Artboard 1.9 Released: Text Styles, Performance Boost and OS X Mavericks

Today, we released the latest version of our app, Artboard 1.9. Artboard is a full-featured graphics design app for creating vector drawings and illustrations. Design logos, posters, floor plans, technical drawings, fun fashions, web graphics, and more. Unlike pixel-based images, vector graphics are composed of editable objects that are infinitely scalable.

The headline feature for Artboard 1.9 is the addition of text styles. While text could always have style properties, now those text styles can be saved to the library for future use, shared, and applied to multiple text objects at the same time. Like all graphic styles, Artboard’s style dropper tool can now pick up styles from text objects and apply them to other text objects. This feature makes Artboard’s already flexible text tools even more powerful. In addition, text can now be placed and edited immediately, and we’ve added the Esc-key as a new shortcut to end editing text and other objects.

Artboard 1.9 adds the ability to transform any style effect through its new “transform” style group settings. The many style effects can be layered together and used in unlimited combinations for spectacular effects.

Below the surface, for version 1.9, we’ve provided massive performance improvements, especially when working with very large files. This includes improved performance when reading files – up to 60x to 100x faster than previous versions. Artboard 1.9 provides better full screen support and is optimized to work with OS X 10.9 Mavericks. Some of the more subtle interface updates include the adoption of a modern flatter appearance for several UI elements, such as toolbar buttons, section headers and the title header for the layers sidebar. A new, friendlier in-app and online User Guide adds the finishing touches to this polished update.

As always, this is a free update for existing users. Artboard is available for $29.99 USD on the Mac App Store. Please consider updating your review for version 1.9 on the Mac App Store. Your support is what makes us successful – thank you!

Release Notes:
  • Enhancement: Massive performance improvement when drawing, especially when there are many objects.
  • Enhancement: Massive improvement in performance when reading a file – 60x to 100x faster. Very noticeable on big complex projects.
  • Enhancement: Opening files that take a while show a progress dialog to provide some feedback. Files are opened in the background which otherwise means the user might not see anything happening if it takes a while. However, with the performance boost above, not many files take long enough to trigger the progress.
  • Enhancement: Massive improvement in performance when closing a large or complex document – now near instantaneous.
  • Bugfix: Some further bugfixes with bad values causing graphics errors on 10.9. This could prevent some files from opening.
  • Bugfix: Arc tool now operates correctly on OS 10.9 where null values were reported that caused crashing.
  • Bugfix: Pan (Hand) tool now operates correctly even if active layer is locked.
  • Bugfix: Autoscrolling now disabled for pan tool which eliminates juddery scrolling at the edges of the view.
  • Change: Exporting a collection now sets the default filename for the to the library name, instead of “untitled”.
  • Change: A flatter appearance for several UI elements has been adopted, such as toolbar buttons, section headers and the title header for the Layers sidebar.
  • Bugfix: Style components can be deleted from within a rasterizer group directly.
  • Enhancement/Change: Style component transforms have been reimplemented using a much better design, where the transformation is performed by a new rasterizer group class. This means any and all style components can be transformed, singly or in groups as desired. Old-style transforms are automatically migrated to the new structure. All UI pertaining to old-style transforms has been removed, and the SI has additional UI for the new transform group component. This also boosts drawing performance in the general case because components no longer need to consider whether transformations are required and can simply go ahead and draw.
  • Enhancement: Preferences can now be reset fully within the app using option+(App) -> Reset Preferences… menu. This replaces any instruction to “trash the prefs” though this is something very rarely required.
  • Bugfix: Rough strokes are now properly updated when flipping a path.
  • Bugfix: “Show in Library Manager” greyed out for items in the the temporary document collection, which does not appear in the LM.
  • Change: Improvements to full screen support.
  • Bugfix: Clicking in another window (such as a palette) during path creation no longer creates a path point that has wildly incorrect values. Instead the resulting event is ignored.
  • Enhancement/Bugfix: Direct (Finder) changes to folders and files in the user’s template directory are now reflected live in the Template Browser as necessary.
  • Bugfix: Export of ‘selection only’ now honours clipping mask, if there is one, for all formats (Artboard). Note that for Export of the whole image, if the clipping mask is set to show, it will be rendered in the exported image for non-PDF formats.
  • Change/Workaround: Tooltips assigned to the buttons in the tool palette are now generated by combining the internal tool name and its key equivalent, then looking up a localized version in a strings file. This makes the tooltips automatically track key equivalent changes and works around a bug in Xcode 5.0.2 where tooltips assigned to NSMatrix cells in IB are lost.
  • Change: “Text > Table” menu item removed as tables are currently not able to be supported in text boxes.

How To Clip Images with Complex Objects

Artboard makes it easy to clip your images with complex vector objects. Draw any shape and use the Intersect command. Here’s how.

Tutorial Details

Program : Artboard 1.7+ for Mac OSX
Difficulty: Intermediate
Topics Covered: Image Browser and Intersect
Estimated Completion Time: about 15 minutes

Step 1 – Draw the Clipping Shape

Open the Image Browser and drag-and-drop from the Browser to your drawing canvas to place your image. Draw any shape – from a simple rounded rectangle to a complex outline of the area you want to clip. Here we’ve used the Bezier Path [b]tool to draw an outline around the girl in the picture. We used a simple red stroke with no fill to better see the outline as we traced over the picture.

Step 2 – Clip the Image

To clip the image with your shape, hold the Command-key and use the Select [s] tool to select both the image and the shape. Then click the Intersect icon on the Toolbar, or choose Graphic > Combine > Intersect from the main menu. Clipping images is non-destructive – an image that is clipped still has the original image hidden behind the clipped area, and the clipping path can be removed later as desired. Double-click the image to reposition it or scale it within its bounding box. An image effects panel is also displayed. If you want to remove the clipping path, right-click the image and choose “Remove Image clipping path” from the contextual menu.

Step 3 – Mask and Resample Image (optional)

An image with a clipping path can be permanently cropped to remove portions of the image that are hidden, thus reducing overall file size. Cropped images are resampled to the clipped area. To crop a clipped image, right-clicking the image and choose “Crop and resample image” from the contextual menu.

Final Image

Clipping images in Artboard is as easy as 1-2-3! We hope you enjoy the simplicity of how it works just like the Boolean operations with any vector objects.

Create Stunning Reports

Create custom informational graphics, then cut-and-paste into your favorite productivity app. Here we are building a reference map from Artboard’s built-in clip art collection. Artboard clip art are fully editable vector graphics. Note, some clip art are made from multiple objects and should be ungrouped before editing.