Illustrator CS5 New Features

Illustrator CS5 New Icon

Illustrator CS5 is here! The Adobe® Creative Suite® 5 Global Online Launch Event will happen at 8am PDT/11amEDT/ 5pm CEST April 12, 2010 on Adobe TV, but you can already check out some of the new features in Illustrator.

Illustrator CS5 Box Image

Illustrator CS5 New Features

Perspective Drawing

Use perspective grids to draw shapes and scenes in accurate 1-, 2-, or 3-point linear perspective. Create the look of realistic depth and distance with snap-to guides to quickly put objects, live text, and symbols into perspective.

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Beautiful Strokes

Adjust stroke width interactively using new width handles. Precisely position arrowheads and symmetrically align dashes. Control stretch at any point when scaling art brushes on a path, and see how patterns behave beautifully at corners.

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Bristle Brush

Paint with vectors that resemble real‐world brush strokes. Control bristle characteristics and paint opacity to achieve the expressiveness of natural media with the scalability of vectors. Define bristle length, stiffness, and shape. Transparency provides lifelike blending.

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Crisp graphics for web and mobile devices

Create vector objects precisely on the file’s pixel grid for delivering pixel-aligned artwork. Generate clean, sharp raster graphics by turning on Align To Pixel Grid and using text anti-aliasing options for individual text frames.

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Multiple artboard enhancements

Work on up to 100 artboards of varying sizes in one file, organized and viewed the way you want—overlapping or on a grid. Quickly add, delete, reorder, and name. Save, export, and print artboards independently or together.

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Shape Builder tool

Intuitively combine, edit, and fill shapes directly on your artboard. Drag your cursor across overlapping shapes and paths to create new objects and add color without accessing multiple tools and panels. Quickly unite, exclude, trim, and more.

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Drawing enhancements

Work faster with everyday tools. Draw behind, disregarding stacking order. Draw or place an image inside, instantly creating a clipping mask. Join paths with one keystroke, see ruler origins at the upper left, and scale symbols with 9-slice control.

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Roundtrip editing with Adobe Flash(R) Catalyst™ CS5

Take Illustrator designs into Flash Catalyst and create interactive experiences without writing code. Roundtrip editing allows you to perfect your vector art in Illustrator while preserving the structure and interactivity you added in Flash Catalyst.

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Resolution-independent effects

See raster effects such as drop shadows, blurs, and textures maintain the ideal appearance across media. Create work for different types of output and know that raster effects will look just right no matter how your resolution settings change.

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Integration with Adobe CS Review

Create and share—from within Illustrator—online reviews for clients and colleagues down the hall or around the world. Publish your review to the web and see comments in Illustrator so you can track feedback on specific design elements.

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I am probably the most excited about the Crisp Graphics for web and mobile. I do a lot of web design in Illustrator, but in CS4 and below I would have to recreate some elements in Photoshop (to get a crisp 1 pixel stroke on elements).

Excited for the new features?

What new feature do you like most?

Are you going to upgrade?

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38 thoughts on “Illustrator CS5 New Features

  1. Wonderful website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any forums
    that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really like to be a part of online community where I can get feedback from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Kudos!

    • If you’re looking for forums, GDF is one of the tried and true forums. We’ve also found that certain groups on LinkedIn can be very informative as well. If you’re looking to connect with other designers and view their art for inspiration, we really like Dribbble and Vecteezy has a network for designers as well.

  2. Align to pixel grid is a great idea in concept but currently when you flick between stroke and fill the anchor points creep around the screen. This feature (in it’s buggy state) actually adds work especially when trying to design for pixel perfect web.

    Would also be nice (while I’m moaning) if you could turn off the .00 measurements in pixel mode too… why would you have align to pixel grid and then allow sizing in fractions of a pixel? Stupid.

    Hope they fix these issues soon… 🙁

  3. Immportant is the most important web site for me. Because I am 24 hours Illustrator user. But problem is that I am a Sri Lankan. Therefore I dot have CS 5.

    If you could send Adobe Illustrator CS5 original software for me. You are great.

    Thankyou verymuch

  4. Adobe stealing another software ideas and selling them?

    1. Perspective tools was in FreeHand 10 years ago!
    2. Brush width control was in “Creature House Expression” and “Line Form” years ago too!
    3. Shape builder tool? WTF? it’s just an repeating of one function from “pathfinder” panel?
    4. Drawing inside? Just adding new button for masking (ctrl+7) it is THE BIG FEATURE?
    5. Bristle brushes, again, it was years ago in “Creature House” and why it don’t allow pen pressure control?

  5. Time to play devil’s advocate…

    I’ve been using the trial version for a couple days. I can’t say that most of the new tools are really anything I will use that often. For my usual work, there’s not really much at all that this version of Illustrator can do that CS2 or CS3 can’t. I don’t think I’ll be spending any money this time around.

  6. Any one knows if they will fix the memory bug? “Where Ai CS4 uses only a max of 4gb or ram even if you have more and a x64 os?”

  7. Meanwhile Illustrator has raised the limits on RAM usage, from 2GB in CS4 to 3-4GB (depending on system configuration) in CS5 // John Nack

  8. does anyone know if all of our cs4 plugins will work with cs5? if not its a no go for me; i’m still jonseing for the sapphire plugins from cs2 🙁
    but other than that, some of these look quite handy… im expeically happy about the resolution independent effects and new brushes

  9. Alight to pixel grid will help all us icon designers out there! I probably won’t upgrade tho, I just make a 1px x 1px grid and snap to grid.

  10. Quite minor if you ask me, especially upgrading for something small as that. Even though its great for those who wants to save time and that. I however won’t be upgrading until everyone around me is upgrading as its pointless upgrading if no one around you has it and will be hassle exporting form cs4 to cs5 when working at uni and home.

  11. I like the new features. But where is 64bit-support? Only in Photoshop, AE and Premiere? I need usage of more RAM within Illustrator and InDesign. Is Illustrator CS5 cocoa-based or still carbon?

  12. I’m looking forward to some awesome cool new tutorials with the bristle brush tool & all the other new tutorials. CS5 it’s awesome!!!

  13. Ugh, meant to ask…

    Did they finally make numerical input fields (ie: zoom, opacity, brush size) comparable to Photoshop in that you can just use your mouse to scrub left/right to adjust value? It’s way overdue.

  14. Shame Adobe are ripping off UK based users though. CS Premium upgrade from 3.x UK £840 ($1300) and US £520 ($800). Absolutely crazy – i guess this is why a monopoly is discouraged in any market.

  15. Crisp graphics for web and mobile devices!! YAY!
    i just bought cs4 about a month ago…but i’m really excited about these features, particularly that crisp graphics one. hopefully ill wake up early enough to catch the unveiling tomorrow at 8am 🙂

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