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Top 10 New Features in Adobe Illustrator CS5

Variable-Width Strokes

Variable-Width Strokes

Imagine trying to draw a ribbon. You immediately select the Pen tool to start creating the perfect winding ribbon, right? Drawing point after point, clicking, dragging, correcting mistakes, drawing some more, correcting more mistakes.

Using the new Width tool in Illustrator CS5, you just draw a simple line, and then push and pull the stroke of that line to expand and contract its width variably along the line (see Figure 2).

Figure 2 Adobe has added a set of features called "Beautiful Strokes," and the Width tool is a part of that feature set.

The Width tool works on more than just lines—it can be used on any object that has a stroke. You can also create and save custom width profiles, which you can reapply to any stroke later on.

The Width tool is an amazing new addition to the Illustrator toolset, making short work of being creative with paths and strokes.

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