Adobe will ship the Mac OS X-optimized Illustrator 10 by the end of the year.

Bruce Chizen, Adobe president and CEO, said: "Mac OS X is the future for Adobe and our customers. With its enhanced stability and new features, we can deliver the best applications ever. Adobe Illustrator 10 is the first of our flagship products being released on Mac OS X, with the rest of our major titles to follow during the coming six months."

Bettina Glennoy, product manager for Adobe's graphics solutions in Europe, said: "We've always had a very strong commitment to the Mac market and our products have a very strong Mac following."

Terrific Jobs Apple CEO Steve Jobs said: "Mac OS X is coming of age as the key applications such as Illustrator 10 begin shipping. The Mac is the most popular platform for creative professionals, and Adobe has done a terrific job with its first major Mac OS X-native application."

Illustrator 10's OS X support allows designers to enjoy performance boosts and multiprocessing support. Illustrator 10 also offers a host of workflow-improving features.

Illustrator 10's "wow-factor" feature is called Symbolism. This lets designers clone images and spray them across their design. Designers get to choose how many times the images repeat, and these can be spun, resized, or scrunched, and the opacity adjusted. This feature is "ideal" for simulating items such as foliage or clouds.

File split Illustrator 10 maintains the Web capabilities introduced in version 9. This version adds Web-object slicing technologies that split designs into chunks, resulting in smaller, bandwidth-friendly files.

Version 10 also includes Symbols, Layers support, and new tools that make lines, arcs, grids, and complex groups of objects easy to draw for Web authors. Illustrator 10 also supports a new technology: dynamic data-driven graphics. This means often-used graphics need be changed only once, because the graphic will be updated automatically across the site.

A new design tool called Live Distortion can bend, stretch and twist text, graphics and images in "any way imaginable", Adobe claims. It offers live enveloping, warping and distortion. The distorted elements remain editable. Adobe admitted that this feature "may" appear in future versions of Photoshop.

Additional features in Illustrator 10 include enhanced support for Macromedia Flash, Scaleable Vector Graphics (SVG) import and export, the ability to apply special effects – such as drop shadows – to SVG files, a photo-realistic lens-flare tool, the ability to preserve layers and improved asset-management tools.

Illustrator 10 needs a G3 or G4 processor, 128MB of RAM, and supports Mac OS 9.1 to OS X. It ships at the end of the year and costs £329 (+ VAT). Upgrading from earlier versions costs £115.