Adobe Illustrator MAX 2020 release

Adobe Illustrator 2021

Adobe Illustrator 2021 identity by Jade Purple Brown.

By Wayne Hoang

Posted on 10-20-2020

This year marks one of the largest releases Adobe Illustrator has ever seen. We’re talking, of course, about the announcement of Illustrator reimagined for the iPad — and all new capabilities like radial, grid and mirror repeats — but we’re also talking about the core transformations of Illustrator for Desktop, where we have some major updates and exciting new tools to tell you about.

These updates cover four important categories: New Creative Expressions, Cloud Documents, Type Precision, and the All New Design Experience. Let’s dive into the latest updates to Adobe Illustrator that will help you work better, faster, and more creatively.

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New creative expressions — the enhanced Recolor Artwork tool

The Recolor Artwork Tool has been a powerful staple in Adobe Illustrator, letting you quickly alter or swap out colors in your designs. With the updates to this feature, you can now extract full color palettes from source photographs or images, and apply them to your projects with one click. This inspiring enhancement allows you to effortlessly explore different color palettes for your graphics, or if you use stock graphics, lets you quickly match them to the exact color scheme you need.

Work anywhere with Cloud Documents

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This June Illustrator introduced the convenience of the Cloud Documents file format — one that tracks version history and is easy to access from anywhere. But there are more benefits to saving your projects as Cloud Documents. Work seamlessly between Illustrator for Desktop and for the iPad without missing a beat, or revert back to previous versions with ease. Cloud Documents have been built with the latest technology so that they save up to 5x faster, are more reliable, and make it easy to access your work offline and online, anytime.

Craft the perfect design with type precision

We’ve redesigned Illustrator to handle type in a smarter way, resulting in more precision when it comes to placing type in your work.

Working with type in Illustrator has always been defined by the text frame, or the container that it occupies rather than the text itself. Until now designers have had to work around the frame, aligning and snapping objects and other text frames to it rather than to the text itself. Adobe Illustrator now looks beyond the frame and handles text in a smarter, more precise way. Here’s a highlight of what’s new:

Snap objects to Glyph

With the new Glyph Snapping feature, Illustrator will recommend and snap to objects based on key letterform characteristics of your text, like baseline or x-height, so you no longer need to spend time eyeballing the placement of text relative to your other elements when laying out your design.

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Align text to the top, middle or bottom of a frame

It has been one of your most frequently requested features, so we’re thrilled to officially announce Text Align, which gives you the freedom to align text vertically within a frame. Quickly align your text to the top, middle, or bottom of a frame with the touch of a button, found conveniently in the text properties panel.

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Type precision with the align tool

Traditionally, Illustrator’s text alignment tool was limited to the boundaries of the text frame, but with the new enhancement enabled you can now align directly to the text itself. Say goodbye to the restrictions of the frame, now when you bottom align an object and text, you can rest assured that both items will always align correctly, regardless of the size of your text frame.

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Set font size by proxy

Sometimes the precision you need requires font size specifications down to the letterform characteristics. Let your text flow seamlessly between design elements with the new ability to control your font size characteristics based on cap-height, x-height, em-box, or ICF-Box (for Chinese, Japanese, or Korean languages).

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Work better, and faster with Illustrator’s improved design experience

The little things often make the biggest difference. Whether it’s more room to design, being able to preview your work in real-time, or new shortcuts, this release for Illustrator brings with it a slew of new enhancements designed to make your life easier.

Bigger Canvas: 100x more space

Whether you need the room to design to scale or keep all your assets organized in one project, when you start a new document in Document Setup, you can now expand the canvas to increase your document’s working area by 100x, up to more than 5 million square inches of space. Talk about making the logo bigger.

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Real-time drawing & editing: Live preview as you design

Gone are the days of adjusting your objects as outlines while scaling, rotating, or drawing objects, Illustrator now maximizes your computer’s GPU to render your graphics live as you design. With this feature turned on, your objects are rendered fully, even if you’ve applied gradients, effects, or stroke styles.

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Cut & paste artboards

With this handy new time saving feature, you can copy, merge, and save artboards across documents and projects! Select multiple artboards to copy to another open document directly with the paste function, or save your artboards as standalone .artboard files to use or share later. Keep your libraries, icons, and style elements in one document and make collaborating easier than ever.

Skip the layers panel — Unlock an object directly from the artboard

While you can always lock and unlock objects through the Layers Panel, this can be cumbersome when working on large projects with countless layers and artboards. So we’ve made locking and unlocking as simple as right-clicking on the object directly from the artboard. Edit objects on the fly while maintaining the integrity of your locked layers, and avoiding any unintentional edits along the way.

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Bringing these updates to Illustrator has been an important part of our vision to free up more of your time, through tools that compliment and enhance your workflow, so you can focus your time and energy creating, collaborating, and inspiring others through design. We owe a huge thank you to the community for continuing to support and guide us on this journey, and we look forward to seeing the designs you’re inspired to create with the new Adobe Illustrator.

Stream Adobe MAX

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Topics: Adobe MAX, Events, Creativity, Insights & Inspiration, Creative Cloud,

Products: Illustrator,