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Creating and editing groups

From: Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

Video: Creating and editing groups

Back in Chapter 04, we spoke about making selections inside of Illustrator. As we know, when we want to move things or change the attributes of things inside of Illustrator, we need to first make some selections. In addition, there are many times inside of Illustrator where I create certain graphics, and those graphics always need to move together. For example, I have this flower that I created right here, and in the center of the flower is a different circle. I can't really see a time when I might want to just click and drag this flower to move to a different position, but leave that middle of the circle behind.

Creating and editing groups

Back in Chapter 04, we spoke about making selections inside of Illustrator. As we know, when we want to move things or change the attributes of things inside of Illustrator, we need to first make some selections. In addition, there are many times inside of Illustrator where I create certain graphics, and those graphics always need to move together. For example, I have this flower that I created right here, and in the center of the flower is a different circle. I can't really see a time when I might want to just click and drag this flower to move to a different position, but leave that middle of the circle behind.

I always want to move these two together. In fact, I have kind of taking these four objects here, two flowers and the two centers, and I have treated them as one graphic here. So, if I have to Shift+Click on each of these four objects every single time that I want to make an adjustment to that piece of art, it can become very tedious, very quickly. Let me press Undo here for a moment, and we'll talk about Groups. Creating a Group inside of Illustrator is a way for you to define a relationship between pieces of art inside of your document.

However, the concept of Groups really goes a little bit beyond that. First, let's talk about how to create Groups. Then we'll talk about how you can structure Groups, and finally, we'll talk about what Groups actually are inside of Illustrator. So, let's start by deselecting everything. I'm going to start with the first flower. I'm going to click on the center area and hold down the Shift key and also select the flower area, so now I have two objects selected, and I now want to create a group of these two objects. So, I'm going to go to the Object menu, and I'll choose Group.

The keyboard shortcut is Command+ G on Mac, or Ctrl+G on Windows. So at this point now, notice if I deselect the art, anytime that I click on any part of that flower, both objects become selected. And when I move them, it access as if it's one single object. Let me press Undo here. That's just what I want to have here going on inside of my illustration. I'm going to do the same for the other flower. Click here, Shift+Click here, press Command+G to create a Group. Many times however, I want to move both of these flowers together.

So, I want to now create a second group, and that group will contain both the groups, or both flowers inside of it. When you take some groups, and then you would take those groups and you put them into another group, we refer to that as a Nested Group, groups within other groups. So, what I'm going to do now is click on this flower, hold down the Shift key and click on this flower, both of these are selected, and I'll press Command+G again, and now I've created a parent group that has these two children groups inside of it.

Now, you might ask for a moment, why didn't I just select all four objects to begin with, and then create one single group? The answer is is that when you start structuring your groups in this nested fashion, we could start taking advantage of some other features inside of Illustrator, and we can also know that there are times when I might want to adjust each of these flowers individually. For example, maybe I want to make one of these flowers just a little bit bigger than one of the other flowers. Notice that right now I have them all inside of one group.

So, I would need to start using my Direct Selection tool to only select parts of one flower that I wanted to enlarge. However, now that I've built my groups using the structure where I have groups within other groups, I could take advantage of a feature inside of Illustrator called Isolation mode. It's really incredible feature, and it's something that I think you should become familiar with because it will make working inside of Illustrator oh so much easier. I'm going to start by deselecting all my artwork, because I want to show you how this feature works when you get started working.

I would like to adjust just this flower here and make it just a drop bigger. So I'm going to start by double-clicking on this group. Notice what happened right now. All of the other artwork inside of my document kind of dims back a little bit. It's also automatically locked. Notice that now I can no longer select anything else. The only thing that I can select are the flowers here. If I take a look at the top of my Document Window, I'll see that a gray bar now appears, and it's letting me know right now that I'm inside layer 1, and I've isolated the group that's inside of layer 1.

We refer to these as breadcrumbs. Each time that I double-click on a Group, the breadcrumbs help me identify where I am inside of my document. You'll notice now, by the way, that if I go ahead now when I click on this flower, even though these were both grouped together, I'm only selecting this group. That's because now I'm inside that parent group. I now have access to the groups that are within it. So I can select each flower individually. In fact, I can double-click now on just this one flower, and notice that this one now is no longer selectable.

In other words, I've just isolated one level deeper. In fact, if you look at the breadcrumbs, you'll see that I'm currently inside of a Group that is within another Group that's inside layer 1. I can now select this artwork very easily and make some changes like double-clicking on the Scale tool to enlarge it maybe 120% and click OK. Now, what I will do is go back to my regular Selection tool and either just double-click on any blank area on the artboard, click on the arrow that appears over here to go back, or tap the Escape key on the far upper left-hand corner of my keyboard to exit this Isolation mode.

So now, because I've created this nested structure, I can very easily jump into and out of the Groups as well. I'm going to press Undo though. I don't really want to scale that flower up at all. Notice Illustrator now put me back into Isolation mode. I'm just going to double-click on a blank area to return me to regular Editing mode. So you can see now, when I click on this, I have one group. Now, I also have some leaves here. I want those leaves to also be included together with the flowers so they all move together.

So, the first thing I'm going to do is select both leaves and group them together by pressing Command+G. Next, with this group now selected, I'm now going to Shift+Click on the flower Group and hit Command+G again. Now I have one large group that contains the flowers and the leaves. However, within that large group, I have a group of leaves and a group of flowers, and within the flower group, I have basically two groups, one for each flower. So we start to see now how I am thinking about structuring my artwork, knowing that later on I may need to make some changes.

For example, let's say I send this to my client and he tells me, wow, this is a great logo, and I really love the leaves, but I really wish to had a few more leaves in there. I think it needs something a bit more. Well, it so happens to be that right over here I have some extra leaves that I've created, which I can very easily add to my illustration. However, just dragging them into place right now won't really help me too much, because they're not really part of the Group, because I can click on this right now and move it. They are not part of the Group. They really need to be part of the leaves group, but how do I get these two leaves into that Group? Well, once again, Isolation mode can really help me out here.

I'm going to start by coming to these two leaves that I just added, and I'm going to go to the Edit menu and choose Cut. Next, I'm going to double-click on this group. Right now, I have isolated this Group that contains all of these elements. However, I want to add these new leaves just to the group with the leaves. So, I'm going to double-click again, only on the leaves, and notice that right now I've isolated the group of the leaves. Now, I can go to the Edit menu and choose Paste In Front. That will paste that artwork in the exact same place, and now I have all the leaves within one group.

So, if I double-click now to exit the Isolation mode, I now have one large group that contains everything, yet if I double -click on the leaves to isolate them, I can see that right now all the leaves are in one group together. So that's how I would not only create groups and structure my artwork inside of Illustrator, it's also how I would be able to modify groups by continuously adding artwork as needed, using this Isolation mode feature.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

126 video lessons · 82027 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 5s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 28s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 26m 2s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 28s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
      55s
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      42s

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