Update to Illustrator CS6 available
For more information, see the New features summary.
To take advantage of advancements in high-resolution display technologies, Illustrator includes native support for high-resolution displays. This feature is currently available for the Mac OS (for example, the MacBook Pro with Retina display). You can work with a sharper and clearer user interface on devices with high-resolution displays. Thumbnails in panels are also much clearer.
Text and complex artwork also display in greater clarity, and in colors and hues that appear more vibrant than before.
A. Illustrator with HiDPI support B. Illustrator without HiDPI support
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.
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.
View and track additional information about placed artwork directly in the Links panel. See Links Information.
The Adobe Mercury Performance system is a combination of solutions that makes Illustrator faster, more responsive, and able to handle larger files.
64-bit native support
Makes general processing faster on 64-bit Macintosh and Windows operating systems. Illustrator can now take advantage of RAM beyond 3 GB.
Handle larger files
Concurrent handling of large files is less likely to cause errors, like out-of-memory exceptions. Complex tasks, such as creating package designs, large-format graphics, or cartography, are better handled.
Improved memory handling
Reduces out-of-memory errors for operations such as rasterization, export, and working on several large files simultaneously.
For more information, view the video on the Mercury Performance System, by Lynda.com.
The user interface is more efficient, streamlined, and more configurable, to make working in Illustrator a more pleasing experience.
Pattern creation and editing tasks have been simplified, so you can save hours of repetitive and tedious work. The new Pattern Options panel provides you with an easy set of options to experiment and modify your design until you get the pattern of your choice.
For details on the Pattern Options panel and workflow, see Create and edit patterns.
For more information, view the video on pattern creation and editing, by Lynda.com.
The gradient on a stroke feature provides you with three types of gradients to apply to a stroke. You no longer have to expand a stroke to fill it, and then apply a gradient to it. Apply a gradient to a stroke using the Gradient panel (Window > Gradient):
Within: Behaves as if the stroke has been expanded to a filled object with a gradient
Along: The gradient is applied along the length of the stroke.
Across: The gradient is applied across the width of the stroke.
For more information, view the video on applying gradients to a stroke, by Lynda.com.
The workflow to vectorize a raster image now produces much cleaner tracings. The output has fewer paths and anchor points, and better color recognition than the Live Trace feature in previous versions.
The new Gaussian Blur effect (Effect > Blur > Gaussian Blur) is speedy and efficient. Select the Preview checkbox to view the Gaussian Blur applied to your artwork, in real time.
Use the improved profiles and additional component libraries to get a quick start on your art projects:
For more information, view the video on enhanced startup profiles and other changes, by Lynda.com