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What’s New in Illustrator CC 2019?

Each year Adobe comes out with new features, so what changed in Illustrator CC 2019? We’ll cover the most important changes we think you should know about.

Freeform Gradients

In addition to Linear and Radial gradients, Adobe added a new kind of gradient called Freeform gradients. Freeform gradients are similar to a gradient mesh, but are easier to work with and the color blending acts differently.

You can add color stops (places where you choose a color) anywhere in an object and move them around. These color stops can be points or lines. You can switch between the two modes in the Gradient panel, Properties panel, or Control panel.

Global Editing

If you have many copies of an element throughout a file, you can now edit them all at the same time! After selecting one of the copies, start a global edit by doing one of the following:

  • Go into the Select menu and choose Global Edit.
  • In the Properties panel click Start Global Edit.
  • In the Control panel (the bar at the top of the screen) click the Select Similar Objects button.

All the copies will become highlighted. Change the original and all the copies will be automatically updated!

For more options on what will be edited, click the arrow to the right of the Properties panel’s Start Global Edit button or the Control panel’s Select Similar Objects button.

100% Zoom = Real Life Size

Depending on your monitor size and resolution, 100% zoom has not always matched real life sizes. Thankfully this has been fixed in Illustrator CC 2019.

When zooming to 100% by choosing View > Actual Size, you will now see an accurate representation of the real life size. For example, a business card will accurately show the size of the printed business card.

Adobe Fonts & Previewing Fonts

Typekit has been renamed Adobe Fonts, but it’s not just a rebranding. There are more features and the Adobe Fonts collection of fonts are more integrated into Illustrator. Previously only some fonts could be synced to your computer and there were limits as to how many fonts could be synced at the same time. Those limits are now gone!

Accessing the 14,000+ fonts available within Adobe Fonts service can now be done directly in Illustrator:

  1. When choosing a font, click the Find More tab.
  2. If you have text selected, hovering over each font will preview it in the file without have to download the font!
  3. To download that font for use on your computer, click the cloud icon to the right of the font.

Even if you aren’t using Adobe Fonts, hovering over any font name will preview it on your selected text, which makes it a lot faster to find the right font!

Trim View

Illustrator CC 2019 has a new Trim View, which is like InDesign’s Preview mode if you’re familiar with that app. Choose View > Trim View to hide guides and artwork that falls outside the artboard.

While Trim View does not have a default keystroke, you can assign one in Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

Presentation Mode

There’s a new presentation mode, like the one InDesign has. It shows your file full-screen with no menu bars, guides, etc.

  • To enter Presentation mode, press Shift–F or choose View > Presentation Mode.
  • In Presentation mode, use the Right and Left Arrow keys to switch artboards.
  • To exit Presentation mode, press the Esc key.

Scalable Interface

Do you have a hard time seeing the icons and reading the text in Illustrator’s interface? Good news, you can now make the interface bigger!

  1. Go into the Illustrator CC menu (Mac) or Edit menu (Windows) and choose Preferences > User Interface.
  2. Adjust the UI Scaling to your preferred size.
  3. Quit and restart Illustrator.

Customizable Toolbar

With so many tools, Adobe has created two preset toolbars (Basic and Advanced), and you can further customize them or create your own toolbars with just the tools you want. The Basic toolbar has fewer tools, and Advanced toolbar has all the tools.

  • To choose switch toolbars, going into Windows > Toolbars and choose Basicor Advanced.
  • To see hidden tools, add/remove tools, etc. click the Edit Toolbar button (...) at the bottom of the toolbar.

Learn Adobe Illustrator & Graphic Design

Master Illustrator at Noble Desktop with hands-on training in Adobe Illustrator classes and graphic design courses. Each course comes with our step-by-step workbook and numerous real-world projects to help you learn all the essential tools. An aspiring graphic designer can attend our licensed Graphic Design Certificate Program which includes classes on the graphic design applications, design theory, and portfolio development. 

Learn more in these courses

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