A Special Package for Illustrator Users
Among the benefits of membership in Adobe's Creative Cloud are immediate access to feature enhancements in Creative Suite apps. Soon, subscribers will see the first such enhancement: the ability to gather up and report on all the resources needed to work with and output an Illustrator CS6 document.
InDesign users have long had the ability to create folders of related document assets, including linked art, text files, and fonts. So it's perhaps no surprise that the new Illustrator feature closely resembles InDesign's.
Until now, Illustrator users had to manually locate and assemble document resources (or buy a third-party solution) to share complete Illustrator assets with others, or to archive a project. So package files for Illustrator promises to be a great leap in efficiency for the users who need it.
In addition to gathering assets, the new Package feature is also capable of generating a report detailing those assets, and other document information.
A question which no doubt will be on the minds of many: why is this feature not being offered to people who don't subscribe to Illustrator updates. The answer might be somewhat surprising. It's not just that Adobe is seeking to make the software subscriptions a sweeter deal. It's that U.S. law may prohibit them from offering new features in their software for free. The law is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which is a U.S. federal law regulating many business practices, including software development. Under a common interpretation of the law, software companies are prohibited from giving users new features without charging them. However, companies are not prohibited from offering bug fixes of existing features for free. All Illustrator users will have access to package files at some point. But subscribers, by virtue of having paid, get earliest access.
For more about Illustrator package files, including a demo, watch the following video by Senior Worldwide Evangelist for Adobe Creative Solutions (and CreativePro author) Rufus Deuchler.