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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.
All right so here's my new 6-inch by 6-inch document that I created in the previous exercise. We are now seeing the confines of the artwork and this is known as the Artboard inside of Illustrator. Everything inside of the Artboard is considered to be part of the illustration. If you move something out of the Artboard into what's called the paste board, then it's considered not to be part of the illustration. But that actually can be useful. To put things on the pasteboard is great, if you like, draw an object but then you decide you don't want it, but you're not ready to throw it away, you're not ready to delete it, you can just put it out in the Artboard here and it's considered a non-functioning piece of artwork, just something that's sitting there, ready for you to use it in case you want it later.
So in this exercise I'm going to show you how to modify a piece of artwork. I was telling you, you don't have to get all the settings right up front inside of the new dialog box. You can modify your artwork at any point in time. And you do that by going up to the File menu and choosing the Document Setup command. You've got a keyboard shortcut as well, Control+Alt+P or Command+Option+P. And by the way I do mention these keyboard shortcuts as I work through Illustrator. You are by no means required to use keyboard shortcuts. If you don't like them, don't use them. I'll always show you the commands that are available to you, if they're available to you. That's the weird thing about Adobe applications. Sometimes the shortcut is the only way to work or sometimes it's so much easier then the command way, that it's hardly worth showing you the command way, although I generally try to make sure I do. So anyway choose the Document Setup command and notice that it's asking you how big is your Artboard? There is the first occurrence now of the word Artboard. It's something we used to see all the time when working in previous editions of Illustrator, but it's still there. It's still a very important item, and so now I could say, Yeah, you know what? I want to go ahead and change the size of my Artboard here. I want it to be 8 inches wide.
And then it's going to go ahead and recalculate of course and notice by the way I'm setting the orientation. If I flip orientations, it's going to flip my values, the width and height values for me. So this is really a little width and height value flipper. Note that the Document Setup dialog box also includes this pop-up menu right here that you can use to switch to different panels of settings. So for example I could switch to the Type panel right here. And I could change the language that I'm using in case I'm working in some language other than the American version of English because Illustrator has different dictionaries for different languages here.
And you could specify what kind of quotes you want a use once again, if you're working with a different language you can specify what those quotes are going to look like. And notice that I have Use Typographer's Quotes turned on, so that I'll get nice curly quotes around the outside of my quotation, which is very important. So I point this out mostly though, so when you're searching for ways to modify your document, you know that you do have multiple panels, so you can search around inside of them. Now I'm going to click OK in order to accept my new settings which are mostly a matter of changing the Artboard size here. Let's say that I want to zoom in incrementally to my Artboard. Well I've got this little zoom value. Notice that it's down here in the lower left-hand corner of the screen and I could enter a new zoom value after clicking in it, I can say, You know what, I want to see this in 130% view size. Then I would press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac in order to zoom the page accordingly. Just a way to control the on screen display of your page.
Bear in mind that this has no impact whatsoever on how big the illustration prints, this is merely an indicator of how big the image appears on screen, so that you can modify it in a comfortable setting. All right I'm going to go ahead and use the Hand tool to move this page over little bit and I'm going to bring up the rulers. Because Illustrator is a schematic drawing program, you probably want schematic control that is you want a high degree of control over the positioning of the objects on the page and if so you can go to the View menu, and you can choose this command right there, Show Rulers or you can press the industry standard keyboard shortcut actually, which is Control+R or Command+R on the Mac to bring up those rulers.
Now, because we're working with points as our unit of measurement, we are seeing points inside of our ruler, notice that. So this is the zero point location right there and so basically our rulers are starting about right there on the page. This is where we're zero on the vertical ruler and this is where we're zero on the horizontal ruler. If you want to change that, then you can drag from the ruler intersection like so, and you can drag that origin point to any place you want it to be. You could make it the top left corner of the page, if you're used to working inside of a layout program. Or you can move it to Illustrator's default position, which is the lower left corner of the page. That's where I'm going to go ahead and put it. Of course you could drop it in any other location on the page as well.
So as I was saying we're looking at points both for the horizontal and vertical rulers. If you want to switch to a different unit of measurement then you can right click on the ruler and choose that unit of measurement. For example I can switch to inches at this point. You also have a very strange keyboard shortcut that I just feel like I have to tell you. It's one of those power user shortcuts frankly, and one that most power users don't know about. It's Shift+Control+Alt+U. Or Shift+Command+Option+U on the Macintosh side and see how we're cycling through units of measurement when I press that keyboard shortcut. So it's basically all of the modifier keys just mash your fist down on the lower corner of the keyboard and press the U key to switch between these units. You may or may not find that helpful. I offer it just by way of a public service announcement, don't you know.
We have successfully modified our artwork. Just one other thing I want to show you. If you decide you want to work with a different color space, like you had initially set things up for prints, but now you want to switch it over to the Web or vice versa, go to the File menu and choose Document Color Mode and then choose the desired color mode. So if you're working with a print document, you're in CMYK. Now you want to work with the Web, switch to RGB and your colors will actually change onscreen, because they will be recalculated as RGB colors instead of CMYK colors, although Illustrator will still stick to the original color definition. So if you defined it in CMYK it'll still be a CMYK object.
It'll just be displayed in RGB now. All right, and you'll get a sense for this more and more. It might sound a little bit confusing but you'll get a better sense for this as we work through future exercises and future chapters of this series.
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