Contextual Task Bar
We have introduced the Contextual Task Bars in Illustrator. This new menu appears on the canvas with one-click access to the most common next actions so that you can quickly complete your next step.
You can read the official help article here: https://community.adobe.com/t5/illustrator-discussions/introducing-contextual-task-bar-in-illustrator-quick-actions-when-you-need-them/m-p/14081562
Please give it a try and we look forward to your feedback.
Ok, look. This could be a clever idea, but it really needs some work.
Having to constantly move this non-custoizable bar out of my way 20 times a day is miserable. Having it trapped inside the document window is frustrating. At least let me move it to my second monitor.
For a special treat, try using the mouse wheel to scroll down while you have some text selected. The context bar will scroll up with the text, eventually passing under your mouse pointer, at which point the scroll wheel no longer scrolls the document, but instead it gets hijacked by the context bar and your rapidly scrolling through fonts. That's just disorienting.
Rene Andritsch commented
Please add a “Pin” option like the one in Photoshop. At the moment the positioning is remembered on a per document which is not pleasant when working on several documents at the same time as you have to move it out of the way in every document. Thank you!
To add to my previous comments about this feature which I dislike greatly. I suspect anyone who thinks it may possibly be useful does not know about the Control bar which can be displayed at the top of the window. Making this more known about would IMHV be MUCH more beneficial than the fiddly little contextual task bar which will never have within it the specific features that individuals want.
Also there is always the contextual menu which people can use and that is only a right-click away with much more functionality than the contextual task bar. Taken together the Control bar and the contextual menu offer pretty much everything you might need - what does the contextual task bar add, except an obstruction in the middle of your workspace?
It is possible that novices might marginally benefit from it, but have you actually consulted with experienced users at all to see if they value this feature? To my mind it is just a waste of development resources which could be employed in adding really useful features.
Top of my list would be scaling across the whole drawing, not just the excellent dimensioning feature.
Tim Art commented
As some others have already pointed out, the fact that this task bar isn't customisable is really holding it back from actually being useful. Currently the 'Generate' feature takes up 40% of the entire bar, taking up space that could've been used for features people are actually likely to use when working with objects they've already created.
The lack of option to disable AI features in the contextual task bar and properties panel both is obtrusive to begin with, and comes across as a ham fisted attempt to get people to use them, rather than a well thought out implementation aimed to improve users' workflow.
Ai iPad users who had the contextual bar form the beginning, has the same problem with obstructing the art as the desktop now has:
The only difference is that they can’t reposition the bar!
Secret Jardin Marketing commented
While I love the idea of the contextual toolbar, I'm sure I am joined by many in my opinion that it really gets in the way a lot of time, covering up parts of the design you'd like to see, making it hard to resize or move an object precisely and so on.
I'm extremely happy that I can just permanently pin the bar in the bottom of the screen (or wherever I want it) in Photoshop, but this option is entirely missing in Illustrator.
The bar will remain where it is for the duration of my work after I move it, but the position is not retained going from document to document or when I restart Illustrator. Can you PLEASE add an option to permanently pin the position like in Photoshop?
It's either that or I'll have to deactivate it entirely as it's more annoying than it is helpful when it gets in the way all the time. The benefit just doesn't outweight the annoyance, I'm sorry.
Bob Flisser commented
Has trouble with numbers and dimensions. I prompted for a subject of a 40' dragon boat with 20 people paddling, and it produced something cartoonish, with 5 people in a small rowboat. Maybe my description should be more detailed, but I'm not sure how to be more specific. This feature does scenery much better than subjects.
K-O, I agree, I think the font weight and style is better to be chosen in a different manner altogether, without duplicating the dropdown ONE MORE TIME — we already have at least four places we can do that. I was thinking about B and I buttons, and to let Ai smartly pick and cycle through the possible styles...
However — can you please provide screenshots of the situation with the dropdown positions on screen, to clarify the problem to everybody?
Font weight should be immediately accessible in the task bar. Current iteration has poor UI concerning this- see below on UI.
In the task bar's current form the user must scroll to the font they are currently using, click on the tiny arrow to expand the family, then click on the font.
Yes, thats correct - you have to scroll down to the font you are current using if the context bar is positioned in the top 2/3 of the screen.
If the context bar is positioned on the bottom 1/3, the current font appears first in the list, no scrolling required, , BUT if you expand that font to see the family, you need to scroll the list to see the newly expanded selection.
Then click on the tiny tiny arrow to expand the font in order to pick a weight.
I think Flip operations should be visible for any selection, not just images. And I think we should be able to decide, which options we would like to see in the panel. And I think Ai should allow us to use ANY function it has there, even those existing in panels’ flyout menus (which today we can’t even automate with hotkeys!). Remember — a professional tool is a customizable tool.
Alex Titze commented
It would be nice if when you insert an image into Illustrator, there are the vertical flip, horizontal flip and rotate actions.
Since someone complained that the task bar obstructs visibility, it could be positioned lower or it could be slightly opaque.
The bar does not follow the selection, when the bounding box is turned off. Bounding box should not influence the positioning of the bar. The connection makes little sense.
Oleg Krasnov commented
I want to be able to customize the panel, add the functions I need to the panel (tools, menus, actions, scripts, etc.). Please add a configurator like in the toolbar.
Very hard to come up with ideas for improving it when it is the nature of the thing, not its contents, that I object to. Keeping the UI clean is in my humble view a very good aspiration for the UX team to start from.
It is like another excrescence - the "rich" tool tips which serve almost no purpose except to be annoying.
Please stop cluttering things up will ill-conceived and pretty much useless nuisance ideas. The product has some great new recent features like dimensioning - they are much more worthwhile and I would like to see the focus on this rather than wasting precious development time time on features that don't increase the functionality of the product.
Nick, I somewhat share the feeling towards it. And luckily we can disable it for now — with Window > Contextual Task Bar option.
However — what do you think the team can change to make it a) less atrocious, b) really useful?
I hate this feature. It does MUCH less than the Control bar at the top of the screen and is always in the way and obstructing the artwork.
What good does it do? Please get rid of it. It is totally unnecessary and doesn't have any positive aspects that I can see. It is clutter without any benefit.
Pankaj Tripathi commented
love this same like PS. hope to see more AI option in bar
Mark Gould commented
For the contextual task bar you see with the group selection tool, it would be great to have the Simplify and now also the Smooth commands accessible here.
Jason Burnett commented
My consistent problem with this concept is that it is constantly in the way. I have to move it out of my way at least a dozen times every hour. And hopefully you are tracking the number of clicks it receives to tell if it is more useful than in the way. In other words, if you register a click event every time someone interacts with your floating context panel, you can separate the number of moves from the number of useful functions clicked. If people are having to move it more than use it or if people aren't using it, that's valuable feedback.
I would much prefer a collapsible side panel with all of the tool options as well as a portion of it for the most common predicted tasks. Sure, I'd have to mouse a little farther, but at least I am not losing my focus constantly having to drop what I was doing and move the thing so I can access the anchor points it's obscuring.
Georgina Robinson commented
Love this feature!!!