September 22, 2008

Illustrator CS4: The Facts



If you want to know everything about the 14th version of Illustrator— Illustrator CS4—you’ve come to the right place. As with any major upgrade, there’s a whole lot to talk about.

While I have my own opinions about each feature and about the entire release in general (and beyond that, the entire Adobe Creative Suite 4 offering), I’m going to hold those in check for now and serve you up with “just the facts, ma’am”. Why? Because I’d like to get some unbiased opinions from you on what you think of the release. In addition, I want to provide as much detail as you need—so your feedback will help me prioritize what features you want to know about first. (Don’t worry, my opinions will make their appearance in short order).

In essence, over the next several weeks, I’d like to open a dialog—a discussion if you will—about the new release. Rather than just provide a dump of information, your questions about features and details will allow me to provide you with the content you need and want.

So with that, I present a comprehensive list of what you’ll find in Illustrator CS4. I’ve broken the items down into several categories, making the list easier to digest. After you’ve read the list, take a moment to add a comment or drop me an email stating your initial reaction and a list of items you’d like more information on.

SIGNIFICANT ADDITIONS


Each new version of Illustrator features the “big ones” – major features that add new functionality. In the case of CS4, multiple artboards and the Blob Brush tool fit into that category.

Multiple Artboards. The number one feature request of all time, multiple artboards have finally arrived in Illustrator. Notice the phrase is multiple artboards, not multiple pages. There’s a difference, and that’s something we’ll be talking a lot about. But the feature has just about everything you’d ever want. Really. Each artboard can be different in size and orientation. You can easily create multipage PDF documents. You can place multiple artboards easily into InDesign and Flash. There are no master pages (you can always use Symbols), and there’s a specific tool that you use to add, delete, and modify artboards.

Blob Brush. Illustrator sports a new brush, named “Blob”. Based on the Calligraphic brush, the Blob brush is pressure sensitive, allowing you to draw expressive artwork with variable thick and thins. So what’s so special about it? Well, the Calligraphic brush—and all other brushes for that matter—are applied as live “appearances” along a single path, making it difficult to perform edits to art until they are expanded and combined. The Blob brush draws with expanded paths. More so, the Blob brush “intelligently” merges with existing art, making drawing and editing a simple task. Since the paths are expanded, you can just “flip” your Wacom pen over and erase parts of paths as you draw them, using the Eraser tool that was added in CS3.

SIGNIFICANT ENHANCEMENTS


Here’s a new one. If you take a look back at previous versions of Illustrator, you’ll find that new features are added all the time, but rarely are features revisited, or refined (things like brushes, gradient mesh, 3D come immediately to mind). That changes in CS4, where you’ll find significant enhancements to core features like the user interface, gradients, clipping masks, graphic styles, and my favorite – the Appearance panel.

Common Adobe User Interface. Illustrator CS3 featured a new user interface, but apparently it was just a stepping stone to get to what is now truly a common user interface for Adobe applications. Illustrator, Dreamweaver, Flash, Fireworks, InDesign, and Photoshop now all share the exact same user interface. Significant enhancements include tabbed windows and a unified application frame on the Mac.

Gradients. There are several major enhancements to gradients in this release. At the top of the list is a long-time request – transparency support. Each gradient stop now has an opacity slider (similar to the Alpha value in Flash). A redesigned and enhanced Gradient panel makes it easier to work with gradients, but why would you want to? Illustrator CS4 now has the ability to edit gradients in-context, directly on the artboard. Use the Gradient tool to click on any object filled with a gradient and an on-screen widget appears, giving you full control over the gradient. You can also scale radial gradients to create oval gradients as well.

Clipping Masks. One of the biggest complaints about the masking features in Illustrator has been that when artwork is clipped, you can still select that artwork—even if it isn’t visible. In Illustrator CS4, masked artwork is now truly hidden—from view and from your selection tool. However, this new functionality is only in place for clipping masks, not for layer clipping masks.

Appearance panel. A long-standing feature request has been to add eyeballs to the Appearance panel, to allow users to hide or show effects without having to necessarily delete them. Well, Illustrator CS4 has granted that wish and apparently, there were some extra wishes left because there’s a whole lot more in the Appearance panel now. So much so, in fact, that I might consider putting this “enhancement” at the top of my CS4 list, but more on that later. For now, know this: You can now edit and apply attributes and effects directly through the Appearance panel. That means you can change fill and stroke colors, change stroke weights and dashes, add and edit effects, and more, all directly from the Appearance panel.

Graphic Styles. Two key enhancements here: Graphic Styles can now be added, in a non-destructive way, to objects. Meaning you can now cumulatively apply multiple graphic styles, and each one is simply added to the graphic, rather than replacing the existing attributes. In addition, graphic styles can be created “headless”, meaning a style can contain just an effect and no fill or stroke attributes. To tie these two concepts together, think about how you might be able to create a graphic style that adds a drop shadow, and that you can now quickly add a drop shadow to an existing object, even if that object already has effects or attributes applied to it. If you aren’t already using graphic styles, this enhancement forces you to take another look.

THE “LITTLE THINGS”


While the big juicy features always take the center stage for any release, most people realize that at the end of the day, it’s the small enhancements that really make the biggest impact on the day-to-day use of any application. To me, this list is always the most exciting part of a release.

Smart Guides. Remember back when Smart Guides was introduced? Remember how quickly you turned them off? In the past, Smart Guides were more of a nuisance than otherwise. That’s changed now. Smart Guides are more refined (lines only appear where necessary, not across the entire page), and there are some additional options, including the ability to see measurements and values as you work (i.e., the rotation value is displayed as you rotate an object).

Snapping Behavior. This is a big little thing that no one will talk about. When Smart Guides are turned on, Illustrator has the ability to snap OBJECTS to each other. In the previous 13 versions of Illustrator, only the cursor position snapped, but now, the boundaries of paths also snap.

Isolation Mode. Adobe keeps making this functionality better. Introduced in CS2, Isolation Mode was enhanced in CS3, and now in CS4, it is even better. You can now isolate individual path objects. Isolation also takes on new meaning with the new clipping mask behavior, as you can double click to edit the contents of the mask, etc.

Alignment. Defining key objects is now simple and clear, and small modifications to the align functions make errors appear less frequently. Basically, the Align functions are now much easier to understand and use.

Bleed. Yes, you read that correctly. In addition to multiple artboard support, you can also specify bleed for your documents. The bleed translates perfectly to PDF documents and when you place art into InDesign. Bleed is applied at the document level, meaning that all artboards in a single document have the same bleed setting (you can’t have different bleed settings for different artboards within a single document).

Pathfinder. While nothing about the Pathfinder functions have changed in Illustrator CS4, their default behavior HAS changed. In previous versions of Illustrator, using a shape mode created a “live” compound shape. Many users are aware that you can press the Option (Alt on Windows) key while applying these functions to instantly expand the shape as you create it. Adobe apparently received many complaints about this behavior, so they reversed it. Now, in CS4, applying a shape mode with Pathfinder creates an expanded shape, and you need to use the Option (Alt) key to create a live compound shape.

Text on Path Issues. Cartographers complained bitterly since Illustrator CS was released that text on a path looked horrible. Kerning and typesetting along a path got a significant downgrade when the new text engine appeared. Now, in CS4, text on a path looks great. So much so that at a recent “sneak” at a cartographer’s show, this feature got a standing ovation.

Improved tablet support. Illustrator CS4 includes some important enhancements around the area of Wacom tablet support, most significantly in how pen rotation is processed. Paths drawn with the new Blob brush and the Calligraphic brushes are now more precise and respond to gestures better.

Drag Images from Web Browser directly into Document. If you’ve ever tried to drag an image directly from a web browser like Safari into Illustrator, you’ve experienced the frustration that many others face. Illustrator CS4 finally addresses this issue and you can now blissfully drag images directly into AI from your favorite browser.

Filter Menu. The Filter menu is now gone. Anything that used to be in that menu has either been moved out or relocated. The Crop Marks filter now appears in the Effect menu as a live effect.

Enhanced TIFF file format support. Illustrator CS4 now understands transparent layered TIFF files.

Offset path fixed. Illustrator CS3 “featured” a well-documented issue with the Offset Path command, where extra anchor points were unnecessarily added. This issue is fixed in CS4.

OTHER ADDITIONS


While not necessarily “significant”, these features add to an already impressive list, and rounds out the Illustrator CS4 release.

Separation Preview. As in both InDesign and Acrobat Pro, Illustrator now has a panel that allows you to preview color separations on screen. It’s a barebones implementation and doesn’t feature the all-powerful Ink Manager, or even the ability to calculate ink limits. But it does as advertised—for process colors and spot colors.

Color Blindness Proofing. Illustrator CS4 now features the ability to proof artwork on screen as a person with colorblindness might see it. This allows designers to design art with the right amount of contrast so that anyone could view it. Cool. Approximately 7 percent of Americans are color blind (that’s 10.5 million people), and I’m included in that group. The Japanese government has been particularly vigilant in taking steps to ensure that public signage is clearly visible to all.

FXG Support. I’ll talk a lot more about this in the coming days, but FXG (Flex Exchange Graphic) is a new file format that can be used with Adobe’s much-anticipated Thermo application.

Gesture Support. I haven’t been able to try this yet myself since I don’t have one of Apple’s newer computers, but Illustrator CS4 apparently has support for Gestures, a new feature that allows you to perform specific functions based on how you move your fingers across a touchpad.

New Templates and Content. As with any new release, Illustrator CS4 features new templates and content. But there are a few things that a different now. First, the templates have been updated to take advantage of multiple artboards. These templates are a great resource (one, for example, contains a variety of sizes of standard web banners). Also, Adobe has commissioned some GREAT artists who have not only created sample files, but who have also included PDF documents showing HOW they created the sample files.

Online Services. As we’ve seen with Acrobat.com and kuler, Adobe has been moving towards offering more online services and connectivity. Three specific things come to CS4: Connect Now is a service that allows you to share your screen with others, and is basically a Lite version of Adobe Acrobat Connect Pro. Kuler, Adobe’s community built around color, has some extended functionality and is accessible directly from within not just Illustrator, but Photoshop, InDesign, Fireworks, and Flash as well. Finally, each CS4 application now features a Search field directly in the user interface, allowing you to search Adobe’s help files, but more importantly, other articles on the web as well. Adobe actually licensed Google technology for this, and you can almost think of it as Google for Adobe products.

So there you have it! Everything you need to know about Illustrator CS4. Of course, this is only the beginning—we’ve got lots to discuss in the coming hours, days, weeks, and months—so let me know your thought on the release, and more importantly, let me know what specific items you want more information on. Based on that feedback, I’ll find some creative ways to make it all happen!

50 comments:

George Coghill said...

Thanks for the detailed overview on the new Illustrator CS4 features, sounds like there's some good stuff in there!

Paul said...

Looks like some really good improvements this time (the clipping is one thing driving me mad, as well as smart guides).

sblgraphics said...

Really nice and informative.

Regards,
clipping

esbenthomsen@mac.com said...

Tablet support! No doubt about it!

But I guess its still a looong way from supporting the same stuff as Corel Painter

mr_friki said...

I wish this new version would include a behaviour for the selection tool equal to de other adobe apps (i mean to move your selection via press space bar while you are dragging) i´ve been waiting it since use illustrator and it never comes...

by the way i glad to see that so really new features and great enhandements have been included!

Lolagrrl said...

Great overview! You can also see some of this stuff in action at the NAPP Photoshop CS4 Learning Center: http://budurl.com/ycns and The Layers CS4 Learning Center. http://budurl.com/fj3p

Personally, I loved the Flash CS4 puppet animation video

VyRuZ said...

What I'd like to know, specifically, is if there are any improvements on the performance side of things.

Illustrator CS3 used 500MB of RAM while I was working on a mainly gradient mesh project. Everytime I saved the document it would wait about 10 seconds...

I have a fairly good computer, dual core 1.8GHz processor and 2GB RAM.

Illustrator CS3 was just massively slow... When you use 3D or add effects/filters it becomes slower and slower to use.

What about GPU utilization, or that wouldn't fit the scope of Illustrator? (Thinking about it, vectors are drawn mathematically, so I see how the processor would be used in such a calculation, compared to Photoshop and it's pixels.)

What about the spring-loaded keys from Photoshop? Did they get into Illustrator CS4 too?

I really feel Illustrator is the underdog of the graphics industry right now...

Promee said...

So did they fix the outline stroke "feature" in CS3?

Please, please, please tell me they did... just let me know if you're lying to make me feel better though. :)

Mordy Golding said...

promee - yep, that's fixed. Although it should never have made its way into CS3 to begin with. But yeah, CS4 has "normal" offset path again.

esben - you really can't compare AI and Painter. After all, they are two very different apps that do very different things. I still see a need for both.

vyruz - hmmm -- it's really hard to gauge any kind of performance with beta versions because the engineers usually include lots of "tracking" code to help them debug the software. Only when an actual shipping version comes out would I ever comment on overall performance. Sadly, spring-loaded keys aren't in AI CS4 -- but spring-loaded panels ARE -- I forgot to mention that. Say you want to create a symbol by dragging art into the panel, but the panel is hidden behind the brushes panel. If you drag the art to the Symbols panel tab and hold a second, the symbols panel pops to the front.

Prof. Michael Stoll said...

mordy, your article is a great read! thanx for joining. but ... i'd be interested, wether adobe did change something at the chart-tool. i'd especially interested in the topic: illustrator and connection to databases. maybe there is a way to pull data "live" from a tab-text or xml-source?! the newspaperbusines would love this.

thank you in advance.
michael.

Alex said...

I know you mentioned not knowing about performance increases, but will the whole of CS4 have 64-bit support, or will that just be in Photoshop's realm? Also, any updates to the Live Trace engine? It's still touch and go for a lot of images IMO.

Mordy Golding said...

michael - I hear you loud and clear. I've long been an advocate of better charting tools and live links to a data file (Illustrator's current Variables panel allows for import and export of data, but not data linking). I hope that Adobe will strongly consider adding such functionality in CS5.

alex - the short answer to your question is that Illustrator CS4 does not have 64bit support. I'll have more information shortly on this topic in general.

Oregon said...

Great to hear that the text-on-a-path issue is finally fixed. Curious to know where you got the standing ovation from cartographers. NACIS isn't for a few weeks!

I am still itching to concatenate paths! CS5?

Crickety said...

How about core utilization?

I have an Intel Mac Pro with an 8 core processor and my activity monitor shows that CS3 only utilizes one core at a time.

Photoshop uses all of them simultaneously.

CS3 on a PC utilizes all of the cores.

Does CS4 use all of the cores on a Mac???

Gen3Chip said...

Mordy, thanks for the great blog and concise review but to be honest, none of the new features really impress me. Not to sound like a broken record playing of what's been said above but Adobe really, REALLY needs to focus on the performance of Illustrator. I'm using CS3 on a 24" 2.8GHz Dual Core iMac w/ 4Gigs of ram and there are times when working with mildly complex files that the app just crawls to a stand still, even when it's the only app running. Ridiculous.

This may sound nuts but I was really hoping that they were going to fork Illustrator like they did Photoshop's last version. As a long time AI user, give me a stripped down crazy fast version with a feature set similar to what they had in AI5.5 and add in the tracing feature (streamline) plus modern media import/export and call it done. Actually they could call it AI Basic or AI Production for all I care, just make it FAST.

Too bad Adobe is really the only game in town now with a pro level vector app cause they really need competition to make them push some innovation and life into Illustrators tired bones. They just better hope that the Pixelmator guys don't get inspired cause I know a fair amount of old timers that would drop AI's bloated bottom in a heartbeat.

Aongus said...

Thanks for a great report.

Something brilliant? More like something solid, but in the current climate solidity is fine.

Having completed a batch of maps and cartoons this month, I'm all too aware of (a) Illustrator's text-on-a-path deficiencies and (b) the limitations of AI's brushes. So the improvements on both fronts are hugely promising. If the new blob brush & expanded Wacom support live up to expectations, that will certainly streamline my workflow. Also welcome is better aligning since, like selecting, it is an activity done so often that any improvement is a real productivity boost. As is a turbo-charged gradient tool...

Acrobat.com could be a dark horse. I know people who tested it with clients, and were impressed. It just might be a significant new way of presenting concepts and revisions.

I've never had a need for multiple artboards, but appreciate the reasons for the outcry. That said, it's a relief that Illustrator didn't implement the feature as an bolt-on page layout module -- the last thing we need is a jack-of-all-trades like Deneba Canvas.

George Coghill said...

@Aongus -- I hear ya on the brush & Wacom support. I was hoping for the Blob Brush to be my salvation, but from the demo videos I have seen it's still not what I want: an Art brush with live preview like the calligraphic brushes.

Overall I think it will be a worthy upgrade, even if for just the revamed Appearance panel. That alone should save lots of time in my workflow. It's how it should have been all along.

I am also curious about multi-processor support on OS X -- any info on that as the previous poster asked?

Mordy Golding said...

oregon -- not sure where it was exactly -- it wasn't me who did that presentation, but it was some folks from the Adobe Illustrator team. I believe Ian Giblin.

crickety -- great question about multicore support. I don't know. I fired an email off to the AI team to find out any details. I was always under the impression that when performing system functions (save, open, copy, paste, etc), that AI tapped into the capabilities of the OS. So of the OS supported it, it was supported in AI. But I too would like to find out more about what kind of "under the hood" work was done in that area.

gen3chip - yeah, performance is a tough one, especially for "vector" applications (this includes InDesign and Acrobat in my understanding). Basically, if you have 900 layers in Photoshop, all you need to do is render the top most layer as they are just pixels. If you have 900 layers in AI, even if all those layers are hidden behind the top-most layer, Illustrator still has to draw ALL the objects. And again, according to my understanding, you have to draw them in order, which is a linear calculation, and so multicore can't help (to contrast, Photoshop could theoretically use a different core to render each pixel in an image. if AI would use a different core to draw each object, all the cores would have to wait until the previous objects were drawn already). I'm no engineer. I could be wrong. But I'm sure someone at Adobe would be smart enough to figure out a solution.

aongus - yeah, the Acrobat.com thing is pretty sweet. There's a command in the File menu of Illustrator (other CS4 apps too) called Share My Screen and anyone with a standard Flash-capable web browser can see your screen and chat with you. Clients will love it. Make sure you charge extra for those sessions though :)

leo said...

Hello Mordy,

If possible, I'd like to know if there were any improvements to the gradient mesh tool. Not only about sampling colors under vertice automatically but most importantly, about editing the mesh itself. Say, for instance, capability to transform highly complex shapes with several thousand points into a gradient mesh.

Thanks in advance

PS.: May I suggest that you open your comments area to bloggers who own their own blog engine using "Name/URL"?

jules said...

Great review of the new features, thanks.

Has an Autosave feature been implemented in Illustrator CS4? Although I have tried hard to develop the habit of saving every few minutes in Illustrator, I usually don't remember until Illustrator disappears without warning taking an hour's work with it!

Lynn said...

Great article, Mordy.

To Prof. Michael, we'd be very interested in hearing what you'd like in the way of charting/graphing features in Illustrator. If you want to give your feedback, contact me.

Lynn Grillo, Senior Solutions Engineer, Adobe Systems
lgrillo @ adobe.com (remove spaces)

steve.oh said...

I read a few months ago that Adobe was working enhancing its vector calculation processes to employ the GPU whenever available rather than the CPU. Since the CPU is not made to process higher math functions it, it get's bogged down easily. It also must calculate in linear order. GPU's are made to process vector calculus. Since the also have multiple process streams they can process multiple shapes at one time.
I REALLY hope they came through with this upgrade! I don't really understand why they ever routed vector shape processing to the CPU to begin with!

Anonymous said...

A straight forward and useful breakdown of what's new - thank you.

But has anything been improved regarding Illustrators dynamic linking capabilities via the Variables Panel and XML support?

I have just begun to use this feature and find it extremely difficult to format XML from Filemaker in a way that is easily used by Illustrator. XML from Filemaker can't be integrated directly into Illustrator but first needs to be styled through XSLT.

PO said...

Dear Mordy,

Great news on the end of clipping mask 'selection overspill'. Another blog I read earlier described CS4 clipping masks as very similar to Freehand's paste inside feature. Is this really true? (if so...FANTASTIC!), if not, is it more similar to CS3 but without the 'selection overspill'? I'd pay good money for that FH paste inside feature as I used to use it 100 times a day, but CS3 has put an end to that.....special occasions only now, way to much hassle otherwise.

edsavage said...

I teach Illustrator at a community college and have used it since 1987 - back in the days when vector and pixel only met in a page layout program - and not in the same graphic.

Being trained as a technical illustrator back in the days of french curves, triangles, t-squares, and hand-cut overlays, I didn't even look at using a computer for graphics work until PostScript printers and Illustrator came along.

The hardest part of teaching the program is the number of students who expect Illustrator to work like a pixel based program.

IT DOESN'T!

You are not selecting a range of pixels but objects and parts of objects.

The eraser they brought in from Flash and now the Blob Brush (which seems like an addition from Flash) just adds to the confusion between vectors and pixels.

The fact that you can use Photoshop Effects and Filters adds to the confusion.

Perhaps I am being a bit of a dinosaur, but it seems like the world is moving away from vectors, or at lease an intelligent understanding and use of them.

I have a feeling that in 5 to 10 years that Photoshop and Illustrator will be combined and students and unsavy designers will build even more files that cant be imaged to a press. Although, will there be presses in 5 years or just electronic equivalents?

Pardon me, retirement calls my name loudly.

sincejan63 said...

I installed cs4, launched it then when I try start working, it tells me I don;t have version cue 4 installed then shuts down, do you know a work around or how to to fix it

Erik said...

Is anyone else but me experiencing ridiculously long saving times? I'm working with a 30MB simple document with a 23.7MB TIFF file embedded.

Saving takes at least 5 minutes, and I thought Illustrator had hung for a minute.

This happens when I save as a PDF as well.

Erik said...

Is anyone else but me experiencing ridiculously long saving times? I'm working with a 30MB simple document with a 23.7MB TIFF file embedded.

Saving takes at least 5 minutes, and I thought Illustrator had hung for a minute.

This happens when I save as a PDF as well.

LPinheiro said...

Good overview, but I am concerned about the gradient mesh. Haven't heard anything about it. I would like to see the issue with the "hidden points" solved. This problem was introduced in CS3. Previously, by selecting the delete anchor point toll, you would reveal "hidden" anchor points in the mesh, AND would be able to delete them at will, making mesh manipulation much easier. In CS3, selecting the delete anchor point tool would also reveal the "hidden" points but you could not delete them. This was so bad that I decided to downgrade to CS2. Unfortunately, I haven't seen a lot of complaints about it. Has Adobe fixed this issue?

Anonymous said...

hopefully this will be answered. I am thinking about upgrading from CS2 to CS4 and i wanted to know if my CS2 files will work on CS4. I am kinda sure that it will work, but i wanted some reassurance before i purchase the upgrade license. Thank you

Michael said...

I can't believe they still didn't improve the eminently unwieldy pen tool, especially with the forced obsolescence of Freehand, a far superior drawing tool. I'm also astounded at the omission of a "snap to guides" option.

Michael said...

I can't believe they STILL haven't improved the eminently unwieldy pen tool! Especially so, in light of the acquistion and forced obsolescence of Freehand, a far superior drawing tool. I feel like the snapping behavior has gotten even worse, rather than better. It always snaps to places I don't want, and not even to the guides!

George Coghill said...

Turn on the Smart Guides to snap to guides. I don't get why it's tethered to Smart Guides, but there it is.

web design India said...

nice post

pavel said...

Hello Mordy and everyone,

I`m a long long user of the Illustrator.
I`ve installed the new CS4 and was intriguied.
Now with times I fell in love with the Metacreation KPT tools and they worked just fine through 9 - CS3. Unfortunately I was unable to install KPT to the new CS4. I did everything by the book installed kpt in to a plugin directory inside the illustrator folder.
When I open Illustrator it tels me that some plug ins were unable to load. Any help please?
By the way in older CS it was appearing in Filters now new cs4 doesn`t even have it.

Anonymous said...

Mordy, great read as usual. Though I'm a die hard Freehand user since 1988, I switched to Illustrator as soon as I new Freehand was no more. I've used Illustrator off and on throughout the years but honestly the things I hated about it I really hated. Too much to go into but I will say there are things about CS3 I really love. I'm just curious if they made any changes to the swatches or being able to replace colors quickly? I just spent 2 hours making a 12 color design into a 7 color design. Something I can do in Freehand in literally 10 minutes tops.

I love Illustrator now but certain things still drive me CRAZY. I think it's the knowing how much faster something could be done, and I'm not talking minutes I'm talking hours. When I use Freehand now and hit Command S and sit back in my chair I forget it actually saves as soon as I release the keys, I'm just use to Illustrator taking up to 12 minutes on some files. Normally 2-3 minutes but still the same file saves in Freehand instantly. I hope they've improved that in CS4.

I still use Freehand for pasting inside and a few other things since Illustrator does a pretty good job of opening Freehand Files. I just can't wait until I can use Illustrator only... it's getting there and I was really hoping CS4 would be it, sounds like it may be closer.

Mordy Golding said...

Illustrator CS3 and CS4 both have a FANTASTIC feature called Recolor Artwork that can help you adjust colors in far less than 10 minutes.

Rodney said...

Unfortunately That's what I used (Recolor Artwork). I've been using it for over a year and maybe I'm just missing something with it. I do a lot of Car Club designs and the cars can be very detailed. When I open recolor artwork it has 7 pms300 swatches, even though there's only 1 pms300 swatch in the swatches pallet, 2 or more blacks which never replace unless I replace them with a color then back to spot black.

I will have to look for more info on this feature, I'm probably not using it to it's full potential, although on simple designs it has been awesome.

I've watched a lot of your tutorials but don't remember one specifically on this feature. Have you done one I just haven't found? If upi ever do one I'd love to know about it.

Thanks Mordy, you've been a big help in my switch.

Mordy Golding said...

Stay tuned - I actually have something in the works, in regard to the Recolor Artwork feature. I should more info on it shortly.

Gav said...

I really hope somebody reads this and fast...

I've just upgraded to CS4 and have difficuly with my my anchor points. basically I cant see them. I fumble around using the smart guides to find it but after a little manipulation loose the points all together.

How do I make anchor points, when in use, display all the time?

Roberto said...

Every year Adobe unveils a new version which comes with a lot of improvements, however with it comes some headaches.
Some features are expanded and improved while others get more complicated and some just take the art of being a Designer out of the equation.
It used to be that you needed Skills to become a designer, now is so simple that anyone can claim to be one even if they are DUMB as a stump.
Every year we have to shed hundreds of dollars to get these latest versions making the software a disposable version on the yearly basis for features that we may not even need.

Good Luck everyone.

Carlos said...

The years have passed... and I still use Freehand... I wonder if the time will come when I have no need of Freehand anymore... PATH EDITING PEOPLE, PLEASE!!... At least now there´s some sort of paste inside.

P.S.: I'm a hardcore Freehand fanboy... sorry. (Hate Corel... lol)

Raphael said...

@ Erik and anonymous

Problems saving your documents on CS4?

Just set your Local printer as default. I f you don`t have a local one, set as Adobe PDF. I just made that and now it works fine. ok

Raphael

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if the gesture works on Illustrator CS4? It works with my InDesign and Photoshop. Just wondering if it's suppose to with Illustrator.

baddie3gloves said...

why when i save files on cs4 do the file sizes increase by about 20x bigger???

I can save a basic page with just a few squares of colour, and a small rasterized image in cs3 and its under 1 meg.

The same file in cs4 is over 30 meg????

HELP!! :)

angga said...

I'm become an AI user started when it's launched from version 8.(in very2 earlier version on mac os 9). In CS4, snapping object became not powerful as previous version does. Cs3 and earlier version can snap 'perfectly' and more accurate!

Anonymous said...

when i place an illustrator cs4 file in photoshop cs4, the linked image in illustrator is also placed in the photoshop layer? why is this so? how do i turn this off. in previous illustrator and photoshop versions, i can place an illustrator file in photoshop and only the vector data is placed in photoshop and not the image linked file (tiff). help please

Anonymous said...

Great news about the bleed.

Can you please confirm if they have fixed the issue from CS3 where the items in the bleed area needed to be touching the art board to actually print.

I am always creating my own trim / printer marks for jobs requiring more than the corner crops. Previously in CS3 these lines would not print because they did not bleed off / touch the art board, even though I set the bleed area in the print setup and made sure the marks were within that area (1mm away from art board with 5mm Bleed set)

This has been a major problem and I have been forced to use CS2 for such jobs.

I hope you can tell me good news.

Thanks - Katrina

Mordy Golding said...

Hi Katrina! Illustrator still requires an object to be associated with an artboard in order to print.

Tante Tante said...

cs 6.5 has been released, still i am using using the cs4 for budget cut. I think buying new software is wsating our money if it's not critical.