illustrator: updates

I just got a note from the Adobe beta program about a new build of Illustrator 24.x, so I guess maybe it’s finally time to move from 22.x (CC2018) to 23.x (CC2019).

Herein are my notes about the new features.


The new freeform gradient mode is pretty cool, but I’m not a fan of the way I can’t save it in the swatches palette, or as a Graphic Style. I suspect it will see about as much use from me as the Gradient Mesh, it’s still really not feeling faster than my usual method of “draw a shape, then use Draw Inside to add some blurred shapes inside it”.

Fonts panel enhancements are nice. Integrating Typekit fonts into another pane is a nice touch too.

Global Editing feels like a big *shrug* from me, I can see it being super useful for designers but I rarely have tons of identical objects, and I already have a decent workaround for handling them via brushes. Might play with it next time I have to do designey things I guess.

Customizable toolbar is another *shrug*. It was nice to get rid of a couple parts of it I never use but I don’t feel a need to make specialized toolbars? Also the apple-t ‘show/hide toolbar’ shortcut seems to have completely vanished, blah. Oh no it’s just that the menu item used to be window>tools>default and now it’s window>toolbars>advanced. Cool. Now I can have a little toolbar that does nothing but display the Draw Above/Below/Inside status. Wish I could assign a shortcut to it. But I can’t. Only the Advanced and Basic bars.

Presentation Mode and Trim-To-Artboard mode are definitely gonna be nice.

“Faster zoom”. Look I am never going to complain about profoundly unsexy changes like “we made part of this program run better”, one of my favorite major updates was basically “we rebuilt a bunch of the boring memory management stuff and now it’s faster”.

Content-Aware Image crop? Meh w/e, I’m sure designers will like it.

view>actual size respecting monitor DPI is a thing I’ve been wanting a while, hopefully it will work with my external monitor as well as the internal. “If you are using more than one display monitors, the actual size feature will work only on the primary monitor” according to Adobe but I always have the laptop closed when connected to the external.

Puppet Warp sucks less, okay, I use it once in a blue moon. New Home screen for beginners, w/e, I keep that off. Supposedly it tailors its content to your expertise and I will probably laugh at what it thinks I should see. Yeah mostly it just shows me thumbnails of my recent documents. Which was nice on a Surface tablet but not a big thing on the Mac. Properties panel has more stuff, w/e, I still just keep a zillion panels around.¬†Outline mode is now GPU-accelerated, yay, I stay on the CPU all the time because my art breaks the GPU renderer a lot. And a handful of other little tweaks I don’t give a damn about.

Still waiting on “rotate canvas”.

Also I am glad the new splash screen is, once again, not a creepy damn drowning face staring at me.

I just spent an hour and a half going down all the new features. Time to draw.

Oh hey the old-style linear/radial gradients update as you drag the gradient handles around instead of when you let go, that’s nice. And they fixed the glitch where the Layers panel starts flickering weirdly once you have two windows open on the same document with different layer visibility settings! (most common for me: one window at 100% with the sketch layer off, another closer up with the sketch layer on.)


Whoops. Crash. How much did I lose… Not too much, yay Data Recovery, yay saving frequently.

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