Adobe Illustrator 2023 (v27) preview
Adobe Illustrator is a powerful, sophisticated, and versatile vector graphics design program that seems to have been around forever. As such, it has come a long way since its inception, has legions of dedicated professional users, and is going from strength to strength. In October, Adobe released version 27 (also called Adobe Illustrator 2023), and we thought we’d take a look at the new features it brings.
This latest update doesn’t introduce any groundbreaking concepts or features, but Illustrator is already a very powerful, versatile, and stable gamer. What’s on the table only enhances an already excellent instrument.
Adobe Illustrator 2023: Pricing and Plans
- If you like subscriptions, you’ll love what Adobe has to offer
Adobe is a subscription giant: all of its professional software is only available this way. On the plus side, of course, you’ll be able to download and use the latest features as they’re released. Major releases like these are only part of the story, as new tools and improvements come online throughout the year.
The downside, of course, is that you have to pay monthly, but if this is your livelihood, the cost is more than justified.
As always, you can pay for Illustrator only via a monthly subscription ($35.99) or an annual subscription for $23.99 per month. There is also a one-time annual subscription, which costs €287.77.
However, the interest is to prefer the entire Adobe Creative Cloud catalog, which is available with a monthly or annual subscription and gives access to Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom and many other programs. Because these creative apps are designed to work together, it’s often better to opt for the full Creative Cloud experience ($62.47-$93.72 per month).
However, if you’re new to Illustrator and don’t want to commit, Adobe offers a 7-day free trial.
Adobe Illustrator 2023: Interlacing feature
- A nice feature that allows for more complex interactions between objects.
A very interesting new tool is Interlacement (Intertwine). As you know, the design of illustrations is done in layers. Adding shapes to different layers allows them to be moved and overlapped independently of each other. But what happens when you want to create complex overlays, such as part of the circle above the layer but other parts below? Sure, you could do this before, but that involved a lot of copying and pasting.
Striping is designed to significantly speed up the process by changing the order of layers only in sections defined by the user.
You activate it from the menu bar, which turns your cursor into a lasso. Circle the area you want to trade and once the circle closes, the change is instant. You can perform this operation as many times as you want. You also have the option to discard all changes or edit them later.
Note, however, that the positions of these modified sections are fixed on your canvas. They are not associated with related objects. Therefore, if you move the object after the effect is applied, you may get strange and unexpected results because the change starts to affect other parts of the object you’re moving.
Adobe Illustrator 2023: Cross-application collaboration and compatibility
- Work while collaborating within the app – some potential, but still in its infancy
The ability to work with other people and across applications is becoming increasingly important to our workflows, and Illustrator doesn’t disappoint when it comes to online collaboration.
The blue share button at the top right of the interface provides access to the Invite to Edit and Share for Review features (currently in beta).
Either way, you obviously need to upload your project to Adobe’s Creative Cloud site. Once completed, you will be offered a link that you can copy and share with others. As expected, you can control who has access to your work: people you’ve specifically invited or those who know about the link.
The “Invite to Edit” option allows people to tag your picture by drawing and commenting on it, or (if you let them) upload a copy of your file to their account. To do this, they must obviously be logged into their Creative Cloud account. Comments can be made as a guest.
The “Share for review” option is like the comment section of the “Invite to edit” option, and there is no option to save a copy of the work. Nor can you right-click on an image to save it as a PNG, as you can with “Suggest to edit”.
Although useful, it is strange that these two options are not combined together. The “Invite to edit” option now offers all the functionality of the “Share for review” option, and if you want to prevent your work from being uploaded, you can add the restrictions you want to it.
However, the ability to communicate and collaborate with others, and even the ability to comment from a web browser without an Adobe account, can be extremely useful and valuable.
As for cross-application compatibility, you can now copy and paste text between Illustrator and InDesign (and vice versa) while preserving its formatting. This can be a huge time saver.
- Collaboration and cross-app compatibility: 4/5
Adobe Illustrator 2023: Quick actions
- This cool new feature can be a huge time saver when faster actions are added.
Fast movements are interesting. As the name suggests, you can perform complex edits with the click of a button. This ranges from changing colors to changing text.
They’re in the search bar, they’re fun and easy to use, and they’re also editable once applied, which is a huge plus. But there are only 5. Maybe Adobe will add more over time? Meanwhile, it seems more like a gimmick than anything else.
Adobe Illustrator 2023: Other Improvements
- Support for new file formats and performance improvements is always welcome.
You’ll also find several improvements, such as support for additional 3D file formats such as glTF and USDA. These formats are compatible with Adobe Substance and other 3D programs.
If you often work with linked files, especially PNG formats, you will definitely appreciate the performance improvements of this latest version. Files with such links now open faster, and moving objects on the canvas is much more responsive than before.
- Other improvements: 3.5/5
Adobe Illustrator 2023: An Overview
|Row 0 – Cell 0||Row 0 – Cell 1||Row 0 – Cell 2|
|Prices and tariffs||Subscription only through a standalone subscription or for all programs||4|
|Intertwining||A very nice feature that graphic designers will love||4.5|
|Cooperation||Great potential, but work to be done||4|
|Fast movements||An exciting start with plenty of room for improvement.||2.5|
|Other improvements||Support for more file formats||3.5|
Should I buy it?
If you don’t buy…
Adobe Illustrator 2023: Alternatives
Affinity Designer by Serif is a great alternative to Adobe Illustrator, and its latest version has some impressive improvements.