Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
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Aligning point text


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced

with Deke McClelland

Video: Aligning point text

In this exercise we are going to take a look at how to best go about aligning letters inside of Illustrator. In our case specifically we want to take these colored letters and exactly align them inside of the black outlines. I have got ahead and saved my progress as Teen slaw and you may recall that all of these letters are individual pieces of point text. Now our final document is not going to say Teen Slaw Baby 2009. This is a world jumble that we are going to assemble over the course of the next few exercises and create something that makes a heck of a lot more sense.
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  1. 28m 41s
    1. Welcome
      1m 7s
    2. Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts
      8m 59s
    3. Resetting the Function keys on a Mac
      4m 47s
    4. Installing the CS4 color settings
      4m 20s
    5. Loading the CS4 color settings in Illustrator
      6m 3s
    6. Loading the CS4 color settings in Bridge CS4
      3m 25s
  2. 1h 53m
    1. From the simple emerges the complex
    2. Introducing Pathfinder operations
      4m 17s
    3. Editing a compound shape
      4m 39s
    4. Adding to a compound shape
      3m 11s
    5. Inserting a subpath into a compound shape
      3m 56s
    6. Expanding a compound shape
      4m 53s
    7. Assembling primitives
      4m 42s
    8. Preparing a template in Photoshop
      7m 0s
    9. Uniting paths permanently
      5m 40s
    10. Minus Front vs. Minus Back
      1m 55s
    11. Working with compound paths
      6m 49s
    12. When in doubt, divide
      3m 54s
    13. Divide and Unite
      3m 2s
    14. Open path pitfalls
      5m 35s
    15. Strokes bad, fills good
      4m 38s
    16. Advanced Divide and Unite
      8m 59s
    17. Using the Crop operation
      8m 30s
    18. Expert Divide and Unite
      8m 45s
    19. "Ghosting" shapes with Fill Opacity
      6m 45s
    20. Anticipating and troubleshooting
      8m 16s
    21. Exclude and Intersect
      7m 24s
  3. 44m 59s
    1. Familiar one moment, different the next
      1m 3s
    2. Snapping to anchor points
      5m 41s
    3. Aligning a group to the artboard
      3m 34s
    4. Distributing objects on the artboard
      4m 16s
    5. Setting the key object
      4m 54s
    6. Distributing objects by space
      3m 6s
    7. Distributing objects by selections
      3m 19s
    8. Aligning point text
      6m 7s
    9. Aligning live text vs. using outlines
      4m 58s
    10. Aligning key letters
      3m 35s
    11. Aligning to key objects
      4m 26s
  4. 1h 4m
    1. CS4’s gradient renaissance
      1m 7s
    2. Applying a gradient
      6m 0s
    3. Dragging and dropping color swatches
      2m 55s
    4. Using the Gradient palette
      6m 27s
    5. Designing a shaded gradient
      5m 9s
    6. Saving a gradient swatch and adding a texture
      4m 2s
    7. Introducing the new Gradient tool
      4m 39s
    8. Editing color stops inside a shape
      3m 26s
    9. Setting multiple gradients to the same angle
      5m 0s
    10. Adding and adjusting radial gradients
      7m 20s
    11. Making a transparent gradient
      7m 6s
    12. Adding drop shadows (a kind of gradient)
      6m 28s
    13. Blends vs. blend modes
      4m 38s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Creating freeform color flows
      1m 0s
    2. The power of CS4's transparent gradients
      10m 25s
    3. Creating a gradient mesh
      4m 30s
    4. Expanding a gradient to a gradient mesh
      7m 40s
    5. Adding and deleting rows and columns
      6m 13s
    6. Selecting and coloring points
      6m 5s
    7. Assigning colors with the Eyedropper tool
      7m 42s
    8. Cool mesh editing techniques
      3m 56s
    9. Warping and puckering a mesh
      7m 24s
    10. Applying precise finishing touches
      5m 48s
    11. Gradient strokes
      9m 45s
    12. Gradient text
      6m 50s
  6. 55m 35s
    1. The first of the dynamic functions
      1m 4s
    2. Making a blend automatically
      5m 48s
    3. Fixing problem blends
      3m 56s
    4. Making a blend with the Blend tool
      3m 6s
    5. Cloning and coloring a blended path
      4m 37s
    6. Creating a mask
      3m 53s
    7. Blending between translucent shapes
      5m 30s
    8. Blending along a curve
      4m 34s
    9. Adjusting the speed of a blend
      2m 58s
    10. Filling and stroking a mask
      4m 36s
    11. Creating a compound clipping mask
      6m 3s
    12. Nesting one clipping mask inside another
      6m 7s
    13. Ghosting nested masks and blends
      3m 23s
  7. 1h 13m
    1. Patterns that repeat forever and ever
    2. Introducing tile patterns
      6m 36s
    3. Beginning a core design
      5m 6s
    4. Building an interlocking element
      6m 25s
    5. Achieving precise radial symmetry
      4m 46s
    6. Rotating duplicates around a common center
      3m 10s
    7. Determining how a pattern repeats
      9m 54s
    8. Coloring the core objects
      5m 0s
    9. Identifying the rectangular tile
      7m 14s
    10. Saving tile patterns
      7m 19s
    11. Applying tile patterns to a shape
      3m 25s
    12. Protecting patterns from transformations
      7m 36s
    13. Moving patterns without paths
      5m 51s
  8. 1h 19m
    1. Illustrator gets natural
      1m 15s
    2. Introducing the vector painting tools
      3m 16s
    3. Calligraphic brush options
      4m 3s
    4. Pressure sensitivity
      5m 17s
    5. Editing a calligraphic brush
      5m 53s
    6. Repainting and smoothing paths
      5m 30s
    7. Making the paintbrush behave
      6m 16s
    8. Erasing stroked paths
      3m 17s
    9. Painting with the new Blob brush
      6m 24s
    10. Refining filled paths with the Eraser
      4m 14s
    11. Painting independent paths
      3m 53s
    12. The Selection Limits Merge options
      3m 20s
    13. Applying and scaling an art brush
      6m 23s
    14. Snipping a brushed path
      4m 55s
    15. Colorizing an art brush
      4m 9s
    16. Heaping a stroke on an art brush effect
      4m 32s
    17. Creating a custom art brush
      6m 51s
  9. 1h 44m
    1. The computer art world’s dynamic duo
      1m 7s
    2. Copying and pasting pixels from Photoshop
      7m 21s
    3. Linking is efficient, embedding is not
      2m 47s
    4. Editing an image in Illustrator
      7m 30s
    5. Filtering an image in Photoshop
      6m 34s
    6. Adding a filter mask in Photoshop
      6m 25s
    7. Masking a woman from the background
      3m 49s
    8. Creating a sepia effect
      6m 37s
    9. Adding a second gradient map layer
      2m 13s
    10. Achieving a graphic effect with Levels
      8m 10s
    11. Preparing an image for use in Illustrator
      5m 46s
    12. The importance of image resolution
      9m 40s
    13. Placing and linking images
      4m 43s
    14. Managing linked images
      6m 18s
    15. Integrating an image into a design
      5m 12s
    16. A better way to wrap text
      7m 28s
    17. Previewing the trim size
      4m 25s
    18. Layer comps and editable text
      8m 42s
  10. 2h 11m
    1. Transparency is safe and fun
      1m 27s
    2. Introducing the translucent composition
      4m 39s
    3. Assigning opacity to an Appearance attribute
      3m 41s
    4. Creating a knockout group
      5m 7s
    5. Defining an opacity mask
      7m 15s
    6. Using the Clip checkbox
      2m 41s
    7. Opacity mask tips and tricks
      3m 20s
    8. The Multiply blend mode
      6m 8s
    9. Adding to an existing opacity mask
      7m 53s
    10. Blending between parallel groups
      7m 27s
    11. Creating a gradient opacity mask
      4m 54s
    12. Employing an opposing gradient mask
      7m 57s
    13. Combining Multiply and Screen
      3m 49s
    14. Blend mode roundup
      5m 24s
    15. Mixing blend modes inside a single path
      3m 48s
    16. Blend mode and transparent gradient
      3m 49s
    17. Masking an entire layer
      7m 0s
    18. Combining Screen with 100K Black
      7m 43s
    19. Knocking out a drop shadow
      5m 18s
    20. But will it print?
      3m 8s
    21. Working with the Flattener preview
      8m 44s
    22. Rasterizing an illustration in Photoshop
      9m 16s
    23. Super-rich blacks and raster effects
      3m 35s
    24. Exporting TIFF artwork from Illustrator
      7m 48s
  11. 58s
    1. Until next time

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced
12h 54m Intermediate Jul 09, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Knowing the fundamentals of drawing and reshaping paths is only part of the story. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced, the second of the popular One-on-One series, computer graphics expert Deke McClelland covers some of Illustrator's most powerful and least understood features. He shows how to merge simple shapes to create complex ones with the Pathfinder palette, as well as align paths to create schematic illustrations. Deke explains how to paint fluid, multicolor fills with blends, and the new and improved gradient tool. He explores seamlessly repeating tile patterns, blobs and brushes, and imported images. He also dives into one of the deepest features in all of Illustrator, transparency. Exercise files accompany the tutorial.

Recommended prerequisite: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.

Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Illustrator from the Exercise Files tab.

Topics include:
  • Working with compound shapes in the Pathfinder palette
  • Ghosting shapes with Fill Opacity
  • Understanding gradients and the gradient tools
  • Cloning and coloring a blended path
  • Saving tile patterns and applying them to a shape
  • Importing and linking images from other applications
Deke McClelland

Aligning point text

In this exercise we are going to take a look at how to best go about aligning letters inside of Illustrator. In our case specifically we want to take these colored letters and exactly align them inside of the black outlines. I have got ahead and saved my progress as Teen slaw and you may recall that all of these letters are individual pieces of point text. Now our final document is not going to say Teen Slaw Baby 2009. This is a world jumble that we are going to assemble over the course of the next few exercises and create something that makes a heck of a lot more sense.

But in doing so we need those colored fills to be exactly inside of their black outlines. Now this is a function that we're working with this wonderful font Rosewood Standard here, which you may or may not have on your system. It's included along with several skews of the full Creative Suite. But notice that this font comes in two different styles Regular which is how I have it set right now and Fill which is how all the colors are set and the Fill Style is designed to fit inside of the Regular Style. So, for example, I would go ahead and grab this T if only I could. Oh My God! It's so hard to get to because of the way that Illustrator is set to select Text by default, which I hate and you are going to have a lot better time if you change a setting right. Now I would like you to join me by pressing Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac in order to bring up the Preferences dialog box. Switch to Type right there and turn on this check box, Type Object Selection by Path Only which will allow us to select the text by clicking on its baseline and nowhere else, so that we are not accidentally selecting the wrong letters all the time, now you are going to have to be more careful in selection habits this way, but it's a much more accurate way to work.

All right go ahead and click OK once you come to terms with that, of course and so here is what you do. In order to select anyone of these letters you are going to have to click on its baseline and only its baseline and you will be able to tell that you have a baseline underneath your cursor because next to the black arrow you will see a little black square. All right so now if I click right there I'm going to be able to select this green T right there which is set to the Fill Style for Rosewood Standard. So this is all editable text at this point. Now to select this regular, guys, you don't click at the bottom right there and notice I don't have a square next to my cursor. You have to click on the baseline, which is located at this position right there. All right now what you ought to be able to do because we have point text, you should be able to drag the point that's associated with one block of point text into alignment with the point for the other block of point text and they should exactly snap into alignment with each other, but that function is broken and has been broken for the last few versions of Photoshop.

So even if you go to the View menu and make sure Snap to Point is turned on, which it is. I'm going to go ahead and hit Escape out of there, I should be able to just grab this guy right there and drag its point, so it snaps into alignment with the other point, but I'm not seeing any snapping occurring. So I'll go ahead and drop that letter at a random position for a moment. I'll press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac in order to switch to the Outline mode here. And what that allows me to do is see the point that's associated with this point text right there. So if I click on that point, I'll actually select that text so it's now selected as you can see I can move it to a different position. So I should be able to grab this guy right here and move it into alignment with this guy right there and I can see that one is almost exactly on top of the other or exactly on top of it, but I don't know because I'm not going to get snapped. So I'm not insured that I won't get some sort of gap between my letters. At this point they are not necessarily registered with one another. I really want Illustrator to help me out here, but it's not going to when I'm working with point text because as I said that function is broken. Back in the old days it used to work great.

Anyway now press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on a Mac in order to return to the Preview mode here. So, what's the solution? The solution is to convert your text to outlines. So what you need to do is select one bit of text, Shift-click on the other so that they are both selected, go up to the Type menu and choose the Create Outlines command. Press Ctrl+ Shift+O, Command+Shift+O if you like and that will convert the text to outlines. Now click off, then click on the green letter and I'll drag it by its corner point and I'll snap into alignment with its corner point right there and now I'm ensured that the green fill is exactly fitting inside of the black outline as it was intended to do. But you have to convert all of your text to outlines.

So you know what, let's go ahead and do that. Let's go ahead and make sure all of the text is converted to outlines by going over to the letters layer and Alt clicking or Option clicking on that layer right there in an empty portion of this layer to select all of the objects that are inside this layer like so. And you don't have to have this T selected because it's already converted to outlines, but it's not going to hurt anything. So go up to the Type menu and now choose Create Outlines or press Ctrl +Shift+O, Command+Shift+O on a Mac and you now have outlines everywhere, for all of the letters. Now you would be able to exactly align all of the letters with each other and that is something that I'm going to do for you in the background. There is no reason for you to do it for each and every letter. You have seen how it works. I'll just a few more so you get a sense. If you want to do it along with me you are more than welcomed.

Go ahead and click on this blue E right there and drag it into the black E like so. Then I'll grab this E for Teen and this one as well. Drag it by corner points, very important that you drag it by a significant point that has a corresponding point inside of the black letter and then I'll do the same for this guy, like so. Look, I can drag the black letter to align to the colored letter if I want to. So you can work in whichever order you want to. If you have got a curved object like the S, let's go ahead and drag this guy here.

Then just find a significant point. In other words this point or this point is going to have a corresponding point inside of the larger S as well. So make sure you drag from an anchor point, that's the important thing and then drop it into position as soon as you see a snap occur and so on and so on and so on. So as I said, I'm going to go ahead and do this for you in the background so that you don't have to watch paint dry here inside of this movie. So, everything will be right ready to go and waiting for you, but of course in the very next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced .

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Q: In the lesson on pressure sensitivity, exactly what kind of Wacom tablet is the instructor using?
A: The instructor is using a Wacom Intuos 3 tablet
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