Improvements to Illustrator
That i would like to see. To CS2. I do a lot of alignment and distribution of objects - it's pretty much my only tool for
dividing space - so a lot of these ideas relate to it. Those who are not obsessed with guides and alignment may find this a bit
dull and/or scary.
- A family of align modes called something like 'abut', which means
'move the objects so that the left edge of one lines up with the right
edge of the other. At the moment, i have to make a temporary guide to do
this. This exists! Set the spacing value in the align palette to
0, then select your objects, second-click the one you want to use as a
foundation, and use one of the distribute space buttons. This does
something completely different to what it does when you have it set to
auto. The distribute objects buttons follow along; not so useful with
zero spacing, but highly handy for laying things out at regular
intervals when you use finite spacing.
- Selection where only objects entirely inside the rectangle are
selected, as in all other graphics packages. Much easier to be precise,
especially in the presence of guides. This could possibly be enabled
with a modifier key, with the default behaviour applying otherwise.
Getting used to locking and unlocking guides
(command-alt-semicolon) is the practical workaround here.
- Support horizontal scrolling with the mouse nipple, without using
the command key (bug).
- Allow drawing polylines and polygons (closed polylines) easily, with
tools like the line or rectangle tools, rather than forcing me to dick
around with paths.
- Provide a way to join line segments into a polyline, so my
hand-drawn polygons get proper mitred corners and don't look so ass
(might already exist). You have to trace them with the pen tool,
- When a bunch of objects of the same kind are grouped, let me
manipulate their properties en masse, as if i just had them selected. I
should be able to change the colour of a set of grouped lines without
having to ungroup them. Mostly, you can. In the appearance
palette, with the group selected, click 'contents' to manipulate it like
a collection of objects.
- A dynamic zoom tool, like in Acrobat Reader - this is a great tool,
everyone should have it.
- Don't make me pick a weight as part of the font selection; let me
pick a font, and pick the weight as part of the style, like size. And
don't make me commit to a size for the text box at the start, then
actually resize the text if i resize the box. Again, act like all normal
- Make 'flip horizontal' and 'flip vertical' menu options; don't force
me to go into a dialogue box just to pick which way i want to flip, and
if you do, certainly don't use different meanings of horizontal and
vertical to everyone else. There should be a menu option for 'reflect'
(or 'flip'), with subitems for vertical, horizontal, and 'custom ...'
for arbitrary angles. Ditto for rotation.
- When i change the size of an object in its properties textbox, don't
randomly move it (bug).
- A duplicate command would be nice; much nicer to work with than
cut-and-paste when paste just puts something in the centre of the
screen. Copy, then 'Paste in front'. A bit ugly, but it does the
- Paste should, if the mouse button is down, paste to the position of
- When using smart guides and dragging an object, snapping should
occur based on the edges or anchor points of the object, not the
position of the cursor - unless you can position the cursor with perfect
precision at the start of the drag (which you can't), the current
behaviour is useless. Just doing this on the basis of the edges of the
bounding box would be a start; doing it based on anchors in general
would be incredibly powerful, and save me having to knock up temporary
boxes to do complicated alignment jobs. If you can actually get
hold of an anchor point, you can do this. Note that anchor points
include the edges of an object. However, if the anchor point is also a
resize point, you're stuffed - i don't know a way to grab those instead
of resizing. It also doesn't seem to be possible to grab any bits of
text, or the edges of a bounding box of a group.
- When i hide and then reveal guides, they shouldn't be locked if they
weren't locked before.
- You should be able to select locked guides, so you can align to
them, just not be able to move them. Ditto all locked objects, actually.
Well, really, there should be two kinds of locking - it is useful to be
able to make guides unselectable, but it would also be useful just to
fix their position.
- Don't arbitrarily reset the spacing value for distribute objects to
zero; once i set it to auto, it stays at auto (bug?).
- Treat guides as infinitely long, and ignore them when doing aligns
along the direction of the guide. If i have a vertical guide and two
boxes selected, and i say align tops, i want the lower box to line up
with the top box; i don't want both boxes to align with the guide, a
mile off the top of the page.
- Support all the image operations Photoshop does, applied to images
in the drawing. I don't really want this, but it would remove my
supervisor's last argument for using Photoshop.
- Embed rather than link images by default, or make this a toggleable
option. At least give me a menu option to embed all images. Don't make
me hunt through the whole drawing, checking each image by hand.