Learn Illustrator Tutorials: Adobe Illustrator CS5 New Features

Illustrator CS5 book
This lesson provides an overview of the features added or enhanced in Illustrator CS5. From the more prominent changes, such as the perspective grid tool and the new artboards panel to the subtle improvements in the workspace that make feature, Illustrator CS5 includes a number of changes that benefit users familiar with older versions of Adobe Illustrator.
What you'll learn in this lesson:
  • Understanding the Application Bar and Application Frame in Illustrator CS5
  • Arranging documents using Tabs and Groups in Illustrator CS5
  • Illustrator CS5: Switching Screen Modes
  • Using the enhanced Gradient tool in Illustrator

New Brush Controls in Illustrator CS5

Now, in Illustrator CS5 you have additional options to create exciting and unique brushes. Create brush strokes with the appearance of a natural brush with bristles. By selecting Windows > Brushes you can open the Brushes panel. As a default, the Brushes panel offers a selection of interesting strokes that you can apply to paths. New in Illustrator CS5 you can choose Open Brush Library > Bristle Brush from the Brushes panel menu to open an additional panel that includes bristle brushes that have varied tips and bristle lengths.

New bristle brushes

Take advantage of new bristle brushes.

You can make the bristle brushes more unique by editing properties. All you need to do is double-click on a brush in the Bristle Brush Library to add it to the Brushes panel, then double-click on the newly added bristle brush in the Brushes panel (or select Brush Options from the Brushes panel menu.)

Changing bristle properties

Changing the bristle properties.

When the Bristle Brush Options dialog box appears, make adjustments to the overall size, bristle length and more.

Advanced drawing controls

You can now easily draw inside or behind shapes without taking additional steps to mask or rearrange the order of your objects.

By simply taking advantage of the new drawing tools at the bottom of the tools panel, you can use three different drawing modes:

Normal: This is the mode that you may be accustomed to using. Newly created shapes are on a higher stacking order than objects that already exist on the page. In other words, as you draw objects in the Normal mode, they appear on top of other objects that are in the same layer.

Draw Behind: By taking advantage of Draw Behind, you don’t have to worry about changing the stacking order in the middle of your creation process. By selecting the Draw Behind mode at the bottom of the Tools panel, you can quickly and easily create a shape behind others that are on the same layer.

Draw behind mode in Illustrator

Select the existing shapes. Draw Behind New shape is created behind mode.

Draw Inside: Using this mode, you can draw inside a shape, or even place an image inside of another shape. In the figure example, live text was selected, and then the ellipse tool was used to create shapes inside of the text. The text acts essentially as a mask to the newly added shapes.

Creating shapes

Create a shape. Create shapes inside.

Artboard panel

Multiple artboards were a great feature added in Adobe Illustrator CS4, but now you can manage them even better by using the Artboard panel.

Artboards can be used for many reasons; perhaps you are creating a series of graphics to be used in different sizes, such as business cards, letterhead and a initial web page design. By using artboards, you can keep all of these related pieces of artwork together.

You can create new artboards the same way you have been able to in previous versions, by selecting the Artboard tool, and clicking on the New button in the Control panel, and then clicking in the work area to create a same-sized artboard as the original, or clicking and dragging to create a custom artboard.

Creating artboards

Create additional artboards.

In Illustrator CS5, you can select Window > Artboard to see your artboards. Here you have the option to rename, rearrange, duplicate and delete them.

Using artboards in Illustrator

Keep multiple artboards organized
using the new Artboards panel.


Pixel grid alignment

If you design for the web, you will appreciate the new pixel grid alignment feature. By keeping objects aligned to the pixel grid, you can guarantee that your graphics will appear more crisp and sharp. To access this feature, you can choose Window > Transform, or check the box for Align New Objects to Pixel Grid in the Advanced section of the New Document window.

Transform in Illustrator

Choose to align an object to the pixel grid in the Transform panel. Choose to align all objects to the pixel grid when creating a new web document.

If you have followed the lessons in this book, congratulations this is your last one. By now, you have discovered that there are many improvements to Illustrator that are explained, in context, throughout the lessons in this book.

If you are reading this lesson to get the quick rundown on all the great new features, it surely is a help, but more new features and performance improvements can be found integrated in the step-by-step exercises included in this book.

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Illustrator Tutorial

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