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Difference between Photoshop and Illustrator

What is the difference between Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator?

Can they both do everything the other one does?
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Tom Knowlton
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Tom Knowlton
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Jason ThompsonSenior UX DesignerCommented:
In a nutshell, Photoshop is designed to create and edit bitmap graphics, while Illustrator is designed to create and edit vector graphics.

As more features get added to each of these programs, the lines begin to blur a bit, but their core purpose remain the same.  For example, newer versions of Photoshop has a few limited vector drawing tools and can import and retain vector formatted images without converting them to bitmaps.  Illustrator can import bitmap files and incorporate them in designs, but has very limited ability to edit these bitmaps.

In other words, they are still both very separate and specialized software packages, and I don't see them merging anytime soon.

I hope this helps.
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Tom KnowltonWeb developerAuthor Commented:
I don't really understand the difference between bitmap and vector graphics.

Don't vector graphics retain their "crispness" as they resize, versus bitmap images get distorted?
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Jason ThompsonSenior UX DesignerCommented:
We covered the differences between vector and bitmap graphics a bit in your other question, but maybe a visual is in order.  Try this site for a detailed description and visual representations of the differences:

Vector vs. Bitmap Graphics - an Introductory Guide for Clients and Designers

You are correct that vector graphics are scalable, up or down, with no loss in quality, while bitmap graphics can scale down, but lose quality if scaled up.

Think: bitmap = photos, vector = line art (cartoons).
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