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- Performance and interface enhancements
- Pattern creation
- Image trace
- Unembedding images
- Package files
- Links panel enhancements
Skill Level Beginner
With Illustrator CS6 being rewritten as a 64-bit application, the interface and all of the panels had to be rewritten as well. Along with that come some significant improvements to the visual look and feel of the interface in Illustrator CS6, as well as the behavior of the interface. Let's take a look at some of these interface improvements. In Illustrator CS6, one of the first things that you're going to notice is the visual appearance of the overall workspace.
You'll notice that by default, it has a darker interface as you can see here. But what's more important here is that we can customize those settings. So you can click on your Preferences button up here inside of your Control panel, or you can go to the Illustrator menu on Mac or the Edit menu on Windows and choose Preferences > User Interface. You'll notice that we have a new Preferences window in this category of User Interface. Up here at the very top we have a drop down menu that allows us to change from different preset configurations for user interface.
We can darken it, we can lighten it. And what's even more powerful is that you can adjust these settings to suit your needs. You'll notice the minute it hits the 50% mark, the text switches from black to white to make it easier to see. These brightness settings can match what you have inside of Photoshop. Now, one other thing is down here for Canvas Color. By default, the canvas is matching the user interface settings that you choose up here. However, you can always turn on the White radio button, so that the canvas Is always white regardless of the user interface color that you choose.
I'm going to go ahead and click OK. Secondly, dialog boxes are now entirely navigable using your keyboard. What I mean by that is it, if I go to the File menu, and choose New. If I press the Tab key on my keyboard, you'll notice that every possible choice gets highlighted, making it very easy for me to adjust the settings without having to grab my mouse. When you get into a setting, that is such a drop down menu that you see here, simply use the up and down arrows on your keyboard to toggle through the units of measurement or the choices in that drop down menu.
Again if I click the OK button to create a new document, Illustrator CS6 is still using the tabbed document interface, that can be set as a preference. I'm going to go ahead and close that document. Finally, the tools panel has some hidden enhancements that new and veteran users alike will appreciate. We've always been able to click and hold on any of the tools that have a little triangle in the lower right corner. And as you move over with your mouse to press, then you go on this little gripper here.
It'll detach that panel. And that's always been helpful when your working Illustrator, because you can float multiple panels and configure them and rearrange them on your screen. One this we can do now in Illustrator CS6 is we can take these panels and we can dock them to the user interface. You can click on this double arrow here to change the configuration from horizontal to vertical, and you can dock multiple panels if you wish.
As I drag over, you can say I get a blue line indicating that that panel is now going to be (UNKNOWN) So you can configure your work space any which way you like and rearrange these panels to suit your needs. As you can see, many of these improvements are a bit subtle, but their improvements that will help you get work done faster, easier, and more efficiently. I'm certain you'll grow to love these improvements in Illustrator CS6 as well.