So far, each version of the SymmetryWorks plug-in gets better and better—and this version is no different! For those just tuning in, SymmetryWorks is an Illustrator plug-in that lets you create patterns much easier and faster than doing it manually. In addition, SymmetryWorks can create layouts in industry-standard patterns, such as diamond, brick, and half-drop.

For a relatively mature plug-in, this version offers some nice improvements. Insertion mode is now the default work method and allows you to add new art to the pattern interactively—much easier than the previous methods. Another big change is the way patterns can be saved to the Swatches panel—now it’s simply done with a click of the mouse. Other major improvements add more support for existing Illustrator features in the SymmetryWorks patterns, including support for symbols (allowing embedding of symbol-based patterns nested within other symbol-based patterns); support for Pathfinder-based compound paths; and support for blends. Some of the new features require the purchase of the SymmetryWorks LP package, which includes the LivePresets plug-in (LivePresets was reviewed in the March/April 2009 issue, p. 112).

I have only two minor complaints. The SymmetryWorks LP package could offer a better discount—the LP package only offers a $10 savings over purchasing the software separately. Also, the manual is still not bookmarked, nor the Contents page hyperlinked (this was mentioned in the SymmetryWorks 4 review). This is very easy to automate, so there’s no excuse for this oversight.

SymmetryWorks is an absolute must for anyone working with textile, wallpaper, and wrapping paper designs, to name just a few industries that could benefit from this plug-in.—David Creamer

Company: Artlandia, Inc.
Price: $275 (Download: $249)
Rating: 5

Hot: Makes amazing patterns fast and easy
Not: SymmetryWorks LP price could offer better savings