Benefits of InDesign over Illustrator

There is no comparison between Illustrator and Indesign. Both of the software target different problems.
On the one hand, Illustrator is a vector graphics software used for creating digital art, comics, drawings, and illustrations, logos, infographics, etc.
Whereas InDesign is used for creating books/ ebooks, newspapers, brochures with large text and paragraphs.

For example, you want to make a comic book. For that, you will need Illustrations. You cannot make those illustrations in InDesign. You will need Illustrator for that. And then, to make the comic book and design its layout like placing the illustrations you made in Ai, numbering the pages, adding character style, para style to the texts, you will use InDesign.

Though they do have some similar features, there are things that both the software can do which is why people compare them. The reason for similar features is-
1) Both are run by Adobe.
2) Users can avoid back and forth between software for the littlest things. Basically, for ease of use.

Before reading the comparison, know that these two are used for two different things. Be clear about when and where to use which software, as it can get confusing. InDesign is not the right software to make illustrations and art. Similarly, you cannot use Illustrator for multi-page documents.

Now let us see some of the features which InDesign has but are not there in Illustrator.

1. Master Page

In InDesign, we can edit numerous pages at once without opening them, which is not the case with Illustrator. But if you want to edit a single page, then Illustrator is also good.

2. Data Merge

Another feature that beats Illustrator when it comes to formatting is Data merge or Mail merge. It can create numerous variations of a document. For example, if you are sending personalized invitation cards to your clients. And you have 15 clients. Instead of putting their names and other details manually on each card.
Instead of doing that, upload a txt file with their names and other things you want to include and merge the data (data source).

You can also preview each card and change the paragraph style, font family, size, etc.
After previewing, merge the data, and you will get different cards with different names. You can also update your data source.
If you want to add more invitees, update your txt file, and their names will also get added to the invitation card.

3. Page Numbering

There is a brilliant feature in InDesign which automatically numbers the page. It is a godsend for people who are in the printing business. You can set up this feature on your master page. Page numbering can be a tedious task if you are doing it manually. Save yourself time by using this feature.

Just add a text box wherever you want to show your page number on the master page. Go to Type => Insert special character, and there you have your Symbols, Markers, Hyphens, click on Markers => current page number.
You can change the settings and add so many elements like character setting, colors, etc.
Automatic page numbering comes in handy when creating documents like books, comics, magazines, etc. This feature is not available in Illustrator.

4. Interactive Pdf

Interactive pdfs are digital pdfs with videos, documents, weblinks, audios, buttons, hyperlinks, bookmarks, checkboxes, etc.
Another feature in which InDesign has the upper hand as Illustrator can only create pdfs and not interactive pdfs. If you are making an interactive pdf in Illustrator, then you will have to use some other software to add interactive buttons. Whereas in InDesign, you can do both. After creating your basic pdf. Click on interactive for pdf, and you will get the options on the right to make an interactive pdf.

5. Share for Review

This feature helps people work together by reviewing and commenting on that particular project. This feature is not available in Ai.

If you click on the share widget, you will get the share for review option. From there, you can copy the link and email it to your clients or teammates. The clients/teammates can see the document, zoom it and give feedback. With options like pin, highlight, draw, replace, and strike-through or comment. And you don’t have to open your email to check or reply to the comments.

You can do that from InDesign only. There is a review option, where you can see the comments and reply too. And do the suggested changes. After doing the changes, you can again go to the share for review and update the link. Your document will update automatically with new changes.

Use InDesign for work that has to be printed. It is more accurate and has more options.


As I said, they are different software that targets things.
I hope you were able to understand the difference between the software and where to use them. These are some of the features that make InDesign different from Illustrator. And if you want to know the disadvantages of InDesign check out this article –

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