While Illustrator doesn't have as many plugins as its raster brother Photoshop, developers take the application very seriously when it comes to building new tools, effects and workflow solutions. Extending the abilities of Illustrator isn't usually necessary, but, as with Photoshop, plugins can save time and effort. These plugins won't cause a mini-revolution in your studio, but they will enable you to do certain tasks quicker. Plus, many of these are designed for older versions of Ai, adding some functionality of newer versions like Creative Cloud without the additional expense of upgrading. You'll find a couple of collections in the folowing list, so there are actually WAY more than 15 Adobe Illustrator plugins here! But we've barely scratched the surface – share your favourite plugins with the design community in the comments. ControlFreak is a practical new productivity plugin for Illustrator that aims to make your design work more efficient with 'new levels of control, organisation and labeling'. Handily, you can log time worked on documents with auto login and logout settings, while ControlFreak's range of panels and tools give increased precision, letting you create layer groups, find and select artwork with custom search criteria and presets, move art by fractions of a point and much more. Concatenate is a plugin filter that connects multiple paths into one continuous path, similar to the Merge Path command when using the Blob Brush tool in Illustrator CS4 and CS5. However, Concatenate adds a few extra features including an 'assimilate' function, which scans a selected area or layer for unselected paths, and adds them to the merge. The 'connect' function then enables users to subsequently add lines or extra segments between open paths. ColliderScribe provides a simple toolset for Illustrator that lets you position shapes accurately, placing any object precisely next to another when they touch, and enabling you to quickly and easily arrange shapes in formations and patterns. The recent release of ColliderScribe2 brings with it a new Rotate To Collision Tool, plus several new features and improvements – including a New Space Fill feature, which lets you fill the container path with selected objects, distributing them evenly within the shape. For a more pricey but sophisticated shape-creation option, Amazon Canvas' ArtBlue Gold 2.5 comes with a range of tools and a custom shape feature that lets you import and export formations between ArtBlue and Photoshop. A new Shape Transform Matrix tool – amongst other features – means you can convert a simple shape into common shape formations or complex geometric sculptures, and objects placed in 3D space can be edited and tracked. If you need to calculate the length or area of interlocking or singular Illustrator paths, there is an inbuilt option, but it involves accessing the debugging dialog box and scanning for the appropriate info. Graffix Path Area makes the process speedier. Users access it via the Filters menu, and it gives the length of a selected path, or area of conjoined paths and shapes, making precise calculations for printed graphics far snappier to retrieve. Sign up below to get the latest from Creative Bloq, plus exclusive special offers, direct to your inbox! Creative Bloq is part of Future plc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. Visit our corporate site. Source.