All Graffix plugins for Adobe Illustrator are now optimized for Illustrator 2020 for both Mac and Windows, and available for download, with the exception of ServerLock. That update is in progress. IsoTool is not updated, but its functions are now built into AxoTools — The drawing tool from IsoTool will continue to work for free in AxoTools without licensing.
I’m happy to report that all Graffix plugins (except for ServerLock, for now) are notarized for use with macOS 10.15 Catalina, Apple’s new all 64-bit OS. This applies only to plugins compiled for Illustrator 2019 and 2020.
In the meantime, here’s a workaround for older versions and — temporarily — for ServerLock. I won’t go so far as to say that I recommend this, but both have worked for me and for other users.
The site Der Flounder explains how to turn off Apple’s quarantine flag using the terminal. A variation on this technique goes like this:
1. Open the Terminal app and run the following command (in this example for ServerLock for CC 2019):
sudo xattr -cr /Applications/Adobe\ Illustrator\ CC\ 2019/Plug-ins.localized/ServerLock.aip
2. Press Enter or Return.
3. Enter your password if asked.
4. Repeat for each plugin.
Illustrator should launch and load the plugins normally.
I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience.
One of my favorite tools in Adobe Illustrator is the Free Transform tool, but it does have a few quirks in more recent versions of Illustrator. Say you have a shape made of two rectangles, one of which is rotated 90° from the other, and both rotated some random small amount. With one rectangle selected while using Adobe’s Free Transform Tool, all is well.
Now select the second rectangle and the bounding box is no longer rotated with the selection.
With ToolShed’s new Transform tool, the bounding box is always rotated to match the topmost object, so you can transform these rectangles as though they were one object. One way around this would be to use the Square Up plugin to square the objects along their dominant axis, but that’s now an unnecessary step.
If you press the shift key while rotating, ToolShed’s Transform tool will rotate only the bounding box, which makes it easy to stretch your art along any angle you wish!
Using Adobe’s Free Transform tool, I often grab the handle on a side to stretch it a bit taller or wider, but then it goes all cattywompus. Using the Free Transform tool on more recent versions of Illustrator requires us to first lock proportions by clicking an icon in another tiny palette that, it seems, is always hidden behind other panels. In addition, grabbing a corner to rescale it often seems to rotate the art instead of scaling it. Ain’t nobody got time for that! ToolShed’s Transform tool doesn’t skew and doesn’t rotate from a corner, so for most purposes, you can work more quickly and with fewer surprises.
Remember, you can download ToolShed and try it out with a thousand trial uses that don’t expire before you have a chance to seriously test it. They don’t expire at all!
ToolShed has a new function to fade the fill and/or stroke of a path object. Its appearance would be similar to an object whose opacity has been changed except that the opacity remains unchanged. Only the colors are lightened.
If the object had previously been faded, you can check “Invert fade” to darken the colors , equivalent to undoing a previous fade long after Undo no longer appeared in the Edit menu. Fade is added to the FREE functions of the plugin, and will continue to work even if the plugin is never activated.
This function can be called by selecting Fade… from the Object menu.
You can download it here. Each trial period includes 1,000 free uses of all features which you can use at your leisure, with no time constraints.
The Tangent Arc Tool in the ToolShed plugin has just been updated with a simple, but important improvement. Now when you begin drawing an arc, it can begin at any angle you want. Just click, and a guide line will be drawn from the clicked point to the current cursor location (press Shift to constrain to an increment of 45°). Once you press your mouse or stylus and begin to drag, the arc’s start angle will be locked in and your cursor location will determine the arc’s endpoint.
ToolShed 16.2.2 also adds stability improvements and is recommended for all users.
If you haven’t tried ToolShed, you can download it here and enjoy 1,000 free uses spread out over as much time as you need.
Stabilized Pencil tool adds a “leash” to a pencil to smooth its motion, similar to Photoshop’s smoothed brushes. Keep sharp corners where you want them and smooth the broad strokes. Pulling the pen point begins with a slight buffer, and a ring around the pen point indicates that there’s “slack” in the leash, so your stroke won’t start with a jerk. The new path is simplified according to settings you choose. If the new path is drawn at the endpoint of another, it’s then automatically concatenated into one continuous path.
Customize its behavior by double-clicking the Stabilized Pen tool icon to access its Preferences. There, specify a leader length (or 0 for none) and path smoothing settings to match Adobe’s Object > Path > Simplify option. You can also choose whether to display the onscreen help text and annotations. Press the Alt/Option key when releasing the mouse button to skip the path simplification — the “high res” path can then be simplified later.
The ToolShed plugin has three tools and seven functions. I hope you find it useful. There’s a pretty good chance I’ll be bringing more tools to the shed in the not-too-distant future, which will make it an even better value.