Bit of a noob question, but I've only recently discovered Illustrator. I've always worked with Photoshop to edit images.

Can anyone tell me the difference between paths created in PSD and paths created in AI? When you've coloured in AI, are these rasterized or are the colours still vectors and the whole finished image can be resized without blurring?

Also I've drawn cartoons in a PSD and wish to get these printed. Would it be easier for me to change the dpi in PSD when printing rather than redraw everything in AI?

  • Hello Jason and welcome! Please try to stick with 1 question per post, so please edit your question to remove one (I recommend removing the second because it's more opinion based as is) May 6, 2016 at 23:51
  • @ZachSaucier it's not really just opinion, there is a definite logical answer depending on how the existing artwork is set up.
    – Cai
    May 6, 2016 at 23:59

2 Answers 2


Short and generalized answer—The paths are the same, the output is different.

There are great explanations of the difference between vector and raster images here:

Slightly longer answer—It depends...

Adobe Illustrator is a vector graphics program. Everything you create in Illustrator is a vector, all of your colors and strokes and shapes are vector (although you can import raster images and use raster effects).

Adobe Photoshop is a raster image editor. It works exclusively with pixels. Paths in Photoshop are vectors, but what is output and what you see is a raster image based on that vector data. They are only vectors inside Photoshop, as soon as you export your image they are no longer vector. You can export an EPS from Photoshop which will retain some of your vector paths, but any fills in those paths will be raster images.

You can save as a Photoshop PDF too (not a regular PDF), which will retain some vector data, but other things will be rasterized (I believe any faux type styles are rasterized, for example).

If you want vector images, create them in Illustrator, not Photoshop.

But, if you already have artwork in Photoshop that was created with paths and shapes, not drawn pixels, you can resize your artwork in Photoshop with no problem.

  • Yes, in essece the difference is that photoshop assumes there to be one pixel grid. Illustrator makes no such assumption.
    – joojaa
    May 7, 2016 at 10:08
  • thanks for the explanations Cai, Joojaa. So in essence, resizing paths is fine, but as soon as you stroke/fill, you are effectively creating a raster image.
    – Jason M
    May 7, 2016 at 18:43

Path remains path. There is no difference between them.

Illustrator can be open the .psd files and works with Photoshop shapes, but the reverse is not true. Photoshop doesn't open (in editable vector) the ai, eps, pdf or any Illustrator file format.

But using the "copy-paste" commands, it works both ways.

  • Thanks Zach, I thought so, just couldn't figure out why paths are included in both products.
    – Jason M
    May 7, 2016 at 18:44

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