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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
Back in the previous chapter, you saw that I had the letter B that was converted to outlines, how did I do that? Well, it's very simple. Anytime you have any text object whatsoever inside of Illustrator, you can convert it into just regular editable anchor points that you can work with. This is perfect if you want to make small modifications to text or create logos and so on and so forth. Let me show you how that's done. I'll start off just by creating a regular Point Text Object. Let me type-in, for example, the name of the company here called GROUNDSWELL. What I'll do is I'll simply bring this into the middle of the page; maybe I'll make it a bit bigger. Again, I'm using Command+Shift+> or Ctrl+Shift+> to do that. Maybe I'll choose the typeface little bit more bold. Let's say something like that.
Maybe now I want to make some kind of change to this particular text. I want to make some kind of modifications to it. Well, what I can do is I can go over to the Type menu and choose this setting here called Create Outlines. When I do that, notice that I now see anchor points, it's no longer a text object. I can't even spell-check on it. It's as if I had drawn these with the Pen tool, or it's regular objects there. They are pictures; they are not text anymore. So if I use my Direct Selection tool, for example, and I go here and I just highlight maybe the few anchor points at the top of this U, I could extend it that way, for example. Maybe I'll come over here and I'll take this L, for example, both of these shapes here; move them up just a little bit like this and I'll take the edges of this E here and I'll drag it out this way. And maybe I'll go ahead and make some other changes, for example, this N can kind of be extended down this way.
If I wanted to get more involved, we already now know how to use the Editing tools inside of Illustrator to add anchor points and modify the anchor points and convert anchor points from one to another so on and so forth. Now that you have that capability you can really take any shape at all or any text object for that matter, convert it to Outlines and do as you wish with them.
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