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Adobe details changes in Illustrator CC, other design apps

updated 02:18 pm EDT, Mon May 6, 2013

InDesign gets modernized interface, engine

As a part of today's major Adobe announcements, the company has gone into detail for the upgrades present in its design software. Illustrator CC features a new Touch Type tool, which lets people manipulate individual characters in text while still maintaining control over font and other edits. Multi-touch devices have been added as a form of input.

A photo can now be used as a brush, and the Art, Pattern, and Scatter brushes can contain raster images. New font options include a filtered font search, and the Creative Cloud-tied Sync Fonts, which sync Adobe Typekit fonts to a local machine. Sync Colors lets people capture color themes via the company's new Kuler iPhone app, sync them to, and then import them into Illustrator. Sync Settings means that workspace settings can be backed up to Creative Cloud for quick application at a different computer.

Other Illustrator upgrades include the ability to import multiple files into a layout simultaneously while also controlling location and scaling. For web designers the software has gained a CSS code generator for objects like logos and patterns, baking in any complex visuals like gradients. Pattern brushes can have automatic corners, and with text objects designers can quickly switch between area and point type.

InDesign CC shares some of Illustrator's new features, namely Sync Fonts and filtered font search, and to that adds instant font previews, font favorites, a QR code creator, and a "Save to Cloud" command. The app as a whole, though, now sports a new interface, meant to be more consistent with both Illustrator and Photoshop. The software has switched to HiDPI/Retina graphics, as well as a 64-bit engine, which should finally take advantage of modern RAM and processors.

Web design tool Muse CC has gained just two upgrades: the ability to create parallax scrolling effects, and in-browser editing, which lets people make changes to live websites without affecting layout or structure. Editors can choose whether or not to merge modifications with the original Muse files.

InCopy CC has been added to Creative Cloud subscriptions, and like InDesign has been given a new interface with HiDPI support. Users can also adjust the brightness of the interface, and take advantage of filtered font search and font favorites.

Aside from the new iPhone app and Sync Colors, Kuler has also gained preset color modes. On the iPhone there are just five, such as Colorful and Muted. The web app has more presets that obey color theory, such as Analogous, Triad, and Compound.

The Ideas app for iOS, lastly, has been made free, and can sync color themes with Kuler. Accordingly, themes can be extracted from Ideas work. Favorite brushes can now be saved to the toolbar, and Adobe is promising better drawing accuracy, with live preview of strokes. Ideas images can be shared via Facebook or Twitter.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Inkling

    Senior User

    Joined: 07-25-06

    None of the news stories I've read thus far have stressed what's likely to be the CC's most popular feature: continual updates. No more waiting 18 months for the next major upgrade. I just hope, as Adobe adds new features, they supply on-the-go video training for each new feature.

  1. shawnde

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 04-01-08

    Well, they don't quite have a track record for continual updates yet .... that remains to be seen. I don't think that was Adobe's motivation to say the least. Their sole motivation was hype, buzzword compliance and piracy; none of which were warranted. It's a bit early to tell ... we'd have to see how the community reacts to this. It may backfire :-) You never know.

    Currently Adobe's software is very bloated and full of cruft. Since 2001 onwards, their software quality has been going down, and they've been accumulating layers of cruft for the past decade. Their software is supposed to be performance driven, and yet, it runs on a proprietary run-time environment (Adobe Air), which at the very least takes a 50% performance hit. Same problem with Quark ... they've been using Java for the past few versions (I think from v. 6.0 onwards).

    I think a new breed of creative software is going to emerge at much lower prices, and they'll be NATIVE software for OS X, just like what's been happening on iPhone/iPad (from HTML -> Native). Adobe has gone the other way .... from Native -> Interpreted (in their case, JavaScript, Flash, etc.). Good luck.

  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Too much!! This has gotten a bit out of hand now...Adobe has so many apps both PC and mobile that it's nearly impossible to know what does what with what.

    Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Express, Photoshop Touch, Lightroom, Revel, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, InDesign, InCopy, Acrobat, Muse, Animate, Reflow, Ideas, Story, Scout, Typekit, Kuler, Behance, Bridge, Encore, Premiere, After Affects, Audition, Prelude, Media Encoder, Video Bite, Inspect, Air.

    That's a really lot of software, of which learning how they interact is like reading the fine text in a multi-corp merger contract.

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