OT: Illustrator capabilities (was Re: [OS X TeX] OT: log from Acrobat 7.0)

William Adams will.adams at frycomm.com
Wed Jul 26 08:06:28 EDT 2006

On Jul 25, 2006, at 4:23 PM, Jack Kuipers wrote:

> May I interject --- the best graphics program (for me, having tried  
> them all)
> is EAZY DRAW. 'Takes learning, but it will do anything you want.

I don't believe that you know what I want in a drawing program.  Take  
a look at the list of tasks which I wanted to achieve in Illustrator  
--- it doesn't look like this program affords even half of what's  
needed to accomplish these things quickly.

Looking at this program, I had the following issues after a quick pass:

  - it can't open a .eps or .pdf for editing
  - There doesn't seem to be a bezier pen tool to allow one to create  
them directly (you have to create a different object and then convert)
  - text boxes don't seem to have an inset option, there's no option  
for vertical centering or positioning text to align to the bottom of  
a rectangle, no option for hanging punctuation
  - there's only one option for arrowheads
  - dash options are limited to dash and a single dot
  - there's no option to align to the page
  - one can only have one page per document (Oh joy! if one uses it  
to create a stationery set one has to coordinate bits across three  
(or more) different files (letterhead, envelope, business card &c.)
  - it can't interpret standard graphic-design-oriented dimensions  
(it thinks 3p6 is 36pts.)
  - no options for aligning nodes
  - it doesn't allow one to draw an element and then assign it as a  
brush to a path
  - one can't ``erase'' portions of objects to sculpt them
(Ever tried FutureWave SmartSketch or Creaturehouse Expression?)

The interface is palette-laden and makes some ridiculous choices ---  
Detail is a document-specific drawer? Align right edges shifts some  
elements to the left? (the norm is to use the intended align as the  
direction of shift, so align to right shifts all but the right-most  
object to the right)

and most egregious of all...

  - a demo which doesn't allow one to create a new document?

Also, it seems buggy.

  - Try this. open up the fish demo document, remove everything (it's  
really limiting to only be able to interact with one layer at a  
time), then draw a rectangle, then choose Format | Interaction |  
Scale & Edit, then Format | Interaction | Scale --- the rectangle  

  - The UI doesn't keep track of all open palettes either --- even  
though it's open, the Walls palette doesn't have a checkbox next to  
it at the moment.

  - changing the zoom level resets the window to the bottom center of  
a document


William Adams
senior graphic designer
Fry Communications

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