Can You Use Adobe Illustrator With a Normal Mouse?

Adobe Illustrator is a graphic design and illustration application, and so it pairs extremely well with tablet devices and stylus/pen accessories for increased freedom and precision. Most passionate and professional graphic designers and artists will forego their standard mouse for these tools, but can you still use a regular mouse in Adobe Illustrator if it’s your preferred tool or you can’t get a stylus just yet?

You can use a normal mouse with Adobe Illustrator as long as the program is run on an appropriate device that can handle Illustrator’s requirements and is compatible with your mouse of choice. While this is entirely up to personal preference, there are some pros and cons to opting for a standard mouse over alternative tools.

This article will discuss some of the most prominent advantages and disadvantages of using a standard mouse in Illustrator over a stylus/pen or even your fingers. As you read, these pros and cons will help you determine which option suits you and your Illustrator ambitions best.

Pros of Using a Normal Mouse for Adobe Illustrator

Investing in Adobe Illustrator is by no means a small decision, as this is one of the leading programs of its kind and comes at a steady cost.

As a result, you’ll want to make the most of your purchase or subscription, and using the right tool can play a crucial role here. So, what does the standard mouse that people have been using since the sixties have to offer compared to the innovative stylus pen?

The primary benefits of using a normal mouse for Adobe Illustrator include:

  1. Cost
  2. Convenience
  3. Computer compatibility

1. Cost

Undoubtedly the number one advantage of using a mouse over a stylus pen is that they are the more cost-effective option. The standard computer mouse usually costs around $5-$10, while higher-quality options, like a gaming mouse, might cost closer to the $40-$50 range. Even so, this cost is minimal compared to the $70-$100 you’d have to spend on the most popular stylus pens, like the Apple Pen.

While budget-friendly options are available for less than $30, most of these aren’t Smart stylus pens that hook up directly to your device and so, their performance is sometimes on par with using your finger.

2. Convenience

The other pro of using a normal mouse is convenience, in the sense that most people have a cheap mouse lying around their house somewhere. Because of this, you don’t have to wait for a fancy stylus pen to arrive before you can use Adobe Illustrator.

3. Computer Compatibility

The last pro we’ll mention here is computer compatibility. Stylus pens are only compatible with touchscreen computers, versus a standard mouse that can be hooked up to virtually any computer. Since Adobe Illustrator has some hefty program requirements, it isn’t unlikely that you’ve downloaded it on a high-quality laptop or desktop setup. If that’s the case, a mouse might not only be the cheapest and most convenient option, but the only option, especially if you don’t have a touchscreen available.

Cons of Using a Normal Mouse for Adobe Illustrator

While using a normal mouse for Adobe Illustrator is a viable option, there are several reasons why most people opt for a stylus pen instead.

The most significant cons of using a normal mouse for Adobe Illustrator include:

  1. Precision
  2. Freedom/comfort
  3. Tablet compatibility

1. Precision

Whether you have a high-quality gaming mouse or a cheap one you snagged online for a couple of dollars, these tools will rarely be as precise and accurate as a stylus pen. Using one of these accessories allows you to alter your device’s pressure settings along with your own pressure and grip angle, resulting in increased precision that Adobe Illustrator users love.

A mouse is limited by its own design in the sense that your connected device will register each click the same and sometimes even lose information when you’re holding and dragging tools to shade or create detail. This leads to the next con of freedom and comfort.

2. Freedom and Comfort

Ergonomic computer mice exist, but when it comes to drawing on Adobe Illustrator, they can’t match the natural comfort and ease of using a stylus pen. These tools provide the same sense of freedom and comfort you’d get if you were using a pencil to sketch on a piece of paper, whereas a mouse is essentially this block you need to move around and click while hoping its wires don’t hold you back. Even wireless, the feeling just isn’t the same.

3. Tablet Compatibility

Our last con of using a standard mouse is that few are compatible with tablets, which are increasingly becoming the standard tool of digital artists and graphic designers worldwide. For the most part, people agree that tablets are the best device for Adobe Illustrator and therefore, the best accessory to use would be a stylus pen, not a mouse. So, if you intend to use this program regularly on a tablet rather than a computer, a mouse isn’t the ideal option.

Final Thoughts

Graphic designers and artists using Adobe Illustrator on their computers and laptops will be thrilled to know that they can use their pre-owned or cheap mouse in this program.

Still, if you prefer the comfort of a pen, the convenience of a tablet, or want the most precise tool possible, you’ll want to trade in your standard mouse for a stylus pen. The choice is ultimately up to you and what you prefer.

Here’s an article going more into depth on the best mouse for Adobe software.

Hopefully this article has been helpful, enjoy!