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In Illustrator CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding explains the core concepts and techniques that apply to any workflow in Illustrator, whether designing for print, the web, or assets for other applications. This course includes a detailed explanation of the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of the Illustrator drawing tools. Also demonstrated are techniques for combining and cleaning up paths, organizing paths into groups and layers, text editing, working with color, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
Quite often in a design, you may need to draw some arrows. One of the nice things about Illustrator CS5 is that we now have the ability to add arrowheads at the end of a stroke. For example, say I was creating some kind of a diagram here, and I needed to point out one part of the inside of this flower here. So I would take my Line tool, and I would click and drag to draw a line. I now want there to be an arrowhead at the end of this stroke. Well, with that stroke still selected, I can now come to the Stroke panel, and where it says Arrowheads, choose a design for both the start and the end of my path.
Now in this case, I simply want to create an arrowhead. So I'm going to click here and choose Arrow 1. Notice, by the way, Illustrator has many different types of arrowheads that can be applied, up to 39 of them. But I'm going to choose Arrow 1 right here. You can see that an arrow has now been applied to the end of the path. The beautiful thing about this is that if I use my Direct Selection tool and I click on just this one anchor point and adjust the angle of my arrow, the arrowhead will always adjust correctly to point in the right direction. I'm going to go ahead and use the regular Selection tool to select the entire object.
Let's take a look at some of the other settings here that apply inside of this Arrowheads setting. I could set the scale. For example, right now it's set to 100%. But if I wanted the arrowhead to be a little bit bigger, I can change the scale to maybe 150%. Hit the Tab key to accept that, and you can see that the arrowhead is now little bit larger. Of course, the arrowhead also scales in proportion to the stroke weight. So if I increase the stroke weight, you'll also see the arrowhead get bigger. Now notice that my path ends right here.
I'm actually going to switch to my Direct Selection tool for a moment here, so you can see where the anchor point is. Right now, the point of my arrow ends exactly at that anchor point. However, there may be times where I want the arrowhead to kind of extend beyond that. So I could choose the alignment setting right here by clicking on these buttons. Notice here, the arrowhead kind of gets added towards the end of that path, whereas here, the arrowhead ends exactly where the path ends. Of course, quite often, I may draw an arrow and realize it's pointing in the complete wrong direction.
Well, you can click on this button right here to swap the start and the end settings. Notice right now, I have an arrow setting towards the start point. Clicking on this button can easily flip the arrow basically to point in the other direction. So, if you ever need to create arrows inside of Illustrator, don't worry about trying to draw them from scratch or even to apply an effect in Illustrator. You can now specify arrowheads directly as a stroke attribute, right here from inside the Stroke panel.
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