Adobe Illustrator 10 beta

Graphics softwareA new version of the widely used vector graphics program, Adobe Illustrator, is scheduled for Australian release by the end of 2001. Adobe says that v. 10 will integrate well its other graphics programs, such as Photoshop, After Effects and LiveMotion, and with InDesign 2.0 (see below); being able to edit Illustrator files in InDesign should make life easier. Illustrator 10 is designed to run under Windows XP and the latest Mac OS, X v. 10.1, in addition to earlier versions of both operating systems.

Creating Web-dedicated graphics has been made easier with the introduction of symbols that allow you to repeat graphics, and will keep down a file's size. Slices allow you to manipulate and optimise different areas of a file in different formats - text as a GIFF, graphics as a JPEG, for example. Files can be exported in Flash format, complete with the associated HTML for inclusion in a Web page. There is greater SVG (scalable vector graphic) support, including editable effects such as drop shadows.

You'll find new creative effects like liquefying and warping, which you can apply to graphics or text. There are new drawing tools for lines, arcs, grids and complex shapes such as stars, and a flare tool to apply lens flare effects. You turn an element into a symbol, repeat it just by dragging the mouse, and apply a variety of effects to different instances of the symbol.

The production process requires less effort with such tools as scripting that let you automate tasks, and a magic wand that selects objects with related qualities.

I had a lot of fun playing with the beta of Illustrator 10. Design professionals working for Web or print should find much to welcome in this new release.

Adobe Illustrator 10 beta

Price: $1168 full; $359 upgrade; Phone: 1300 550 305; URL: www.adobe.com.au

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