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Join Justin Seeley, lynda.com staff author and design enthusiast, each week for a new 5-minute, self-contained tutorial that you can use to instantly improve your design workflow. This series covers techniques for print, digital, and web design, addressing the tools that creative professionals like you use most. Learn new ways to leverage layer styles and vector shapes in Adobe Photoshop, work more efficiently with text in Illustrator, and embed videos and even tweets in WordPress posts, and much more. Check back each week for a new installment, and a new design hack.
Hi there. Welcome back to Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seeley and today I'm going to be showing you how to create flexible, multi-state buttons inside of Illustrator for your next website or app mockup that you create. So the first thing I'm going to do is I'm going to take the Text Tool. And I'm just going to click somewhere out on my artboard. And I'm just going to type something out and I'm just going to type out something like Buy it Now. There we go. And, I'm then going to select this text and I'm going to make sure over here that I give it no fill. That's very important, so no fill.
That way you just kind of blends in with the background here. Then we're going to go in the Appearance panel. I've got my Appearance panel and my Graphics Styles panel out here and I have both of those out there for a reason. So if you want to go ahead and drag yours out there go right ahead and do so. And so with this selected, what I'm going to do is I'm going to add three new fills. Because in Illustrator you can add multiple fills to every object, so I'm going to add three fills to this one, two, three, and I just clicked right there to do that. And so, the top fill that's going to be the fill that we use for the text itself. This could be whatever color you want the text to be.
So in this case I'm going to make the text white. Then underneath here is going to be my different button states. You can have as many different button states as you want. All I want is a normal state and a hover state. So I'm going to change this first one here to be blue and that's going to be the background. And then, the second one here is going to be green. And so now I've got two states for those buttons. Then I'm going to select each fill independently. So I'll select the first one just by clicking on it. And then going up to the Effect menu, going down to Convert to Shape and we'll select Rounded Rectangle. Now, you can also select Rectangle or you could select Ellipse, if you wanted circular buttons.
You're going to make sure the Preview is turned on. So you can see what's happening and you can already see. My button has been converted over into this nice rounded rectangle shape. Make sure Relative is selected and then just dial in the numbers however far you want this to reach out from the button, and how tall you want it to be as well. So in this case I'm going to go with two relatively round numbers 20 and 10 and then I'm going to back the Corner Radius down to something like 4. Making it not quite as round as it was before. Then I'm just going to hit OK. I'm going to do the exact same thing for the green fill. I'm going to select that green fill.
This time though I just go up to Effect and choose Apply Rounded Rectangle. Now, you're not going to be able to see the green fill because the blue fill's over the top of it and it's exactly the same size. But because we have both of these fields here. I can turn off the blue one by just clicking the eyeball and we have a green button or I can turn that back on, turn the green button off and vice versa. So you can have multiple button states that you use all throughout here. The best part about this is anytime I want to change the text of the button, so let's say I just want to type out my name. Notice how the button shape, just flows around all of that text, no matter what it says.
And so then, I could go over into my Graphics Styles panel click and drag this button over there, and add that in as a graphics style. Then anytime I want, I just grab my Text Tool, and start typing out something like, Order Now. Select it with my Selection Tool and apply that graphic style and instantly I have a button. And I also, in the Appearance panel have all of those states already pre-loaded on the button making it very easy for me to turn on and off different states of the buttons throughout my entire mockup.
So there you go. How to quickly and easily create multi-state, flexible buttons inside of Adobe Illustrator, using the Appearance panel and the Graphic Styles panel.
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