Don’t you just love the tabbed document display in Creative Suite 4 applications?
If you do, you’re in the minority, judging by the number of people who ask “How do I change that?” often followed by “What were they thinking?!” I can help a bit with the first question, but I can’t answer the second one. I guess it’s part of the increasing Macromediafication of the application interfaces: perhaps the flat gray architecture is meant to be chic and soothing, and maybe the tabs are intended to conserve screen real estate. Whatever the explanation, here are some tips for returning to the Land of Floating Windows, as nature intended.
Open Preferences > Interface. UNcheck “Open Documents as Tabs” and “Enable Floating Window Docking.” If you just uncheck “Open Documents as Tabs,” document windows will still insist on docking if they’re dragged near each other.
As in Photoshop, open Preferences > Interface and uncheck “Open Documents as Tabs” and “Enable Floating Window Docking.” Heave great sigh of relief.
Alas, Illustrator only lets you get halfway there: You can turn off the option to open documents as tabs, but you can’t prevent documents from docking if you move them too close together. Some strange magnetic force compels them to huddle together for warmth.
Here’s an idea: if you dislike the tabbed interface, put a note in the suggestion box. Fill out the Feature Request form on the Adobe website and ask that this compulsive behavior be an option, not the default.