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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.
Let's check out how you can use the Bridge in order to open illustrations and template files--and by the way, you may note that I call the Bridge the Bridge. A lot of other folks out there, just call it Bridge because after all, you don't call Illustrator the Illustrator or you know Google, the Google. But I call Bridge the Bridge for a very, very good reason because it is the Bridge. That's its purpose. It serves as a conduit or a Bridge, if you will, between the various Adobe applications, the various applications that ship along with the Creative Suite.
It also serves as a Bridge between you and the files on your hard drive. So let's check out how that works. Right now we're looking at the Favorites panel. I want you to go ahead and switch over to the Folders panel right there, also located by default in the upper left-hand corner of the window. And you'll see all the various drives that are going on in your hard drive. I want you to go ahead and twirl open your C drive, if you're on the PC, and I'm assuming that you installed Illustrator on the C drive. If not, go to the other drive where Illustrator is installed.
Twirl open your Program Files folder. You Macintosh people, be with you in just a moment. Twirl open your Program Files folder, then twirl open your Adobe folder, therein you'll find a folder called Adobe Illustrator CS3. All right you Macintosh people, go to your main hard drive. I'm not going to show you this, but I'm going to tell you this. Go to your main hard drive, then go to your Applications folder, and there inside the Applications folder you'll find a folder called Adobe Illustrator CS3. So that's where you go. Then twirl that folder open.
These little triangles right here are known as twirly triangles. So you click on them to twirl open the contents of the folder. Then you'll find a folder called Cool Extras. It really does contain some very cool extras. Twirl it open, then twirl open--for now twirl open Sample Files--and then I want you to click on this folder right here, Sample Art, so that I can show you how the Bridge works. Now the Sample Art folder contains a handful of really awesome illustrations, by the way, and you may find them inspirational as well as helpful.
If you double-click on one of these things, open it up in Illustrator, and pick around inside the files, you can learn a lot actually about how the illustrations are put together and about how Illustrator Works. So these thumbnails by default are very dinky here inside the Content panel, and if you want to make them bigger, which I suggest you do, then just go ahead and drag on this slider triangle down here at the bottom of the screen in order to make the files bigger. Or you can click on one of the thumbnails and you can press Ctrl+Plus in order to zoom in or Ctrl+Minus to zoom out.
On the Macintosh side that's Command+Plus and Command+Minus, and by the way, you Macintosh folks, your Command key, that's the key that has the cloverleaf on it and the Apple symbol. Some people call it the Apple key. I'm old school, I call it the Command key 'cause that's--well, that's what it's called. But anyway. Now check this out, down here in the Metadata panel, you can find out information about to the selected illustration. For example, you can find out--if you scroll down here--you can find out what fonts were used, and it's telling me that this document has some Myriad Pro inside of it.
You can find out what plates are going to be printed to, so if there's any extra spot colors, for example. This is just a standard CMYK document. You can find out what swatches are available inside of the document. So you can find out core information about what's going on inside of the document without actually opening it, here inside-- once again--inside the Metadata panel. Now I'm going to show you one more sort of little interesting thing. Those of you who are familiar with the Adobe Bridge--or at least passingly familiar with it-- go down to this 2 icon that's in the bottom right corner of your window, and by default it should say Horizontal Filmstrip.
Just go ahead and click on that 2 in order to switch to the Horizontal Filmstrip mode. The reason that we're seeing 1, 2, and 3 down here is because you can change the meaning of these buttons by clicking and holding and then choosing the desired workspace from a list. But anyway, Horizontal Filmstrip is the default choice. Now notice we get a small content panel and then we get a big preview of the file up at the top. So let's go ahead and open a file, won't we? By double-clicking on it, and I'd say let's open this one, it's really cool, some marbles in the glass.
It's called Crystal.ai. You can open something else if you want to. To open a file, all you've got to do is double- click on this thumbnail, and it opens up right there inside of the Illustration window. I'm scrolling this file, by the way, by dragging it while pressing the spacebar, and that's a little trick that I'll tell you more about in a future chapter, but for now, just be aware you've managed to open a document inside of Illustrator, and what a cool document it is.
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