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New Illustrator CC updates (Jan 2014)
By Jason McConnell on Jan, 19 2014

Yesterday Adobe delivered new updates for some of its CC products including Illustrator.

Illustrator, now at version 17.1, was given several very useful features and if you are an Adobe Creative Cloud subscriber all you have to do is open the Adobe Creative Cloud app and under the Apps tab install the updates.

Full new feature list here.

Illustrator CC updates Jan-2014


My first impressions:

  • The Pencil Tool update looks useful, with the ability to draw straight lines by holding Alt. Im not sure it really draws different from previous versions even though they say it does. You always had the option of adjusting fidelity and smoothness to change the line detail. They actually have a single Tolerance slider in the Pencil Tool now for Fidelity and they removed the Smoothness slider.

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  • The Path Segment Reshape update is like a combination of the Convert Anchor Point Tool (now called Anchor point tool btw) and the Reshape Tool (which is still there grouped with the scale tool). I like it, i think its a nice addition of functionality to the anchor point tool. Lets you pull and reshape lines more intuitively and its easily accessible when drawing with the pen by holding Alt. Perfect for necklines.

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  • Live Rounded Corners update, looks very much like Astute Graphics Vector Scribe plugins’ Dynamic Corners tool. Absolutely a useful feature to easily and intuitively round corners of your objects. (im not going to say that they stole it from Astute but hey its really really similar)

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  • Fill and Stroke attributes in the Swatches panel, this is a great little addition. You can choose fill or stroke attributes just like in the color panel. It will likely save me from filling the wrong attribute as often as I do now. It does however take up a good half inch of space at the top of the swatches panel.

  • Adjust artboard size from center. Hold Alt to transform artboards from their center when in the Artboard tool. I always wondered why i couldn’t do that before and now I can.

  • Custom Tools panel - You can drag your most common tools into your own custom toolbar. For those who use the tool tear offs this is a nice little feature. As I am writing this I see how this could be useful, showing only the tools that you need to use can clear out the clutter and allow you to have tools from the same group visible at the same time. Maybe not so useful for those who know all of the tool shortcuts though.

  • Typekit integration - Access to over 700 Typekit desktop fonts easily through the interface is nice.

  • Perspective Drawing enhancements - I don’t use the perspective grid feature much because its a bit clunky. I tried testing the new tweaks and it doesn’t appear to be working for me.

  • Settings import and export - nice if you use multiple computers or like to have everyone on your team using the same settings. Perhaps a good feature for training to keep installations the same.

  • Win 8 and hidpi support added.

I didn’t expect to see updates until later in the year so its a nice surprise and ill definitely be using several of them in my day to day work.

Thanks for reading and please feel free to share with friends using the social links on the left. -J