Illustrator CS4 goodness

Among the comments on my list of details polished in Photoshop CS4, a number of people wished for a similar list for Illustrator & suggested that the Illustrator team start a blog.  As it happens, my friend & former Illustrator PM Mordy Golding runs the great Real World Illustrator blog, and he’s posted some illuminating resources:



In the past I’ve said "I swear because I care," and caring a lot about Illustrator, I’ve directed some well-intentioned swearing in their direction over the years.  I distinctly remember sitting at my desk at some nine years ago and hearing a (long since departed) Illustrator PM dismiss my request by saying, "Oh, customers don’t want multiple pages."  (At that point I started wondering, "Now, is it still murder if it wasn’t premeditated, and can I claim temporary insanity…?")  That’s why I’m delighted that they’ve both addressed some eternal requests (yay, multiple pages–er, artboards!) and have polished lots of existing functionality.  As Mordy writes,


In the past, Illustrator had a reputation of adding new features, but never really going back to refine them in subsequent versions (i.e.,gradient mesh, 3D, brushes, graphs). With an improved Appearance panel, more capable graphic styles, a revamped gradient feature, better clipping mask behavior, isolation mode, and Smart Guides in CS4, it’s refreshing to see the team adding much needed polish to some of these "older" features.


The more I’ve played with the new Illustrator, the more I’ve found the "little" changes to have a big impact.  I think you will, too.

0 thoughts on “Illustrator CS4 goodness

  1. Jack,
    This is off topic, but is Adobe air an app I can install on my web page and have my video’s play in this app?
    [Think of AIR as the desktop version of the Flash Player. (There’s more to it, but that’s the simplest explanation.) Adobe Media Player (AMP) is an app that runs on top of AIR and that lets you watch streaming shows. Neither one embeds in your Web pages. –J.]
    I like the player, just would like to use it myself.
    Ken from KY

  2. John, I enjoy reading your blog. CS4 is very appealing. I am an LR2 owner without interoperability with CS3 because my 10.0.1 patch did not upgrade my scripting to 10.0.1.
    When will your team be able to fix this anomaly, please? Without it I cannot get the best from my excellent Adobe software. Thank you.
    (BTW I have tried more than once to install the patch.)

  3. “The more I’ve played with the new Illustrator, the more I’ve found the “little” changes to have a big impact.”
    Oh, you tease, you tease.
    [And get paid for it. 😉 –J.]

  4. So when will we see a glyph palette in Photoshop? 🙂 It is a bit tiring having to tab out to the system or another app to find those weird arrows/symbols in a typeface (not to mention some exceptional alternate glyphs found in some Adobe fonts).

  5. “I swear because I care”…
    I am going to use that at work! Thanks John, and to the rest of team for making Photoshop what it is.

  6. The new Illustrator MM-style gradients look great — the tool plus the ability to control transparency of individual color stops.
    I know you can do this in Photoshop, but only through a modal gradient picker. PS CS4 has many non-modal “panels”, is color one of them?
    “Add-to” as well as “replace” graphic styles is handy, too. I used to have to duplicate objects just to remember what the original layered styles were.

  7. Hello Jack,
    I have used Illustrator since Illustrator88 and I do love this program. Sadly, I felt that CS3 was a program with many critical bugs and no updates. Now I feel that Adobe is just selling the “Next Version” instead of providing a good update.
    I am not asking for perfection, but the bugs left on CS3 are so bad that I am reluctant to update to CS4 and get the same deal of no updates. How different will be CS5 in regards to updates?

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