Illustrator includes a variety of effects, which you can apply to an object, group, or layer to change its characteristics.
Illustrator CS3 and earlier included effects and filters, but now Illustrator includes only effects (with the exception of SVG Filters). The primary difference between a filter and an effect is that a filter permanently modifies an object or layer, but an effect and its properties can be changed or removed at any time.
Once you apply an effect to an object, the effect appears in the Appearance panel. From the Appearance panel, you can edit the effect, move it, duplicate it, delete it, or save it as part of a graphic style. When you use an effect, you must expand the object before you can access the new points.
note: Previous versions of Illustrator included filters and effects.
The effects in the top half of the Effects menu are vector effects. You can apply these effects only to vector objects or to the fill or stroke of a bitmap object in the Appearance panel. The following effects and effects categories from the top section are exceptions to this rule and can be applied to both vector and bitmap objects: 3D effects, SVG Filters, Warp effects, Transform effects, Drop Shadow, Feather, Inner Glow, and Outer Glow.
The effects in the bottom half of the Effects menu are raster effects. You can apply them to either vector or bitmap objects.
For a video on using the Appearance panel and the Graphics Styles panel, see www.adobe.com/go/lrvid4022_ai .