Third-party Illustrator plugins

8 minute read

Adobe Illustrator has an established third party plugin and extension development community. Plugins add functionality to the industry-standard vector drawing software; some for very specialist purposes such as map making — others, such as Astute Graphics' own plugins, are for a wide variety of creative workflows.

This page lists all current plugins and extensions for Illustrator based on the following criteria:

  1. It has to be a plugin or extension that acts like a full plugin (eg. features a panel or tool). It can not be purely a Script, Action or artwork pack.
  2. It must be actively developed and supported with pages having been updated in 2019 at the latest.
  3. It must be available for Adobe Illustrator CC2019 (which should also be compatible with 2020).
  4. It must be macOS 10.15 Catalina notarized (if available on macOS).
  5. Each entry links to a unique web page (sets with no individual plugin pages are grouped).
  6. No plugin is merely a UI for a wider service (eg. stock art catalogue) or proprietary hardware (eg. driver).

For scripts, please refer to our post Top free must-have scripts, plugins and extensions for Illustrator.

If you want to suggest any additional plugins or extensions that meet the above criteria, or find a broken link or unsupported plugin in the list below, please let us know.

Disclaimer: Astute Graphics is not affiliated with any other third party software developer. All links and resource references are provided "as is". Astute Graphics does not provide assurances of the quality, security or usability of any other software.

Categories

Some plugins cross several categories, but they are only listed once in their perceived primary functional category:

  • 3D and packaging
  • Apparel
  • CAD
  • Color
  • Data visualization
  • Fonts
  • Graphic effects and styles
  • Mapping and cartography
  • Raster images
  • Path and shape editing
  • Patterns
  • Printing and plotting
  • Text
  • Workflow

3D and packaging

Boxshot: Origami

Folds up dielines to 3D objects, then renders or exports them.

ERPA: AiVPack

Create, fold, render and output for 3D packaging.

Esko: Studio

Graphical packaging design and visualisation in 3D.

Esko: Dynamic Content

Dynamically link to external XML data for text, tables, barcodes and registration marks.

Esko: DeskPack

Dynamic Barcodes, Text Recognition (OCR to convert outlined text to editable text), Packaging Preflight, PowerLayout (step and repeat), PowerTrapper (powerful trapping and white underprinting) and Dynamic VDP (create Variable Data Printing jobs on a digital printing press).

Maxon: Cineware for Illustrator

Add and edit 3D objects. Apply your label artwork to 3D packaging or incorporate 3D elements seamlessly into your 2D artwork.

Nimbling: SSR30

Deform your straight shapes to the 30° SSR Axonometry.

Nimbling: ISO 45

Deform your straight shapes to a 45° Isometry.

Ten Agata: EAN13 Barcode Maker

Make EAN(JAN)13 Barcodes directly within Illustrator.

Apparel

Baby Universe: Grading Tools

Adjust and grade each pattern piece by length, distance, angle and point, etc. Plus, set formula to grade with your own rules.

Baby Universe: Seam Allowance Tools

Create complex seam allowances.

Baby Universe: Segment Tools

Measure curves and create notches.

CAD

Baby Universe: BPT-Pro4

Dimensioning, arc, fillet and title block tools.

Baby Universe: EXDXF-Pro

Advanced DXF converting plugin with various import/export options.

HotDoor: CADtools12

Large collection of CAD precision drawing, dimensioning and labelling tools.

rj-graffix: AxoTools

Project orthographic artwork to an axonometric angle you define.

Color

Anastasiy: MagicPicker

Advanced color wheel and color picker.

Anastasiy: MagicTints

Auto-assign colors from one image to another, keeping the original contrast.

Astute Graphics: Phantasm

Apply standard Photoshop-compatible color adjustments including Hue/Saturation, Brightness/Contrast, Curves, Levels, etc. as live effects or filters. Plus, create true vector halftone live effect.

Pantone Connect

Get any Pantone Color into your artwork, with team-ready features.

Data visualization

Datylon: Graph

Create charts, graphs and more with dynamic external data.

Fonts

Anastasiy: DiskFonts

Display fonts from everywhere on disk inside Creative Suite & Cloud.

Extensis: Suitcase Fusion

Font management for individuals and teams.

Fontself

Fontself Maker is an extension for Illustrator CC to quickly turn any lettering into OpenType fonts.

Graphic effects and styles

Astute Graphics: MirrorMe

Instant symmetry; apply symmetry to a layer or selection, see the symmetry effect in real time, mirror existing artwork.

Astute Graphics: Stipplism

Apply live vector stipple effects based on perfect or imperfect dots, or using any artwork symbol.

Astute Graphics: Stylism

Advanced multiple offset path (including open paths), block (long) shadows, graphical UI controls for popular native live effects including drop shadow and transform.

Astute Graphics: Texturino

Apply repeating and non-repeating textures as live effect, import textures into texture library, brush in/out textures (stylus or mouse) and fade objects out with opacity brush (stylus or mouse).

Astute Graphics: WidthScribe

Advanced control of Variable Width Strokes using brushes, "width gradients", multiple width marker selection and numeric control, plus Width Stamp tool for bank note style engraved effects.

CValley: FILTERiT

Live Symbol Path, Live 3D Path, Live Tiling, Live Neon/Border, Live Explosion, Live Trail, Live Trail and Fractalize Effect/Filter.

CValley: Xtream Path 2

Blowing Effect, Smart Rounding Effect/Filter, Live Wallpaper (Crystalline Pattern), Live Blurred Path and Live Rotate Mirror.

MeshTormentor

Creatively and fully control native Gradient Meshes to produce realistic color blends.

Wordshape: Kimbo

Tools included: Mirror, Cut, Tile, Rectangle Cut, Polar Mesh, Rosette, Rose (create floral shapes), Wave (create wiggly lines), Grid (create custom grids), Golden Rectangle, Rhombus, Spike (add spikes to selected paths) and Archimedian Spiral.

Mapping and cartography

Avenza: MAPublisher

Seamlessly integrates more than fifty GIS mapping tools to help you create beautiful maps. Import industry-standard GIS data formats and make crisp, clean maps with all attributes and georeferencing intact.

Esri: ArcGIS Maps

Data-driven maps; find and add geographic content to your work as editable vector layers and high resolution images.

Raster images

Astute Graphics: Rasterino

Interactive image cropping, trim blank image areas, re-link multiple embedded images, in-line editing of embedded images using Photoshop and numerically control resolution.

Path and shape editing

Astute Graphics: ColliderScribe

Advanced shape alignment and collision, rotate to/from paths and space fill (automatic shape fitment).

Astute Graphics: DynamicSketch

Advanced vector sketching tool using stylus inputs including pressure, or mouse speed, to produce editable variable width stroke drawings. Gesture trim to cut/join paths. Preferences to customise functionality.

Astute Graphics: InkScribe

Advanced Pen Tool replacement with comprehensive preferences to define how tool operates, click-drag path reshaping, customisable annotations and panel.

Astute Graphics: SubScribe

Arc by points, orient and straighten objects, hover-click lock and unlock objects, create perpendicular and tangent lines along a segment or path and more.

Astute Graphics: VectorScribe

Dynamic Shapes tool, Dynamic Corners tool, smart point removal brush, extend or retract paths, reposition points along a path, advanced point and handle editing and measure any distance on artboard, path/segment length, curvature.

GuideGuide

Create grids and manipulate guides with a consistent UI.

Nimbling: Clippers

Enhance clipping and arranging objects.

rj-graffix: Cleanup Tool

Make path segments straight or gracefully curved, adjust and align segments to be tangent to their neighbors, move anchor points along the trajectory of their in/out path segment and visually assimilate paths.

rj-graffix: Concatenate

Connect two or more selected paths into one continuous path.

rj-graffix: Cutting Tools

Adds four tools to cut paths in various ways.

rj-graffix: Square Up

Convert a selected path's anchor points to corner points and make segments axis-aligned.

rj-graffix: ToolShed

Collection of path drawing and editing tools and functions including Stabilized Pencil tool, Tangent Arc tool, offset open paths, Latitude Lines and more.

Patterns

Artlandia: SymmetryWorks

Making repeat patterns in Adobe Illustrator, ideal for apparel and textile designers.

Printing and plotting

Astute Graphics: InkQuest

Swap ink channels, ink channel mapping ink coverage rendering, quick separations and overprint white warnings.

Baby Universe: AIPLOT-Pro

Connect Illustrator directly to a plotter (supports HP-GL).

Text

rj-graffix: TextSync

Export text objects to a text file where it can be edited outside of Adobe Illustrator, then imported back into the original text objects.

Workflow

Astute Graphics: Autosaviour

Automatic file save and back-up, plus reminders.

Astute Graphics: DirectPrefs

Draw at angles, set keyboard nudge distance and control guides and grid.

Astute Graphics: FindReplace

Locate or select objects based on visual attributes, select objects in complex artwork, replace any artwork with other artwork and create/save searches.

Astute Graphics: VectorFirstAid

Clean up vector documents (ideal for PDF and CAD import); convert outline text back to editable text, change text-point alignment without text movement, reduce file size by eliminating redundant information, recover resources from old files.

Atomic Lotus: File Merge for AI

Merge multiple AI, EPS, SVG, and/or PDF files into a single document.

Baby Universe: DB Palette

Database to store any image objects and bring them out easily.

HotDoor: Control Plug-ins

ArtLabel (display and label object info), NitPicker (find and select artwork using search criteria), FixPix (control points along paths with custom nudging), TimeSheet (log time), ParticuLayer (control layers by defining layer groups), ArtTags (create and attach terms to artwork) and DocLabel (add customized doc labels).

rj-graffix: Nudge

Precisely adjust the position of art objects, patterns and dashes.

rj-graffix: ServerLock

Warns a user when opening a file on a shared server that's already being edited by another user.

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