Bettina Glennoy, product manager for Adobe's graphics solutions in Europe, said: "We have always had a very strong commitment to the Mac market and our products have a very strong Mac following."
Illustrator 10 supports Mac OS X natively, meaning designers will enjoy performance boosts and multiprocessing support. It also offers a host of workflow-improving features.
Wow factor 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.
Illustrator 10 maintains the Web capabilities introduced in version 9. This version adds Web-object slicing technologies that help create graphically rich Web sites, by splitting design into chunks that fit together to achieve the overall effect. A result of this is smaller file sizes, making sites more bandwidth-friendly.
Version 10 also includes Symbols, and Layers support, 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 that when repeated 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. These distorted elements remain editable. Adobe admitted that this feature "may" appear in future versions of Photoshop.
Feature-packed 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 RAM, and supports Mac OS 9.1, 9.2.1 and OS X. It ships at the end of the year and costs £295. Upgrading from earlier versions costs £110.