Adobe Illustrator is coming to the iPad

Adobe Illustrator for the iPad. (Photo: Adobe)

After showcasing the new Photoshop for iPad along with a myriad of new and improved products in their Creative Cloud Suite. Adobe showed a preview of Illustrator for iPad coming 2020.

Adobe previewed its vector graphics app for the iPad at Adobe MAX 2019 opening keynote.

Illustrator for iPad is optimised for touch and gestures and supports the Apple Pencil.

The file system will be the same across all Adobe Illustrator apps, so you will be able to start a file on the iPad and continue on the desktop version through Creative Cloud. Adobe is in the process of transforming its programmes into multi-platform apps that work on PC and mobile devices.

Here a few highlights from the demo.

The Pen Tool is reimagined for the iPad. (Photo: Adobe)

Reimagined Pen Tool

With native Apple Pencil support in the iPad, Illustrator’s most integral tool will be easier to use (you can use your fingers too). The Pen Tool on the desktop version requires much skill and experience. On the iPad, the method is simplified for ease of use. Instead of sophisticated mouse and keyboard combinations, you can hold and drag points with the Apple Pencil, to create smooth vector graphics.

Manipulating paths is revised in Illustrator for iPad. Moving a point will no longer warp or distort shapes. Pointers can shift along a line while preserving an object’s shape. If you created too many points, smart delete works by removing extra points from a vector line without affecting the overall vector.

The construction outline tool automatically creates traced lines for imported art. (Photo: Adobe)

Construction outlines

Many designers draw and import art into Illustrator. Illustrator for iPad has a neat feature that makes the process easier. The construction outlines feature negates the need to trace lines on imported photo art. The Image Trace feature in Adobe Illustrator for desktop allows users to take pictures of drawn art or other images and convert them to vector graphics in Illustrator. But instead of manually tracing lines, Illustrator for iPad uses Adobe Sensei to analyse the photos and create traced lines for you. The vectors can then be manipulated to suit the artist’s needs.

Symmetry helps balance art designs. (Photo: Adobe)


One feature in the iPad version that isn’t yet available for desktop is Symmetry. The feature allows users to create mirror images of designs. Perfect for designing complex but cohesive art. In this mode, any changes made on one side of a piece of art is mirrored on the next, eliminating the worry of misaligned parts. Admittedly, this feature will make its way to the desktop soon.

Other features of note

Radial Repeat takes the hassle out of creating more complicated designs. (Photo: Adobe)

Radial and Pattern Repeat – The function takes designs and replicates them repeatedly in circles spaced equally apart. The model can then be manipulated as the user sees fit.

Pattern repeat works in the same way by replicating images and creating patterns than can then be manipulated by the user.