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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.
Now you may recall, earlier I was telling you that the Bridge is awesome for opening templates as well and that's true, and I'm going to show you how that works. Plus I'm going to show you how to save a custom workspace inside the Bridge, which is a really terrific thing to do. Plus I'm going to show you how to save your template folder as a shortcut so that you can come back to it over and over again inside the Bridge. So let's go to the Bridge. Here I am inside of Illustrator. Let's switch over to the Bridge by choosing the Browse command. And there's the Bridge in all of its glory. Now I'm going to switch over to the Folders view here and I'm currently looking at the Sample Art folder, the contents of the Sample Art folder, which is inside the Sample Files folder, which is inside the Cool Extras folder, which is inside the Adobe Illustrator CS3 application folder.
Now I'm going to switch over to the Templates folder. So I'm going to go ahead and twirl that folder open. You should see it if you've been working along with me here, and then I'm going to go ahead and twirl open Basic. You control open Inspiration if you want to check it out instead, whatever completely up to you. And then I'm going to go into that Artist subfolder that we saw earlier in the first exercise and this time though, we can see previews of every single one of the files, little thumbnail previews albeit, but highly useful thumbnail previews. Better than no preview at all.
Let's say, though now that we know that we really can't preview illustrations very big inside of the Bridge, why don't we go ahead and switch back to the Content view, so that we have a big Content panel and a little Preview panel and we can do that by going back to the default workspace, which by default is accessible to us just by clicking on the 1 button right here. Notice if I hover over 1, it says Default. So I'll just go ahead and click on 1 in order to switch back to it. Now I like this view, but I'm not in love with this view I want to tweak it a little bit to make it exactly what I want.
So the first thing I'm going to do is switch to the Folders tab just by clicking on it. So that switches over to the Folders panel I should say. Now, I like the Folders panel to be a little wider, because notice how much information gets truncated here over on the left-hand side of the screen. I'm dealing with a pretty narrow screen, so I'm going to have to accept some truncation but I'd like this Folders panel to be wider than it is. So I'm going to drag this vertical bar right here in order to make the left-hand panels wider and the Content panel narrower.
Then I'm also going to drag this vertical bar in order to make the Folders panel bigger at the expense of the Filter panel. The Filter panel allows you to determine the sort order, so you can sort by Filename or some other attribute. It also shows you all kinds of cool stuff, like that there were two files that were created on February 6, 2007 and if you only want to look at those two files, you click in front of that item right there, in order to turn on a checkmark and it shows you what those two files are. And if you want to see all of your files again you turn that check mark off. Just so you know what that panel is up to. I'm now going to zoom in on my thumbnails here, so there are about three abreast, I think works out pretty nicely. I'm happy with the right-hand panels, don't want to change them, but I do want to go ahead and save out this workspace because I can and I should. After all, even though it's not all that different than the Default workspace, it's different enough that I don't want to have to be making those changes every time I visit my thumbnails right here.
So here's what I'm going to have you do. Go ahead and click and hold, don't just click, click and hold on the 1 button in order to bring up this menu here, and then choose Save Workspace. If you just click, by the way you'll have ruined your custom workspace. You'll go back to Default and you'll have to recreate, retweak the panels, that is. All right so I'm going to choose the Save Workspace command, and I'm going to call my view Big thumbnails like so, and then I'm going to click on the Save button. Now that not only saves my workspace, but it should automatically assign it to the 1 button. Let's go down there and see if it worked. Now if I hover over 1, sure enough it's showing me Big thumbnails, but just to make sure, you might want to just go ahead and choose Big thumbnails from the 1 button and now you've definitely saved it to 1. Now watch this I can click on 2, to switch to Horizontal Filmstrip and then just click on 1 to switch back to my Big thumbnails view. It's a very versatile, wonderful feature inside of the Bridge, your ability to save workspaces can really save your neck at times. It really makes for a more efficient operating environment.
Let's go ahead and open one of these templates. I'm going to double-click on CD Booklet.ait which stands for Adobe Illustrator Template file. When I open this file inside of Illustrator, it will open as an untitled document thereby protecting the original template file so that I don't save over it. And of course allowing me to save my own custom document, whatever I do with this template file. And now I'm going to switch back over to the Bridge. Let's say we we really like templates, this is better after all than starting with a blank canvas. So let's go ahead and choose the Browse command once again from the File menu.
I want to be able to and get back to this Templates folder over and over again without having to sift through all of these folders here inside the Folder panel. So I'm going to right- click on Template and I'm going to choose Add to Favorites. That's all it takes. By the way I just switched to the Templates folder is the reason that we're seeing these two subfolders here inside the Content panel. Now go back to the Favorites view, and you'll see that you have a new Favorite folder down here that's called Templates and will take you right away without having to dig through the Folders panel to Illustrator's Templates folder.
That's it for the Bridge. If you want more information I have a full series out there that's called Photoshop CS3 One on One. Check out Chapter 3, which is called the new and improved Bridge. It's available to you for free if you are a Lynda.com subscriber. It's available inside of the Online Training Library, so definitely check it out for more information. In the next exercise we're going to take a look at how Illustrator works.
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