For over a decade, Illustrator has been the leading program when it comes to vector editing and let’s admit it still is right this very moment. Initially the Adobe developers  had no idea what the user wanted but fortunately they made a plug-in platform so that anybody could build plug-ins either for Photoshop or for llustrator.

10 Popular Free Plugins And Shareware for Adobe Illustrator
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As a consequence, there has been hundreds of plug-ins build for those two programs. Nowadays, in this new version of Adobe Illustrator (CS5 or even CS4), one can find almost all the functions that plug-ins  had offered in the early days: the Adobe team made the best of this system.


However, there are some plug-ins that you still need. Some of them are free. Some of them you have to pay for but they worth all the money especially if you use Illustrator for a living.


The installation process is simple. You just need to download the plug-in archive (if it is archived), unzip or unrar it and copy the .aip file or files to the Illustrator Plug-ins folder. On my machine that path to the plug-in folder is “C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS3\Plug-ins\” , on PC as you probably guested. The path may vary depending on your Illustrator version and the place where you’ve installed it. After that you just have to open illustrator and see what new and enjoy and don’t forget to check out these nice free illustrator scripts.

Here are the plug-ins:

Select Menu Plugin Ver. 11 – Free Download

This Plug-Ins adds 18 additional object types under Illustrator’s Select > Object menu. Therefore you can select objects such as: guides, open paths, closed paths, unfilled paths, stroked paths, unstroked paths, dashed paths, undashed paths, compound paths, groups, and so on in just a few mouse clicks. It is very handfull for example when you are preparing illustrations to sell them on stock vector images sites. It especially comes in handy after flattening transparency, such as when you export objects to an older version of Illustrator. If you have a PC the plug-in is available for Illustrator CS, CS2 and CS3 or if you have a Mac for Illustrator CS, CS2, CS3 and CS4.

Select Menu Plugin Ver. 11

Graffix Path Area – Free Download

Useful if you want to calculate the length (or area) of a Illustrator paths. If you want to make a illuminated signs from a special material and you want estimate the needed material or if you want to calculate the area of a path that will be filled with other materials, this filter is ideal. You can download the plug-in for PC or for Mac.

Graffix Path Area

EskoArtwork Data Exchange Plug-in – Free Download

If you use ArtiosCAD for packaging design you surely gonna need this. With this you program can can open and place native ArtiosCAD files in Illustrator without any file conversion. Also with the the ArtiosCAD export function you can write ArtiosCAD files from Illustrator or you can paste Illustrator objects directly into ArtiosCAD, including their line type properties. These line type properties can be assigned in Illustrator by using the ArtiosCAD line type swatch library. you can Therefore you can select objects such as: guides, open paths, closed paths, unfilled paths, stroked paths, groups, and so on in just a few mouse clicks.

EskoArtwork Data Exchange Plug-in

Graffix Arrowheads – Free Download

Creates arrowheads on the end of an open path. Will optionally create a white halo behind it so it stands out from the background. This is great when you need to show the dimensions of on object in Illustrator to a client. However, there is no need for this plug-in if you use Adobe Illustrator CS5 because the new Illustrator has a similar function called Beautiful Strokes. This plug-in is available for PC – Illustrator CS, CS2, CS3 and Mac – Illustrator CS2 and CS3.

Graffix Arrowheads

BetterHandles 1.4 – Free Download (Limited)

This Adobe Illustrator plug-in is a handy tool that can help you create and edit bezier curve handles.
The BetterHandles Adobe Illustrator plug-in is a handy tool that can help you create and edit bezier curve handles. BetterHandles also features a simple user interface that makes it easy to get professional results quickly.

BetterHandles 1.4

CADtools 7.0 – Shareware Download

It is generally known that you can do almost anything with the newest design programs but the main problem remains the compatibility. There are huge problems when designing architectural brochures in Illustrator and sometimes you need a software like CADtools. With this plug-in you can draw in any scale, edit and dimension artwork with a mouse click, and numerically control objects or points. Click and drag with 67 tools to make design work easy and elegant showing measurement values and anything a engineer or architect wants. You can give it a try, it worth all the money.

CADtools 7.0

Xtream Path 1.2 – Shareware Download

Drag, stretch, push and pull….you can do a lot with paths using Xtream Path! You no longer have to be constrained to control points when editing paths. It allows you to drag anywhere on a path and edit only the exact location you want. You have a lot of tools such us path insert tool, oval fillet, bevel corner and more. Just give it a try.

Xtream Path 1.2

Fold Up 3D – Shareware Download

This is the most powerful program for creating packaging design. It is as simple as snapping your fingers. Just Import a Template (or Design your Own) then fold it up to see what the final shape looks like. Rotate the folded shape to see it from different perspectives and save it.

Fold Up 3D

Artlandia SymmetryWorks – Shareware Download

Artlandia SymmetryWorks is a plug-in for making repeat patterns in Adobe Illustrator. Whether you are an expert or just an amateur designer you can create pattern designs a hundred times faster, better, and more imaginatively. This is the tool of choice for surface and textile designers, interior decorators, stationery developers, web designers, illustrators, sculptors, fine artists, and everyone who creates patterns.

Artlandia SymmetryWorks

Phantasm CS Publisher – Shareware Download

When working in Illustrator, have you ever thought that it would be nice to have Photoshop-type color adjustments? How about adding a few Acrobat prepress features? Well then, Phantasm CS is the plug-in for you. Some of the main features of this tool are: Filters and live Effects color adjustment; Duotones and vector Halftones; Color checking and separations including Pantome Colors in raster or vector objects; In-line embedded image editing and so on. This tool is the most widely used plug-in for Illustrator, if you don’t have it already you should give it a try.

Phantasm CS Publisher

Posted by brantwilson

Brant Wilson is a staff writer for the DesignMag network. Brant enjoys all things design and development, dogs, and candy. Brant is passionate about training freelancers. Learn how you can earn $125+ freelancing. Start learning for free now! Connect with Brant on google+

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