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Illustrator CC2014: Adobe continues to add refinements that benefit illustrators

Chris McVeigh | Aug. 4, 2014
Adobe continues to refine its flagship illustration tool with Illustrator CC 2014, a minor update with just a handful of feature additions. Interestingly, many more new features were introduced to the vector app with the mid-cycle Illustrator CC 17.1 update in January. A number of these earlier additions merit discussion, and combined with the enhancements in CC 2014, they address one of the longest-standing complaints I've had with the application.

Other minor issues persist. Outline mode still presents jagged lines (aliased) rather than smooth lines (anti-aliased), an anachronism in this day in age. Pattern anti-aliasing continues to be flawed, with seams occasionally appearing within Illustrator and when exported to Photoshop. And we're still unable to choose inside or outside alignment for strokes on text, requiring the user to either layer multiple text objects or convert text to paths for more advanced graphic treatments.

Bottom line

Illustrator CC 2014 cannot be considered a major new release, but rather, the continued refinement of a venerable tool. It's refreshing to see Adobe go back to the basics, upgrading simple shape tools that have been stagnant for over a decade. Usability enhancements to drawing and perspective tools round out this latest revision, and as whole, it feels as though there's been a shift in focus from headline features to everyday functionality. It's a welcome change, and the app is better for it.


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