Synchronize settings using Adobe Creative Cloud

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What is the Sync Settings feature?

Illustrator stores application-related settings on your local computer. The Sync Settings feature preserves a copy of these settings on Adobe Creative Cloud. If you activate Illustrator on another computer, you can choose to synchronize the settings from Creative Cloud with the newly-activated computer.

Note:

At any given time, you can activate Illustrator on two computers only.

In essence, if you are using the same Adobe ID and running Illustrator CC on two computers, you can synchronize settings between both computers to have the same working settings and environment on both computers.

Examples of settings include:

Preferences

Preferences dialog settings, etc.

Libraries

Swatches, brushes, symbols, etc.

Presets

PDF, Print, SWF-related settings, etc.

Workspaces

Positions of various palettes and interface elements in saved workspaces.

Other settings

Mojikumi, Kinsoku, or composite fonts.

What is the Sync Settings feature useful for?

The Sync Settings feature addresses two basic user scenarios:

  • Single computer. You have one computer, and would like to maintain a back-up of Illustrator's current application settings. If you replace your computer with a new computer, you can sync the settings available in Creative Cloud with the new computer.
  • Multiple computers. You have multiple computers, and need to have the same working settings on any computer you activate Illustrator on.
Note:

At any given time, you can activate Illustrator on two computers only.

What are the prerequisites?

When you synchronize Illustrator's settings, Creative Cloud is used to upload, store, or download any information. The Sync Settings feature requires:

  • An Internet connection
  • An Adobe Creative Cloud subscription or a single-app subscription

Using the Sync Settings feature

Is the Sync Settings feature automatic?

No. The Sync Settings feature is manually initiated. The feature cannot be scheduled or triggered automatically.

Synchronization of settings happens as often as you click Sync Settings Now.

Where is the Sync Settings option?

  • [Recommended] Click the icon at the lower-left corner of the Illustrator document window, and then click Sync Settings Now.
  • Click Edit (Mac: Illustrator) > {AdobeID logged in} > Sync Settings Now.
  • Click Ctrl/Cmd + K > Sync Settings tab > click Sync Settings Now. When you use this method, the latest settings are uploaded or downloaded. No changes are applied.
Note:

The recommended method to use the Sync Settings feature is to click the icon at the lower-left corner of an Illustrator document window., and then clicking Sync Settings Now.

When Illustrator is launched for the first time

When you run Illustrator for the first time on a computer on which Sync Settings has never been used, on opening a document you are asked to choose if you want to enable Sync Settings.

Sync Settings prompt on the very first launch
Sync Settings prompt at first launch. No previous Illustrator settings are available in Creative Cloud

Sync Settings prompt at first launch. Previous Illustrator settings are available in Creative Cloud
Sync Settings prompt at first launch. Previous Illustrator settings are available in Creative Cloud

  • Click Sync Settings Now, to upload/download settings with Creative Cloud for the first time.
  • Click Disable Sync Settings, to disable the feature.
  • Click Advanced, to open the Preferences dialog, where you can choose and customize what items are synchronized.
Note:

You can modify any of these setting by clicking Edit (Mac: Illustrator) > Preferences > Sync Settings tab.

Keeping Illustrator settings synchronized

  1. Click the icon at the lower-left corner of the Illustrator document window, and then click Sync Settings Now.

  2. The Sync Settings feature checks for the latest information on your computer and Creative Cloud, and provides you with one of the following dialogs.

    Choose an appropriate action for your computer.

    Sync Settings Popup Dialog

    What this means

    Action

    Two possibilities:

    • Illustrator on the computer that you are using is synchronised with Creative Cloud.
    • Settings have been uploaded / no settings are downloaded
                                   

    No action necessary.                               

    The most recent settings have been downloaded. Uploadable settings, if any, have been added to Creative Cloud.

    Click Apply Now to ensure that settings are synchronized.

    The most recent settings are different on your current computer, Creative Cloud, and the other computer that is synchronized.

    See the section on Resolving Sync Settings conflicts.

    The most recent settings have been downloaded. However, applying the settings will require Illustrator to be restarted to implement the changes.

    If you want the settings to be current, click Restart Now. However, if you must complete other tasks first, you can click Later.

  3. Depending on your action in the previous step, Illustrator and Creative Cloud are updated. However, if you make changes to any Illustrator settings or preferences, you should initiate synchronization, before you close the Illustrator. 

    Sync status from the document status bar
    Sync status from the document status bar

Managing Sync Settings

Sync Settings options in the Preferences panel
Choose whether to enable or disable Sync Settings, what to synchronize, or what to do in case of conflict.

Choosing what to sync

  1. To choose what gets synchronized, do one of the following:

    • Navigate to Edit > {AdobeID logged in} > Manage Sync Settings.
    • Navigate to Edit (Mac: Illustrator) > Preferences > Sync Settings.
  2. Select or clear the checkboxes, to choose what settings are synchronized.

Resolving Sync Settings conflicts

Synchronization conflicts occur when the system is unable to determine whether you want a setting from Creative Cloud or from your local computer to be retained, since both have been changed after the last sync operation.

Consider the following scenario. You modify Illustrator Preferences on your work computer, and synchronize the settings. Thereafter, you modify Illustrator Preferences on your home computer. You now have two sets of modified preferences - one new set in Creative Cloud (synced from your work computer), and a newer set on your home computer. If you attempt to synchronize settings now, you will be prompted to choose from which settings you want to keep.

Sync conflict prompt

  • Sync Local: Sync local settings on this computer to the cloud; overwrite the cloud version with the local version of settings.
  • Sync Cloud: Sync from the cloud to this local computer; ignore changes made to the local settings and replace them with the settings in the cloud.
  • Keep Latest File: Keep the latest settings based on the timestamp.

Enable or disable Sync Settings

  1. To choose what gets synchronized, do one of the following:

    • Navigate to Edit > {AdobeID logged in} > Manage Sync Settings.
    • Navigate to Edit (Mac: Illustrator) > Preferences > Sync Settings.
  2. In the Sync Options area, from the Sync drop-down, select an option.

Adding items to Sync Settings

Only those settings are synchronized that are loaded or used in Illustrator. If you copy a new set of swatches or brushes to installation/settings folders for Illustrator using Explorer or Finder, these assets are not synced. To ensure that such items are synchronized successfully, they must be loaded and saved in Illustrator, once.

For example, if you want to synchronize a new Brush Library, select the brushes from the Brushes panel, save them as a Brush Library from the fly-out menu at the default location.

Items synchronized using the Sync Settings feature

A list of the items synchronized using the Sync Settings feature:

 

# Type of Asset
Asset
*Restart Required
1 Library Graphic Styles
No
2 Library
Swatches No
3 Library Brushes No
4 Library Symbols No
5 Presets Transparency Flattener No
6 Presets Print No
7 Presets PDF No
8 Presets SWF No
9 Presets Perspective Grid
No
10 Presets Image Trace No
11 Presets Color Settings Yes
12 Presets Variable Width Profiles No
13 Workspaces   Yes
14 Keyboard Shortcuts**
  No
15 Preferences Preferences Dialog Yes
16 Preferences Document Profiles No
17 Preferences User Dictionaries Yes
18 Asian Settings Mojikumi No
19 Asian Settings Kinsoku No
20 Asian Settings Composite fonts Yes

*Restart Required indicates that if the settings you are downloading contains such an asset, you must restart Illustrator to apply the downloaded setting.

**Keyboard shortcuts are synchronized for the same platform only, and not between Windows and Mac platforms. Many Windows and Mac keyboard shortcuts are different.

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