Illustrator CS was the first version to include 3-dimensional capabilities allowing users to extrude or revolve shapes to create simple 3D objects.
Illustrator CS2 (version 12) was available for both the Mac OS X and Microsoft Windows operating systems. It was the last 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 custom workspaces. Live Trace allows for the conversion of bitmap imagery into vector art and improved upon the previous tracing abilities. Live Paint allows users more flexibility in applying color to objects, specifically those that overlap. In the same year as the CS2 release, Adobe Systems announced an agreement to acquire Macromedia in a stock swap valued at about $3.4 billion and it integrated the companies’ operations, networks, and customer-care organizations shortly thereafter. Adobe now owned FreeHand along with the entire Macromedia product line and in 2007, Adobe announced that it would discontinue development and updates to the FreeHand program. Instead, Adobe would provide tools and support to ease the transition to Illustrator.
CS3 included interface updates to the Control Bar, the ability to align individual points, multiple Crop Areas, the Color Guide panel and the Live Color feature among others. CS3 was released March 27, 2007.
CS4 was released in October 2008. It features a variety of improvements to old tools along with the introduction of a few brand new tools acquired from FreeHand. The ability to create multiple artboards is one of CS4’s main additions from FreeHand. The artboards allow you to create multiple versions of a piece of work within a single document. Other tools include the Blob Brush, which allows multiple overlapping vector brush strokes to easily merge or join, and a revamped gradient tool allowing for more in-depth color manipulation as well as transparency in gradients.
CS5 was released in April 2010. Along with a number of enhancements to existing functionality, Illustrator CS5’s new features include a Perspective Grid tool taken from FreeHand, a Bristle Brush (for more natural and painterly looking strokes) and a comprehensive update to strokes, referred to by Adobe as “Beautiful Strokes”.
Version CS6 was the sixteenth generation of Adobe Illustrator. Adobe added many more features and several bug fixes such as a new user interface, layer panels, RGB codes, and color ramp to increase performance. CS6 was released on April 23, 2012.