New features summary | April 2017 and November 2016 releases

April 2017 and November 2016 releases

The April 2017 and November 2016 releases of Illustrator CC roll out exciting new features for designers and illustrators. Read on for a quick introduction to these features and links to resources offering more information.

For a summary of features introduced in earlier releases of Illustrator CC, see Feature summary | Illustrator CC | 2015 releases.

Image crop

 New in Illustrator CC (April 2017)

You can now crop linked or embedded images in Illustrator. While cropping, you can work with the image using intuitive crop widget controls. The Image Crop feature works only on the currently selected image. Linked images become embedded after you crop them.

Select the image and then do one of the following:

  • Click Crop Image on the Control panel.
  • Select Object > Crop Image.
  • Select Crop Image from the context menu.

For more information, see Crop Images.

Adobe Color Themes panel

 New in Illustrator CC (April 2017)

You can now create, explore, and access color themes directly from within Illustrator and use them immediately in your design projects. Explore the many public color themes available on Adobe Color and filter them in several ways: Most PopularMost UsedRandom, themes you've published, or themes you've appreciated in the past. Once you've found a theme that you like, edit it and save it to your themes or add it to your swatches in Illustrator.

Select Window > Color Themes to access color themes in Illustrator.

For more information, see Use the Adobe Color Themes panel.

Adobe Color Themes panel

A. Create a color theme B. Set active color C. Set selected color from the active color D. Adjust the slider E. Enter a name for your color theme F. Access your color themes G. Explore public color themes H. Adjust the color under the available color systems I. Choose a color J. Choose a color rule K. Add the color theme to the Swatches panel L. Color wheel M. Save your color theme 

Jump-start your creative projects

 New in Illustrator CC (November 2016)

Now, while creating a document in Illustrator, instead of beginning with a blank canvas, you can choose from a wide variety of templates, including templates from Adobe Stock. Templates include assets and illustrations that you can build on to complete your project. When you open a template in Illustrator, you can work with it just as you would work with any other Illustrator document (.ai).

In addition to templates, you can also create a document by selecting one of the numerous presets available in Illustrator.

For more information, see Create documents.

User experience refresh

 New in Illustrator CC (November 2016)

Illustrator now has a brand new user interface that is flat, modern, and easy on the eyes. The tools and panels have new icons. You can customize the interface to sport one of the four available color options designed for optimal user experience: Dark, Medium Dark, Medium Light,and Light.

For more information, see Customize your workspace.

User interface: then versus now with brightness set to Light

A. Earlier Illustrator releases B. Illustrator CC 2017 release 

Available UI color options

Fill type objects with placeholder text

 New in Illustrator CC (November 2016)

Filling type objects with placeholder text helps you visualize the design better. Now, by default, Illustrator automatically fills new objects created using type tools with placeholder text. The placeholder text retains the font and size applied to the previous type object.

For more information, see Create text.

Samples of type objects with placeholder text using Type tools

A. Type Tool B. Type On A Path Tool C. Vertical Area Type Tool 

Import text into a path/shape

 New in Illustrator CC (November 2016)

Place text from a supported file right inside an object, such as a shape. You can place text from files in the .txt or .rtf formats, or files from word-processing applications. For example, place text from a .rtf file into a polygonal shape.

For details, see Import text into a container.

Place text from a file right inside a path/shape

Font-related features

Easily find the perfect font

 New in Illustrator CC (November 2016)

Quickly find the fonts that you use often by starring individual font families as favorites or selecting from recently used fonts that appear on top of the font list. Recently used and starred fonts are preserved across Illustrator sessions.

While searching for fonts, you can narrow down the results by filtering fonts by classification, like Serif, Sans Serif, and Handwritten. Further, you can choose to search among fonts installed on your computer or synchronized fonts from Typekit.

You can also search for fonts based on visual similarity (). Fonts closest in visual appearance to the font you're searching for appear on top of the search results.

See Organize and filter fonts.

Live font preview

 Enhanced in Illustrator CC (November 2016)

Preview your selected type objects with different fonts in real time by simply hovering over the font name in the font list available in the Control panel and Character panel.

See Live font preview.

View live font previews

In-context alternate glyphs

 New in Illustrator CC (November 2016)

While working on a type object, you can now select a character to quickly view alternate glyphs right next to it in an in-context widget. Simply click an alternate glyph to replace the character with it.

For more information, see Replace a character with on-canvas glyph alternatives.

In-context glyph alternatives

Create pixel-perfect art

 New in Illustrator CC (November 2016)

Creating pixel-perfect art in Illustrator is now easier and more intuitive than ever before. Draw pixel-perfect art that looks sharp and crisp on screens at different stroke widths and alignment options. Choose to align an existing object to the pixel grid with a single click or align a new object right while drawing it. While transforming objects, you can preserve pixel-alignment without distorting the artwork. Pixel-alignment works for objects as well as individual path segments and anchor points that comprise them.

For more information, see Draw pixel-perfect art.

Draw an object aligned to the pixel grid

Keep an object pixel-aligned while moving it

Keep an object pixel-aligned while scaling it

Zoom to selection

 New in Illustrator CC (November 2016)

Now, when you zoom in or out while working on artwork, using the Zoom tool or its keyboard shortcuts, Illustrator brings the selected art in the center of the view. If the selection has anchor points or segments, Illustrator also brings those anchor points to the center of the view when you zoom in or out.

Other enhancements

  • Now, you can choose from a wide variety of special characters available in the Type menu and context menu, such as symbols, hyphens, quotation marks, white-space characters, and break characters. For details, see Special characters
  • Keyboard shortcuts for the following hidden characters: En Space, Em Space, Thin Space, Superscripts, Subscripts, Discretionary Hyphen, and Non-Breaking Space. You can also customize these shortcuts in the keyboard shortcuts list.
  • Easily work with type objects having text in a common font family but in different styles, or vice versa. Consider two type objects containing text in the Arial font family—one in the Regular style and the other in the Bold style. When you select these type objects, Illustrator keeps the Font Style field blank, but displays the Font Family as Arial.
  • While applying a character or paragraph style, a single click now suffices, even if the style has an override.
  • Quickly search for Adobe Stock assets from right within Illustrator. For details, see Workspace basics.
  • Numerous other bug fixes, stability improvements, and performance enhancements that help you work better and faster
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