What is the right Adobe application for a project?


Adobe publishes three applications that all designers must be proficient in. Although there are many similarities between these three programs, each software package has unique features that do not exist in other applications.

When to choose ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR
Illustrator is a vector graphics program best used for creating single images. Primarily used for creating original vector artwork (mathematical instructions for outlines filled with color), you can easily trace over drawings, illustrations, logos, maps, charts or any artwork with hard edges. With some effort, art with gradients and soft edges can also be achieved. There is a powerful graphing function as well as an updated auto-trace feature called "live trace." Vector graphics are sometimes preferred over raster graphics because they can be scaled to any size without losing the integrity of the original art. Freehand and Corel Draw are similar applications.

When to choose ADOBE PHOTOSHOP
Adobe Photoshop is a pixel editing program best used for creating single images. All scanned images are made up of pixels and should be edited in Photoshop before publishing. Photoshop can be used for adjustments of color in photos, or change the entire tone of an image. Photoshop can also crop and re-size images, correct image distortion, sharpen images, and it's great for retouching. There are also many filters that can be applied to images for special effects. Importing artwork from Illustrator and rasterizing it allows for effects and filters to be used to create any desired look. Photoshop is also the industry standard tool for creating pixel elements for web sites. Fireworks has some of the same functions as Photoshop.

When to choose ADOBE INDESIGN
InDesign is a page layout program best used for creating multi-page documents. It is not used for making or editing pictures and illustrations because its strength is its ability to bring together images created in other applications. InDesign also has powerful typesetting and automation tools for managing publications with hundreds of pages (i.e. books and magazines). InDesign is often the last step used in any project, as it is designed to create press-ready PDFs for professional offset printing. Many of the functions of InDesign were stolen from Quark Xpress, another page layout program that used to dominate the industry.