Adobe Illustrator Gripes & Feature Wishlist

I’m going to have the ear of 3-4 developers from Adobe’s Illustrator team sometime in the next few days. They want to know what makes our life difficult, and what would make it easier. What are your gripes, pain points, repetitive stress injuries? What is your dream feature? What are you accomplishing with plug-ins that should really be built in?

Let me know in the comments, or by editing the fancy Google Doc after the jump.

Click here to view!

6 thoughts on “Adobe Illustrator Gripes & Feature Wishlist

  1. Steven W. Howard says

    I’ll probably come up with some more throughout the week, but 1. I definitely agree with you on the pathfinder tools and how it rarely seems to cut out what you want. 2. I rarely use the splice/knife tool just because it doesn’t exactly follow the path you cut requiring someone to go back and readjust all the points. This tool would be handy at times if it was capable of following the exact path you cut.

  2. says

    I am somewhat new to Illustrator, relatively speaking, but I’d have to say that if you want to created technical illustrations, then the software needs to a behave in a way that aligns with the workflow of the technical illustrator. Take a look at IsoDraw and Corel Designer. These programs where designed with the Tech Illustrator in mind. I don’t expect Adobe to cater to our needs specifically, but some things would be nice. To me, everything I need to do seems to be a workaround in Illustrator. I can get things done WAY faster in Corel (or Xara) …that is, when Corel is not busy crashing.
    Some favs to see off the top of my head:
    a constraint key that locks a line to a specific angle when drawing or rotating. Similar to the smart guides in function but doesn’t get in the way. Hold the CTRL key down and draw at a 30 degree angle, or rotate at 15 degree increments, whatever your specify.
    a more customizable interface. Corel lets you create custom toolbars where icons can activate scripts. See my screenshot in my flickr album.
    trim a line. See Coreldraw’s Virtual Segment tool. It’s a lifesaver.
    My all time favorite would be to be able to draw on axis. So if you draw a circle, it draws an ellipse instead.
    And if we are REALLY dreaming, import solid models such as Solidworks files and output thick/thin lines.
    A quicker way to assign line thickness.
    Automatically create a thick line around the perimeter of a grouped object. See Corel Designer, though their tool is still not perfect.
    I’d like to see overall a reduction in the amount of steps that you have to take to make something happen. See Xara and even Inkscape for better way to handle this.
    trimetric grids. See inkscape.
    On my Win XP machines, I can’t exit Illustrator. I have to force quit. That happened on my older IBM T60P and still on my new Dell M4500. The mac seems fine.
    Please let me find a way to convert a curved line to a straight line. I’s there a way already? I have not been able to figure it out. In Corel I just right click and select “to line.” Same thing if I want to go from line to curve.

    I am sure I could go on, and I may. :-)

  3. says

    I agree with a lot of what bill is saying but I think in actuality there are a small number of tech. illustrators using adobe compared to all the other kinds of illustrators. I would love to see some of the basic isometric drawing tool from isodraw in illustrator, that would be awesome.

  4. David Comerford says

    Thank you Bill Fehr.

    Someone else that uses Corel Designer like I do.
    I have been using designer since version 4 and would not use anything else except maybe Isodraw, but way to expensive for my blood.

    My recently employer was using Adobe Illustrator and I was able to convince them to buy Corel Designer and now I can work much faster and easier then I could with Illustrator.

    I have worked as a Technical Illustration for 20 plus years and have used Corel Designer in all of my work.
    Except before the days of computers and drew my illustrations with mechanical pens on a cad table.

    Not bashing illustrators who use adobe software, but I like Designer in my opinion.

  5. Larry Marino says

    A better way to edit arcs/ellipses/circles.
    I used a page layout program for Tech Writers, that had a few token Tech Illustrator tools, yet it was much faster and more accurate to create Di-metric drawings simply because of its quick editing of ellipses.
    Unless there is something in AI5 that I don’t know about with regards to editing arcs.

  6. An says

    Once again Adobe had let the technical illustration community down. There are some wonderful plug-ins out there (RJ-Graffix) but they only run on PC up to CS3 Release. My company is now looking at Corel Technical as a tool because Adobe can’t seem to update simple things and RJ-Graffix is mainly for the Apple platform. His tools rapidly speed up the editing of technical illustrations that are exported from a CAD program.
    Are there so few of us out there that have need for iso, and better editing (cutting line) tools? I have used Hot Door CAD tools, and it doesn’t address an editing work flow.

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