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Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is a vector-based drawing and graphic design tool. It is popular with graphic artists, web designers, etc.

Illustrator is often confused with Adobe Photoshop, or thought to be a different version of the same thing. It is not. Photoshop is a bitmap editor, Illustrator is a vector drawing program. For more information see Photoshop vs Illustrator.

Illustrator works by generating curved paths (AKA Bezier curves) connected by anchor points. Shapes, anchor points and other information are stored as part of the file and can be modified at any time. Vector images can be resized without losing quality. These attributes are what make vector-based programs different to bitmap-based programs that store data as individual pixels only.


Illustrator has a long and varied history dating back to 1987. Originally released for the Macintosh, it has intermittently been available on other platforms. It is currently available for Windows and Mac.

The following list shows the major version releases. Note that some versions were released at other times for different platforms.