What software is best for coloring cad files (elevations of floorplans)? Most architects I know use Photoshop, but isn’t illustrator more suited for vector files? illustrator defitanly give you more flexibilty and deal with vectors better. However, there is still a fair amount of work ( line weight, etc. ) that must be done in illustrator. illustrator hands down! but pshop is great for giving an image depth (ie soft shadows, blurs, glows, etc.) yes- exactly- but also quite a fan of vectorworks for the ease of the drawing tools, and tha fact you can easily add colour file, image file and all sorts, and update it sometimes more easily. I generally only use illustrator to really polish and finish a presentation drawing, or improve tha graphic sense and make it look less dull, and obviously its also really good for text and fonts Photoshop – JUST FOR IMAGE MANULATION! Illustrator – Vector based work (including drawings), font based worked, and printed board presentation InDesign – for creating books, journals, and magazines illustrator is the program to use…you can bring dwg’s right into it. the layers are presereved [where as if you plot to file to produce an eps, the layers are dissolved and you are left with thousands of lines]…so while drawing in cad you can organize layers depending on linewieghts and then adjust the various layers in illustrator. and the lineweights do carry over, however, some adjustment is usually needed. photoshop is great for added graphics…people, etc. and if you cut out just the image and save it as a png file, you can open it illustrator and just have the image versus a white background as well [if it was a jpg]. I prefer Vectorworks to CAD and find that vectorworks and Illustrator work almost seamlessly together…I will also do renderings in 3d max first and then liven them up in photoshop by giving the renderings more environment, i.e lighting, depth, people, fauna, etc. Is illustrator a new thing for architect? I dont know any architect that uses illustrator. They use mostly cad and photoshop. i’ve found illustrator to be too much a pain in the ass and limited w/ transparencies, filters, etc. what works best for me is manipulating all line work in autocad and then generating a postscipt file to be opened in photoshop. the lineweights are set and when you open the file in photoshop they are isolated on a seperate layer. rasterizing vector work will only loose quality. By working in Illustrator you are able to keep everything in a vector format. Illustrator is very powerful,you just have to spend the time learning it. I also use freehand and any other program that helps me better achieve my end goal with the highest quality possible. Don’t reduce yourself to the programs your comfortable with, rather be willing to learn and explore….coming from the graphic design profession into architecture I am always amazed at the lack of wide software knowledge. Coming into architecture I have used everything from Flash, After Effects, Illustrator, Vectorworks and yes even Corel products…and I have never once felt it to be a negative to know more than one way to skin a cat. Check the following site: Can you achieve the same graphics shown on the left column in illustrator? You can do almost anything, if you are good enough. It’s not good for any pixel modifications, like blurring. But for vectors (and Cad is all vectors), it’s the only way to go. The big advantange over PS is the flexibility. You can easily change things, just click on it and change the color, stroke, fill pattern, etc. Scaling is also a huge advantage, as mentioned. FYI – I know of NO architecture firm that doesn’t use AI. Take a look:http://www.lifeinvector.com/ and if if hasn’t been said, ps file are enormous in size reletive to illustrator. ps is not made for this type of work. ps files will lag on large network printing jobs. Text looks like ass…just like in the decription Pete posted. At predocks we do ps work and then export as hi res jpeg and bring into Illustrator or In Design and do all thest and color fields as vector art in those respective programs. Source.