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Illustrator CS5 Drawing Enhancements

Those of you who can not "stay inside the lines" will be glad to hear of the new drawing enhancements in IllustratorR CS5.

The Draw Inside mode automatically creates a mask for the selected object allowing you to edit that object easily. For example, we can use the Draw Inside mode on selected text and then place a photo inside the text. The photo will only appear within the text and the rest of the photo is invisible. Because we are working with a mask, we can easily move and scale the photo by using the Edit Contents button on the Options Panel. We can also use the Edit Clipping Path button to edit the text. Another new enhancement is the Draw Behind mode. When working in this mode, you can draw new objects behind the selected object on the artboard.

Illustrator also has 9-slice scaling with symbols. The term 9-slice scaling has been around for some time but for those who haven't worked with this method before, here is an example. Let's say that we have already created a button and converted it to a symbol. Now we decide we want the button to be much wider. As you can see, if we resize the button horizontally, the text will be stretched out of shape. However, when we Enable Guides for 9-Slice Scaling from the Symbols panel and enter edit mode, we can place our guides so that the text is "protected" as we resize the button.

There are two new enhancements to the Stroke panel which are Arrowhead and Dash controls. With the new Arrowhead controls, you can easily add arrowheads to your paths and have control over the size and position of the arrowhead in relation to the path. After you choose an Arrowhead from the drop-down menu, you can use the Scale slider controls to scale the arrowhead or the Align buttons to align the arrowhead to the path. You can also apply a preset or custom profile to the arrowhead from the Profile menu.

We also have new Dash controls in the Stoke panel. Besides setting the dash and gap sizes, you now have two buttons for controlling the placement of the dashes along the path. The first option is the traditional placement that spaces the dashes and gaps evenly along the path. The second option will automatically space the dashes and gaps to match the points and bends of your path.

*Adobe provided a review copy to me free of charge.



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