Congratulations to all users of Creative Cloud with regular updates of Adobe's applications! Of course, our favorite Illustrator received several new features and enhancements. Now we can use live rectangles, preview the created paths, run the application in safe mode to diagnose crashes and use the graphic processor to speed up editing and displaying of the images. Working with anchor points has become much easier and the Pencil Tool received regular improvements. Let me tell you more about this ...
Live Shapes - Rectangles and Rounded Rectangles
After creating a rectangle and rounded rectangle, you can modify its properties, such as width, height, rounded corners, corner type, rounding radii (individually or together) and the angle of inclination. These parameters can be edited directly on the shape using Corner widgets or numeric fields of the Transform panel (Window > Transform), which now has the Rectangle Properties section. In order all the options of the panel are visible, select Show on Shape Creation in the Transform panel's fly-out menu. Scale Corner Radii For Shape option allows you to change the rounding radii proportionally while scaling the object.
You can also control the parameters of the rectangle in the Control panel.
Live Rectangles appear as Rectangle in the Layers panel. This will help to identify all live objects for selection and modification.
You can select all the live shapes by clicking Select > Same > Shape.
If you open a document that was created in earlier releases of Adobe Illustrator, existing rectangles will not be Live by default. To convert a rectangle into a Live Rectangle, select the rectangle, and then click Object > Shape > Convert to Rectangle. To convert Live Rectangles into regular rectangles, go to Object > Shape > Expand Rectangle.
Pen tool rubberband preview
Since 2014 Illustrator CC Pen Tool shows the preview of the path that will be drawn from the previous point to the current cursor position.
To enable or disable the rubberband feature, open the Preferences dialog (Cmd / Ctrl + K), then in the Selection and Anchor Display select or clear the Enable Rubber Band for Pen Tool checkbox.
Anchor Point enhancements
Dragging inequal handles (Pen tool)
In previous releases of the Adobe Illustrator, when we creating a smooth point opposite handles were always equal in length and paired. Now pressing Cmd / Ctrl while dragging the handles creates unequal length, leaving them paired. This allows better control of the curvature of the path created by the next segment.
Pairing broken handles (Anchor Point tool)
Take Anchor Point tool, click the Opt / Alt, and click at any handle of the corner point for pairing with the opposite handle and creating a smooth point. With this you are getting a smooth curve from the opposite intact segment.
Disabling snapping of handles
When we work in the snapping mode (pixel, grid, or point) anchor points will continue to honor snapping rules, but handles will be free from that restriction. This enables better control over the curvature of the segment, even if the snapping mode is on.
Better control on closing paths
In Illustrator CC 2014, press Opt / Alt, and break the pairing of handles of the closing anchor point. You can now make finer adjustments to the closing curve.
Repositioning the closing anchor point
Press the spacebar while closing a path to reposition the closing anchor point. This enhancement enables better control on the starting and closing curves of a path.
Experimental feature: GPU Performance (Windows-only)
Illustrator CC 2014 can leverage the power of a Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) on your computer. At this experimental stage, Windows 7 or 8 users that have a compatible NVIDIA graphics card can test the GPU Performance feature. The Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), found on video cards and as part of display systems, is a specialized processor that can rapidly execute commands for manipulating and displaying images. GPU-accelerated computing offers faster performance across a broad range of design, animation, and video applications. To enable / disable GPU Performance feature open the Preferences panel (Ctrl + K) and then check the GPU Performance checkbox in the Experimental Feature tab.
Pencil tool enhancements
Slider Fidelity gained an additional preset in the Pencil Tool Option dialog. If the previous version of the CC had 4 presets for this option, now it got five. This adds more flexibility to tool's adjustment. Additional the fifth preset of Fidelity was added to other drawing and path editing tools (Smooth Tool, Brush Tool, and Blob Brush Tool). Option key toggles to Smooth Tool in the tool's dialog allows you to temporarily enable Smooth Tool while pressing Option/Alt.
This feature helps to identify errors that occurs while running the application, which lead to its crushing. If Illustrator does not start, select launch Illustrator in Safe Mode. Once the application starts in the Safe Mode, go to Help > Safe Mode to view the list of problems. You can use this list for bug fixes (uninstall/reinstall outdated or bad plug-ins and fonts, and so on).