based images and text.

On the other hand, the main purpose of InDesign is to make multiple pages layout, like a magazine or a book, based on master pages that contain information on different basic grid designs and styles of titles and paragaphs. This is to make the publication consistent.

Also, the basic workflow of a Layout program (InDesign) is to have the source files linked; mainly Photos and text, so if theese are edited, the changes are reflected inside the publication.

Some history

Historically Ilustrator was not multipage, this is in early versions only handled 1 page.

The program that handled multiple pages was PageMaker. Later Adobe started to make a new program, Indesign.

Corel Draw on the other hand since early versions could handle multiple pages. The company aquired a program called Corel Ventura, to have a speciallized program for multiple pages, but the program did not last for long.

Can I use it for

Corel Draw is suitable to make multipage publications, a small magazine for example, where your articles dosen't extend a lot across multiple pages. In this case, CorelDraw is also a layout program.

But there is a point where the files can get very big, and the program is not very stable to handle them. (I don't go beyond 24-32 pages on a Corel Draw File)

A DPS, Desktop Publishing System or Layout program, like Indesign or Scribus are optimized for this task (multiple pages). Yes you can draw some basic shapes to frame texts, titles, etc, but you don't make elaborated ilustrations on them.

Ilustrator now can use multiple artboards, this way you don't need to make 2 separated files for the front and back faces on a flyer.


So in the design world the main categories to put a program are:

Vector based Corel Draw, Ilustrator, Inkscape, Draw Plus, etc.

Photo Retouching Photoshop, Gimp, PaintShopPro, etc.

Layout Programs InDesign, QuarkXpress, Scribus, Serif Plus, etc.

Other Painting programs (Painter, Photoshop), animation, web layout (Dreamweaver), Photography (Lightroom), 3D modeling, animation and render, video...

We can extend on that topic. You can handle a program to do things beyond the scope of it. But the programs are more speciallized on some tasks.


Almost every graphic you can create in Illustrator, you can create in CorelDRAW and vice-versa. The advantage of CorelDRAW is that the tools permit you working in a speedier fashion, although Illustrator has been catching up on that area on recent iterations.

InDesign is for creating page layouts, and you mostly create professional layouting with it. But regarding images, you normally don't create them with it; it merely works as a "container" for images you create with some other software. If you are used to working with DRAW, you need only to export your vector images as PDF files: InDesign will work with them just fine.


CoralDraw is a very reliable, robust and versatile, package. And don't forget it is well linked with its other image manipulating packages like 'Paintshop' and can handle photo tools like levels, curves, conversion, etc. on the go. It also works well with Inkscape, GIMP and Photoshop..

CorelDraw is created with both, the designer and printer (RGB n CMYK or Offset) in mind.. Good for a single page or screen / poster or multi-page publication. I have not gone beyond a 30 pages file.. The best thing I like about it is its micro-accuracy layer layout ability. Its major drawback is the text format. If you have a Word file document for copy - paste, the text layer becomes unstable and requires more attention.. Better get a Notepad text import or type directly in the text layer of the package.

  • 1
    And what is with InDesign? That is missing, because it was mentioned in the question. Nevertheless, welcome to GD.SE!
    – Mensch
    Apr 1 '16 at 18:39

InDesign is in its starting period. It doesn't allow us full freedom of content writing for anything like magazines, leaflets, books as other applications does and they're more friendly. InDesign is such a nightmare for beginner graphic designers. The only the good thing is layout, master pages and Illustrator support. If I have to create a cover page for my magazine I prefer to go to Photoshop or Corel Draw, for book page maker, Corel Draw and InPage for Arabic and Urdu publications. So suggestions for InDesign please consider this issue with serious note. Do the needful for better performance, we are doing our job with InDesign forcefully. We also could not generate the barcode what InDesign.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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