What’s New
Explore new paths with the essential vector tool
Discover new features and hidden gems that enable you to work efficiently
and deliver anywhere. Multiple artboards, transparency in gradients, and a new
Blob Brush tool for fluid sketching make Illustrator CS4 a must-have upgrade.
Adobe Illustrator CS4 software, available for both Mac and Windows®, is a comprehensive
vector graphics environment that is tightly integrated with other Adobe Creative Suite® 4
software. Discover the power of editing appearances, work efficiently with new guides and
panels, and deliver to developers, to printers, and across applications more easily than ever.
Stay ahead of the pace of change with precisely the tools you need for mastering print, web,
interactive, motion, and mobile content design.
With Adobe Illustrator CS4, you can:
Adobe Illustrator CS4 is also
available as a component of:
•Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium
•Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Standard
•Adobe Creative Suite 4 Web Premium
•Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium
•Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection
Explore new features. Powerful additions such as the Blob Brush tool and transparency
in gradients inspire fresh creativity. Support for multiple artboards is a highly anticipated
update in Illustrator, prompting new ways of working on a wide variety of designs.
Discover hidden gems. Existing features have been polished and hidden functions
uncovered to expose deep capabilities, enabling you to learn new techniques quickly and
take advantage of the true power of Illustrator.
Use multiple
artboards to work
faster across many
designs, all in one
file. And increase
your efficiency
with controls right
on your objects,
such as those for
gradients that now
include color-stop
Adobe Illustrator CS4—What’s New 1
Work efficiently. Access to tools and options directly on your objects, such as with gradient
editing, means interaction with Illustrator is simply faster. Innovations with Smart Guides
and Isolation Mode plus new panel behaviors enable a smoother, more efficient workflow.
Top new features
•Multiple artboards (Page 2)
•Transparency in gradients (Page 3)
•Gradients exposed (Page 3)
•Blob Brush tool (Page 4)
•Integration and delivery (Page 4)
•Enhanced user experience (Page 5)
•In-panel appearance editing (Page 7)
•Refined graphic styles (Page 8)
•Clipping masks demystified (Page 9)
•Separations preview (Page 9)
Deliver anywhere. Working in both design and development environments has never been
easier. If you’re a designer, you can now deliver editable files to developers for use in rich
Internet applications (RIAs) and experiences. Print delivery is also more reliable with
Separations Preview, and collaboration on motion and video projects is enhanced, thanks
to improved cross-product integration.
Top new features of Adobe Illustrator CS4
The following are features in Illustrator CS4 that enable new ways of working so you can get
the creative results you’re after more efficiently and deliver designs more easily, anywhere.
Multiple artboards
Define working areas of varying sizes with complete freedom, all within one document.
Work on a variety of projects in a single file and share settings and content across designs.
You no longer need to use page tiling to create multipage PDF files, and you can arrange up
to 100 artboards of different sizes any way you want—tiled, overlapping or freeform. You
can even create an artboard inside an artboard to easily export just a piece of a composition.
Multiple artboards provide the most powerful way yet to organize projects with multiple
pages or diverse outputs. Sharing objects, styles, and output settings is a great time-saver,
and you can apply symbols or test color variations with Live Color while viewing artwork
in multiple contexts. Quickly set up bleeds and crop marks, and choose to show video-safe
areas using preset profiles.
Export your artboards in any supported file format as a series of files that are automatically
numbered in sequence, or save as a single, multipage PDF file—your choice.
Set options for each artboard independently.
Export any or all artboards with sequential
filenames generated automatically, or
choose to save as a multipage PDF.
Arrange multiple deliverables—such as
packaging, cards, and an ad layout—on
different artboards, all in one file.
Adobe Illustrator CS4—What’s New 2
Transparency in gradients
Create a gradient of many colors and define the opacity of any or all individual colors
assigned to your color stops. Transparency within a gradient simplifies creating interaction
between layers and enables easy mixing and knockouts. Use transparency to create cover-up
fades or to reveal underlying objects or images. For example, make a rainbow gradient on
one object, and then simply set the blue gradient slider or color stop to 0% opacity level to
show what’s underneath.
The Gradient panel
now has an opacity
slider you can use
with any of the
gradient stops. You
can also set the angle
of your gradient with
a slider and define
the dimension of a
radial gradient to get
an ellipse.
You can even apply multiple fills to a single object, such as a pattern fill overlaid
with transparent gradients, to create highlights and shadows that simulate the
fabric of a draped garment. In the Appearances panel, simply apply additional
fills and then use the Gradient tool to define opacities. And change the shape of
that object as much as you want—all of your fills will follow along.
Transparency in gradients also enhances work between Illustrator and other
Creative Suite 4 components in which transparency and gradients behave in
a similar fashion, such as Adobe Photoshop® CS4 Extended, Adobe Flash® CS4
Professional, and Adobe Fireworks® CS4 software.
Gradients exposed
On-object interaction plus new elliptical gradients exposes the power of
gradients in Illustrator CS4. The new controls enable fast adjustment with
minimum interruption of your train of thought—no need to shift your attention
to the Gradient panel.
Gradient controls on your object provide instant
visual feedback like never before. The precision of
classic Illustrator gradient controls is preserved, while
new controls provide more fluid, visual interaction.
Work with gradients right on your object with immediate visual feedback. Color
sliders and swatches appear on your selected object, with gradient stops that you
can drag along the gradient bar. You can add and delete gradient stops and set
the angle and position of the gradient by clicking directly on the controls.
Radial gradients are enhanced with the new ability to set dimensions
independently, to create an elliptical gradient of any proportion.
Adobe Illustrator CS4—What’s New 3
Blob Brush tool
The Blob Brush tool generates a clean, filled, vector shape while you sketch, even when
strokes overlap, merging your paths naturally into a single object that’s easily selected and
edited. Now, when you draw, you don’t get the typical jumble of paths, you get an outlined
and filled shape—no expansion or Pathfinder tools required. And you can customize how
your drawing flows together, choosing options for stroke character and pressure sensitivity.
Drawing with the Blob brush is a truly painterly, fluid way to create vector
forms, especially when used in combination with the Eraser and Smooth tools.
Use these tools together—alternately stroking and erasing—to perfect your
silhouette to get a single, smooth outline without ever needing to expand paths
or use the Pathfinder panel.
Begin drawing a shape
with the Blob Brush tool.
Perfect the shape by sketching,
working strokes on top of strokes.
Use the Eraser tool to remove strokes from your shape,
alternating between the Blob Brush and the Eraser tools.
Integration and delivery
Collaborate with your team, work across products, and deliver anywhere, using integrated
tools and extensive format support. Illustrator CS4 enables export of editable, workable
content for web, interactive, and RIA projects. And moving smoothly among Adobe tools is
easier than ever, thanks to cross-product feature support and common interface elements.
Flex® integration
Enrich your Flex applications more easily and take advantage of further support for
designer-developer efficiency with Adobe Flex 3 integration. Flex Skin Design extensions
for Illustrator enable reliable creation of vector skins with export in native Flex format.
The Blob Brush tool works
with the calligraphic brushes
in Illustrator CS4 or you can
create custom brush shapes.
Smooth send and receive
Send your artwork anywhere with broad support of even more file formats and across
Adobe products. Enjoy cross-product feature support such as the ability to import multiple
artboards from Illustrator into both Flash and Adobe InDesign® CS4 software.
Work across multiple applications
Streamline your work among multiple applications with more tool commonality, increased
consistency of tool behavior, and new user-interface enhancements across the components
of Creative Suite 4.
Adobe Illustrator CS4—What’s New 4
Enhanced user experience
Stay in the creative groove, thanks to significant interface improvements. Work faster and
smarter with the following features that help reduce clicks and make interacting with
Illustrator easier and more productive.
Options where you work
Choose tool options, stay precisely oriented, and make complicated edits to your artwork
without interrupting your train of thought. New features in Illustrator CS4 help focus your
attention where you need it most—on your artboard and on your objects.
Gradient controls
on the object
Smart Guide readouts
at your pointer
Appearance editing
in the panel
Tabbed document view
With multiple open documents in a tabbed view, you can bring windows to the front with
one click. Tabbed documents are also spring-loaded for easy copying and pasting. Simply
drag a selection from your window onto a document tab, and that document pops to the
front so you can paste your
selection where you want.
And, you can arrange
multiple document windows
in a tiled or cascaded view
for easy visual comparison
and even faster copying
across documents.
Spring-loaded panels
Get to your panels even
more quickly with springloading. Panels now expand
automatically when you
drag an object on top of the
panel icon.
Multiple Illustrator documents are
accessible via clickable tabs and
can be viewed side by side or top
to bottom by selecting a preset
arrangement or dragging a tab.
Adobe Illustrator CS4—What’s New 5
Practical Smart Guides
Smart Guides are more intuitive and practical, with an unobtrusive look and
new behaviors, such as alignment to objects on the artboard rather than to
the cursor. New on-object readouts tell you exactly where you are, without
your having to shift focus away from your work.
Smart Guides readouts are set up in
the Preferences panel. View rotation
angles in degrees, along with guides
that show you relationships with
nearby objects—continuously,
while you transform your selection.
Isolation Mode advances
Isolation Mode now supports more object types, including compound paths, gradient mesh
objects, images, and clipping masks. You can isolate a single object as well as top-level layers.
Control your view while in Isolation Mode with new support for Outline View and with
quick locking and hiding of objects. It’s now easy to add new objects to a particular place in
a stacking order, reducing the need for the Paste In Front/Back and Arrange commands.
Check the new iconic breadcrumbs to see at a glance what type of object you’re editing. The
icons symbolize Layer, Group, Symbol, Path, and Image. The labels in the breadcrumbs are
clickable so you can quickly navigate through your layers and objects. When you’re finished
working in Isolation Mode, exit using the Escape key.
Breadcrumb icons in Isolation Mode
Use Isolation Mode to work on an object
that may be otherwise difficult to isolate.
Edit object attributes in the Appearance
panel while you’re in Isolation Mode.
Exit Isolation Mode to see the
results of your edits in context.
Adobe Illustrator CS4—What’s New 6
In-panel appearance editing
Edit multiple object characteristics directly in the Appearance panel. This improved panel
shows attributes for single and multiple objects, such as fill or stroke color, which you can
edit by simply clicking on the attribute—even when it’s shared among objects.
Another new function in the Appearance panel is the ability to control the display of
individual attributes. You can simply click the eye icon to turn off a complex effect that
must be re-rendered with every move, so that you can work faster and keep your creative
momentum going.
Edit an effect such as
Distortion in the Appearance
panel and choose to view just
that attribute while you edit.
Turn off attributes using the eye icons
And if you wish to select all objects in your artwork that have certain attributes, you can use
a new Same Appearance Attribute option in the Select menu. Once you have selected objects
with at least one common attribute, you can edit that attribute in the Appearance panel and
see immediate results on all the objects at once.
The power of the new Appearance panel lies in centralization of control and streamlining
of your workspace. You no longer need to keep multiple panels open to apply and edit fills,
strokes, complex attributes, and more. You can even copy and paste within the panel, so
adding attributes to any object is fast and simple.
To edit an attribute, simply
click on a fill or stroke in the
Appearance panel to access
the corresponding options.
Adobe Illustrator CS4—What’s New 7
Refined graphic styles
Apply sets of attributes to objects and text as a single graphic style, layering and combining
styles for unique effects. The Graphic Styles panel provides new functionality that includes
an option to preview all your styles on the seleted object or group of objects. It’s now easy to
choose a style without having to actually apply it.
Create new graphic styles by
selecting multiple attributes
in your Appearances panel.
Thumbnail previews show
you the style on your selected
object, even on live text.
Change style attributes in the
Appearance panel and text
still remains editable.
The Graphic Styles panel and the Appearance panel work hand in hand, supporting creation
of complex styles that can be quickly applied without destroying an object’s original
appearance. Add a new style while pressing the Option key (Mac) or the Alt key (Windows)
and observe that it doesn’t replace the object’s existing appearance. To see all the attributes
that make a graphic style, click on the style and find its attributes listed in the Appearance
panel—each easily edited.
Edit attributes of a graphic
style in the Appearance panel,
then quickly redefine your
style or create a new one.
New style
Illustrator CS4 makes graphic styles even more attractive with a new library of prebuilt
styles to jump-start your creative exploration. New libraries include sets of effects such as
pre-set blurs and drop shadows that you can add without affecting fills. And, of course,
you can generate your own libraries of graphic styles that you can use again and again.
In this example, see how only four steps can create a soft, mixed shape. Use the Blob Brush tool to
draw a red-filled object. Click a Graphic Style such as Airbrush 2 while pressing the Option key (Mac)
or the Alt key (Windows) . Draw a blue-filled blob. Click Airbrush 2 again while pressing Option or Alt.
Adobe Illustrator CS4—What’s New 8
Clipping masks demystified
Work with masks more easily, thanks to true WYSIWYG behavior. Now, when the clipping
object or group is selected, you will see only the clipped area (the visible parts of your
objects). Edit the masking object in Isolation Mode or choose to make it visible using the
Clipping Path menu options. Plus, with the buttons in the Control panel for Edit Clipping
Paths and Edit Contents, you have truly intuitive choices for viewing and editing both your
masks and masked objects.
Quickly switch from editing
mask to editing contents.
Clipping path is easily edited,
with clipped area visible.
Clipping path or
mask object
Clipped contents
or masked group
Separations preview
Check how your color separations
will look using the Separations
Preview panel. See the preview
on your artboard while you work.
Help ensure flawless printing using the new Separations Preview panel. Avoid color output
surprises such as unexpected spot colors, unwanted overprinting, overprints that don’t
overprint, white overprinting, and CMYK blacks in text and placed files. The Separations
Preview panel displays a list of spot and process colors; you can choose to display individual
colors for previewing color separations onscreen. Illustrator CS4 continues the tradition of
improving print support so you can deliver artwork that prints more reliably than ever.
Adobe Illustrator CS4—What’s New 9
What’s new in Adobe Bridge CS4
Adobe Bridge CS4—included with Illustrator CS4
—is a visual file browser that helps you search,
view, and sort through many assets to quickly
find the ones you want. New features and
enhancements include:
•Faster performance from startup to browsing,
including an option to display previews
embedded in raw images
•Easier access to task-based workspaces
•A new List view with rich data and familiar
sorting controls
•Built-in preview and creation of HTML and Flash
web galleries, and PDF contact sheets
•One-click full-screen previews
•Collections for organizing related assets in
freeform or search-based virtual groups—even
when assets are spread across multiple folders
•Fast, detailed search results thanks to tight
integration with Spotlight in Mac OS X and
Desktop Search in Windows Vista®
•New review modes, such as Carousel View for
quickly cycling through assets
•Smart analysis and auto-stacking of High
Dynamic Range (HDR) and panoramic images
for handoff to Photoshop
•New support for previewing 3D images
•Camera Raw improvements, including
non-destructive application of dodge, burn,
sharpen, and other adjustments
Creative Pro Online Services
Connect to the power of the online community through your creative desktop. New online
services accessed from within Adobe Illustrator CS4 let you search for help and get answers
from the online community; share your screen with colleagues or clients in a few quick
clicks; get color inspiration from your peers, and more. With new online services in
Illustrator CS4, you can take your ideas to the next level.
Adobe Community Help. Get the power of an online search engine within your Illustrator
CS4 software, but with more targeted results thanks to Adobe Community Help. Searchable
content includes the comprehensive product-specific Help that Adobe has always delivered,
plus additional Adobe and third-party content chosen by experts at Adobe and in the design
and production communities. With Adobe Community Help, you can find the focused
answers you need, fast. (Internet connection required for extended content.)
Acrobat.com. Acrobat.com is a set of online services—file sharing and storage, PDF converter, online word processor, and web conferencing—that you can use to create and share
documents, communicate in real time, and simplify working with others. Thanks to the
connection between one of the Acrobat.com services, Adobe ConnectNow, and Illustrator
CS4, you can meet live over the web to share your screen, present creative concepts and
ideas, and brainstorm with up to two online guests for no additional service charge. To
share your screen with colleagues and clients, choose File > Share My Screen. Guests can
then see your desktop on their screens as you work. You can exchange ideas using the chat
pod, add a live video or audio feed, or use the Whiteboard feature to enable guests to
comment on content. You can even temporarily hand over control of the screen to a guest to
collaborate on a file. Additional Acrobat.com services, such as Share, Create PDF, My Files,
and Adobe Buzzword, are accessible via your web browser. (Internet connection required.)
Adobe Kuler™. Explore, create, and share color themes with Adobe Kuler. Kick start
your creative projects with color inspiration from the online Kuler community. Browse
thousands of themes by newest, most popular, or highest rated; or search themes by tag
word, title, or creator. Themes can be downloaded and moved to your Swatches panel with
a single click. You can also upload colors from your Swatches panel to share with others.
(Internet connection required for community functionality.)
Illustrator CS4 includes a Kuler panel,
which enables browsing and
searching Kuler themes from inside
Illustrator. Download themes from
the online Kuler community directly
to your Swatches panel.
Adobe Bridge Home. Visit Adobe Bridge Home—an online channel available in Adobe
Bridge CS4—and stay up to date with what’s new from Adobe and the design, web
development, and video and audio production communities at large. Watch the latest video
tutorials for Illustrator CS4, listen to a podcast interview with a leading designer, or learn
about the next training event in your community. Discover tips and resources that can help
you work smarter and faster. (Internet connection required.)
Adobe Illustrator CS4—What’s New 10
Mac OS
•PowerPC® G4 or G5 or Intel® processor
•Mac OS X v10.4.11–10.5.4
•512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
Part of the Adobe Creative Suite 4 family
Adobe Illustrator CS4 is integral to the Adobe Creative Suite 4 family of products, providing
a vector graphics environment that serves as the foundation for design across media.
•2GB of available hard-disk space for installation;
additional free space required during
installation (cannot install on a volume that
uses a case-sensitive file system or on flashbased storage devices)
Illustrator complements the other components of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Design Premium
software for creating resolution-independent graphics that easily move among products and
out to print, web, interactive, and mobile media. Design Premium provides all the tools you
need to deliver your designs across media in a unified, intuitive environment.
•1,024x768 display (1,280x800 recommended)
with 16-bit video card
Also a component of Adobe Creative Suite 4 Web Premium software, Illustrator CS4 is the
key for building rich vector assets for use on the web and in interactive experiences, and for
creating lightweight assets for mobile content. Web Premium provides a complete solution
for creating and maintaining interactive websites, applications, user interfaces, mobile
device content, presentations, and other digital experiences.
•DVD-ROM drive
•QuickTime 7 software required for multimedia
•Broadband Internet connection required for
online services
•2GHz or faster processor
•Microsoft® Windows® XP with Service Pack 2
(Service Pack 3 recommended) or Windows
Vista® Home Premium, Business, Ultimate, or
Enterprise with Service Pack 1 (certified for
32-bit Windows XP and Windows Vista)
•512MB of RAM (1GB recommended)
•2GB of available hard-disk space for installation;
additional free space required during
installation (cannot install on flash-based
storage devices)
•1,024x768 display (1,280x800 recommended)
with 16-bit video card
•DVD-ROM drive
•Broadband Internet connection required for
online services
For updates to system requirements, visit www.
Expected ship date
Fourth quarter 2008
For more information
For more details about Adobe Illustrator CS4,
visit www.adobe.com/illustrator.
For film, video, audio, and interactive media, get Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production
Premium software, which includes Illustrator CS4 as the foundation for building creative
assets for use in video and film. Production Premium is a total post-production solution,
with tighter-than-ever integration between video, audio, and design tools for a smooth
workflow from concept to delivery.
Adobe Creative Suite 4 Master Collection software is your premier solution for professional
creative work, including, of course, Illustrator CS4—the key to creating the vector graphics
that are the basis of your designs. Master Collection combines the best of Adobe Creative
Suite 4 Design Premium, Web Premium, and Production Premium editions, giving you
advanced productivity features so you can create content for virtually all media using one
value-packed offering.
Availability and pricing
Adobe Illustrator CS4 will be available in North America for an estimated street price of
US$599, directly from Adobe or through Adobe Authorized Resellers. To order directly
from Adobe, visit the Adobe Store at www.adobe.com or call 1-800-833-6687.
Licensed owners of Illustrator CS3, Illustrator CS2, or Illustrator CS can upgrade to Adobe
Illustrator CS4 for US$199.
Licensed owners of Illustrator CS3, Illustrator CS2, or Illustrator CS are also eligible for
special upgrade pricing to certain editions of Adobe Creative Suite 4.
Owners of FreeHand 9, 10, or MX, and owners of CorelDRAW can switch to Illustrator CS4
for US$199.
A complete description of upgrade eligibility and pricing is available in a separate Pricing
Overview document. For volume licensing information, contact an Adobe Licensing Center
or go to www.adobe.com.
Estimated street prices do not include taxes, shipping, handling, or other related expenses.
Information on pricing and support policies outside of North America and for Education
customers will be available separately.
About Adobe Systems Incorporated
Adobe revolutionizes how the world engages with ideas and information—anytime, anywhere, and through any medium. For more information, visit www.adobe.com.
Adobe Systems Incorporated
345 Park Avenue
San Jose, CA 95110-2704
Adobe, the Adobe logo, ConnectNow, Creative Suite, Fireworks, Flash, Flex, Illustrator, InDesign, Kuler, and Photoshop are either registered trademarks
or trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries. Mac, Mac OS, and Macintosh are trademarks of Apple
Computer, Inc., registered in the United States and other countries. QuickTime is a trademark used under license. Intel and Pentium are trademarks or
registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. PowerPC is a trademark of International Business
Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. Microsoft, Windows, and Windows Vista are either registered trademarks or
trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This
product may allow you to access certain features that are hosted online (“online services”), provided you have a high-speed Internet connection. The
online services, and some features thereof, may not be available in all countries, languages and/or currencies and may be discontinued in whole or in
part without notice. Use of the online services is governed by separate terms of use and by the Adobe privacy policy, and access to these services may
require user registration. Some online services, including services that are initially offered at no charge, may be subject to additional fees. For additional
details and to review the terms of use and privacy policy, please visit www.adobe.com. © 2008 Adobe Systems Incorporated. All rights reserved. Printed
Adobe Illustrator CS4—What’s New 11
in the USA. 08/14/08