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Creating more flexible rounded rectangles

From: Illustrator for Web Design

Video: Creating more flexible rounded rectangles

Rounded rectangles are an essential part of any web design. We use these things for anything from a button all the way up to a banner ad, even in logos and icons and things like that. The problem with Adobe Illustrator's Rounded Rectangle tool is the fact that it is so inflexible, meaning there's no way to really change the corner radius once it's been set. Let me show you an example of what I mean. I'm going to go to the File menu and choose New, and once I create a new document--it does not matter size--I'm going to come over to my tools panel, click and hold on the Rectangle tool, and find Rounded Rectangle.

Creating more flexible rounded rectangles

Rounded rectangles are an essential part of any web design. We use these things for anything from a button all the way up to a banner ad, even in logos and icons and things like that. The problem with Adobe Illustrator's Rounded Rectangle tool is the fact that it is so inflexible, meaning there's no way to really change the corner radius once it's been set. Let me show you an example of what I mean. I'm going to go to the File menu and choose New, and once I create a new document--it does not matter size--I'm going to come over to my tools panel, click and hold on the Rectangle tool, and find Rounded Rectangle.

Once I have the Rounded Rectangle tool selected, I can then click and drag to start drawing out a rounded rectangle. Now, I can change the corner radius simply by tapping my down and up arrow keys on my keyboard. As I do this, you can see that the corners get more round. I'm just holding down the up arrow key right now. Holding down the down arrow key will square them back up. The problem I have with this tool is that once I let go of the mouse, I'm stuck with whatever corner radius I've chosen, unless I want it go and grab the Direct Selection tool and move anchor points around and things like that. I don't want to do that.

I want to quickly and easily be able to change the corner radius on the fly. And lucky for us, we are not stuck with this. In other applications like Adobe Fireworks for instance, they have something called Smart Shapes, and in Illustrator we don't have those, but we can simulate them. So let me show you what I mean. I'm going to delete that and I'm just going to bring up the Regular Rectangle tool. And I'm going to select no stroke, and I'm going to give this an orange fill so you can really see what's going on. And so I'm just going to click and draw out what might be a button. And so I'll put that out on the artboard, and so now what I want to do is round the corners on this, and in order to that I'm going to use a Live Effect.

So I'm going to go up to the Effects menu, I'm going to go down to Stylize, and I'm going to choose Round Corners. And once I choose Round Corners-- I'll move this up so you can see it-- I'm going to turn Preview on. And it maybe a little hard to see, but if I really round this up, you'll start to see the corners rounding in. See that? And if I drag this back down, I can do something like let's say 20 pixels for instance, and hit OK. I have a nice rounded rectangle. The best part about this is, though, if I use the Appearance panel, I can select this at any time, even if I've saved it, closed it, and open it back up; it does not matter. I can select this anytime.

In my Appearance panel, I simply find the Round Corners effect, I click on that, and then I can change the Radius to let's say 10, hit OK, and it changes it to 10. If my client comes back and says, "No, we need it to be more round," that's okay. Select the object, Round Corners, crank it back up, something like 25 pixels. You can turn Preview on to get an idea of what it's going to do, and then hit OK, and it automatically applies it as soon as you hit OK. So as you start to create rounded rectangles-- and I'm sure you will, because they are everywhere on the web today-- try using this effect on a standard rectangle, versus using the standard Rounded Rectangle tool inside of Adobe Illustrator.

You'll be glad you did, because it creates much more flexible graphics that are easily editable by you or anybody else who might be working on the project.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator for Web Design
Illustrator for Web Design

67 video lessons · 25398 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
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  1. 1m 13s
    1. Welcome
      50s
    2. Using the exercise files
      23s
  2. 43m 51s
    1. Designing for screens
      1m 57s
    2. Decoding screen size and resolution
      2m 40s
    3. Exploring the Illustrator to HTML workflow
      3m 42s
    4. Setting up Illustrator for web work
      6m 55s
    5. Creating a new document for web
      6m 25s
    6. Creating a new document for mobile
      3m 31s
    7. Using artboards for responsive layouts
      7m 42s
    8. Creating email newsletter documents
      4m 31s
    9. Working with Pixel Preview and anti-aliasing
      6m 28s
  3. 25m 28s
    1. Adjusting color settings
      6m 47s
    2. Understanding web color
      3m 47s
    3. Creating a color palette
      5m 4s
    4. Creating custom swatches
      4m 50s
    5. Working with fills and strokes
      5m 0s
  4. 13m 15s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      5m 21s
    2. Renaming and grouping layers
      7m 54s
  5. 24m 5s
    1. Drawing simple shapes
      4m 16s
    2. Working with Pathfinder
      5m 4s
    3. Using the Shape Builder tool
      4m 33s
    4. Creating symbols
      6m 24s
    5. Editing and replacing symbols
      3m 48s
  6. 20m 22s
    1. Planning your project
      2m 56s
    2. Using guides and rulers
      5m 56s
    3. Developing a layout with shapes
      6m 21s
    4. Using a grid system
      5m 9s
  7. 25m 53s
    1. Exploring the rules of typography
      4m 1s
    2. Using text as text vs. using text as an image
      3m 37s
    3. Understanding web-safe fonts
      1m 46s
    4. Creating and using paragraph styles
      5m 16s
    5. Creating and using character styles
      3m 2s
    6. Simulating the CSS box model
      8m 11s
  8. 21m 17s
    1. Understanding object appearance
      4m 43s
    2. Applying and editing live effects
      3m 34s
    3. Creating and using drop shadows
      3m 13s
    4. Creating more flexible rounded rectangles
      3m 17s
    5. Saving appearance as graphic styles
      6m 30s
  9. 35m 57s
    1. Starting with a wireframe
      5m 23s
    2. Adding master elements
      6m 45s
    3. Creating navigation buttons
      13m 34s
    4. Working with photographs
      5m 50s
    5. Simulating pages with artboards
      4m 25s
  10. 54m 45s
    1. Creating video placeholders
      10m 33s
    2. Creating buttons
      13m 1s
    3. Creating form fields
      8m 15s
    4. Creating radio boxes and checkboxes
      5m 11s
    5. Creating progress bars
      10m 12s
    6. Creating tabbed interfaces
      7m 33s
  11. 35m 28s
    1. Understanding slicing
      3m 26s
    2. Slicing up a mockup
      3m 6s
    3. Understanding web file formats
      5m 33s
    4. Exploring the Save for Web dialog
      3m 50s
    5. Optimizing photographs
      4m 29s
    6. Optimizing transparent graphics
      4m 43s
    7. Saving Retina display graphics
      3m 46s
    8. Exporting SVG graphics
      6m 35s
  12. 9m 29s
    1. Understanding image sprites
      3m 4s
    2. Creating a sprite grid
      4m 36s
    3. Optimizing sprites for the web
      1m 49s
  13. 15m 29s
    1. Placing Illustrator Smart Objects
      3m 22s
    2. Sharing color swatches between apps
      2m 9s
    3. Exporting Illustrator artwork as a PSD
      3m 49s
    4. Importing artwork into Fireworks
      2m 41s
    5. Exporting HTML from Illustrator
      3m 28s
  14. 1m 19s
    1. Taking the next step
      1m 1s
    2. Goodbye
      18s

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