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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 Illustrator's 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.
While there are some basic paragraph settings that will apply, while you can apply some basic paragraph settings to point text, the majority of the paragraph features that you'll find inside of Illustrator are most useful when working with area text. You can find the Paragraph panel by going to the Window menu, scrolling down to the bottom where it says Type , and then choosing Paragraph. The Paragraph panel does have additional options. So from the fly ut menu here, I will see here that it says Hide Options, which means that currently everything is now visible inside of the Paragraph panel.
Let's take a look at some of these settings. Now in Illustrator it is certainly possible that I can use the Selection tool to select the entire area type object and in doing so, any setting that I now apply occurs to all of the paragraphs inside of this area text object. However I also have the ability to double-click. Now Illustrator changes me to the Type tool and now if I make a change in the Paragraph panel, the only thing that's affected is the paragraph where my insertion point is currently blinking. Note that here if my cursor is now inside the text, I can press Command+A to select all the text inside of this area text object.
The buttons that appear across the top of the Paragraph panel allow me to choose the alignment for the text inside the paragraphs. You can choose Align Left, Align Center or Align Right and you can also choose from three different justification options. When we use the term justification inside of Illustrator in regard to text, it means we want text to appear so that it begins and ends stretching across the entire width of each line. The only difference between these three is what happens on the last line. Does that last line get aligned to the left, to the center, or to the right? There is an option here called Full Justification.
Although in many cases, you might not get the appearance that you are looking for. Speaking of these justification options, I will go back to this one over here, Last line aligned left. It is important to realize that in order for Illustrator to actually space out the text and make it appear straight on both the left and the right sides of the paragraph, it needs to add extra space in between each of the words to make that happen. If you take a look at the flyout menu inside of the Paragraph panel, you'll see that you can choose something called Justification, which allows you to determine minimum desired and maximum amounts for word and letter spacing.
Perhaps more importantly though, in the same flyout menu, you will see an option here for something called Adobe Single-line Composer or Adobe Every-line Composer. A Composer is a technology that Illustrator uses in order to flow text across the paragraph, taking into account things like point size, the justification settings, the width of your text frame, and hyphenation libraries. Illustrator figures out how many words should appear on each line. When using the Adobe Single-line Composer, Illustrator analyses the paragraph one line at a time and determines how the text should be spread out across that paragraph.
Because Illustrator only looks at each line by itself, there could be times where you will have odd spacing occur when setting justified copy. However, when you use the Adobe Every- line Composer, Illustrator analyzes the entire paragraph and as such if it finds extra spaces that it might be able to fix by moving some words around between lines, it does so. For example, I will choose the Every- line Composer here and I will see that the spacing inside of this line is not as severe as it was before. If you are the kind of person who really does a lot of your line breaks manually, you probably want to stick with the Adobe Single-line Composer.
However, if you are just looking to set some type quickly and have it look pretty good in the process, you can choose the Adobe Every-line Composer and you will get some pretty good results. Just keep in mind that if you try to add manual line breaks when using the Every-line Composer, you may have a bit more of a hard time. Remember that in any paragraph, you can always choose between these two different composers. Let's take a look at some of the other settings inside of the Paragraph panel. You have the ability to specify indents on both the left and the right side of your paragraph. You could specify a first-line indent and you could choose to add space before and after your paragraph.
For me, one of the most handy settings inside the Paragraph panel is the Hyphenate button. With a simple click of the mouse, you could choose to either turn on hyphenation or turn it off. Again as you are working inside of Illustrator, you can always access these paragraph settings directly from the Control panel just by clicking on the word Paragraph right here. It will appear anytime that you have some kind of text object selected.
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