CorelDraw Vs Adobe Illustrator Comparison

Are you a designer looking for a good vector design software to make pieces for your clients? Vector exporting is an essential component of any graphic design. Professionals need to have a software that can handle the demands of their job while being easy enough to use that you don't lose time.

Two of the top software options for industry professionals are Adobe Illustrator and CorelDraw. These programs are both vector-based and loaded with features for graphic illustrators. But each is optimized for a different type of design work.

I've looked at the functionality and available features of each program to help you determine which is a better option for your business.

Overview of CorelDraw and Adobe Illustrator

Shared Features

  • Sophisticated graphic design software options for professionals.
  • Vector-based illustration systems.
  • Symbol library available.
  • Other resource libraries available.
  • Compatible with Windows operating systems.

Unique CorelDraw Features

  • Optimized for making documents and two-dimensional media.
  • Good for big displays and greeting cards.
  • User-friendly with minimal learning curves for beginners.
  • Available tutorials to learn how to use features.
  • Great for non-Adobe users who don't have other Adobe apps to integrate.
  • Much easier to use and master.

Unique Adobe Illustrator Features

  • Optimized for making many things including maps, logos, illustrations, and packaging designs.
  • Smooth drawing style.
  • Compatibility with the majority of design formats.
  • Motion graphics and video editing applications.
  • Larger number of third party resources.
  • Accurate coloring in print previews.
  • Compatible with both Mac and PC.
  • Made for advanced graphic design.

Ease of Use


CorelDraw has one of the easiest interfaces to use. It does take a little while to get used to all of the features, but there are helpful tips integrated throughout that streamline the process. The CorelDraw software can also be upgraded to the CorelDraw Graphics Suite, which has multiple other programs that allow for things like photo editing.

CorelDraw vs Adobe Illustrator

When you open the software, you'll be given a prompt asking you what type of document you're creating. Some of the available options include:

  • 8.5 by 11 inch standard page size.
  • Web banner.
  • Webpage.
  • Broadsheet.
  • Envelope.
  • Tabloid.
  • Letter.

In addition to these and more, you can set your custom dimensions.

The software is outfitted with multiple resource options, including:

  • Multiple user manuals with guides to optimizing the features.
  • Video tutorials showing how to use different components.
  • Video demonstrations of where to find different features.
  • Community forums with questions, answers, and compiled user resources.

It does still have a learning curve, which means you need to have a background in design before you start using it. As such, it's best optimized for professionals rather than beginners. But it is much easier than several other software options.

Adobe Illustrator

CorelDraw vs Adobe Illustrator

Part of the Adobe Illustrator package are Smart Guides, which are user guides to help you best use the software. There are also online guides. video tutorials, demonstrations, and step-by-step instructions for creating different projects. Adobe gives you access to a "Get Inspired" website section that showcases other creative designs.

Winner: CorelDraw

CorelDraw is outfitted with more tutorials and helpful tips both in the software itself and online. It's made for people with little experience to pick up without a problem.

Types of Media Created


CorelDraw vs Adobe Illustrator

CorelDraw is optimized for two-dimensional documentation. Some of the projects that you can do include:

  • Creating holiday, greeting, thank you, party invitation, and birthday cards.
  • Creating photo composites.
  • Making puzzles out of photos.
  • Creating signs.
  • Creating full screen PDF presentation graphics.
  • Creating unique business brands with imagery and typesets.
  • Creating flyers.
  • Designing mascots.
  • Creating pixel art illustrations.
  • Creating double exposure collages.
  • Testing tattoo designs.

These are just some of the things that you can do. Basically, if it can be printed, you can make it.

Adobe Illustrator

CorelDraw vs Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is optimized for all forms of graphic design. Rather than being focused on document creation, it's more focused on the visual aesthetic without worrying about dimensions.

As such, you have less opportunities to shift the shape of your canvas. However, you can use the software to make:

  • Icons and logos.
  • Sketches and rough designs.
  • Complex illustrations.
  • Typography.
  • Advanced color schemes.

Winner: CorelDraw for print | Adobe for digital

CorelDraw is better designed for creating printed media, while Adobe Illustrator is made for digital rendering. If an element will be displayed on a webpage, Adobe was made for it. But if it's going to be printed and distributed, you want the page design features that are part of CorelDraw.

Key Features


CorelDraw vs Adobe Illustrator

CorelDraw's key features make it an indispensable system for creating two-dimensional graphic design elements. In addition to the usual illustration tools, the software is outfitted with:

  • Cloning tools for selected elements.
  • A font manager for different texts, including search and filter tools.
  • A touch-friendly interface built for tablet pens and touchscreens.
  • Interactive sliders that are easy to find and use.
  • LiveSketch feature.
  • Advanced blurring features.
  • Enhanced vector elements and high-definition previews.
  • The ability to create customized node shapes.
  • Multi-monitor displays.
  • The ability to copy and paste different curve segments.

Adobe Illustrator

CorelDraw vs Adobe Illustrator
  • Ability to save pixelized versions of your vector design.
  • Built-in templates, presets, smart guides, and import and export settings.
  • Magnification, dynamic symbols, transform tool, and the ability to create live shapes.
  • Customizable workspace with the tools you prioritize.
  • Color synchronization.
  • Access to Adobe resources including a full library of stock assets.
  • Enhancements for perspective drawing.
  • Tool for extracting CSS.

The Adobe Illustrator features that set the software apart aren't based so much in the design process itself. Instead, they're about offering multiple resource libraries, presets, templates, enhancements, and export options. All of these things make using the software more convenient, but they won't necessarily improve your design.

Winner: CorelDraw

The CorelDraw software is focused more on creating the best design possible, rather than offering a giant amount of export options and images. While the competition is more convenient for graphic designers who need many formatting options, the CorelDraw focus on sketching and rendering and ease-of-use really shines.

See Full Review of - CorelDraw | Adobe Illustrator

Pros and Cons of CorelDraw


  • The software is excellent for those who are creating graphic designs for any kind of publishable document.
  • There are multiple professional tools and editing features loaded into the system.
  • More than sixty percent of the industry uses it because it's so easy to learn, even for beginners.


  • It doesn't have as many third party integrations, and it also doesn't do well with three-dimensional designs.

Pros and Cons of Adobe Illustrator


  • It's optimized for many different graphic design projects including product packaging design and map design.
  • The software is compatible with all other Adobe products, which many graphic designers and illustrators use for other parts of their work.
  • The professional-grade tools let you design highly specific models for many different industries.


  • It's significantly more difficult to learn - you need a background in art, digital editing, and other software before you can wrap your head around this option.

Final Thoughts: Which is Better?

Both of these options are industry leaders when creating vector format designs. Graphic designers prefer vector formatting because it can be resized to any size without becoming pixelated. Each of these systems will give you clear work that displays properly on any screen.

CorelDraw is the best for those who want an easy program. If you don't have a strong digital art background, you may find yourself floundering with the competition. This program, on the other hand, creates the same professional-grade designs while using learning tools and tutorial tips to help you maximize the features.

Adobe Illustrator is the best choice for hardened industry professionals who tend to take on complex designs for a multitude of different purposes. If your design won't work with traditional two-dimensional documentation, you'll probably have an easier time rendering it in Illustrator. Illustrator also has a higher degree of compatibility with third party products.


Official Top 5 Review Team
Official Top 5 Review Team

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