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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.
In this exercise I'm going to show you how to access other colors inside of Illustrator. What do I mean by other colors? I mean anything beyond the default swatches, the swatches that are saved as part of the illustration. So here I am inside the Ton-po shapes.ai document that's available to you inside the 05_Fill_strokes folder and you know now, how you can go ahead and the sign a fill for example, by clicking on this first icon here inside the Control palette and then selecting from one of these colors in what is essentially the Swatches palette. And these color swatches are actually saved as part of the illustration.
Now let's say I want to go ahead and fill this shape that's currently selected onscreen here, this circle, I want to fill it with a rich violet color. Well inside of this illustration these are the swatches that I have to choose from. I've got Plum, I've got Lavender and I've got Baby Pink. Ugh, so I guess my best option is Plum. But that's a little disappointing, because I'd like something richer than that. If nothing else I'd like a wider variety and after all, here we are inside of the digital world. There's tons and tons and tons of colors that are available to us and all I've got is these swatches right here. Now, these are the swatches that are saved as part of this illustration.
If you were to create a new illustration inside Illustrator CS3 you would see different swatches, but still they're a very limited range of swatches. How do you get to other colors? Well, one way is to click this icon down here at the bottom of the Swatches palette and then choose from one of these other swatch libraries that are made available to you with the program. For example I can choose Foods and then choose, I'd sure love to choose Ice Cream of course, but those are bunch of light pastels. I'll go ahead and choose Fruit which are some richer colors here.
And you can see that I've got purples available to me. Well first of all, I've got a bunch of hand-picked colors that are organized into various groups, including apple and banana and blueberry and so on. I've got these colors right here that are organized into a group called Mangosteen, the fruit that was supposedly highly coveted by Queen Victoria, as it turns out, for whatever reasons, don't know exactly what. I think just because it was such a rare fruit, and she had heard about it in the industry trade mags, but anyway. I could just go ahead and click on one of these colors in order to assign it to the active shape here, and if the first click doesn't assign the color then give it another click. You'll see that color assigned to whatever shape you have selected. So there's a few purples. I also have these guys down here the Plum shades and I could assign one of them as well, and actually I like this first plum shade, the one that's called C=50, M=100, and so on, and so on. I like that one and it's even so good, I think so highly of it, that I would like to add that color to my Swatches library, to the swatches that are saved along with this illustration. And I would do that by going to this little palette menu, clicking on it and choosing Add to Swatches. And now notice if I go over here to my Swatches palette, that I've got a new swatch at the end of the palette that's called C=50, M= 100 and so on, and so on, and that is the color that was lifted from this fruit palette. All right, now let's say I'm done with the fruit palette, I want to go ahead and close it. I could click the close box of course, but that means the next time I open a different color library, fruit will come up as one of the tabs inside of that library. To close fruit for good, meaning that I'd have to actually choose that fruit command to bring it back up on screen, you click on this close box, and that's what I'm going to do.
Now let's say that instead of choosing from one of Adobe's color libraries, which are all very well and good and actually pretty interesting at times, let's say we want to choose one of the industry standard libraries, one of the spot color libraries, for example. Such as Pantone, or your Toyos, or your Focoltones, or one of them, even a Trumatch. Why then we go up here to the Swatches palette once again, go ahead and drop it down. Click on this icon and choose Color Books, and then choose the color library, the industry standard library that you want to work with. In my case I'm going to use Pantone solid coated. Pantone is a very popular color standard here in the states.
You can request Pantone spot colors from any commercial printer. So I'm going to go ahead and bring up the solid coated Library and here it is. And this is a big library. It has tons and tons of colors, going on hundreds of color swatches inside of this palette here. Now, let's say this is the kind of library that I think I'm going to be using on a regular basis as I personally do. I'm so fond of this library, or at least I rely on it so heavily that I want it to be part of my palette structure here, part of my docked palettes. Why then I would need to do a couple of things. The first thing I would do is go to the Palette menu right here and I would choose Persistent. That's very important so that it is persistently available, so it comes up every time you launch Illustrator; you don't have to ask it to come up every single time.
So just Persistent is what you want there. Then drag above the tab. Go ahead and drag from this point here and drop it someplace inside one of your docks. I'm going to drop it at the bottom of this first column, this icon column right there, and you can see that it becomes one of my icons. All I have to do is click on it to bring up that palette now, and I can even make the palette taller by dragging from the top of the palette so that I can see more of these hundreds of swatches at a time. Now I'll put it away. Another good habit to get into is to go ahead and save this palette as part of your workspace, So that you can choose a different workspace to get rid of it and then choose this workspace again to bring it back up on screen, and you do that by of course, going back to the Window menu, choosing Workspace. We saw this in an earlier chapter, and then choosing Save Workspace. I'm going to go ahead and save this variation as dekeSpace v2 and then I'll click OK and so dekeSpace v2 includes the Pantone swatches palette. Awesome. That is another way. What however, if you just want to be able the dial in your own colors? You don't want to have to select from anybody's predefined color swatches. Then you want to go to the Color palette over here, which is available by default in the upper right region of your screen or you can go to the Window menu and choose the Color command, or press the F6 key, or here's something else you can do. This is new to Illustrator CS3.
Notice if I hover over one of these icons here inside of the Control palette that it tells me Hold Shift key to bring up alternate color UI. It's like what does that mean? Well that's Illustrator's overly hoity-toity way of telling you that if you Shift-click here, you're going to bring up the Color palette, including the color sliders, including all these sliders, and then you can dial in your own custom color. How you do such a thing? Well I'm going to tell you how the use those CMYK sliders in the very next exercise.
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