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#1
Martin Gamache

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I'd certainly be interested in opinions of the new type engine in Illustrator CS and it's effect on existing projects.


Not sure if anyone noticed but CS2 was announced monday!!! I have not been able to find out if the type engine was modified or improve to work better with legacy text. I will likely do the upgrade, anyone else considering upgrading?

#2
Nick Springer

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NOTE: I split this topic from it's original thread so that this discussion would be in a more suitable category.

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I haven't had a problem with the end result of the Illustrator CS type engine, but I do find the conversion and potential reflowing of text from previous versions to be very annoying.

Nick Springer

Director of Design and Web Applications: ALK Technologies Inc.
Owner: Springer Cartographics LLC


#3
Hans van der Maarel

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Well, the type engine in CS1 was not received very well over here. The map production process for my biggest client depends on a ready-made Illustrator file with about 2700 text labels. Moving that from Illustrator 10 to CS literally messed up half of the labels. I guess it's not surprising we're still running 10 over there, until we figure out a way to migrate it without losing half of the texts (or without having to redo them manually).

Maps that are fully done in CS are no problem though.
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#4
Martin Gamache

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Maps that are fully done in CS are no problem though.

I guess for me that is the crux of it. I am not migrating any documents to CS. However I start most new projects in CS now. Eventually I wont have to have version 8, 10 and CS running on my machine.

I wonder if CS2 will offer anything new of interest to cartographers. From their website it seems productivity might be improved with the new Control Palette. Live Paint has alot of potential, as does live trace. Expanded stroke options I can certainly imagine a use for, and have wished for in the past for both Illy and FH. I'm just not sure if there will be enough new features to justify the upgrade?

mg

#5
Hans van der Maarel

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It seems the even-numbered versions of Illustrator are okay, but the odd-numbered ones you should be wary of... 8 was okay, 9 wasn't, 10 was an improvement over 9, but still not as good as 8. CS (aka 11) is decent enough, but the text engine is useless in converting old text. Theoretically, CS2 (aka 12) will be decent again.

To me, Illustrator is just a vehicle for MAPublisher, that's what I primarily use. There's a lot of options in Illustrator that I never touch. Since I sell and support a workflow to my clients, I'm much more concerned about backwards compatability than all the new functionality.
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#6
Rick Dey

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Hans,
I agree, the last odd numbered Illustrator to be of use was 5. We tried 7, 9 and CS but never deployed it to all cartographers. Our problem is that with the new type engine and 95 legacy titles with up to 10,000 path type instances, we may be needing to reset over half the type on any given map. That is going to drive our update schedule out to an unacceptable timeframe. Converting to CS could end up being almost as huge a process as our conversion from scribe to digital. (Well at least now the cartographers are familar with using computers for maps.)

If the initial conversion of the map really left legacy type alone except when you needed to convert it that would be fine but even that option breaks 20% or more of the type. The other problem is the way kerning is done in CS is based on a completely different baseline location. We have one person right now working with CS, attempting to create new type actions and document the ways to do things.

As far as CS 2, what I've heard from a beta tester I know, is that it handles type left as legacy a little better, but that core engine is still unchanged when you convert and we're not going to see that go away.

If you have clients that you produce for that are using 10 and you've made the move to CS, you're really screwed. At least if they hadn't made the move to 10 in the past you were pretty safe.
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#7
Hans van der Maarel

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Here's an idea I just had:

From Illustrator 10, I saved my text layer as an EPS, which I then placed in my CS document. Printed that to PDF just to check and the small test that I did looked fine.

However, text editing in CS is not possible, because it's in a uneditable, placed EPS. Also any nice MAPublisher additions, such as indexing, will not be available.

I'm not sure whether this is something I would want to use in a production environment, but at least it seems to work okay.

On a side note, it seems cartographers drive the 'mainstream' graphics apps like Illustrator and Freehand to the extreme. I know I've been pushing the limits ever since I started using them. Shame though that the developers don't really cater for that.
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#8
Martin Gamache

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I just reaslised another obstacle to implementing AICS use into my workflow. I was just thinking about using on my next project and realised that most of my base illustrator files are being created by either ArcMap (as AI version 3) or Manifold (AI version 7). This means that all the texts gets converted and broken up into small strings when its brought into AICS, which is very annoying and useless. I have yet to test whether this happens when I use the PDF export of manifold as a way around this... I suppose this is one advantage for MAPublisher users.

#9
melon_mapper

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I know that I may be late to the discussion, and agree with everyone about the odd versus even Illustrators. I know people who bring ArcGIS and old illustrator files into CS and get the do you want to update text issue ( I beleive this is the topic people are talking about), they say yes and the type is all fuzzy and stuff. What I found works is before I do anything to the Arc document in Illustrator, I select all and move the up arrow key 1 click and my text seems to be OK.

I may be off the board on topic, but when I tell others about this little technique, it seems to solve an issue for them

John Watermolen

#10
Hans van der Maarel

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Resurrecting an old topic that, at least for me, has become relevant again now that the release of MAPublisher 7 is a good reason to finally switch from Illustrator 10 to CS2 (not for myself, but some of my clients were still on 10).

This Adobe knowledge base entry seems to have a rather usable workaround. Still not a total solution, but at least it saves you having to relabel half of the map...
Hans van der Maarel - Cartotalk Editor
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