Illustrator gets 4 new features for 2014

Adobe unveils 4 major new features for its vector graphic and illustration tool - here are the details.

It's over half a year since Adobe moved Illustrator and the rest of the Creative Suite to its subscription-only Creative Cloud service, and it's clear that, whatever you think of the company's new business model, it's determined to stay the course.

With 1.4 million paying members, the Cloud is now the only game in town for Adobe, and it knows that the only way it can keep, and extend, its paying audience is by making the software better and better. To that end, 50 'new and enhanced' features were added to the Creative Cloud tools in 2013, and today marks the beginning of a major new rollout of features for 2014, with more than 20 additions to its core tools, Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC and InDesign CC. So what's new in Illustrator today? Read on to find out...

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01. Live corners

Making corners has just got quicker, easier and more intuitive

Kicking things off is a quicker and more intuitive way to finesse your designs. One of the features Adobe says has been most often requested by Illustrator users, Live Corners lets you interactively edit the corners of shapes and paths. The corners can be rounded, inverted, or chamfered and there are even options to choose the type of roundness you want.

You can work on one or multiple corners at the same time, visually using on-art controls, or by entering numeric values in the Control panel or the new Corners dialog box. The tool automatically detects shapes and paths in your illustrations, even in older Illustrator files.

02. Redesigned Pencil Tool

The all-new Pencil tool helps you draw curved and straight lines better

Adobe's radically overhauled the Pencil Tool - which designers use to create vector paths with a natural, hand-drawn look - in this latest release of Illustrator. Using quick presets you can now create a smooth, fluid path with fewer points, or a path that more closely matches your drawing intent.

As well as curves, you can now use the Pencil Tool to easily draw straight lines too, which you can constrain to 0, 45 and 90 degree angles if you choose. Adobe's also added the ability to continue drawing from the end points of an existing path, and you can now close your paths with a curved or straight line.

Finally, the new technology featured in the Pencil tool also extends to the Brush, Blob Brush, and Smooth tools

03. Path Segment Re-Shape

The third new feature in Illustrator CC is a new way to reshape path segments designed to be more intuitive and fluid. Now, path segments can simply be drawn out or pulled into the shapes you want. Straight lines can be dragged into curves. And uneven curves can be constrained into evenly rounded ellipses.

You can reshape segments with the Direct Selection and Anchor Point tools, and reshape paths when using the Pen tool. Adobe adds that Path Segment Re-Shape has been optimised for direct touch, making it feel more natural if you're using a drawing tablet such as Wacom's Cintiq. You can see it in action in the video above.

04. Typekit integration

It’s now possible to integrate Typekit fonts into print projects, PDF files, DPS apps, and more within Illustrator CC. You can browse Adobe Typekit fonts by launching the Typekit site from the Type or Font family menu. There are over 700 Typekit desktop fonts to choose from, which you can sync to your computer for immediate access.

Check out all the new features added to Illustrator CC today on Adobe's blog.

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Have you upgraded to Illustrator CC? Are you tempted to now? Let us know your views in the comments!