The October 2018 release of Illustrator CC (version 23.0) rolls out exciting new features for designers and illustrators. Read on for a quick introduction to these features and links to resources offering more information.
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Illustrator now offers a new gradient type called Freeform, which provides new color blending capabilities to create richer and photorealistic gradients that look more natural.
Freeform gradient provides you the flexibility to create color stops at any place in your object. You can add, move, and change the color of color stops to seamlessly apply gradients to objects. Creating a freeform gradient fill is a simple and efficient way to create a smooth color gradation.
The Freeform gradient type can be applied in two modes:
Points: Use this mode to create color stops as independent points in the object.
Lines: Use this mode to create color stops over a line segment in the object.
Illustrator now provides a new Global Edit option, which lets you edit all similar objects globally in one step. This feature comes handy in situations when multiple copies of an object, such as a logo, are present in the documents. To manually edit all such objects one-by-one can be a difficult and time-consuming task and may lead to errors. The Global Edit option helps you edit them globally in a simple and easy manner. You can also use this option to edit similar groups.
Selecting the objects for global editing and changing the shape of all selected objects.
The Character panel now includes the following new and enhanced options:
A new tab Find More is provided to let you browse thousands of fonts from hundreds of type foundries from within Illustrator, activate them instantly, and use them in your artwork. Activated fonts are available for use in all Creative Cloud applications.
Finding more fonts from Adobe Fonts
A. Show Activated Fonts filter B. Activate fonts icon C. Deactivate fonts icon D. Activation in-progress icon
More sample text options are now available in the drop-down list. You can also select a text on the artboard to use as the sample text. You can control the size of the sample text by selecting the sample text size options.
The Show Similar Fonts and Add to Favorites options are available inline for every font. These are displayed when you hover over a font.
The Fonts Classification filter is now a drop-down list that shows a sample of the font types, instead of just the font type name.
A new Apply Recently Added filter is provided to filter all fonts that are added in the last 30 days.
Fonts tab in Character panel
A. Apply Classification filter B. Favorites filter C. Show Recently Added filter D. Show Activated Fonts filter E. Sample text options F. Sample text size options
Illustrator now provides two toolbars – Basic and Advanced. The Basic toolbar contains a set of tools that are commonly used while creating illustrations. All other tools are available within the toolbar drawer that you can open by clicking the Edit Toolbar button (…) at the bottom of the toolbar.
The Advanced toolbar is a full-fledged toolbar that you can open by choosing Windows > Toolbars > Advanced or select Advanced in the drop-down menu of the drawer.
You can also create your own custom toolbars. In any toolbar, you can add, remove, group, or re-order tools according to your requirements.
You can now display the current Illustrator document in a full-screen presentation mode. In this mode, the application menu, panels, guides, grids, and selections are hidden. It is a non-editable mode, in which you can only view and browse through artboards using the arrow keys. Use this mode to present your design ideas.
Artboard contents in full-screen presentation mode
Illustrator now provides a new view mode called Trim View, which is useful for previewing how a design would look without guides, grids, or elements that extend beyond the edge of the artboard. In this mode, any artwork falling outside the artboard is clipped and all non-printing objects on the canvas, such as grids and guides is hidden. You can continue to create and edit your artwork in this mode.
You can now scale the user interface of Illustrator based on your screen resolution. When you launch Illustrator with updated preference settings, it identifies your screen resolution and adjusts the application scale factor accordingly. You can scale the user interface on your screen using the user interface preferences dialog.
Changing the UI scaling through User Interface preferences
For more information, see Scale the user interface.
The overall zoom performance in Illustrator has been significantly improved. For complex artworks, a temporary raster is now used to enable a faster zooming and panning experience.
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(Only on Windows 64-bit and macOS) When you select the Crop Image option to crop an image on the artboard, Illustrator now identifies the visually significant portions of the selected image. A default cropping box is then displayed based on this identified portion of the image. You can adjust the dimensions of this cropping box if needed. Once you are done, you can click Apply in the Properties panel or press Enter (Windows) or Return (macOS) to crop the image.
Illustrator identifying the visually significant portions of the image for cropping
When you choose View > Actual Size, Illustrator now sets the actual size of the display elements irrespective of your monitor size and resolution. When you perform a 100% zoom for a document, the size of every object in the document is the actual representation of the physical size of the object. For example, if you open a new artboard of A4 size and click Actual Size, the artboard size is changed to an actual A4 sheet.
For more information, see Change the view area.
Puppet Warp enhancement
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Illustrator now identifies the best areas to transform your artwork and automatically add pins to the artwork. You can also add or delete pins if you want. This feature is enabled by default when the Puppet Warp tool is selected. To disable this feature, deselect the Enable Content Aware Defaults option by choosing Edit > Preferences > General.
Illustrator identifying the best areas and adding pins
macOS versions 10.12 (Sierra) or 10.13 (High Sierra)
4 GB of RAM (16 GB recommended)
Hard disk space
2 GB of available hard-disk space for installation; additional free space required during installation; SSD recommended
1024 x 768 display (1920 x 1080 recommended)
Optional: To use GPU Performance: Your Mac should have a minimum of 1 GB of VRAM (2 GB recommended), and your computer must support OpenGL version 4.0 or greater.
For eGPU, support on Mac OS 10.13.5 or above
To check for VRAM values: Choose Mac > About This Mac (Graphics information).
To find out if your computer supports the required OpenGL version (4.0 or later), see this Apple Support document.
Internet connection and registration are necessary for required software activation, validation of subscriptions, and access to online services.*
* October 2018 release of Illustrator CC is not supported on Windows 10 version 1507, 1511, 1607.
Scalable UI feature (minimum resolution supported is 1920 x 1080)
Auto Handle feature is supported on Mac 10.13
GPU in Outline mode is supported on Retina display
* NOTICE TO USERS:
Illustrator is not supported on virtualized or server-based environments. These environments include, but are not limited to, Citrix Metaframe/Citrix Presentation Server, NVIDIA Grid, Microsoft App-V, VMWare, Parallels, and Virtual PC. "Thin Clients" are also server-based environments.
Illustrator is not supported on a case-sensitive file system, removable flash storage devices, and network drives.
Language versions available for Illustrator CC
Adobe Illustrator CC is available in the following languages:
* Arabic and Hebrew supported in a Middle Eastern version with full right-to-left language support, Arabic/Hebrew features, and an English interface; also in a North African French (Français*) version with full right-to-left language support, Arabic/Hebrew features, and a French interface.
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