by Terry Hemphill


June 18, 2014

The 2014 release of Illustrator CC is here!

Illustrator CC Splash screen image

The 2014 release of Illustrator CC is now available,
and here’s a quick overview of what’s new for you.


Important links

Illustrator CC on
Illustrator CC Learn and Support
Illustrator CC Trial Download

See the new features after the jump.

New Features

Live Shapes: Rectangles and rounded rectangles

Work dynamically with the fundamental building blocks for vector graphics – the Rectangle shape tools. You can now quickly modify rectangle corners, with independent control over each corner’s radius. You can scale and rotate rectangles, and Illustrator remembers your work— so you can quickly return to your original shape.

Illustrator CC: Live Shapes -- rectangles and rounded rectangles

Illustrator CC: Live Shapes — rectangles and rounded rectangles


The Transform panel, which now shows rectangle properties, will appear as soon as you draw or edit a rectangle, giving you access to additional controls — different corner treatments, the ability to scale corners as you the scale the rectangle, and more.

See how Live Shapes work>

Learn more about Live Shapes>









Pen tool and Anchor Point Enhancements

The Pen tool is the most important tool in Illustrator for many designers, and for the 2014 release, updates to the Pen tool and Anchor Point controls give you more flexibility and precision in crafting your vector artwork.
See how the Pen tool and anchor point enhancements work>

Pen tool preview

The new Pen tool preview lets you see your path before you drop your next point. You can see precisely where the next segment will go, saving you time cleaning up paths later.

Illustrator CC: Pen tool preview

Illustrator CC: Pen tool preview

Drag unequal anchor points

Before this release, when you dragged the handles of a smooth point, the handles were always equal in length and paired, which limits the control you have over the next curve. But now, holding the command/control key while dragging lets you keep the handles paired but make them unequal in length, which gives you fine control over the shape of the next curve.

Illustrator CC: Drag unequal handles

Illustrator CC: Drag unequal handles

Re-pair, or realign, anchor points

Often you need to convert smooth points to corner points, which breaks the “pairing” of the anchor point’s direction lines. If that corner point later needs to be changed back to a smooth point, the original curve was always affected. Now you can use the Anchor Point tool, along with the Opt/Alt key, and click on one of the handles to make the point smooth. This pairs the anchor point handles, but keeps the original curve intact.

Illustrator CC: Repair broken handles

Illustrator CC: Repair broken handles

Snap to pixel, point, grid update

If you’re creating for the Web, you want your anchor points to snap to the pixel grid, but you don’t want your anchor handles to snap, too. For the 2014 release, the anchor handles are disengaged from snapping to a grid or a point, so you can have fine control while editing your paths. This new behavior applies to ANY snap to document grid or snap to point in Illustrator, not just Align to Pixel Grid.

Illustrator CC: Snap to pixel, point, grid update

Illustrator CC: Snap to pixel, point, grid update

Close paths with more control

In earlier versions, if you start your shape with a smooth point, you can’t change that point to a corner when you close the path, you’d have to go back and edit it later. Illustrator now gives you the option to do this while drawing, so you can make exact adjustments to that closing curve that you need.

Illustrator CC: Close paths with more control

Illustrator CC: Close paths with more control

You can use the space bar to reposition things in Illustrator while drawing, such as dragging out a shape, even drawing with the Pen tool. But you couldn’t do this when closing a path. But now you can. Hold the space bar when you click to close, and you can reposition the starting/ending point of your shape. This gives you precise control over the curves and your final shape, and helps eliminate the need to edit after you’ve drawn.
See how the Pen tool and anchor point enhancements work>

Windows GPU acceleration

If you are using Windows 7 or 8, you can explore GPU acceleration in Illustrator CC, which provides much faster rendering of vector graphics, along with accelerated pan and zoom. This new GPU acceleration is Windows only and requires an Adobe-certified NVIDIA graphics card with least 1 GB of VRAM. Get more details on GPU performance, such as hardware requirements and the ability to provide feedback on this feature to the development team. See GPU release notes>

See a demonstration of the GPU acceleration on the the NVIDIA blog >

This exciting new capability for GPU acceleration for vector graphics in Windows is revolutionary. It’s based on NVIDIA technology called NV Path Rendering that is implemented as an extension to OpenGL, an open standard for graphics performance. Learn more about NV Path Rendering>

Typekit missing fonts workflow

In May 2013, Adobe introduced Typekit fonts as part of your Creative Cloud membership, giving you access to hundreds of fonts for use on the desktop. The new missing fonts feature takes advantage of that Typekit offering to let you replace missing fonts with just a single click. When you open the file with a missing font, a Missing Font dialog appears, letting you know what fonts are missing and highlights the missing fonts in the document.  If the missing font is a available from Typekit, just one click will sync the font, and make it immediately available in the document, no need to restart Illustrator or reopen the file.
 See how missing fonts works>

Illustrator CC: Typekit missing fonts workflow

Illustrator CC: Typekit missing fonts workflow

Along with this missing font feature, the illustrator team also updated the Find Font dialog to provide more information and to provide that info in a more modern interface.

Other important updates

Pencil tool update

The Pencil tool was completely rebuilt in the January 2014 release, with new options for smoother curves and to draw straight lines. But some customers were unhappy with the changes; they missed the more accurate renditions of their freeform drawings and the ability to quickly switch between the Smooth and Pencil tools that they had in the past.

Illustrator CC: New Pencil tool options

Illustrator CC: New Pencil tool options

The Illustrator team listened, and for the 2014 release, there is an additional tick in the Fidelity slider for “more accurate” and a checkbox option for “Alt key toggles to Smooth Tool.” The extra tick in the slider has been added in the Paint Brush, Blob Brush and Smooth Tool option dialogs as well.
Learn more>

Text enhancements

 A number of text updates are part of the 2014 release of Illustrator CC, including new hidden characters to represent typographic notations, honoring justification of lines that end in soft returns, and support for IVS (Ideographic Variation Sequence).
Learn more>

SVG enhancements

 Support for SVG continues to be enhanced, building on the many updates in the laste two releases. Now markup for generated YML preview is cleaner, and the Use textPath option is selected by default, which results in smaller SVG files.
Learn more>

Path Segment Reshape update

The new Path Segment Reshape behavior that was introduced in the January 2014 release of Illustrator CC was welcomed by many customers. But some customers had established workflows around the previous behavior, and were very vocal about their unhappiness with the change. The Illustrator team listened, and in this release, there’s a new preference under Selection and Anchor Display  to “Constrain Path Dragging on Segment Reshape,” which allows customers to have the earlier segment reshape behavior.


  • By Qdezi - 12:47 PM on June 18, 2014  

    Are there any chance to get GPU Acceleration to work on AMD Radeon graphic cards, at the moment and in the future?
    Thank you.

    • By Terry Hemphill - 1:08 PM on June 18, 2014  

      Hi Qdezi,

      Only NVIDIA cards are supported at this time, though the technology is part of OpenGL, so it will be available for other developers to implement.

      So that the Illustrator team can keep track of the inquiries around GPU acceleration, can you please complete the short survey at the bottom of this page, with your ask for the AMD Radeon support?


      –Terry H.

  • By Taylor Jones - 1:33 PM on June 18, 2014  

    I’m not seeing any updates available in my creative cloud menu bar icon. Any idea on how to get the update to pull through?

    • By Terry Hemphill - 1:40 PM on June 18, 2014  


      Quit the CC application (from the options menu at upper right) then relaunch the CC app. If that doesn’t correct the issue, please go the Creative Cloud on Adobe Forums and post your question there.


      –Terry H.

    • By Kraeg Minett - 1:40 PM on June 20, 2014  

      I had the same issue. I uninstalled CC and downloaded it fresh. I had to solve it this way previously as well. Doesn’t take too long and it solved the issue completely.

  • By Carl - 2:59 PM on June 18, 2014  

    Syncing preferences with Ai CC 2014 does not bring my Ai CC prefs over. Also, why do we not get the smart guide enhancements that Id and Ps have (equal object spacing)?

    • By Terry Hemphill - 7:54 AM on June 20, 2014  


      A number of customers are having the Sync Settings issue and the Illustrator team is investigating the best way to address. I’ll post here as soon as that answer is confirmed by the team. The answer will also be available on the Illustrator Community Forums:

      –Terry H.

  • By Mike M - 9:28 PM on June 19, 2014  

    I’ve also not been able to get my CC prefs to sync to the CC 2014

  • By samantha - 9:32 PM on June 19, 2014  

    I downloaded the updates on my mac but don’t see them working in Illustrator (specifically the pen tool preview). Is there a setting that needs to be checked for this to work? Is anyone else having this problem?

    • By Terry Hemphill - 8:10 AM on June 20, 2014  


      Please make sure that you do have the latest version. From the main menu Illustrator > About Illustrator, please make sure the dialog says “2014.0.0 release.”

      If you are running the latest release, the Pen tool preview should be on my default. Please check Illustrator > Preferences > Selection and Anchor Display > Enable Rubberband for Pen Tool and make sure that option is checked.

      –Terry H.

  • By catalina estrada - 7:02 AM on June 20, 2014  

    Hi, Thanks for Illustrator CC 2014.
    I have same problem as Carl, Ai CC 2014 does not sync my workspaces (created on illustrator cc), neither my own swatches (user defined), neither my brushes or plugins. Can you help me please?

    • By Terry Hemphill - 8:16 AM on June 20, 2014  

      Hi Catalina,

      Great to hear from you but sorry it’s about an Illustrator issue. The Illustrator team is working on the best solution to this problem. As soon as they have an answer, I’ll post here. It will also be posted on the Illustrator Community Forums:


      –Terry H.

  • By catalina estrada - 7:47 AM on June 21, 2014  

    Hey Terry!!!! Its so nice to hear from YOU!! Thanks so much for your answer and please say hi to all the team. You guys Rock! <3 Have a great week!!!

  • By DavidAndLeahKaye Weathers - 8:01 PM on June 22, 2014  

    The pen tool option to “Hold the space bar when you click to close, and you can reposition the starting/ending point of your shape” isn’t working for me. As soon as I hold down the space bar, the hand tool appears and I cant move my cursor until I release it.

    • By Terry Hemphill - 10:35 AM on June 23, 2014  

      You need to drop the closing point, and while you still have the mouse held down, press the spacebar to move the closing point.

      Is that how you are using the new capability?


      –Terry H.

  • By Egor - 6:44 PM on June 23, 2014  

    I use snapping of handles to grid a lot! I make fonts and it’s crucial!
    Can I use option to enable it as it was in pre-2014?
    I also used to snap gradient tool to grid, and I can’t do it any more since Gradient annotator was remade.

  • By c32077 - 6:50 AM on June 30, 2014  

    Is there some way to turn off smart rectangles or its bounding box? I understand a lot of people are happy to have it, but in my case it is destroying my artwork. There are times, dozens or hundreds of times a day where I have to draw a box which snaps from to the corner of one box to the corner of another. With this new smart rectangles ‘feature’ (read pain in the rear) you can no longer start on the corner of a box because as soon as you hover over the corner of a smart rectangle with the box tool (m) it converts your cursor into a transform tool and drags the existing box out of shape. I now have use the Unite tool in the pathfinder for every single box I create to avoid this. I need to turn this ‘feature’ off or convert every box to regular rectangle upon creation instead of a “smart” rectangle. Any way to do this? Thanks.

  • By Egor - 8:10 AM on June 30, 2014  

    Oh no, you really don’t have option to make handles snap to grid! And there is more: you broke snapping the newly created point with Pen tool when dragging it while spacebar is pressed! Do you guys test your products at all?! You keep breaking things from version to version 🙁

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