Join Chad Chelius for an in-depth discussion in this video Panel improvements, part of Illustrator CS6 New Features Overview.
Adobe took the need to improve the panels in Illustrator CS6 very seriously with this release. Options that will help users work faster spending less time navigating for features, have been added to the panels in Illustrator for easy access. I'd like to first show you one of my favorite new improvements that I personally have been waiting for for years, which is found in the Type panel. It's actually way up here in the Character panel. So I'm going to go ahead and highlight some text within this artwork. And up here in the Character panel, what you're going to notice is that if you click on that to open it up and you go to your Font menu. You're going to notice that finally, we have a nice preview of all of the different fonts, and how they appear within the Font menu. This is also noticeable up here in the Type menu. When you select Text and you go to the Font menu, you're going to see that the fonts show up in the font that they actually are which is very, very helpful. So with this text still selected, I'm going to back to the Character panel here.
Because the other thing you're going to notice is that down here towards the bottom of this Character panel. You're going to notice four new buttons for All Caps, Small Caps, Superscript, and Subscript. No longer do we have to go to the submenu to access these features, although they still exist there if you're familiar with that. Finally, my favorite feature when dealing with type is if you have some text selected. We can come up here into the Font menu, click in there with your cursor.
And now you can use the Arrow keys on your keyboard to change the font and navigate from one font to the other in the font list. This is a huge help for people who are visual and like to see the font as they're changing it. No longer do you have to navigate through the Font menu choosing one each time. So this is a welcome addition. The other helpful improvement is in relationship to the transformation. When I select some artwork with my Selection tool, we can come up here to my Transform panel. And you'll notice a new feature here for Scale Strokes and Effects. You see in the past we didn't have this.
And if we changed our width, or our height to a different amount. You would notice that the artwork changed, but the effect itself did not update. And it tended to get fatter or skinnier, depending on which way you were transforming the object. Now, inside of Illustrator CS6, if we turn this option on and change our value you'll notice that the effect transforms along with the artwork as well. This is a really helpful feature. I'm going to go ahead and Undo that. The next thing is a really helpful addition in relationship to the Color panel.
I'm going to click on this artwork with my Selection tool. And I'm going to come over here to my Appearance panel to make sure that I'm selected on this green fill down here. And you can always change the color right here by clicking on the Color picker. But up here in the Color panel, you're going to notice something new. You can click and drag to open up this Color panel to get an extended Color picker. So you can click to select a different color to apply to the artwork that you have selected. And another welcome addition is in the upper right corner. You'll notice that if you're working in an RGB document, your hexadecimal value is going to be displayed for the current color.
So now, not only can you quickly access that hexidecimal value. But you can copy into and copy out of that field, so that you can reuse that color quickly and easily. Another important improvement is with the Transparency panel. If I come down here to my Transparency panel, you're going to notice that we have this new button here for Make Mask. What I can do to show this to you is I'll just select my Ellipse tool. And I'm going to draw an ellipse on top of this text here.
Now, if I select both the text and that shape that I drew on top. You'll notice that the Make Mask button is now visible. And if I click it, it's going to make a mask for me. This is really helpful when you're working with artwork and you're doing a lot of masking of objects. Because, instead of having to go to a different area everything is located right here. When you want to release the mask, simply click the Release button and now you're back to your two individual objects. Finally, another really helpful option that's been added is going to appear in the Layers panel.
In the past if I wanted to change the name of a layer, I had to double-click on the layer, open up a dialog, and make a change. Now I can simply double-click on the name of the layer, change the name right here, and I'm done. Once again, double-click, change the name, type it in and we're done. These panel improvements are sure to be welcome additions to your Illustrator workflow. Helping you get your work done faster is what Illustrator brings to the table. And I really think you'll enjoy these enhancements as well.
- Performance and interface enhancements
- Pattern creation
- Image trace
- Unembedding images
- Package files
- Links panel enhancements