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Adobe Illustrator 2024 Updates | From Adobe MAX 2023

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Adobe Max 2023 has rolled out some exciting new features for Illustrator that you can try out in the new 2024 update. Illustrator continues to evolve, providing you with powerful tools and ground-breaking new features, such as how to convert text to vector in Illustrator and how to identify a font from an image.

Some of the Adobe Max highlights include a significant focus on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to augment the creative process. In this article, we'll dive into the top five new features that you can try out right now in this latest update.

Check out the video catch-up over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

Check out our other Adobe Max 2023 content:

How to Update Adobe Illustrator

To try out all the fun new features that were announced in Adobe Max 2023, including the Adobe Illustrator AI generator, the first thing you need to do is update Adobe Illustrator. Open up the Adobe Creative Cloud app and make sure you're signed in.

Click on the Apps tab and scroll down to find the Adobe Illustrator update in the list of installed apps. 

click on the apps tabclick on the apps tabclick on the apps tab

Click on the Update button next to Adobe Illustrator to start the updating process. Once the update is complete, you'll have access to all the new features available! Now let's check out the top five Adobe Illustrator updates and Adobe Max highlights below.

click on the update buttonclick on the update buttonclick on the update button

1. Retype (Beta)

First, let's learn how to convert text to vector in Illustrator. With Retype (Beta), Illustrator can now act as a font identifier. Identifying fonts from raster images and outlined text becomes easy, removing all the guesswork. We can also learn how to vectorize text in Illustrator.

Now let's try the font identifier feature. Select Type > Retype (Beta) and a new panel will appear. Simply select the image or outlined text, and then click on the Enter button.

select image and click enterselect image and click enterselect image and click enter

The Retype (Beta) panel will then show the matching font from the image, as well as some font suggestions from Adobe Fonts and system fonts (which are ordered by how closely the font matches the image). To vectorize the text, simply hit the Apply button.

retype beta resultsretype beta resultsretype beta results

2. Retype (Beta) Type Conversion

So now that we know how to turn text into vector Illustrator, what if we already had outlined text? If you want to convert outlined text back into editable text, Retype (Beta) can help with that too! Simply select the outlined text and in the Retype (Beta) panel, hit the Enter button.

select outlined textselect outlined textselect outlined text

Select the font that was used, and then hit Apply. Once you've done that, the selected text will be converted to live text which you can edit. 

select font and applyselect font and applyselect font and apply

3. Generative Recolor

Generative Recolor is powered by Adobe Firefly, and it lets you recolor your vector artwork with ease. In this example, we can take an image of a drink and create new colors and flavours with a simple description.

Select the vector image that you want to use, and then go to Edit > Edit Colors > Generative Recolor to bring up the panel. Click on the new Generative Recolor button that is located at the top of the panel.

click on generative recolorclick on generative recolorclick on generative recolor

In the prompt section, simply describe the color scheme that you want to use. In this case, we'll go with a new flavour like 'chocolate chip cookies' and then select the Generate button.

The Illustration AI generator will then do its thing! Once that's done, you'll see that it has generated four different color scheme variations to choose from. You can then select Advanced Options to further customise and save your colors.

generative recolorgenerative recolorgenerative recolor

4. Text to Vector

Now let's explore the exciting new "text to vector" graphic feature. To get started, simply create a new rectangle using the Rectangle Tool, and then when you select it, you'll see that a new Generate button appears on your contextual bar.

new generate buttonnew generate buttonnew generate button

Click on it, and you'll see that we have options to create subjects, scenes, icons, and patterns. Once you've chosen a type, enter a prompt, and Adobe Illustrator will start working at creating a new vector image.

select option to generateselect option to generateselect option to generate

Once that's done, you'll see that it has generated your own mockup vector image with some variations to choose from.

blue puppyblue puppyblue puppy

You can also go back to the Properties panel to increase/decrease the level of detail of the next batch of generated images, using the Settings button.

increase or decrease detailsincrease or decrease detailsincrease or decrease details

5. Style Picker

And finally, we have the style picker. To demonstrate this, let's generate a new scene using the text to vector feature.

night forest vectornight forest vectornight forest vector

This will generate your new mockup vector image and some variations, as expected. However, it can sometimes be difficult to express in words the style that you want to generate for a prompt.

So let's bring in an image that contains the style that we want to emulate. Using the style picker, we can then click on the image and hit the Generate button again.

use the style pickeruse the style pickeruse the style picker

As a result, you'll find that the vector image has now extracted the style and colors and used them for the new variations!

image generated using style pickerimage generated using style pickerimage generated using style picker


So that's our top five latest 2024 updates for Adobe Illustrator! Adobe Illustrator’s new features from Adobe Max 2023 significantly enhance its capability, making it an even more powerful tool for graphic artists. The infusion of AI, through the Firefly Vector Model, not only augments the creative process but also heralds a new era of generative graphics. Make sure to update your app now to try out these new and exciting features.

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