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Illustrator CS6 New Features
Illustration by John Hersey
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Adjusting the interface brightness


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Illustrator CS6 New Features

with Justin Seeley

Video: Adjusting the interface brightness

When you first open up Illustrator CS6, you're going to notice a big difference from the previous versions of the program. Most notable is the new dark interface which mimics the look of popular video editing applications like Adobe After Effects and Premiere. Adobe has adopted this new darker interface to help keep you engaged while you're working in Illustrator. Personally, I love it, but I realize you might not. Lucky for you, Adobe has provided you with tools to change the interface brightness at any time simply by going into your Preferences. If you want to access the Preferences dialog box, you can go up to the Illustrator menu on the Mac or the Edit menu on a PC, find the Preferences, and select User Interface.

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Illustrator CS6 New Features
56m 58s Intermediate Apr 23, 2012 Updated Oct 04, 2012

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With the CS6 release, Adobe Illustrator is turning 25 and has a new look and a few new features. In this course, Justin Seeley hosts a tour of the interface changes and the tools introduced in this version. The course covers Pattern Options for creating simple, repeatable patterns for web graphics, advanced tracing options with the Image Tracing tool, and the improved performance and file management features. Justin also discusses the exclusive features you get with the Creative Cloud subscription to Illustrator, like the ability to quickly unembed images and one-click file packaging.

This course was updated on 10/04/2012.

Topics include:
  • Adjusting the interface brightness
  • Understanding updates to panels and preferences
  • Creating a repeatable pattern
  • Performing a basic trace
  • Converting pixels to paths
  • Understanding what 64-bit support means for you
  • Introducing startup profiles
  • Understanding the Save for Web changes
  • Enhancing artwork with gradients on strokes
  • Working with the improved Gaussian Blur
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Justin Seeley

Adjusting the interface brightness

When you first open up Illustrator CS6, you're going to notice a big difference from the previous versions of the program. Most notable is the new dark interface which mimics the look of popular video editing applications like Adobe After Effects and Premiere. Adobe has adopted this new darker interface to help keep you engaged while you're working in Illustrator. Personally, I love it, but I realize you might not. Lucky for you, Adobe has provided you with tools to change the interface brightness at any time simply by going into your Preferences. If you want to access the Preferences dialog box, you can go up to the Illustrator menu on the Mac or the Edit menu on a PC, find the Preferences, and select User Interface.

You can also access the Preferences dialog box by using the keyboard shortcut Command+K on the Mac, Ctrl+K on the PC. Once you're inside of the Preferences dialog box, and you're on the User Interface tab, you can find the Brightness controls here at the top. You'll notice that you have a dropdown menu and a slider. The dropdown menu provides you with four choices: Dark, Medium Dark which is the default, Medium Light, and Light. You'll notice each time I change the brightness level, Illustrator automatically updates itself to reflect that change. It's pretty cool! If you're not happy with any of these brightness controls, you can simply use the slider.

Dragging the slider to the left decreases the brightness of the interface, dragging the slider to the right, brightens it right back up. Depending on your personal choice, you could set this at any level you want. For now, I'm going to reset this back to the default, Medium Dark. You'll also notice that you have a Canvas Color control. This is the area that surrounds your artboard. Currently, it's set to Match User Interface Brightness. So as you can see, the area around my artboard is dark just like my interface.

If I happen to switch this to a lighter color, the canvas automatically updates itself. If you don't like this auto-updating feature, you can change this to simply be white. Once you do that, the surrounding area around your artboard will always be white. Personally, I like to match the user interface brightness, and keep it on the Medium Dark. It just helps me center my eyes right on my artboard and the things I'm working on. Once you've got your interface brightness exactly where you like it, just hit OK and you can continue working.

No matter what your preference, the new Illustrator UI is certainly easy to customize, whether you want it super dark or light as a feather, Illustrator now allows you to fine-tune its appearance to any degree you see fit.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS6 New Features.


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Q: This course was updated on 10/04/12. What changed?
A: We added a new chapter to address the new features that come with Illustrator when you have an Adobe Creative Cloud membership. These include features like the ability to quickly unembed images and one-click file packaging.
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