Illustrator CS3: What’s New? Lots!

One of the most anticipated Adobe Illustrator upgrades ever is right around the corner. Gone are Venus and the Illustrator flower icons, and in their place is a simple “Ai” icon denoting Illustrator’s default file format. The rest of the changes in Illustrator, however, are not simple, and features like better Flash integration and new Live Color, as well as lots of improvements in interface and efficiency, make this a must-have upgrade. Things that make you go “hmmm” they aren’t…these are things that make you go “Wow!”

Adobe Illustrator CS3The change in the icons from artistic to simplistic of the entire Adobe CS3 line of products is a portent of changes to the programs themselves. They are sporting new lean, mean, and clean interfaces, and Illustrator is no exception. With less area cluttered by palettes you have more room for what you use Illustrator for in the first place: drawing! What is surprising is with this new uncluttered workspace comes even more efficiency.

Illustrator has long been the industry standard in vector drawing software, and this new version keeps up the high standard Illustrator users are used to. Because it is so tightly integrated with other product’s in Adobe’s CS3 line, it’s easy to take advantage of new output options and create content destined for publishing across media. Get ready for seamless workflow, precision drawing tools, great typographic controls, Live effects and brushes that take you from print to video.


“Creative Suite 3 is the biggest launch in Adobe’s 25 year history and a milestone for the creative industry,” said Bruce Chizen, chief executive officer at Adobe. “This release reflects the powerful integration between Adobe and Macromedia and how our products bridge the gap between designers and developers. With new workflows that streamline collaboration and impact the development of rich content, designers and developers now have the creative license to engage audiences across virtually every medium.”

Flash Integration

This is the biggest upgrade for Illustrator Adobe has ever made. Integration with Flash is better than ever. Copy and Paste and import to Flash are more reliable, with paths, correct anchor point positions, gradients, clipping masks, and even symbols. Not only that, your Illustrator grouping and layer structure is also preserved when you move to Flash!

9 thoughts on “Illustrator CS3: What’s New? Lots!”

  1. 25 years ans still unable to gradient from color to transparent (apart using an extra mask to the object) ! Laughable when one knwo that this feature has been available in competing products (even open-source ones !) for more than a decade now.

  2. Franp: weird…especially how Indesign cs3 sort of has something like that.

    Import an image, drag the gradent tool over it and it seems to automatically create a square, crop it to fit exactly over the area of the image, and apply a color to transparent gradient to it.

  3. Nice overview Sara, it’s very interesting. Finally you get to align points and to erase stuff. One question however, I know this is not a pixel based program, but did you have time to play around with the eraser tool and see if you can get semi-transparent areas with it? Such as a 50% transparency for example.

    Even though one still cannot apply a gradient from colour to transparent (!), maybe the eraser tool can help do some of it.

  4. Great features, but I am wondering if Adobe could make the mech tool in Illustrator more flexable with Flash, you know that when exporting a file with mech to Flash it takes it as a bitmap not vecor, I think this feature will help us alot.

  5. Do anybody knows what does the page tool do (other than showing a page dimensions), and how to edit and delete it after you apply it? It’s really anoying if you don’t know hoe to.

    Thank you.

  6. @ Perez: It sets the area to be printed. To reset it, double click the Page Tool icon. To hide it, go to View, Hide Page Tiling.

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