New features summary

Update to Illustrator CC available

For more information, see the New features summary.

Images in brushes

Brush stroke and images in brushes

A. Brush stroke B. Piece of coral C. Piece of coral applied to definition of the brush D. Finished artwork 

Brushes can now contain images in the brush definition. You can define Art, Pattern, and Scatter -type brushes to contain raster images. The behavior of the brushes is like any other brush - you can reshape or modify them. Create seamless, naturally organic-looking designs quickly and easily.

See how to use this feature, with a video on using images in brushes.

Enhancements for touch-based devices

Touch Type tool

Text that is rendered normally (left) and when each character is treated individually to accentuate the messaging (right)

A. Text, formatted normally (left) B. Text, each character treated individually to accentuate the messaging  

The Touch Type tool lets you work creatively with text, creating visually pleasing and powerful messages with just text. Each character of text is editable, as if each character were an individual object. Choose a single letter of the alphabet in a word or sentence, and play with moving, scaling, or rotating it. Do these actions easily with the usability enhancements (for example, larger control handles) and support for multi-touch devices (stylus- or touch-driven). In the absence of a touch-enabled device, use your mouse to achieve the same actions.

See how to use this feature with a video on the Text Touch-up tools.

For more information, see Touch-based tools and enhancements.

On-art Free Transform tool

On-art Free Transform tool
Your artwork (left) can be transformed (scaled, rotated, and more) to make it appear like the tag it is placed on (right)

Transform your artwork using the enhanced Free Transform Transform tool (Keyboard shortcut: E). The tool displays a widget that shows the actions that can be performed on a selected object. Select an action, and modify your artwork using a touch-enabled device or stylus. In the absence of such a device, use your mouse to achieve the same results.

In the image above, the artwork has been modified on a touch-enabled device. The artwork has been scaled, and a perspective distort action has been used, to provide the effect of the tag being viewed from an angle.

See how to use this feature with a video on the Free Transform tool.

For more information, see Touch-based tools and enhancements.

OS gestures support

In addition to implementing or enhancing the tools that help you use Illustrator more intuitively and naturally, OS-supported actions are now supported on touch-enabled devices. For example, on a multi-touch device, you can pinch in/out to zoom in/out.

For more information, see Touch-based tools and enhancements.

Automatic corner generation

A stitch pattern has been used to outline artwork (left). The corners are automatically generated in the Pattern Brush Options dialog (right).
A stitch pattern has been used to outline artwork (left). The corners are automatically generated in the Pattern Brush Options dialog (right).

Creating a pattern brush is now a simple and automatic task, that does not require painstaking adjustments to get aspects of the brush right (for example, corner tiles). Generating the best corner tiles, especially while working with sharp angles and shapes, is now a completely automatic process. Make swift work of a previously time-consuming and trial-and-error process by letting Illustrator do the work for you, and get autogenerated corners that match the rest of the stroke.

See how to use this feature with a video on Automatic Corner Generation.

Multiple file place

Import multiple files at a time in Illustrator, with the new multiple file place feature. Define the exact location of where collateral is placed, and also have complete control over the scale at which the file is placed. View a preview thumbnail of the current asset you are importing in your Illustrator layout, even as you place the file.

For more information, see Place multiple files.

Settings in the cloud

Synchronize Illustrator and workspace settings to Creative Cloud — including Illustrator preferences, presets, brushes, and libraries — so they go where you go. For example, when you go to different location, or use a different computer, just sync your settings to the new location/computer have a seamless experience of working in the same environment always.

For more information, see Sync Settings using Adobe Creative Cloud.

Share on Behance

Behance is an online platform to showcase your creative work. You can update your work on Behance, and broadcast it widely and efficiently. You can choose to solicit feedback and opinions about your artwork from a select few, or from anyone with a Behance account. 

With Illustrator CC, you can post your work directly to Behance (File > Share on Behance). After you enter a few details about your work, it is posted as a Work in Progress on Behance.

For more information, see how to Share on Behance.

Kuler panel

Capture a theme anywhere you are with the Adobe Kuler iPhone app.  Or create one on the Kuler website. Once the theme is available in your Kuler account linked with Creative Cloud, you can sync your themes with the new Kuler panel in Illustrator. Either use the themes in Illustrator immediately, or add them to the Swatches panel to modify and process them further.

Important: The Kuler panel is not available in the French version of Illustrator.

For more information, see Kuler Panel.

Generate and extract CSS code

Design the most elegant HTML layouts and then capture the styling, positioning, and appearance of objects in the layout with precise and multi-browser CSS. Save time in replicating the look-and-feel of Illustrator-designed by copying or exporting the CSS code for a selected object of the entire page.

For more information, see how you can generate and extract CSS from an Illustrator-designed layout.


Take advantage of two enhancements to the workflow to save your artwork as an SVG file. Now export all CSS styles with their associated names, for better discoverability and reuse. Also, you can now choose to export all CSS styles available in the artwork file, and not only the ones that are used in the artwork.

For more information, see SVG.

Enhancement: White overprint

Avoid the issues caused when Illustrator artwork contains white objects applied with unintentional overprint. Avoid losing time by discovering this issue during production, and then having to reprint. You can now simply turn a setting on in the Document Setup or Print dialogs, You can now use print and output without the need to check and correct for white-object overprint in artwork.

See how to effectively use this feature with a video on the White Overprint option.

For more information, see White Overprint.

Indic support

Discover the new support for Indic languages. The new single-line and every-line Middle Eastern & South Asian Composers support several Indian languages including:

  • Bengali
  • Gujarati
  • Hindi
  • Kannada
  • Malayalam
  • Marathi
  • Oriya
  • Punjabi
  • Tamil
  • Telugu

For more information, see Indic support with new composers.

Enhancement: Search colors and swatches

Color Picker   

Color Picket with Color Swatches

The Color Picker dialog (double-click the Fill proxy in the toolbar) now has a search widget in the Color Swatches dialog. When you click Color Swatches, a search bar appears below the predefined list of color swatches. Type the name of a color or a CMYK value. If you type ‘blue’, all the color swatches with the word blue in their name are displayed. Typing Y=10 will display all the color swatches that have yellow color with a value of 10 in the CMYK scale. The search widget is enabled by default.


Swatches panel > flyout menu

The search option (Swatches panel > flyout menu > Show Find Field) in the Swatches Panel has been enhanced. You can type a name of a color, or simply type in the CMYK color combination to search if such a color combination exists. As in previous releases, the field does not enforce an auto-complete of the color. The characters you type are no longer automatically substituted with the closest color match found.

The Find field is not enabled by default, and must be enabled for the first time from the flyout menu.

Enhancement: Search fonts

Reduce the time that you spend in the Type panel searching for the font that you need for your Illustrator document. The new search bar in the Type panel allows you to search for a font, and all the styles available for that font.

Font Search

A new Search Entire Font Name option has been added. When you start typing the name of the font, a relevant list of fonts is displayed, and is automatically refreshed as you continue to type. This feature has been added to the font drop-downs in the Character panel, Control panel, or the Character panel that is invoked from the Control panel.

Font Grouping

When you click the drop down arrow and browse in the fonts-related panels, font families appear with a triangle to their left. Clicking the triangle, expands the font name and displays all the associated style sets for the font. For example, when you click the triangle to the left of the font - Calibri, the expanded list displays Regular, Italic, Bold, and Bold Italic.

For more information on the search bar in the Type panel, see the video on searching for fonts.

Enhancement: Separations Preview panel

Separations Preview dialog displaying all spot colors available in the swatch (left), and only the colors used in the artwork (right)
The Separations Preview dialog displaying all spot colors available in the swatch (left), and only the colors used in the artwork (right)

The Separations Preview panel displays process and spot colors. All spot colors that are available in the swatches are displayed in the list. In this version of Illustrator, an option has been added to display on the spot colors that are used in the artwork. When you select the new Show used spot colors only option in the Separations Preview panel, all spot colors that have not been used in the artwork are removed from the list.

Enhancement: Guides

In Illustrator CC, there are enhancements to guides:

  1. Double-clicking on a ruler (Ctrl/Cmd + R) creates a guide at that specific location on the ruler.
  2. When you hold Shift and then double-click a specific location on a ruler, the guide created at the point automatically snaps to the closest division (mark) on the ruler.
  3. Create horizontal and vertical Guides in one action. Here’s how:
    1. At the top-left corner of the Illustrator window, left-click the intersection of the Rulers, press Ctrl (or Cmd on a Mac), and drag the mouse pointer to any location in the Illustrator window.
    2. The mouse pointer becomes cross hairs to indicate where a horizontal and vertical guide can be created.
    3. Release the mouse pointer to create the Guides.

Enhancement: Perspective Grid usability

Dismiss the Perspective Grid tool with more ease, when you no longer need it. To hide the Perspective Grid tool:

  • With either of the Perspective Grid tool or the Perspective Selection tool selected, when the perspective grid is visible, press the Esc key.

Enhancement: Modernized file dialog (Windows-only)

All dialogs that help you open, select, and work with files now use the new Windows dialog. For example the Open, Save, Save As, Place, Export, and other dialogs.

New Windows dialog

Advantages of working with the new dialog include:

  • Favorites: You can designate folders that you use often as favorite folders, and use them conveniently as soon as a file dialog opens. For example, you can access the Creative Cloud Files shortcut that gives you quick and simple access to all the artwork files or other collateral that you may have stored in the cloud.
  • Previews: The preview pane automatically renders a preview of a selected file.

Support for AutoCAD libraries

Illustrator CS6 supports opening and exporting these AutoCAD file formats:

  • er21 (in AutoCAD 2007, 2008, and 2009) 
  • er24 (in AutoCAD 2010, 2011, and 2012)

However, Illustrator CS6 does not support features added in versions:

  • AutoCAD 2007, 2008, and 2009 (er21 file format)
  • AutoCAD 2010, 2011, and 2012 (er24 file format)

AutoCAD features supported until Illustrator CS6 will continue to be available. Also:

  • You can apply scaling to objects on hidden layers. 
  • Scripting support has been added for opening and exporting the er21 (in AutoCAD 2007, 2008, and 2009) and er24 (in AutoCAD 2010, 2011, and 2012) file formats.

Package files

Gather all the files used, including linked graphics and fonts, into a single folder for quick hand-off. Choose File > Package to collect all assets in a single location. See Package Files.

Unembed images

Replace embedded images with links to their extracted PSD or TIFF files. Select an embedded image and choose Unembed from the Links panel menu, or click Unembed in the Control panel. See Unembed images.

Links panel improvements

View and track additional information about placed artwork directly in the Links panel. See Links Information

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