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  • Writer's pictureJasmine Abuan

Adobe Illustrator for the iPad

Adobe has just released one of its star apps for the iPad. Well, it was actually released last year in October.

Adobe Illustrator is now available for download on the app store. In order to use it, you need to have a creative cloud account. If you already have an account, there is no cost to you. But you don’t have one, you can purchase a plan here. You don’t need to have an Apple pencil to use Illustrator, but it is a lot of fun to use.

When you open the app, you’ll get the usual home screen like you usually do when you open Illustrator for the desktop. You’ll configure your artboard to your liking and press ‘create’. If you’re familiar with Adobe Fresco, you’ll find that the interfaces are very similar.

Let’s get into the features.

Touch shortcut

You might notice a white circle around your artboard when using a tool. That circle works like the command/control, option and shift key. You can use it to adjust any shape or tool. If you’re using an Apple pen, you can alternate the tool behavior by double-tapping, tapping and long pressing.

Common actions

Things like opacity, stroke weight, locking, duplication, arrangement, delete and smart delete can be found on a menu that drops down when you select an object.

Properties menu

The properties menu can be located to the right. From top to bottom are the menus for the layers, properties and precision. Layers display your layers and can show you which layer you’re on. Properties allow you to adjust the object you select. The precision menu has things like grids and guides.


Under the properties menu is the taskbar. You have the combining shapes, arrangement, path refinement, type and repeat tools.

Combine shapes

Combining shapes on the desktop can be a little difficult because you can’t see the changes right away. On the iPad version, the panel already displays the outcome of each option.

Pencil tool

It works just like the desktop version, but not at the same time. The path smoothing option on the iPad makes drawing a breeze. Combined with the Apple pencil? It’s a game changer. It’s just a whole ‘nother experience. The desktop has a similar smoothing experience, but it’s buried somewhere and it’s just easier on the iPad because it’s already there.

Are you going to be using Illustrator for the iPad? Did we miss anything? Let us know what you think!

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