Illustrator 10.0 lets you add live Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) effects, such as drop shadows or Gaussian blurs to your illustrations with a few lines of code. SVG is a relatively new standard for Web graphics, but, when viewed in an SVG-enabled browser (plug-ins are available from Adobe) SVG graphics download quickly and always display at the highest possible resolution.
Lots of cool tools
You'll find that Illustrator 10.0 packs a wealth of new and specialized drawing tools into its palettes. On the most basic level, you can use the new Arc, Rectangular Grid, and Polar Grid tools to create open curves and complex matrices as easily as you draw a straight line. The new Liquefy brushes, such as Pucker or Crystallize, are basically filter effects that transform simple paths or text into jittery lines and exaggerated shapes. This method gives you much more control over the amount and location of the distortion than the existing Distort and Transform effects. And, for pure drama, nothing beats the new Flare tool, which generates the component parts of a lens flare effect--including halos and secondary rings--as vector objects.
When you purchase Illustrator 10.0, you get access to Adobe's professional-level, person-to-person telephone tech support for 90 days (30 days if you've upgraded from a previous version). Telephone support is available Monday through Friday, from 6 a.m. to 5 p.m., PT. Otherwise, you can access free help online in the form of comprehensive tech notes and user-to-user forums or via e-mail. Adobe also offers for-pay tech support options: toll numbers ($2 per minute for each call), a flat fee of $25 per incident, or the CustomerFirst yearly support contract.
If you're an amateur artist, you might find CorelDraw 10.0 (and the host of extra graphics programs bundled with it) easier to use. Flash developers will probably prefer FreeHand for its ability to work almost seamlessly with Flash. But if you're a professional designer or artist looking for a stable, powerful drawing program, look no further than Illustrator 10.0. Loyal Illustrator customers should consider upgrading for the symbols support alone.