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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 a make a new document inside of Illustrator because after all, it's something that you have to do every once in a while. Now throughout this series I'm going to be having you open documents that I've created for you but as you work on your own documents, every so often you're going to have to start with a new page. So how do you do it? You go out to the File menu and you choose the New command, or you can press Control+N or Command+N on the Mac. And then it'll ask you what you want to save the document.
You can just call it something along the lines of My artwork if you want to, you don't have to name the document at this point. In fact, you don't have to do a darn thing. You could just go ahead and click on the OK button in order to proceed, if you want to. As I was telling you earlier in the earlier exercise, you can always modify the document after you make it and I'll be showing you how to perform such modifications in the very next exercise. Naming your artwork just goes ahead and gives it a name in the title bar and it will become the default name when you go to save the document.
Next you need to choose a Document Profile. Now, what I suggest you do in this case is if you plan to print your illustration, go ahead and choose Print. If you plan to send your illustration to the web, then go ahead and choose Web and so on. Now, what if you plan to double purpose your illustration? It's going to be a print document and it's going to be a Web document. Well whatever is the most important of the two. If it's starting out as a print document and you're going to ultimately take it over to the web, then choose Print. If it's first and foremost a Web document and you may repurpose it as a Print document as well, then choose Web because they rely on different color models. If you go with Print you're going to be creating a CMYK document, and by the way I'm seeing these options down here because I have expanded the Advanced portion of the dialog box by clicking on this little icon right there.
CMYK, by the way, stands for cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. These are the process colors of print, of process color printing, that is commercial reproduction as opposed your inkjet device. And these are members of the subtractive color model, meaning that you use ink, printed inks on a white page presumably. And that's the opposite color model of the Web, which uses RGB, that is red, green, and blue. These are the additive colors and these are the color primaries of your screen or of any light projection device, any color projection device out there, as well as scanners, digital cameras and other image capture devices.
This doesn't prohibit you from defining colors using CMYK or if you're going to Print you can define colors using RGB. That's perfectly acceptable. Illustrator requires you to pick an overarching color model so that it can clip your colors accordingly. So that it can display your colors properly on screen. So I'm going to Print. I'll just go ahead and choose Print here. You can choose a specific page size if you want to in order to size your art board, but really Illustrator allows you to create any size artwork you want, since much of the time you're creating spot illustrations. That is illustrations that you plan on bringing over into a page layout program such as in Adobe InDesign or Quark Express. You're not beholden to a page size, that is a page size that's available to your printer.
You can specify any size page you want, any size art board. So I'm going to go ahead and enter a specific size. Now notice my units are set to points, as they are by default in the states here in the United States inside Illustrator, but you can switch them out to something else if you want to. Points are 1/72 of an inch, for what it's worth. Very tiny increments. You also have Picas, there's 12 points in a pica, and six picas in an inch. And of course you have inches, you may be familiar with those.
Millimeters if you're in any country besides the US, you're probably working with millimeters or centimeters. And finally, if you're preparing artwork for the Web or you're preparing artwork to open it up inside of Photoshop, you may prefer to work with pixels. I'm going to go ahead and stick with points because you can override these units. Let's say for example that I want to enter a value in inches. I want for example, the width of my document to be 6 inches. Well, I would enter 6 in. Even though I'm working with points the in. is going to override those points and as soon as I press Tab, notice it goes ahead and updates that value, converts it to points. I could also by the way, enter 6 inches if I wanted to. Notice that, or check this out. I could enter 6 and a double quote, like that, that also stands for inches here inside of Illustrator.
And of course you've got things like you could say, Gosh I want to do 120 mm, mm for millimeters. S you have a bunch of different overrides that are available to you. Finally, if you're comfortable with picas and points. For example, you know that you want a document that's 36 picas, 6 points wide, then you'd enter 32p6 like that. The p stands for the division between the picas and points. Just so that know. You can work any way you want, and in my case, I'm going to say 6 inches by 6 inches. I'm going to do square document.
Doesn't matter the orientation in my case because I'm going with a square. And then I'll go ahead and click OK in order to create my new document and here it is. Now one of the amazing great things. I'll go ahead and hide my Layers palette here by clicking on that double arrow icon that was in the Layers palette toolbar. One of the great things about working inside of Illustrator CS3 is they've really fixed that problem that we used to have in the old days where an illustration could slide behind the palettes and your Illustrator window was way too darn big, it would always consume the entire screen. Well inside of Illustrator CS3, it is set to by default fit inside the confines of the interface, So you're never covering up your illustration with palettes or other sort of weird hanging objects, which makes it a much easier environment to work with.
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