by Terry Hemphill


October 5, 2015

What’s coming in the latest 2015 release of Illustrator CC

October 5, 2015 – Today at the Adobe MAX keynote in Los Angeles, we shared some of what’s in the works for Illustrator CC and other desktop apps later this year. Let’s take a closer look at the new features coming for Illustrator CC.

The first three new features work in concert to bring new speed and flexibility when you’re working with the fundamental building blocks for creating beautiful vector graphics: the Illustrator shape tools.

Shaper tool — This completely new way of working lets you draw with loose, natural gestures that magically transform into perfect geometric shapes. Using the same tool – no need to switch to selection tools or other tools or panels – you can then combine, delete, fill and transform these basic shapes with quick scrubbing gestures to create beautiful, complex designs that stay fully editable. The Shaper tool works with the traditional Illustrator workspaces as well as the Touch workspace.

Shaper tool in Illustrator CC

New Live Shapes: Ellipses, Polygons and Lines —More of the Illustrator Shape tools are now fully live, interactive and dynamically adjustable, so you can quickly craft vector shapes without having to apply effects or use other tools or panels.
New Live Shapes in Illustrator CC

Work more visually with Smart Guides — Enhanced Smart Guides let you perfectly align and space objects as you draw and move them, and new hinting helps you draw perfect shapes like squares and circles without using control keys, or extend a line along the same trajectory.


But there’s a lot more in store for Illustrator customers beyond new shape technology.

Dynamic Symbols — Symbols can now share a master shape, but be modified to have different appearances such as stroke, fill and opacity. You can scale, rotate, mirror and skew these new dynamic symbols without having to break the link to the parent symbol.

Dynamic Symbols in Illustrator CC

For example, an apparel designer may design a new shirt that needs to be shown in a number of different colorways, or color schemes. That shirt can now be defined as a dynamic symbol, with the different color schemes applied to the various instances of the symbol. If the designer needs to update the shirt design, such as a new collar shape, the shirt symbol can be edited with the new collar design, and all instances of that shirt will be automatically updated, but maintain their unique colorways.

New SVG export option — Easily export clean, modern SVG code that is ideal for web and screen design workflows, with the option to export individual objects versus the entire artboard.

The new SVG export is perfect for web and UX designers who depend on SVG for designing scalable vector-based graphics such as icons, symbols, and logos that look great on all screens, including HiDPI displays.

Touch workspace updates — The Touch workspace for Windows touch devices adds the Shaper tool, new Live Shapes, enhanced Smart Guides, the Creative Cloud Libraries panel, and an option to easily zoom when using a mouse. The Touch workspace also delivers support for the HP Sprout platform, letting you work in detail in the Touch workspace on the Sprout touch mat while getting a full document preview on the Sprout’s vertical screen.

Illustrator CC Touch workspace

New Creative Cloud Libraries capabilities — Find content faster by searching across your Libraries and across Adobe Stock, where you can search, browse and license images and graphics directly in the Libraries panel. Import color swatches and Swatch libraries, and get support for paragraph styles as well as deeper support for character styles.

New mobile-to desktop workflows include long-requested support for Android devices, and more:

Adobe Capture CC integration — Use an iPad, iPhone or Android phone to turn any image into a production-ready asset. Extract a color theme or create a brush, shape or vector graphic, and then save the asset to your Creative Cloud Libraries to use in Illustrator. Adobe Capture combines the capabilities of Color CC, Shape CC, Brush CC and Hue CC in a single convenient app.

Adobe Illustrator Draw for Android — Create freeform vector designs on your Android phone with the Illustrator Draw app, and then send your work to Illustrator CC on your desktop to refine it further.

And so much more — The next release includes enhanced anti-aliasing and crisper thin strokes for GPU performance, improved data recovery, and much more.

Find out more about what’s coming later this year for Creative Cloud.


  • By Josh Clark - 8:20 AM on October 6, 2015  

    Any idea when this update will go live? Updates seem to happen during MAX or shortly after. I’m ready to try these new features out now! Thanks to the Illustrator team for their hard work.

    • By Terry Hemphill - 9:03 AM on October 7, 2015  

      Hi Josh,

      Glad you’re excited about the new stuff coming, and thanks for the appreciation to the team. Right now we don’t have an official date for the release of the updates for our desktop apps, including Illustrator CC.

      We will post that date here — and on the Creative Cloud blog as soon as that’s set.


  • By marc cardwell - 6:57 AM on October 8, 2015  

    I was watching the AI portion of the keynote (online) and cold _not_ find the shaper tool, now I know why. Looking forward to this addition. He was saying it does this now, so I was confused.

  • By Jay - 5:01 PM on October 12, 2015  

    As a technical illustrator I keep expecting for many more useful obvious CAD commands that I’ve used 20 years ago.

    Where’s all the iso drawing tools? I use a scale formula, shear angle and fake it. Try drawing a bracket in iso with angles and cutouts, then add thickness. But make it accurate match other parts or the same part drawn by someone else.

    What about an outlining tool for showing clarity of objects just made of line segments for common illustrations? Then perimeter and area should be available.

    How about array with divide along curves to make a speedometer not so difficult. Now add 5mph in the same arc and adjust tick marks.

    More accurate align tools are also needed. Being able to select a corner node while zoomed in without stretching would be useful when aligning.

    There’s many more but all this helps working users with speed and accuracy on the boring stuff so we can then spend more time being creative with AI.

    Take another long close look at CAD programs like AutoCAD and CADtool and you will easily see what is needed.

  • By Han - 8:15 AM on October 15, 2015  

    Wow, that shaper tool looks amazing!!! I can’t wait to start sketching with that!

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