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This course was updated on 10/04/2012.
- 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
Skill Level Intermediate
Another UI enhancement that's been made to Illustrator CS6 is the reorganized Control panel. If you're not sure exactly what the Control panel is, it's this panel that runs across the top of your document window here. In previous versions of Illustrator, the Control panel was a little all over the place in terms of how the options were presented to you. Depending on which tool or what type of object you had selected, the options always seem to be in a different place. Now in Illustrator CS6, the Control panel has been reorganized so that the most used controls appear at the same location depending on what object you have selected on screen.
The goal here is to create a consistent user experience that makes it easier for you to find the tools you need. Let's take a look. Here on my artboard, I have some art work, and I'm going to select the small portion of the bear's ear here on the right. You'll notice when I do that, my Control panel reflects that I have an object selected. You can see things like Fill and Stroke Controls as well as Opacity and Style Controls as well. If I switch what type of object I have selected, for instance switching to this text object here, you'll notice my Control panel remains the same on the front-end; Fill, Stroke, et cetera, but on the end of it, it's added Character, Paragraph, and Paragraph Alignment Controls.
This is all corresponding to the fact that I have a text object selected, but the front-end remains sticky or in the same place, so that I can instantly grab those tools if I need to. The same holds true if I were to switch tools as well. Let's click away to deselect that object and notice here I have the Selection tool selected. If I switch to the Type tool, my Control panel remains basically the same all the way across until you get to the end, where you see Character, Paragraph, and Paragraph Alignment Controls. So no matter what you're working on inside of Illustrator, the Control panel is always going to stay organized and only add the tools you need to the very end of it.
This is a nice little UI tweak that makes Illustrator so much easier to use, and I for one really appreciate it.