October 2017 release of Illustrator CC (version 22.0)

The October 2017 release of Illustrator CC (version 22.0) rolls 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 | earlier releases.

Properties panel

 New in the October 2017 release

The new Properties panel in Illustrator lets you view settings and controls in the context of your current task or workflow. This new panel has been designed with ease of use in mind, ensuring that you have access to the right controls right when you need them.

The Properties panel is available by default in the Essentials workspaces. You can also select Window Properties to view it.

Properties panel

 To learn how to use it, see Properties panel.

Puppet Warp tool

 New in the October 2017 release

Puppet Warp lets you twist and distort parts of your artwork, such that the transformations appear natural. You can add, move, and rotate pins to seamlessly transform your artwork into different positions and stances using the Puppet Warp tool in Illustrator.

Access this new tool from the Tools panel. To learn how to use it, see Puppet Warp.

Puppet Warp 02
Plot pins on your artwork using the Puppet Warp tool
Puppet Warp 03
Move or rotate the selected pin to transform your artwork

Artboard-related improvements

 Enhanced in the October 2017 release

Artboards are much easier to work with in this release of Illustrator CC. Also, you can now create 1 to 1000 artboards per document depending on the size of your artboards.

Select multiple artboards

Do one of the following:

  • Shift-click the artboards.
  • Shift-click the canvas and drag the cursor to select multiple artboards using a marquee control.
  • Press Control/Command+A to select all the artboards in your document.
To select multiple artboards using a marquee control, hold down the Shift key while dragging the Artboard tool.

Align and distribute artboards

You can now align or distribute the selected artboards in Align panel or the Control panel. Do the following:

  • Select the artboards you want to align or distribute.
  • Do one of the following:
    • Click Align in the Control panel and then click the icon for the type of alignment or distribution you want.
    • Choose Window > Align and then click the icon for the type of alignment or distribution you want.
Align artboards

 For more information, see Artboards.

Variable fonts

 New in the October 2017 release

Illustrator now supports Variable Font, a new OpenType font format supporting custom attributes like weight, width, slant, optical size, etc. This release of Illustrator ships with several variable fonts for which you can adjust weight, width, and slant using convenient slider controls available when you click  in the Control panel, Character panel, Character Styles panel, and Paragraph Styles panel.

Search for variable in the font list to look for variable fonts. Alternatively, look for the  icon next to the font name.

Move the slider to adjust the Weight, Width, and Slant of the font.
Font list: Some variable fonts

 For more information, see Fonts.

OpenType SVG fonts

 New in the October 2017 release

Illustrator now supports OpenType SVG fonts that provide multiple colors and gradients in a single glyph.

SVG font_example
OpenType SVG fonts: Multiple colors and gradients

To use OpenType SVG fonts, follow these steps:

  • Create either a text object using the Type tool.
  • Set the font to an OpenType SVG font. These fonts are marked with  in the font list.
  • Select specific glyphs using the Glyphs Panel. To view the Glyphs Panel, select Type > Glyphs. Alternatively, you can open the Glyphs panel by selecting Window > Type > Glyphs.

Using Emoji fonts, you can include various colorful and graphical characters, such as smileys, flags, street signs, animals, people, food, and landmarks in your documents. OpenType SVG emoji fonts, such as the EmojiOne font, let you create certain composite glyphs from one or more other glyphs. For example, you can create the flags of countries or change the skin color of certain glyphs depicting people and body parts such as hands and nose.

Flag composite
Combine glyphs to form the flags of countries
Face color composite
Combine single-person characters with skin colors

 For more information, see Fonts.

Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator

 New in the October 2017 release

Illustrator now supports Touch Bar, the multitouch display at the top of the new MacBook Pro keyboard. Using the Touch Bar, you can access Illustrator features and controls right in the context of your current task on the main screen. The Touch Bar supports familiar gestures, such as tap, drag, and slide.

By default, a part of the Touch Bar interface is reserved for macOS system controls. Controls for Illustrator are displayed in the app-specific area in the middle of the Touch Bar interface.

Touch Bar interface

 For more information, see Use the Touch Bar with Illustrator.

Apply stylistic sets to text

 New in the October 2017 release

A stylistic set is a group of glyph alternates that can be applied to a selected block of text. When you apply a stylistic set, the glyphs defined in the set replace the font’s default glyphs in the selected text. The name of the stylistic set provided by the Font Developer is shown in various places in Illustrator. For some fonts, Illustrator displays the stylistic set names as Set 1, Set 2, and so on. You can apply multiple stylistic sets to a range of text.

To apply stylistic sets to your text object, do the following:

  1. Select the text block or the text range to which you want to apply a stylistic set.
  2. Choose Window Type OpenType to open the OpenType panel. Now, do one of the following:
  • Click the Stylistic Sets icon  at the bottom of the panel and choose the desired set.
  • Select Stylistic Sets from the panel menu and choose the desired set.
Apply stylistic sets using the OpenType panel

Add stylistic sets to a character style

To add stylistic sets to a character or a paragraph style, do the following:

  1. Choose Window Type Character StylesParagraph Styles to open the Character Styles panel or the Paragraph Styles panel.
  2. Choose the New CharacterParagraph Style option from the panel menu.
  3. Select the OpenType Features tab on the left of the New Character/ Paragraph Style dialog.
  4. Click  and choose the desired stylistic sets from the list.
  5. Click OK.

 For more information, see Special characters.

Enhanced export experience

 New in the October 2017 release


Now, you can collect objects in the Asset Export panel for export as a single asset or multiple assets. Simply drag your artwork to the Asset Export panel. Alternatively, right-click a piece of artwork and then choose Collect for Export > As Multiple Assets from the context menu.

While exporting assets, Illustrator creates subfolders at the export location by default based on the scaling options you choose. For example, if you select multiple scale formats in the Asset Export panel, say 1x 2x, and 3x to export a file as PNG, Illustrator creates subfolders named 1x, 2x, and 3x for the exported files. For formats that do not support scaling options, Illustrator names the subfolders based on the file formats selected for exporting—for example, SVG and PDF

Illustrator also exports raster objects accurately when you do one of the following while exporting assets using the Asset Export panel or the Export For Screens dialog box:

  • Define a non-integral scale—a scaling value that is not a multiple of 72 pixels.
  • Specify the desired width and height that’s not a multiple of 100 pixels.

Note: Exercise caution while exporting artwork or artboards not aligned to the pixel grid or containing strokes not aligned to Inside. The exported asset for such artwork may still have an extra pixel.

 For more information, see Collect assets and export in batches.

Add and share text assets using Creative Cloud Libraries

 New in the October 2017 release

Now, you can add text objects from your Illustrator documents to Creative Cloud libraries and then share them with other users and across applications. Text assets in a library retain the character/paragraph styles and other attributes originally applied to them. You can reuse text assets in libraries across Illustrator or InDesign documents. However, if a text object has effects and appearances applied to it, you must add it to the library as a graphics asset to preserve them.

 For more information, see Creative Cloud Libraries in Illustrator.

Microsoft Surface Dial support in Illustrator

 New in the October 2017 release

Illustrator now supports Microsoft Surface Dial on Windows 10 Anniversary edition and later or directly on Surface Studio. You can use Surface Dial to adjust settings and parameters for your Illustrator documents.


While using Illustrator, long press Surface Dial to access the following options:

  • Undo/ Redo
  • Arrange
  • Zoom
  • Artboard Navigation
  • Tools, including Rotate, Scale, Brush, Blob Brush, and Eraser.

 For more information, see Microsoft Dial support in Illustrator.

Other enhancements and fixes

Issues fixed in Illustrator CC (version 22.0.1)

Enhancements in Illustrator CC (version 22.0)

You can now disable zoom to selection. Go to Preferences > Selection And Anchor Display and then deselect the Zoom To Selection option.

You can now create text objects, select text, or edit text in sequence without having to reselect the Text tool. 

You can now preview font characteristics, such as size, style, leading, and tracking in real time by simply hovering over the font characteristics in the Control panel and the Character panel. For details, see Fonts.

The Missing Font dialog is now enabled for Composite fonts. If your document has one or more fonts missing from the Composite font, an alert message appears when you open it.

The text caret is more responsive now. For example, the text caret now appears promptly on the screen as you type. The length of the text caret increases or decreases when you change the font size.

When you convert a spot color into a process color (CMYK), Illustrator displays the correct CMYK values according to the standards communicated by the International Color Consortium (ICC).

Now, scripts in the Actions panel are preserved when you relaunch Illustrator.

A new swatch is now a Global swatch by default.

New Document dialog box improvements:

  • The New Document dialog box displays the units of measurement in the text boxes, such as Width and Height.
  • You can use the formulas: add, subtract, multiply, or divide for quick computations of the preset dimensions in the New Document dialog box. 
  • You can specify the Color ModeRaster Effects, and Preview Mode of your document.

You can now use the Path Join (Ctrl/ Command + J) command in Illustrator to join the endpoints of compound paths and artwork in different groups.

Now, when the folder containing the Illustrator document and the linked files is moved, Illustrator automatically finds and updates the linked files using the current path of the Illustrator document.

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