Adobe Illustrator CS6 for Mac - Free download and software reviews - CNET Download.com

Adobe Illustrator CS6 for Mac

CNET Editors' review

True to its name, Adobe Illustrator began life as a standard-bearer for vector-based illustration and design, but fell behind the times because it lacked the Web output of competitors, such as Macromedia Freehand. Eager to shed Illustrator's stodgy image as a print-only application, Adobe has taught this old dog many new tricks. Beginning with version 9, Illustrator has embraced the Web while continually adding new drawing tools and productivity features.

Illustrator 10.0 is geared toward achieving that ever-important balance between image size and quality. You can edit SVG (scalable vector graphics), slice and map your images, and make use of symbols for repeating graphics. This new version also delivers better layout tools, including snap-to grids, Smart Guides, and the Align palette.

Graphic artists will appreciate the mass of new creative tools, including warp effects; liquefy controls; arc, grid, and shape tools; editable drop shadows, glows, and other effects; and editable compound shapes. Timesaving technology, such as data-driven graphics (which allows for scripted generation of design variations), should appeal to pragmatic developers.

With all these features, as well as native support for Mac OS X's preemptive multitasking and the G4's Altivec technology, Illustrator is truly a graphic designer's best friend. Illustrator is not for everyone. As is typical for Adobe products, the system requirements and learning curve can be daunting, and strict limitations on the demo prevent saving, exporting, or printing. That said, this program offers features and functionality that can't be matched, and is a must-have for anyone who is serious about professional-quality digital illustration.

Adobe Illustrator CS2 convert bitmaps to vector artwork and paint more intuitively. It saves time with intelligent palettes and optimized workspaces. Plus, tight integration with other software allows you to produce extraordinary graphics for print, video, the Web, and mobile devices.

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