Continuing with our analysis of Adobe CS6 applications for our latest Application Test Suite-Intermediate Files (ATS-IF) Suite for Windows 8 applications. We’ll discuss new features and enhancements made to Illustrator. The ATS-IF suite covers four new Adobe applications: InDesign CS6, Illustrator CS6, Photoshop CS6, and Acrobat XI. If you missed it, be sure to check out our blog on InDesign CS6.

Here’s what we found in Adobe Illustrator CS6:

What’s New in Illustrator CS6?

Adobe Mercury Performance System: This new performance system provides native 64-bit support on Mac OS and Windows so you can access all of the RAM on your computer. Large files and complex designs are easier to open, save and export.

Links Panel Enhancements: Improvements allow you to track and access all information on artwork you place within an Illustrator file, right from the Links panel.

Transform Panel Enhancements: Scale Strokes and Effects option has been moved to the Transform panel for easier access.

Inline Editing in Panels: You no longer need to go through dialog boxes to edit names in layers, brushes, artboards, swatches, and other panels – changes can now be made directly in the panels.

Color Panel Enhancements: You can sample colors more precisely and quickly with the expandable color spectrum in the Color panel.

Type Panel Improvements: You can now use arrow keys to change fonts in context for selected text, and glyphs for caps, superscripts, etc. can be accessed in the Character panel.

Control Panel Enhancements: The efficiency of the Control panel has been improved. There is greater consistency across options, anchor point controls, clipping masks, envelope distortions, etc.

Transparency Panel Improvements: A new Make Mask/Release button displays masking functionality in the Transparency panel, making opacity masks easier and quicker to create and edit.

Gaussian Blur Enhancement: Gaussian Blur, Drop Shadows and Glows take effect much faster than in earlier version, and they are previewed on the artboard rather than in a dialog box.

Pattern Creation: Pattern creation/editing can be up to 75% faster. You can create seamlessly tiled vector patterns and different types of repeating patterns.

Dockable Hidden Tools: CS6 provides greater flexibility and control for Tools – you can tear off and dock previously hidden tools, such as the Shape and Pen tools, and dock tools horizontally or vertically to suit your layout.

Workspaces with Rooms: Support for rooms lets you move easily between workspaces, allowing for greater consistency across work areas.

True White Canvas Color: You can now set your Illustrator workspace canvas to true white.

New File Packaging: Available only with a Creative Cloud subscription, the Package feature makes it easy to hand off Illustrator files to production by collecting fonts, linked graphics, and a package report in a single folder automatically, with just a few clicks.

New Unembedded Images: Available only with a Creative Cloud subscription, the Unembedded Images feature let you unembed images that have been placed and embedded into an Illustrator file. You can then edit the images or use them in other programs, and link them to their extracted .psd or .tif files automatically.

HiDPI and Retina Display Support: View clearer, crisper text and images with more detail on high-resolution displays. The HiDPI feature is currently only available on Mac OS. It is expected to be available in the future on additional operating systems.