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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.
In this exercise I'm going to show you how to create a custom guide inside of Illustrator and I ask you, Have you ever been so excited to make guides in your life inside of a program? Me neither. Just something in the air. Doh! I already said that. All right, so here's the deal. You should be working inside of the Horus.ai illustration and we've gone ahead and made the guides, the existing guides inside of this illustration visible and added a couple of other guides down here toward the bottom of the illustration. Now notice that I have a total of three square guides. Here's one of them and I'm clicking on them. I've now unlocked my guides in the previous exercise. You may recall that.
Here's one of them, here's another, and here's the third. We're going to add a fourth. in this area right here and we're going to draw this guide using the standard everyday average Rectangle Tool right here, this Rectangle Tool inside the toolbar. So I want you to go ahead and select it and if you don't see it right away inside of the toolbox, then choose it from this Shape Tool menu right here, or you can press the M key, and that keyboard shortcut comes from the Rectangular Marquee tool inside of Photoshop in case you're interested. Anyway go ahead and make sure this tool is active. Then I want you to go to the View menu and make sure that Snap to Point, way down here at the bottom of the menu, make sure that that command is turned on so that we will snap to points inside of this illustration cause I want to make sure that we're aligning the new rectangle to the old rectangles. All right, now, I accidentally clicked with the Rectangle Tool. If you do that, if you click with one of the shape tools or one of the line tools, you're going to get one of these dialog boxes that allows you to create the line or shape numerically. If you don't want that just go ahead and click on Cancel or press the Escape key.
All right, I'm going to ask you to draw this shape from the top right corner to the bottom left corner like so. I want you to start drawing right here and then stop drawing down here and that ensures that you will snap to the corners of the existing guide so that this guide is exactly in place. Now as soon as I release I draw a standard rectangle and it will be filled and stroked according to whatever fill and stroke attributes are active inside of the program. I happen to have a blue fill and no stroke at all. Go figure, that's just the way it is inside of this document. Okay fine.
Now I need to convert this object into a nonprinting, snapping guide, and I'm going to do that by going up to the View menu, and this would work by the way with absolutely any drawn object inside of Illustrator, any vector path inside of Illustrator can be converted to a guideline no matter how complicated, and you do that by going to the View menu, choosing guides, and then choosing this crazy fella right here, Make Guides. And I say it's crazy because it has this wacky keyboard shortcut of Control+5 or Command+5 on the Mac. Memorize it. Don't memorize it. Totally up to you but go and choose the command in order to convert that rectangle into a rectangular guide. It will no longer print. It will snap not only, objects will snap to it not only along the corners in the corner points here, but also along the sides because it is a true guideline now inside of our illustration and that's it. That's all I need you to do.
In the next exercise we will see how we can organize and manage our guides, and even though that may sound a little dry, it's exceedingly important and awfully darn exciting.
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