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Adobe Illustrator CS2 - Upgrade Review


This month AdobeR will release the latest upgrade for their popular vector graphics software IllustratorR CS2. Here are just a few of the new features and improvements.

The feature that I appreciate the most is Live Trace. Many of my own designs begin from a pencil sketch which I scan into my computer. But, it still needs further touch-ups because of the gaps in the drawing caused by the scanning process. So, I then use several tools to remove these gaps. All of this was a very time consuming process but now the improved Live Trace converts photos and scans to vector paths almost effortlessly. Live Trace even has precise controls for the degree of gap detection. This makes my life much easier. Thank you, Adobe. Working in combination with Live Trace is Live Paint (view larger image) which uses paths to "separate" colors in an image making it much easier to edit an image based on the colors. Live Paint will even create a new color based on the combination of colors in overlapping paths.

Another improvement is better stroke options. In previous version of Illustrator, you had little control when placing a stroke on a path. When the stroke was added to an image, it often changed the dimensions of the image and you had no way to make adjustments. Depending on your design, you sometimes had to resize the image to compensate. But with this latest upgrade, you have the option to place the stroke in several places; centered on the path, a little to the inside or a little to the outside of the path.

One of the most notable changes in Illustrator is the replacement of the File Browser with the Adobe Bridge stand-alone application which ships with Illustrator. (View larger image) This new application is the next step toward integration of the Adobe products. Digital art projects have increased in complexity over the last few years. To complete a major project such as a marketing campaign, you now need to use several programs. As a stand-alone application, the Adobe Bridge can work with any of the Adobe software and you can move effortlessly from PhotoshopR to Illustrator, InDesignR or GoLiveR. Read my review to find out more about the Adobe Bridge.

Still talking about integration and project production, Illustrator's image export features have been improved. You can export multiple graphics as a multipaged PDF file or as a Flash SWF file which, of course, can enhance your productivity. For example, you can export an Illustrator artboard as a PDF file. Looking toward the not to distant future, Adobe Illustrator is ready to export graphics in SVG and SVG-t format for use on mobile wireless devices and to export press-ready content in the ISO-standard and the ANSI-standard PDF/X.

System requirements
Windows
Intel(R) Pentium(R) III or 4 processor or equivalent
Microsoft(R) Windows(R) 2000 with Service Pack 3 or 4, or Windows XP with Service Pack 1 or 2
256MB of RAM (512MB recommended)
820MB of available hard-disk space
Color monitor with 16-bit video card
1,024x768 monitor resolution
CD-ROM drive
For Adobe PostScript(R) printers: PostScript Level 2 or PostScript 3(TM)
Internet or phone connection required for product activation
Broadband Internet connection required for Adobe Stock Photos (The Adobe Stock Photos service may not be available in all countries, languages, and currencies and is subject to change. Use of the service is governed by the Adobe Stock Photos Terms of Service. For details, visit Adobe Stock Photos.)

Macintosh
PowerPC(R) G4 or G5 processor
Mac OS X v.10.2.8 through v.10.3.8 (10.3.4 through 10.3.8 recommended)
256MB of RAM (512MB recommended)
960MB of available hard-disk space
Color monitor with 16-bit video card
1,024x768 monitor resolution
CD-ROM drive
For Adobe PostScript printers: PostScript Level 2 or PostScript 3
Internet or phone connection required for product activation
Broadband Internet connection required for Adobe Stock Photos (The Adobe Stock Photos service may not be available in all countries, languages, and currencies and is subject to change. Use of the service is governed by the Adobe Stock Photos Terms of Service. For details, visit Adobe Stock Photos.)





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Content copyright © 2014 by Diane Cipollo. All rights reserved.
This content was written by Diane Cipollo. If you wish to use this content in any manner, you need written permission. Contact Diane Cipollo for details.

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