June 2
Adobe Ships Illustrator 9
New version adds enhanced Web functionality

by David Nagel
Executive Producer

Illustrator 9 adds Web functionality and enhanced transparency capabilities.

Adobe has started shipping version 9.0 of Illustrator, a vector illustration tool. The new version adds enhanced Web functionality, as well as additional features for its traditional market—print publishers. According to Adobe, Illustrator 9 is now geared toward Web content creation and optimization and adds transparency capabilities unmatched in any other vector illustration program. It's also been retooled to integrate better with Adobe's other products, like GoLive, LiveMotion, After Effects and Photoshop. New features include:

  • Output Flash and SVG formats. Both Web vector formats maintain high-quality artwork and fonts, while producing smaller file sizes and faster download times than bitmap formats.
  • A new pixel preview feature lets you specify pixels as a global measurement unit for sizing, editing, and laying out your artwork. You can also preview your vector objects as they will appear when rasterized in a Web browser.
  • The Stylize commands under the Effect menu let you apply appearances such as drop shadows and glows directly to type and graphic objects while retaining full vector editability of the objects.
  • The new Release to Layers command lets you instantly distribute all of the objects on a layer onto separate, individual layers.
  • The new Transparency palette lets you apply transparency to any graphic object, bitmap image or type character in your artwork so that underlying objects are partially or fully revealed. You can vary the transparency settings for every character, word or paragraph in a text block. You can also apply transparency to an entire layer.
  • Two new masking features—Opacity masks and Layer Clipping masks—let you selectively hide and reveal areas of your artwork through custom shapes.
  • The Feather command under the Stylize menu softens the transition between foreground and background objects.
  • Preview of overprint settings to proof trapping and spot-color effects.
  • Ability to to apply nondestructive visual effects to graphic objects, bitmap images and type.
  • The new Styles palette lets you create and save a set of appearance attributes.

Related Sites

Related Help/User Forums
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Illustrator 9 requires any PowerPC processor, OS 8.5 or above, 64 MB RAM and 105 MB free hard disk space. It's available now for $399. Current Adobe Illustrator users can upgrade for $149. Registered users of Photoshop, InDesign, PageMaker and competitive software products can purchase Illustrator 9 for $249. The Adobe Collections, including the Adobe Web Collection, Adobe Publishing Collection, Adobe Dynamic Media Collection and Adobe Design Collection, are being updated to include Illustrator 9. The Adobe Design Collection, which includes Illustrator, Acrobat, Photoshop and InDesign, sells for $1,599. The Dynamic Media collection, which includes Premiere, After Effects, Photoshop and Illustrator, sells for $1,499. The Publishing Collection, which includes PageMaker Plus, Photoshop, Acrobat and Illustrator, sells for $999. And the Web Collection, which includes GoLive, Photoshop and Illustrator, sells for $999 as well. For more information, visit http://www.adobe.com.

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