Inkscape vs Adobe Illustrator: Know the Difference Before you Try


There’s a lot of confusion on which vector tool is the best in the market right now. Most of you don’t trust the open-source software Inkscape to be the best when compared to Illustrator.

Inkscape vs Adobe illustrator1

When it comes to pricing of the software Inkscape is a clear winner but does that mean it can beat Adobe Illustrator in all other aspects?

Let’s find it out in this Inkscape vs Adobe Illustrator comparison.

Before we get started, I’d like to let you know that Illustrator is the industry standard product when it comes to vector designing software. However, that doesn’t mean Inkscape is all that bad. In fact, Inkscape gives tough competition to Illustrator (paid tool) which most of you cannot afford to pay a monthly fee.

Inkscape vs Illustrator

I’ll divide this comparison into various categories for you to judge on your own which tool will suit you the best.

1. Open Source

Inkscape is an open-source software which means you can make changes in the software according to your personal needs. Unfortunately, you don’t get any such functionalities with Adobe Illustrator.

2. Extensibility

Both the tools are proficient when it comes to features. However, what I like about Inkscape is it gives you all the features that Illustrator has, for completely free.

With Inkscape, you can directly edit the SVG source code, edit nodes and gradients, SVG format support. It also does integrate well with the X11 theme.

No doubt Illustrator is also a tool with a similar set of features but comes with a monthly price. So for anyone who wants to use all the features for free Inkscape is the way to go.

3. Output Files

Illustrator wins in this segment because Inkscape doesn’t have support for CMYK type output files. So if you want to print postcards or leafers, Inkscape wouldn’t be the best beat for you. However,there’s a workaround though which will let you print CMYK output files in Inkscape flawlessly.

If I were you, I wouldn’t pay a monthly price just to print postcards when I can apply the workaround and get my job done with Inkscape at the end of the day.

4. Stability

When it comes to stability Illustrator is unbeatable as Inkscape crashes without any prominent reason. Due to this there are chances that you might lose all your unsaved work.

On the other hand, nothing such an issue will ever happen with Illustrator.

5. User Interface

Both the software are super easy to learn and understand. However, Illustrator’s UI is merely untouchable when it comes to simplicity. Nonetheless, Inkscape is no less but when you compare it edge-to-edge with the industry standard software the free software will have to give up.

6. Memory Usage

As Inkscape is a lightweight software compared to Illustrator, it consumes less CPU memory. However, Inkscape can be slow at startups depending upon how many fonts you have installed in the software it can take up to 1 minute for the software to function correctly.

7. Customer Support

Undoubtedly, Illustrator has fantastic customer support well; you’re paying for everything that you get so nothing extraordinary here. What’s more peculiar is you get a free open forum support with Inkscape where all like-minded people using Inkscape answer your queries. Before you ask the question in most of the cases, the query is already answered in the forum.

Both the tools are winners in this category.

8. Pricing

Inkscape is a clear winner in this category as it’s a free open-source software. On the other side, with Illustrator you need to pay $19.99/mo.

$19.99/mo can be a lot for anyone who is just starting out with graphic designing as their career.

Final Verdict: Adobe Illustrator vs Inkscape

I’d say it’s not the tools that matter; it’s the person using the tools that matters. Use both the tools if you can and figure out which one suits you better. If you feel Inkscape is the sharp knife you need to create stunning vector images go with it and don’t worry what others are using.

However, if you’re comfortable with Illustrator and are ready to pay a monthly fee you’d simply love it.

For everyone else who is just starting out I’d suggest getting your hands dirty with Inkscape, and when you have enough experience if needed, you can move over to Illustrator.

I hope this comparison between Illustrator and Inkscape gave you the answer you were looking for. If you still have any further doubts in choosing the best vector software ping us down in the comments below.



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