Why Is Adobe Illustrator So Hard To Use?

Any graphics designer has worked with Adobe Illustrator at least once. Although each designer has unique skills resulting from their experience and their line of work, many of them have complained about how it can be hard to use Adobe Illustrator. As a result, new or potential graphics designers have wondered why Adobe Illustrator has proven hard to use.

Adobe Illustrator is hard to use since it requires technical skills such as understanding mathematics and statistics. It has also proven hard to use because it’s less preferred to the Photoshop app. However, mastering Illustrator’s basics is easy compared to other apps in its category.

If you’re looking for a beginner friendly graphic design tool, we highly recommend Placeit.net because it’s based on pre-made templates that you customize to your needs. Plus, Placeit gives you full commercial usage rights so you can copyright, trademark, and sell anything you make on their site.

That’s not all, as you still need to know what Illustrator is used for and whether its files are editable on other apps like Photoshop, which you will learn if you read on.

What Makes Adobe Illustrator Hard to Use?

Adobe Illustrator is an image editor that uses vectors which aids in image scaling and rendering. When using the image editor, you’ll be working with lines and geometric forms that are mathematically described. The editing process relies more on your technical skills rather than moving the pieces around until the picture clicks.

Illustrator stands out from others in its category by producing images that have consistent graphics. It’s also easy to grasp the basics and start basic image editing. The images produced through Adobe Illustrator are often used in high-end projects such as electronic displays. Despite the impressive output, Adobe Illustrator has proven harder to use due to the following reasons:

Adobe Illustrator is Barely Used

A large portion of image editing is done using Adobe Photoshop, which has undergone a tremendous upgrade. The dependability of Photoshop and its reliability has caused people to shift focus from Illustrator. Consistent use of an image editor makes one more experienced and familiar with its platform, and the opposite is true.

Adobe Illustrator Requires Technical Skills

As a graphics designer using Adobe Illustrator, you’ll be working with vectors, lines, and geographic forms to edit images. This can be a tasking role where your technical experience would come in handy. The only problem is that other image editors that don’t use vectors are easier to use, causing many people to choose them.  

Adobe Illustrator Requires Artistic Skills

While many may consider Adobe Illustrator as an image editor, which it’s capable of doing anyway, its true potential lies in drawing vector images. As such, artistic skills would help the designer to unlock its full capacity, hence creating better images. Unfortunately, not all graphic designers have the artistic skills to aid them, making it hard to use Illustrator.

What is Adobe Illustrator Used for?

Graphics designers, primarily the novice, often have a hard time describing the work of Adobe Illustrator. To many, the software helps with image editing, but it has different purposes. Firstly, the software’s strength lies in drawing vector images than editing images.

Also, the software is also applied to different projects rather than manipulating existing images. Here are some projects you can handle using Adobe Illustrator:

  • Creating logos – Adobe Illustrator aids in creating business logos from scratch
  • Typography – this project is perfect for a typography project you can use on printed material
  • Drawings – if your project requires unique drawings, then Adobe Illustrator is the software for you
  • Icons – icons should be unique, and you can save them as PSD for later editing using Photoshop

Once you’ve mastered the software and are comfortable working on multiple projects, you’ll be amazed at how much you can do as a graphics designer using Adobe Illustrator.

Can you Edit Adobe Illustrator Files on Photoshop?

Adobe Illustrator files are editable using Photoshop, which helps designers to utilize the two powerful software. However, there are some steps you need to follow to achieve this, as attempting to open the AI project could prove unfruitful.

Here are some ways you can accomplish this task:

Exporting as a .PSD File

Many designers don’t know that they can export their Adobe Illustrator files as. PSD, which Photoshop can open. To manage this, you need to follow this route: Files > Export as > Photoshop (PSD).

Copy and Paste as Smart Objects

After you’re done working on your Illustrator project, you can go ahead and copy the files and choose Smart Objects when pasting on Photoshop.

The two methods help you to work on the same project using different platforms while still maintaining the image quality.


Adobe Illustrator is a valuable tool for graphics designers, provided they know how to use it. It’s categorized as hard-to-use software since it utilizes vectors to edit images. It also requires artistic and technical skills to unlock its full potential. You can open Illustrator files on Photoshop by exporting as. PSD files or by copy-paste as Smart Objects.