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What’s New in Adobe Illustrator CS2

What’s New in Adobe Illustrator CS2

Illustrator CS2 is packed with new and innovative features to help you produce artwork more efficiently, whether that be for print, web, or wireless publication. Here we’ve included a brief explanation of many new features, and included references to particular lessons where you can learn more about them.

Control palette

Using the new contextually sensitive Control palette, you can streamline your workflow and find many of the attributes you need quickly and easily, without accessing multiple palettes. Using text fields, you can enter numerical values for items such as strokes and opacity, or click to be linked to the appropriate palette, such as Fill, and Opacity. The Control palette is referenced thoughout many of the lessons.


Adobe Illustrator CS2 now allows you to organize palettes for your workflow and save the workspace (visible palettes and their location on screen) to a named file. You are also able to load any given Workspaces file, and select from a default list of available pre-configured options. Dual display setups are also supported. Read more about Workspaces in Lesson 1, “Getting to Know the Work Area.”

Live Trace

Converting Raster images to vector is easy with Live Trace. The Live Trace feature allows you to take raster images, and to trace-convert them into vector art.

Adobe Illustrator CS2 smartly traces raster images, using the least amount of points, and produces artwork that looks as close to the original as you like. Using the Live Trace options, you can choose to use a particular palette of colors for the image, or extract a palette from the raster artwork.

In addition, with Live Trace you can change the trace settings as many times as you like, to create the effect you are looking for. You can even edit the original image and Illustrator automatically updates the traced raster image. Read more about Live Trace in “A Quick Tour of Adobe Illustrator CS2” and Lesson 5, “Color and Painting.”

Live Paint

With Live Paint, gain a paint-like experience in the vector world, with all the benefits and intuitiveness of paint, and the power of vector.

The Live Paint Bucket tool () automatically detects regions composed of independent intersecting paths and fills them accordingly. The paint within a given region remains live, and flows automatically, even if any of the paths are moved. The Live Paint Bucket also paints strokes (if enabled in the Live Paint Bucket options), detecting stroke segment regions resulting from independent intersecting paths. As with fills, the color of a stroke flows as the intersecting regions are changed.

A companion feature to the Live Paint Bucket is support for Gap Detection. With this feature, Illustrator is able to automatically and dynamically detect, and close, small/undesired gaps that may be part of the artwork. Users have a choice in determining whether they actually want paint to flow across region gap boundaries. Read more about Live Paint and Gap Detection in Lesson 5, “Color and Painting.”

Photoshop import enhancements

You can now specify in Illustrator’s Place dialog window which Layer Comps you want to import. Simply save a Photoshop file with a number of saved Layer Comps; upon placing the file, the import window automatically appears. Read more about importing images in “A Quick Tour of Adobe Illustrator CS2.”

Spot-color rasters

In Illustrator CS2, you have the ability to preserve spot color rasters in live effects including: Rasterize, Feather, Inner/Outer Glow, Gaussian blur, and Radial blur in both CMYK and RGB document color spaces

You also have the ability to colorize an embedded grayscale image with one spot or process color, in either CMYK or RGB document color spaces. Read more about spot color in Lesson 14, “Printing Artwork and Producing Color Separations,” learn about Effects in Lesson 11, “Applying Appearance Attributes, Graphic Styles, and Effects.”

SVG 1.1 support

Illustrator CS2 has the ability to import and export to SVG 1.1 format, and includes support for profiles such as Tiny, Basic, and Full.

In addition, Illustrator CS2 includes features that produce cleaner SVG output, and enhanced maintenance of elements and attributes.

Offset paths

Illustrator CS2 provides the ability to offset stroke alignment around a path. It is now possible to offset the path to either be completely inside a path, or completely outside, with the default still the center of the stroke. Find these new options in the Stroke palette. Learn more about Strokes in Lesson 5, “Color and Painting.”

Underline text and strikethrough

Those of you who have been working in Illustrator for many versions will be happy to discover that Illustrator CS2 allows you to underline, and strikethrough text. Read more about text features in Lesson 6, “Working with Type.”

While this list is by no means an exhaustive description of the new features of Illustrator CS2, it exemplifies Adobe’s commitment to providing the best tools possible for your publishing needs. We hope you enjoy working with Illustrator CS2 as much as we do.

The Adobe Illustrator CS2 Classroom in a Book Team

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