Experience What’s New With Illustrator CC
by Wayne Hoang
posted on 10-18-2017
This year, Illustrator celebrates its 30th birthday, and the focus of our newest release is on improving Illustrator’s core experience so designers can easily create stunning graphics. We began improving the experience earlier this year by adding Image Crop to Illustrator, a feature requested by many users over the years. With this release, we continue to enhance the core experience of Illustrator.
New Properties Panel
One of the biggest changes that you’ll notice in this release is an updated Essentials workspace that features a new Properties Panel. This will be the most noticeable change to how you use Illustrator, and once you try it, you’ll simply find it difficult to go back to the old way.
The new Properties Panel shows you the controls you need, when you need them. It organizes all of your panels into one location so you can access them quickly and easily, resulting in a clean, clutter-free workspace.
Take, for instance, when you use the Type Tool to insert a text frame: the Properties Panel automatically displays controls for character attributes so you can change the size, leading, or kerning. If you draw a shape, the Properties Panel shows controls for color or stroke. If you select multiple shapes, the Pathfinder controls show up and give you all the options you need. Whether you’re just getting started with Illustrator or are a seasoned professional, the new Properties Panel is a powerful upgrade to helping you work more efficiently.
We know that new Properties Panel may not be suited for everyone. While we encourage you to try out the new properties panel, you can always revert back to your previous configurations in your workspace. If you miss the old Essentials workspace, you can just select the “Essentials Classic” workspace.
The other feature in Illustrator that we’re excited about is Puppet Warp. Have you ever had a graphic that you wished you could modify just slightly, like repositioning a tail or ever so slightly tilt where a dog is looking? In the past, to change or modify a vector graphic, you would need to select the individual points and move each one to achieve your desired results. The process could be laborious.
With Puppet Warp, you can now transform your vector graphics while maintaining an organic and natural look. You can reposition a character’s limbs or reshape an object. Puppet Warp is not limited to just animate objects, though—it works great on lettering and icons as well. If you just need something to be transformed quickly, Puppet Warp just intuitively knows how you might want the curves to look and redraws the lines.
Color and Variable Fonts
One of the other features that we’re really excited to share is the incorporation of Color and Variable Fonts. With the latest Illustrator CC, you’ll be able to design with beautiful, color typefaces. This means you will be able to design with whole new sets of fonts in Illustrator. When you launch Illustrator, you’ll notice some new fonts you can play with, such as EmojiOne and Trajan Color. These fonts have unique colors, patterns, and gradients that previously could not be used in Illustrator.
We now also support Variable Fonts, an OpenType font format that offers typeface personalization, including properties like weight, width, slant, and optical size. Variable Fonts let you adjust all sorts of custom attributes. While the attributes depend on what font you’re using and what the typographer originally defined, many fonts allow you to control the weight of your type. We’ve bundled a lot of free Variable Fonts with the next installation of Illustrator so you can play with these new customizable fonts.
Lastly, with the latest release of Illustrator CC there’s a lot of behind the scenes performance and stability improvements. From launch to file open, you should notice quicker performance.
There’s much more with the new Illustrator CC release to be excited about. You can always learn more on the “What’s New” page. During the course of the week, we’ll be posting more on the Illustrator Twitter and Facebook account so you can learn about exciting new features like SVG Color Fonts, Variable Fonts, and much more.