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Switching from Adobe Ideas to Adobe Illustrator Draw (Part 1)

Blair Rorani posted this on 09 October 2014 #pictures

At Adobe's Max conference, they launched a number of new mobile design apps. Their plan seems to be to allow people to create on their mobile devices, sync their work to Adobe’s creative cloud, and then refine their work in their desktop apps (like Illustrator and Photoshop) also synced with creative cloud. So it’s basically this Adobe eco system you can plug yourself into.

As a long time user of Adobe Ideas (since version 1.0 in like 2010) I have always appreciated it’s simplicity. To me Ideas is basically a white board. You can change the pen which is nice. You can also use layers to give yourself more flexibility with what you draw. From there you have lots of options to share your work. Brilliant.

With the launch of Adobe Illustrator Draw (or just Adobe Draw, or Draw as I like to call it) it seems like they are phasing out Ideas. From the Draw FAQs on the Adobe website:

Why did Adobe replace Ideas with Draw?
We wanted to modernize Ideas and provide a consistent experience across our mobile drawing apps. For current Ideas customers, Draw offers the core drawing elements and favorite tools and controls from Ideas, but adds a number of new features. Learn more on the Adobe Illustrator Draw product page.

So if you already love Ideas and plan to make the switch to Draw then you’ll need this switching guide. It compares how to access the Ideas features with how to access the new Draw features.

Note: Some stuff is hard to find so you should probably read on.

(If you’re thinking of learning how to use Ideas or Draw from scratch then this post won’t be super helpful. This post assumes you’ve already got the hang of Ideas. If you’re just getting started the look out of our Ideas / Draw online course. Coming soon.)

Here goes part 1 of our switching guide.


Ideas Draw
On main panel, tap pencil icon to use. Tap bottom-left corner to change brush type. On main panel, tap (what is that shape?) icon to use. Tap again to change brush type.


Ideas Draw
On main panel, tap eraser icon. Tap brush icon > Select eraser.


Ideas Draw
On main panel, tap hand icon. On canvas, tap and hold two fingers and wait for orange pan indicator to flash. On canvas, pinch to zoom in and out.

Scale and rotate

Ideas Draw
On main panel, tap bottom-left corner of hand icon > Select scale and rotate. On main panel, tap layers > Select layer to scale and rotate > Tap ellipses > Tap scale and rotate icon > Tap OK or Cancel.

Undo / Redo

Ideas Draw
On main panel, tap arrow icons. On canvas, swipe with two fingers left to undo. Swipe with two finger right to redo.


  • Sometimes Draw mistakes a pinch to zoom with an undo / redo. Make sure you do a little pause before you swipe or pinch.
  • There doesn’t seem to be an undo for scale and rotate. I guess that’s because they have Ok and Cancel options.


Ideas Draw
On main panel, tap size icon and swipe up or down. Same.


Ideas Draw
On main panel, tap opacity icon and swipe up or down. Same.

Whoa there cowboy

We thought we’d break it up a bit so you can get your head (well your fingers) around these changes. Stay tuned for Part 2: Color.

If you've got any questions about switching, tweet @everlearningnow.

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