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Cleaning up errant paths

From: Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

Video: Cleaning up errant paths

One of the functions that we discussed earlier in this chapter something called Simplify. That command allowed you to take the number of anchor points and reduce them along a path. But there is also another thing you need to look out for when working with vector graphics and because the nature of object-base graphics it's possible that your file can get littered with other little pieces kind of lying around. You know very often you are chopping apart paths, you are cutting and pasting, you are moving things around, you are coloring things with some colors, then you are setting the color to None or to White or so on and so forth. So for example, if I look at this file right here and if you have access to the exercise files go ahead and open up the file called path_cleanup in Chapter 05.

Cleaning up errant paths

One of the functions that we discussed earlier in this chapter something called Simplify. That command allowed you to take the number of anchor points and reduce them along a path. But there is also another thing you need to look out for when working with vector graphics and because the nature of object-base graphics it's possible that your file can get littered with other little pieces kind of lying around. You know very often you are chopping apart paths, you are cutting and pasting, you are moving things around, you are coloring things with some colors, then you are setting the color to None or to White or so on and so forth. So for example, if I look at this file right here and if you have access to the exercise files go ahead and open up the file called path_cleanup in Chapter 05.

It looks like I just have four elements here inside of my file, the surfboard, the bikini, the body suit and the little flip-flops, but there is really other artwork in here. In fact, the easiest way to see that is to change your Preview mode into Outline. I'm going to press Command+Y or Ctrl+Y on a Windows machine and you will see that I also have some other elements, let's say right over here and I have these kind of little Xs, which are actually just individual anchor points. If you just have a single anchor point Illustrator identifies that in Outline mode, it's just little x. So it is kind of sitting there.

Now they are not harming anybody right now, but as I work in my file, I'm going to go back into Preview mode, these are no longer here. I could accidentally click on it and select it not even knowing it; it has no Fill and no Stroke. It won't show up on a print out, but anytime you have these little things, they always find a way to kind of crop-up and just kind of get in the way and it can cause problems later on in your work-flow. So it's always best for you to basically keep a clean file. Don't have extra things lying around if you don't need them, and definitely don't have these little extra anchor points floating around, because sometimes they can cause problems as well. This is one example. We will talk a bit later in the next chapter about working with text, and sometimes you just have a regular text with one anchor point, but there is no text there.

Well, that typeface may still be referenced inside of that file. Even though there is actually no text that appears there, just that single anchor point may have a type face attributed to it and you get missing frontiers for example, things like that. So there are always things that it can crop-up, it's always best to keep a clean file whenever you can. So it's great about Illustrator that there is actually a function that can help you do that. So rather than you have to hunt down and search and see where all these things are because in reality sometimes your files are so complex, how do you know when you start going through them, what is and what is not important so on and so forth.

So there is a function inside of the Object menu, let's go to the Object menu here. Let's choose Path here and choose an option here called Clean Up, and that basically will go to my document and will allow me to identify stray points. Again, those are just anchor points that have nothing on them except just one anchor point and like we discussed before paths usually have a minimum of at least two. So Stray Points are single anchor points, Unpainted Objects, objects that have no Fill and no Stroke attributes on them, and Empty Text Paths, like I just discussed before. So if I click OK right now, it doesn't look like anything happen, but if I go into Outline mode, I see all of those other elements that were there in the document and now gone. So I basically have cleaned up my document of all these little things that could possibly make things go wrong.

So as mom always used to say to you, keep your room clean. We always used to say back, yeah, but I'm just going to be playing in the room again later. But you don't want to trip on stories and so on and so forth. Same thing really applies to Illustrator on that same conceptual level. You want to have a clean document, that way you always know where things are and you avoid any issues down the line.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 48510 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
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  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

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