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Creating artwork in Illustrator

From: Acrobat X: Creating Forms

Video: Creating artwork in Illustrator

The Illustrator symbols are a great resource for creating nice looking buttons. Here in the Symbols panel, I'm going to go to the lower left to the Symbol Libraries Menu and choose Web Buttons and Bars There're a number of nice navigational buttons, we have some nice sort of generic capsule shaped buttons. I'm going to drag one of those in. I know this looks enormous, but that's because this is actually a very small artboard, it's 2 inches by 1 inch. There's really no reason to make a great big artboard, because your buttons aren't going to be huge in your resulting Acrobat file, I don't think.

Creating artwork in Illustrator

The Illustrator symbols are a great resource for creating nice looking buttons. Here in the Symbols panel, I'm going to go to the lower left to the Symbol Libraries Menu and choose Web Buttons and Bars There're a number of nice navigational buttons, we have some nice sort of generic capsule shaped buttons. I'm going to drag one of those in. I know this looks enormous, but that's because this is actually a very small artboard, it's 2 inches by 1 inch. There's really no reason to make a great big artboard, because your buttons aren't going to be huge in your resulting Acrobat file, I don't think.

I can modify this even though it's a symbol. I can change the height of it and so forth. I can change the color of it. Notice of course, when I drag that symbol into the artboard, it's also added to my main Symbols' panel. There're a number of other symbols that you might want to explore, great little navigation buttons, so forth and so on. Just remember this, it's just a great resource, it keeps you from having to draw buttons from scratch, because you can always use them as a starting point and then modify them as you wish. So, I'm going to close that little library out, and just concentrate on this. If I want to change the color of this, I can select it, go up to Edit>Edit Colors, and choose Recolor Artwork.

There're other ways too, but I think this is the easiest way. Recolor Artwork opens up in the Assign mode, but I think the Edit mode is more fun. In the Edit mode, if you link the harmony colors by clicking this little chain-link icon, then the color relationships stay intact and then you can move that little control around your spectrum until you find a nice color set that you like. So, I'm going to make this sort of a violent button and click OK. Notice too over here in my Symbols panel, the symbol has been changed as well.

So, there's this parent-child relationship between the symbol and its instance in the page. What if I want to have different colors? Well, then I could create separate button artwork and then combine it into a multipage PDF, and that's my plan here. I'm going to choose my Artboard tool, I'm going to hold down Alt on Windows, I could also hold down Option on the Mac, and I'm just going to drag to duplicate that artboard, and then I'm going to create another one. Their position frankly doesn't matter, but notice that they are now Artboard 1, 2 and 3.

I might want to give them better names. I'm going to go to my Artboard panel, and I can keep them in the same order, but as I choose Artboard 1, I'm going to call it Up, because ultimately that's going to be the upstate for my button. I'm going to choose Artboard 2, change the name of that to Down, and then Artboard 3 is going to be Rollover. I know it sounds like dog tricks, but it's button states. But because it's a symbol, I can't really change one of them without changing the rest of them, unless I break the link to the symbol.

So, that's what I 'm going to do. On my Artboard 2, I'm going to go to my Symbols panel and I'm going to click the Break Link to Symbol. I want to make sure that I don't change the position of this. Again, I'm going to Break Link to Symbol. So, my Upstate is going to be this festive Lavender. On my Downstate I'm going to go again to Edit and Edit Colors and Recolor Artwork. Back again to Edit, I'm going to lock my little chain-link there, and I'll make this a different color, and remember you can also choose your little brightness slider and make it look even more festive. Okay.

And then for my third one, I'm going to do the same thing. Edit>Edit Colors, Recolor Artwork. Jump right to Edit, lock those little guys together and I think I'll make this one blue. Maybe this is little garish, but this isn't to show you what colors you ought to make your buttons, it's to show you that you have really easy ways to create interesting looking buttons. So, I have my three artboards 1, 2, 3 for Up, Down and Rollover. Now to save this as a multipage PDF that I can invoke, when I want to add that icon to my button in Acrobat, in the Illustrator it's not a print or export function to make a PDF, it's just a save function.

So, I'm just going to put this on my Desktop and I'm going to call this ColorfulButtons, because they certainly are, and instead of Illustrator, I'm going to save it as an Adobe PDF. The Save Adobe PDF dialog comes up. Illustrator Default is fine, because Acrobat understands that one of the advantages of the Illustrator Default format is that the Illustrator file itself is encapsulated inside the PDF, it's sort of two files for the price of one and that means that you can easily round trip it and have everything back.

So, when you round-trip this PDF, it opens up in Illustrator. There's your Illustrator file just as you see it here with your multiple artboards and everything. When I choose Save PDF, there we go, there's my PDF. Notice, it says 1/3. There's artboard 1, 2 and 3 and then when I bring this into Acrobat and I want to make it into the button states, I can just choose page 1 for my first state, my Upstate, page 2 for my Downstate, and page 3 for my Rollover state, very easy to do!

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Acrobat X: Creating Forms

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