Adobe Illustrator Versions History

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is really a vector graphics editor and design program developed and marketed by Adobe Inc. Originally created for the Apple Macintosh, the development of Adobe Illustrator began in 1985. Alongside Creative Cloud (Adobe’s shift to monthly or annual subscription service delivered within the Internet), Illustrator CC was released. The newest version, Illustrator 2022, was launched on October 26, 2021. Moreover, it could be the 25th generation in the product line. PC Magazine reviewed Adobe Illustrator as the best vector graphics editing program in 2018.

Versions 1–1.6 (Illustrator 88)

Development of Adobe Illustrator for the Apple Macintosh began in 1985 (shipping in January 1987). As commercialization of Adobe’s in-house font development software and PostScript file format. Adobe Illustrator could be the companion product of Adobe Photoshop. Photoshop is toward digital photo manipulation and photorealistic varieties of computer illustration. While Illustrator provides results in the typesetting and logo graphic aspects of design. Early magazine advertisements (featured in graphic design trade magazines such as Communication Arts) referred to the product as “the Adobe Illustrator”; Illustrator 88, the product name for version 1.7, was launched in 1988 and introduced many new tools and features.
Byte in 1989 listed Illustrator 88 as one of the “Distinction” winners of the Byte Awards, stating that Adobe had “pulled ahead” of previously industry-dominant competitor Aldus FreeHand.

Adobe Illustrator Versions 2–6

Although during its first decade Adobe developed Illustrator primarily for Macintosh, it sporadically supported other platforms. In the early 1990s, Adobe released versions of Illustrator for Display PostScript licensees NeXT, Digital Equipment Corporation Ultrix, Silicon Graphics IRIX, and Sun Solaris platforms, but these were discontinued because of poor market acceptance. The very first version of Illustrator for Windows, version 2.0, was launched in early 1989 and flopped. This Windows version, version 4.0, was widely criticized to be too just like Illustrator 1.1 as opposed to the Macintosh 3.0 version, and most certainly not add up to Windows’ most popular illustration package CorelDRAW. (Note that there have been no versions 2.0 or 4.0 for the Macintosh. Although, the next release for the Mac was titled Illustrator 88—the entire year of its release. And there clearly was no version 6 for Windows.)

With the introduction of Illustrator 7 in 1997, Adobe made critical changes in the user interface pertaining to path editing (and to converge for a passing fancy interface like Adobe Photoshop), and many users opted never to upgrade. Illustrator also began to guide TrueType, effectively ending the “font wars” between PostScript Type 1 and TrueType. Like Photoshop, Illustrator also began supporting plug-ins, greatly and quickly extending its abilities.

Adobe Illustrator Versions 7–10

With true interface parity between Macintosh and Windows versions beginning with 7.0, designers could finally standardize on Illustrator. Corel did port CorelDRAW FreeHand still not for sale in Illustrator (higher scaling percentages, advanced find-and-replace feature, selective round-corner editing, export/print selected objects only, etc.). Famously, Aldus made a matrix comparing its own FreeHand to Illustrator and Draw where Draw’s one “win” was that it included three different clip art views of the human pancreas.

Adobe Illustrator Versions CS–CS6

Illustrator CS (aka version 11), released by Adobe for Mac and Windows in October 2003, was the initial version to include 3-dimensional capabilities allowing users to extrude or revolve shapes to create simple 3D objects.
Illustrator CS2 (version 12), released by Adobe in April 2005, was available for both the Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems. It had been the final version for the Mac which did not run natively on Intel processors. Among the new features included in Illustrator CS2 were Live Trace, Live Paint, a control palette, and a custom workspace. Live Trace makes for the conversion of bitmap imagery into vector art and improved upon the prior tracing abilities. Live Paint allows users more flexibility in applying color to objects, specifically those that overlap. In the same year while the CS2 release, Adobe Systems announced an agreement to get Macromedia. Adding to this, In an inventory swap valued at about $3.4 billion. Moreover, it integrated the companies’ operations, networks, and customer-care organizations shortly thereafter.

Adobe now owned Freehand combined with the entire Macromedia product line in 2007. Also, Adobe announced that it would discontinue development and updates to the Freehand program. Instead, Adobe would provide tools and support to help ease the transition to Illustrator.

Version CC

Alongside Creative Cloud (the results of Adobe’s shift in its release strategy), Illustrator CC, this version (the 17th) is a subscription-based service model, consistent with one other software in the formerly called Creative Suite. Included in Creative Cloud, this version brought improvements for the reason that subjects such as color, font, and program settings syncing, saving documents to the cloud, and integration with Behance (a creative collaborative network), as well as other features such as a new touch-compatible type tool, images in brushes, CSS extraction, and files packaging.


Starting with version 1.0, Adobe thought we would license an image of Sandro Botticelli’s. “The Birth of Venus” from the Bettmann Archive and use the portion containing Venus’ face as Illustrator’s branding image. John desired a Renaissance image to evoke his vision of PostScript as a brand new Renaissance in publishing, and Adobe employee Luanne Seymour Cohen, who had been in charge of early marketing material, found Venus’ flowing tresses a great vehicle for demonstrating Illustrator’s strength in tracing smooth curves over bitmap source images. Over the years the rendition of the image on Illustrator’s splash screen and packaging became more stylized to reflect features added in each version.


Compatibility with Inkscape. Inkscape’s native format is SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) in Adobe Illustrator. However, the 2 implementations aren’t fully compatible. Inkscape also exports to PS, EPS, and PDF, formats that Illustrator can recognize.


A sidebar appears at the left of the screen with a number of tools. From there you can select, create, and manipulate objects or artworks in Illustrator. These tools are drawing, typing, painting, reshaping, slicing and cutting, symbolism, moving, zooming, and graphing.

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