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New Workspace, Integration and Drawing Tools for Illustrator CS3

If I had to pick the best new feature in IllustratorR CS3, it would be the new Live Color. For the type of work that I do, this new tool makes my life so much easier. But before we take a look at the new Live Color, let's check out a few other new features that you will like.

Integration is the keyword for Creative Suite 3. AdobeR has made major efforts to integrate the main programs included in CS3 which are PhotoshopR, Illustrator and FlashR. One common feature to all the programs is the Adobe Bridge that helps you organize, browse and open artwork into any of the programs. Next, there are the common workspace features such as the icon-based panel system which lets you easily toggle the panels open and closed. You can also reposition the panels to customize the workspace and save any number of custom workspace layouts.

Besides the panel system, there are improvements for sharing images. Now, you can easily import or copy/paste images between programs without losing any of the work that you have done so far. For example, when moving artwork from Illustrator to Flash, the paths, anchor points, symbols, object names, layers and groups are all maintained.

You will notice other improvements to the workspace. The content-sensitive Control Panel has more controls. Many of the settings that were hidden within menus are now available on the Control Panel. The Layers Panel has also been improved. For those large projects, you can use the new color-coded color bars to identify each layer in the panel.

The drawing tools in Illustrator have been improved and some new ones added. For those projects that have many parts distributed over several layers in the Layers Panel, it was difficult to isolate the one part that you wished to work with from the rest of the image. You would need to rearrange the layers in order to gain access to that one section of your project. The new Isolation Mode will change all this. When working in this mode, the part of the image that you wish to work on remains available but the rest of the image is grayed out.

Another new tool is the Eraser. As you would expect when working with vectors, erasing part of an image is complicated because of the paths. The Eraser tool will solve this problem. As you remove a section of an image with the new Eraser tool, Illustrator will rewrite the path for the remaining part. Now you can erase as intuitively in Illustrator as in Photoshop.

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