Adobe Changes Everything

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Illustrator

Illustrator CS adds quite a few high-level features to its already extensive list of abilities.

Scribble Effect: One new feature is Scribble Effect, which is useful for making vector artwork that looks hand-drawn. The feature adds texture to your designs. You can control how far the scribble appears outside the lines of the original shape, and you can use these irregular shapes as image masks. Blending two scribbled shapes into a SWF file can also cause jumpy animation.

Type Enhancements: Illustrator CS borrows from InDesign and adds many improvements to its type capabilities, including a redesigned text engine. Illustrator now has character and paragraph styles, which help you retain consistent formatting and save time by applying a series of attributes to characters and words with a click of the mouse.

Illustrator CS now has advanced support for OpenType fonts and includes more than 100 such fonts. Styles can use OpenType font options such as ordinals, fractions, and discretionary ligatures, and the new Glyphs palette provides easy access to all of a font's glyphs.

Two new features help you reduce the time it takes to manually kern type. Optical Kerning analyzes words, lines, or paragraphs to determine the ideal spacing between characters of different fonts and sizes. Optical Margin Alignment shifts punctuation such as quotation marks and hyphens at the beginnings and endings of lines to make them look more even.

Better PDF Support: Illustrator CS supports Acrobat 6 and the Adobe PDF 1.5 format. It also supports layers, printer's marks, and bleeds, and it provides extensive security (such as password, printing, and copying protections) for PDF files. To save time and ensure consistency, you can now save your PDF export settings as presets, and Illustrator CS includes three: Illustrator PDF, Press PDF, and Acrobat 6 Layered PDF.

Tight Office Integration: Adobe has added a new Save For Microsoft Office command to Illustrator--useful when you want to use an Illustrator file in PowerPoint, Word, or Excel. --JONATHAN SEFF

Roll Them Bones

Starting Point

3D Effect: Illustrator CS has added the 3D Effect feature, for transforming shapes and type into 3-D objects. You can extrude shapes to create 3-D type, cubes, or other regular geometric shapes; revolve paths around a central axis to create bottles, glasses, or other circular shapes; and rotate a shape in 3-D space, so you can take advantage of another new feature, the ability to map artwork onto the surface of a 3-D shape. This feature can help you create product labels for 3-D objects, for example. Like dedicated 3-D software packages, Illustrator CS lets you adjust lighting and surface characteristics of your 3-D objects. You can add as many lights as you want, each with individual intensity controls, as well as a shadow color for lighting as a whole. To determine the surface of an object, you can adjust matte and gloss controls and use other Illustrator effects. If you want to reuse what you've created, you can save your formatting choices as a graphics style to apply to other objects. Templates: Illustrator CS ships with more than 200 templates (in a new template file format), with custom-size artboards, layers, styles, swatches, symbols, and more, so you don't have to start every project from scratch. You'll find many blank templates for projects such as business cards, and you can save your own designs as templates with custom guides, character and paragraph styles, and more.
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