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In Illustrator CS5 Web and Interactive Design, Mordy Golding shows how to create pixel-perfect graphics for use in web sites, video compositions, and mobile apps. This course covers a wide range of workflows, from creating online ad campaigns, web sites, icons, to taking art from Illustrator to Flash Professional. Sharing tips, tricks, and creative techniques along the way, Mordy provides insight and instruction for taking projects from initial concept straight through to production. Exercise files accompany the course.
So you already know that you can start creating a new document inside of Illustrator by choosing one of the new document profiles. And we've already shown how you can use the Web Document profile to quickly get started and creating a new web document. But if you take a look at some of the libraries that are now installed inside of this document, for example, we'll go to Swatches here, notice that there are a whole bunch of colors already here. If I take a look at some of the graphic styles, let's take a look at some of the brushes or symbols. This is already filled with content.
In fact, there is a whole bunch of symbols now that are inside of this document. How did all these symbols get here? Where did these swatches even come from? The answer is that they're actually part of the new document profile. And I'll tell you that nine times out of ten, you probably won't need all this information. More importantly, the information you probably do need would be far more valuable inside of these documents. Wouldn't it? Well, instead of using the regular Web profile that comes with Illustrator, which is really just a generic profile meant for regular plain web design fill in the blanks or whatever that might mean, but the whole reason why a new document profiles exists in the first place is so that you can create your own custom profiles.
In other words, if you create your own custom new document profile, not only will that your new documents have the correct settings, those documents will also contain the correct swatches, graphic styles, brushes, and symbols that you will need to use for any particular project. If you're a web designer, for example, you may have many different clients. Of course, you'll have different symbols or graphic styles for each of those clients, so you don't need to have just one web profile. You can create a customized web profile for each of your different clients.
Let's see how we'll actually do that. I want to take you through the exact steps, so I'm going to close the Symbols library here. I'm going to close this document, I'll press just Command+W or Ctrl+W, and we'll start creating our custom web document profile based on the existing Web document profile that comes with Illustrator. So we're going to get started by clicking on the Web Document profile here, and maybe I'm going to be focusing on using this profile mainly for designing web pages. Now, most of the web pages that I design are usually a width of about 960 pixels.
So I'm going to change the Width here to 960 and I'll make the Height something like 1200. Next, I'll set my Color mode to RGB. Keep my Screen Resolution set to 72 pixels per inch for when I apply raster effects. And I'll make sure that the Preview Mode is set to Pixel. I'll also make sure that the Align New Objects to Pixel Grid setting is turned on, and I'll click OK to create this new document. Now remember, if I take a look at some of my libraries here, like my Swatches, and my Graphic Styles, my Brushes, and my Symbols, I'll see these already content here, but I really don't need any of these content.
I'm going to be creating my own content for this. So I'm actually going to use an action to help me get rid of all this extra content. I'm going to go to the Window menu and I'm going to choose Actions here. Illustrator by default ships with an action that automatically removes unused information. You can see over here that inside of the Default Actions folder in my Actions panel, I have an action here called Delete Unused panel Items. And if I click on that to highlight it, I can now come to the bottom of the Actions panel, and I'll click on the Play button.
Notice now that I have no symbols in my document. I have just a few brushes here, just the basic brush here. I have some graphic styles, and I also have some Swatches. I'll tell you that for some reason sometimes you have to run this action more than one time to try to get this information ad. I don't know why this happens, but you can see now that by running it again I've gotten rid of the graphic styles and some of the brushes that are here. I'm actually going to take this one swatch here where it says Grays and drag this to the garbage. So now I have basically just black and white swatches, which is just fine by me.
I have the default graphic style. I have the default brush, which is set to Basic, and I have no symbols. I basically now have wiped clean this document, so it does not have any extra information inside of it, information that I may not ever need or may not ever use. Great! I'm going to close the Actions panel right now and now I'm going to start loading up the information that I do want to use inside of this document. So, for example, I want to go to my File menu right here and choose Open. I'm going to navigate to my desktop here and in Chapter 2, Creating New Documents, I have a couple of files here. I have one called explore_site.ai.
I'm going to Open up that file right here, because there's already a lot of information in this file. For example, if I go to Symbols, I can see that it already have a couple of symbols here that I know I might use. I just want you to see that I have these symbols in this document, but I want to go back now to that Untitled document, the one that we were just working on, and from the Symbols panel I can go to flyout menu and choose to open a symbol library. I can choose Other Library and simply navigate to that file. I'll go to my Desktop > Exercise Files > Chapter 02 and choose here explore_site.ai.
When I click Open, Illustrator will load all of those symbols now as an external library. I can take you to these symbols right now, highlight them, and drag them now into my Symbols panel, so now they are currently in my document. Now, when I close this, I can see that all of my symbols are now added to this document here. Now, I may also have some swatch colors that I may use specifically for this client, Explore California. In fact, if I click now on Swatches, I can use a similar technique. Notice by the way that these swatches came in because they're used in the symbol, but if I now go over here to the flyout menu, I can choose Open Swatch Library, again choose Other Library, and navigate to any other Illustrator files.
So again, on my Desktop > Exercise Files > Chapter 02. Now I'm going to go to explore_ads.ai, click Open, and then again I have now a separate library called the Explore_Ads. Let me drag that at over here so we can see this. I'm going to click on the Swatches panel here and take this color group, I'm going to click on this folder, it's called the Explore CA Palette, and simply drag that into my document. Now, I can close this library, and I'm starting now to really customize this document. I've added customized symbols and I've also added the swatches that I would use for this particular client, Explore California.
Of course, you can use similar techniques to add both brushes and graphic styles to this document as well. Great! Now, we're ready to actually go ahead and save this file. And here is the thing. It's going to be just a regular plain Illustrator file that we're going to save. The only thing that's going to be different is we're going to save it in a very specific location. Illustrator will be able to find that location and it will treat this document as a new document profile. I'm going to go to the File menu here and choose Save As. I'm going to save this as a regular Illustrator file and I'm going to start by navigating through my user folder.
On my computer it's called mordy, but on your computer it may have your own name here. Next, I'm going to click on Library. Just remember to make sure that you're in your user folder for this, because on Mac OS, at the root level, there is a separate library folder. You want to make sure you're clicking on the Library folder that's inside of your user name folder. Next, I'm going to click on Application Support. Then I'll click on Adobe > Adobe Illustrator CS5, and because I'm using the English language US version of Illustrator, I have the en_US folder. If you have a different language, you may click on that one as well.
And then if I scroll down here, you'll seen there is a folder called New Document Profiles. So I'm going to click on that folder. And wouldn't you know it, inside of this folder you have some familiar names, things like Print, Web, Mobile and Devices. These are the new document profiles that you've already seen on Illustrator's startup screen. Well, the first thing we want to do is make sure that we name our file correctly. So instead of calling it simply an Untitled document -- That wouldn't be helpful at all. We're going to call this one Explore CA WEB PAGE, for example, this way I know that I'm going to use this profile when I wanted this on web pages for the Explore California client.
Since I navigated to this folder, it's going to save that file inside this folder. Again, I need to make sure that I'm saving the file in this specific folder. Since I'm on Mac OS this was in the username. If you are on a Windows computer, you'll want to navigate to the, on your C drive, Documents and Settings > User Name > Application Data > Adobe > Adobe Illustrator CS5 Settings > en _US > New Document Profiles.
And you want to make sure that you're saving your file in that location. I'm going to click Save, and remember I'm saving just a regular Illustrator file, so if the Illustrator Options dialog box shows up, I'm just going to click OK with the basic default settings, and I'm now done. I'm going to close this file, and I'll close the explore_site.ai file that I had opened before. And take a look at this now, inside of my startup screen, not only do I have my web Document profile, which we've seen before, but towards the bottom I have a new profile that has just been added. It's called Explore CA WEB PAGE Document, and if I click on that you can see that I'm creating a new document with the settings that I've already specified.
The artboard is already set up to 960 pixels wide and if you look at my Swatches panel and my Symbols panel, it has the specific content that I've already put into this profile. So again, the Web profile that comes with Illustrator is nice, but it's basic and generic. If you have several clients or several projects that you're always working on, it makes a lot of sense for you to create customized profiles for each of those clients or projects, to make it easier to get started creating your documents.
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