The main dilemma of the designer is choosing between two vector editors – the market leaders Corel Draw (.cdr format) and Adobe Illustrator (.ai format):

  • What is the difference between Corel and Adobe graphic editors?
  • Which program for working with vector graphics is more efficient and functional?
  • Which editor is easier to learn to get started soon?

Every beginner is bound to face these questions. There is an epic battle of supporters on professional forums, but there is no universal answer! The choice of a tool for creating vector graphics depends on many factors – from the operating system to the image format.

Let’s look at the details that determine the difference between Illustrator and Corel. 

1 Cross-platform

An important factor is software compatibility with your personal computer’s operating system. Here too, the Illustrator has a crushing advantage over Korel: it runs both on Windows and OS X. The Corel Corporation has repeatedly announced the release of a cross-platform product, and it never went away. Therefore, for users of Apple computers, the choice of vector editor is limited only to Adobe products.

Conclusion: an unqualified victory for Illustrator. 

Which Graphics Editor Is Easier to Master?

2 Functionality

Corel has a convenient interface, an extensive set of brushes and tools for drawing vector graphics, the ability to work simultaneously on multiple pages.

There are also built-in editors for photo and make-up. Editor AI in this sense is less universal – for these tasks uses a set of products of the graphics package Adobe: Photoshop and Indesign, as well as ready-made mockups (

A few tips from professionals:

  • CorelDraw has no problems opening .ai files, and the Illustrator does not perceive the competitor’s .cdr format. But CorelDraw has big problems with PDF-compatibility;
  • For offset printing, choose the Illustrator, otherwise, you may encounter “bugs” that are not visible on the monitor during high-precision printing;
  • Corel is an order of magnitude worse than AI can handle the screening. For the raster images moved in a vector graphics environment, it is necessary to choose a combination of editors from Adobe;
  • But DRAW is preferable for modeling of large-format polygraphy – the big advertising posters and billboards;
  • Corel works faster with laser and inkjet printers, it is ideal for operative polygraphy;