EASY to learn Vector software for tech drawings, booklets, advice needed.

entatlrg

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 2, 2009
3,376
3
Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
I use Microsoft Publisher extensively for my work, which is doing concept drawings for parts and products, creating instruction manuals, drawing out rough product idea's, Marketing Flyer's just about everything.

Publisher is the only reason I boot my Mac's into Windows .... if I can find an alternative to Publisher I can say goodbye to Windows and use only OS X ...

I need to find easy to learn software for drawing product idea's/concepts, doing booklet layouts, Flyers.

I realize I need to move beyond Publisher and into better 2D and learn 3D software design.

It's almost embarrassing I do this for a living, communicating with Engineers who send me back complicated, beautiful 2D and 3D drawings from the very rough PDF's I send them ....

My problem is finding time to learn new software, but it's time now. I need to find something that will do everything I need it to do, plus be extremely easy to learn, and better yet have video tutorials so I can get a fast and smooth start.

Experts, any suggestions greatly welcomed. Coming from Publisher it feels like I'm starting from scratch when I research all the available software. Publisher has been VERY easy to use yet it did most of what I needed to do, but it's too simplistic considering the drawings I could be doing maybe in google sketchup or something ... however that's drawing software only, not suitable for simple 8 page manuals, flyers ... it's a big software world in this area and I'm lost.
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,454
2,415
Sunny, Southern California
Since you mentioned books and tech drawnings... what about moving up to Illustrator and or Indesign? Yes there is a learning curve. If you don't want to move up to Indesign, they are some plugins for Illustrator that allows you to create multipage layouts.

It isn't free thou.
 

design-is

macrumors 65816
Oct 17, 2007
1,219
1
London / U.K.
Indeed, as said above, Illustrator (for illustration) and InDesign (for page layout) are a good option for you. Adobe really have the monopoly in professional design and creative software. It is however costly. But if this is what you do for a living, then you should be able to cover that cost easily. Buying a 'Creative Suite' package is probably your best bet, getting Photoshop (image editing) bundled in (you will probably wonder how you lived without it).

QuarkXpress is the only real competitor to InDesign in professional layout design. But I've always prefered InDesign for number of reasons that I won't go into here - this thread isn't about that old debate :rolleyes:

There are a number of free or cheaper options, but they aren't as good, and if you are in this as a profession, then it's probably about time you learn the 'professional grade' applications.

However, it should always be said that software won't make you better, it will just allow you to do things more easily :)

Hope that helps! Let us know how you get on / what you decide!

/Doug
 

entatlrg

macrumors 68040
Original poster
Mar 2, 2009
3,376
3
Waterloo & Georgian Bay, Canada
Thanks very much for the input.

I'm going to try Illustrator. I've known a long time that's what I should of been doing instead of limping along with Publisher. I'm a busy person and resist the learning curve.

My last question is whether to by the Mac or PC version. I have Win7 loaded on my computer as well, use it about 30% of the time. So I could go either way, I thought I read the Windows version was better for some reason.

That probably wasn't the best question to ask on a Mac forum :)
 

covisio

macrumors 6502
Aug 22, 2007
283
20
UK
There are professional technical illustration packages specifically designed for creating drawings for instruction manuals, parts catalogues and so on.
IsoDraw is the pro choice, Corel also do Technical Designer Suite X, and there are others. Google 'technical illustration software' and see what comes up.
Sorry, but the above two products are Windows only, unfortunately you will typically find that products in this niche usually are.

Alternatives are any of the vector programs: Illustrator, EasyDraw, etc.

An ex-colleague of mine currently works for a successful company that creates - get this - instruction manuals for ships and oil rigs - yes, they need instruction manuals. Last time I spoke to him, they were doing all the diagrams in Illustrator and using Quark to create the books.
 

rhett7660

macrumors G5
Jan 9, 2008
12,454
2,415
Sunny, Southern California
There are professional technical illustration packages specifically designed for creating drawings for instruction manuals, parts catalogues and so on.
IsoDraw is the pro choice, Corel also do Technical Designer Suite X, and there are others. Google 'technical illustration software' and see what comes up.
Sorry, but the above two products are Windows only, unfortunately you will typically find that products in this niche usually are.

Alternatives are any of the vector programs: Illustrator, EasyDraw, etc.

An ex-colleague of mine currently works for a successful company that creates - get this - instruction manuals for ships and oil rigs - yes, they need instruction manuals. Last time I spoke to him, they were doing all the diagrams in Illustrator and using Quark to create the books.
That is funny..... I don't know why, but that is to me. Hmmm wonder what that button does...looks in manual... ohhhhh starts the engine. Doh. Sorry.

Quark is another good product. I have heard the newest version is very nice. But then again keep in mind there is a learning curve with all the programs mentioned above. Good luck.
 
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