Development: Adobe Systems Incorporated
Type: 2D Mixed
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Adobe Illustrator CS3
30-day free try.Adobe Illustrator CS3 is the best vector drawing program on the market. This statement would be more impressive if Adobe hadn't purchased and read the last rites to Illustrator's only serious competition, Macromedia FreeHand. Luckily, however, Adobe's virtual monopoly hasn't led the company to grow complacent. In the CS3 version of Illustrator, it has focused on improving integration with another acquisition, Flash (70 percent of Flash users also use Illustrator, according to Adobe), and on providing a number of small improvements that add up to a big difference in the program's usability. Nothing here quite approaches the status of "killer feature" the way CS2's Live Trace capabilities did, but CS3 is still a worthy upgrade to Illustrator.
A linchpin of the Creative Suite, Illustrator is found in all but the Web Standard version of the suite. I tested Illustrator CS3 in Vista, Microsoft Windows XP, and on an Intel-based Macintosh.
The much-touted Live Color is the splashiest new feature in the package, and it might even be able to help you get dressed in the morning. One component of Live Color is the new Color Guide palette, where you specify a base color and the palette suggests a range of complementary colors to use in your design (or sock selection). A menu of Harmony Rules determines the type and number of variations that the Color Guide spins. This is a well-implemented and useful feature: Even if you feel you have a solid sense of color, it's interesting to see which colors Illustrator thinks are complementary.
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Tuesday, September 21, 2021
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