Photoshop, Illustrator or Indesign Which one do I use?

What is the difference between Photoshop, Illustrator and Indesign? In this article we explain to you what these three editing programs are designed to do and we help you choose the one that best suits your use.

The three programs allow to create designs but Photoshop uses pixels to do it, Illustrator uses vectors and Indesign allows you to create layouts. These 3 tools complement each other. For example, you can modify an image with Photoshop, a logo in Illustrator, and then use it in Indesign to create any type of publication.

Photoshop vs Illustrator vs Indesign - PCG Barcelona

For: photographic retouching, creation of gifs, web material such as banners, images, headers, and also for social networks, etc.

We start with the best known, especially for photo retouching, it allows all kinds of adjustments from the most basic, such as brightness and contrast, to different sorts of effects. Although it was created for that purpose, they have added other functions such as options in 3D effect.

It is very useful to create images for a website that needs small file sizes, it allows to scale, change size, resolution, etc. You even have the option to save for web where you can adapt the size and weight of the image to your needs.

It is not the best to create flyers or cards or any other product that will be printed. Although you have the vectors or text option, Photoshop works with pixels and the result may not be optimal, especially for thin lines or fonts.

Neither does it offer the possibility of creating several pages so it won’t allow the creation of books or magazines, even though it does help it. But it does offer a layer system that allows you to have a clear and separate order of each element of the composition.

There are several ways to make selections within an image, quick selection, select a shape (rectangular or elliptical) or loop, as well as selecting by color range.

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Settings in Photoshop - PCG Barcelona


Sizing in Photoshop - PCG Barcelona

Image size

Layers in Photoshop - PCG Barcelona
Selection in Photoshop - PCG Barcelona



For: illustrations, vector images, logos, icons, etc.

Its biggest advantage is the possibility of creating vector images, images the size of which can be enlarged and reduced without changing their quality.

One of the most useful tools to draw is the pen, which allows you to draw, in a very precise way, and then make the necessary modifications without losing quality.

Another interesting thing it allows you to do is to create contours, a text can be outlined and it will be a drawing which can be modified just like a design made with a pen.

To create illustrations with repeating patterns, the move option can be useful. It allows you to move or copy an element at a set distance, as many times as you want and with that same distance between each copy.

Finally, the pathfinder menu, allows you to combine several elements in different ways. For example with “Merge”, two or more elements become a single one, with “Exclude”, overlapping areas become transparent.

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Pen in Illustrator - PCG Barcelona


Outline text in Illustrator - PCG Barcelona
Outline text
Transform in Illustrator - PCG Barcelona


Pathfinder in Illustrator - PCG Barcelona



For: books, notebooks, diaries …

It is convenient for jobs with different or many pages. Also to lay out books or magazines that include text and images.

Insert an image by creating a frame where you can place it, then go to “File> Place” and select the file that you want. This file will be in “Links” and must always be in the same folder or embedded in the file so that it remains available.

When you are creating a design it’s good to see the lines that delimit it and the grid lines but seeing the final result in Preview is necessary, for that go to “Screen Mode> Preview”.

A master page is like a background that can be applied to several pages, for example, the days of the week in a calendar, can be applied to the 12 pages, one for each month, but not to other pages where there is no calendar.

The versatility in layout for text is very extensive, you can modify all kinds of features for typography and paragraphs, such as line spacing, Kerning (distance between letters), vertical or horizontal scale of the letter and many other things.

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Fonts in InDesign - PCG Barcelona


Master Page in InDesign - PCG Barcelona
Master page
Screen Mode in InDesign - PCG Barcelona

Screen mode

Insert Image in InDesign - PCG Barcelona

Insert image

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