Illustrator CS3: What’s New? Lots!

Eraser Tool

Illustrator CS3’s new Eraser tool make modifying objects intuitive. Remove areas of an illustration in Illustrator just as easily as you erase pixels in Photoshop. As you drag the Eraser tool the object reshapes and new points are laid down preserving the integrity of the curve without adding unnecessary points.

The Eraser tool lets you set diameter, angle, and roundness, and even takes advantage of Wacom Tablet settings like tilt. Isolation mode lets you segregate grouped objects for editing. This works not only on regular object groups but on Live Paint groups or symbols as well. The Eraser tool can be used on the group of objects without altering the rest of the illustration.

eraser toolEraser tool

Document Profiles

You’ve always been able to select various document profiles but Illustrator CS3 takes it a step farther adding new profiles for the new way designers work, with new profiles for illustrations destined for video, the web, and film as well as print.

document profilesNew document profiles

Crop Area Tool

Use the Crop Area tool and pull open any size rectangle to crop. The Control panel even lets you enter a specific size and position, or select from preset sizes that fit the output medium you need. It also lets you view or hide areas and delete cropped areas.

Isolation Mode

With new Isolation Mode designers can easily work on what they need to work on and protect the rest, and provides a quick way to select and protect without hiding or restacking layers, grouping, and locking objects.


Illustrator users since version 10 have enjoyed the convenience of symbols. Now they are more versatile than ever with better Flash integration and options to define a symbol as a movie clip or graphic symbol, assigning the symbol a Flash registration location and enabling guides for 9-slice scaling. Similar interface elements to the ones in Flash will also facilitate working back and forth between the programs.


Availability and Pricing

Adobe Illustrator is available standalone or as a component in these Suites:

  • Adobe Creative Suite Design Premium
  • Adobe Creative Suite Design Standard
  • Adobe Creative Suite Web Premium
  • Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium
  • Adobe Creative Suite Master Collection

In the United States and Canada, Adobe Illustrator CS3 for Mac OS X on Intel®-based or PowerPC®-based systems and for Microsoft® Windows® XP and Windows Vista™ is expected to ship in the second quarter of 2007. Adobe Illustrator CS3 will be available in North America starting in Q2 2007 for an estimated street price of US$599, directly from Adobe or through Adobe Authorized Resellers. To order directly from Adobe, visit the Adobe Store at, or call 1-888-724-4507. Licensed owners of Illustrator CS2, Illustrator CS, or Illustrator 10.x can upgrade to Adobe Illustrator CS3 for US$199. Licensed owners of Illustrator CS2, Illustrator CS, or Illustrator 10.x are also eligible for special upgrade pricing to certain edition of Adobe Creative Suite 3. A complete description of upgrade eligibility and pricing is available in the Pricing Overview document. Estimated street prices do not include taxes, shipping, handling, or other related expenses. Information on pricing and support policies outside of North America and for Education customers will be available separately. Different pricing may apply for Education customers and in other geographical regions.

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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