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Creating ruler guides

From: Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

Video: Creating ruler guides

Now in a previous exercise, we went ahead and opened up this illustration Horus.ai included inside the 03_Line_Art folder, and we clicked on the Horus layer to make sure it's active. And I ask you this point, have you ever been so excited to draw in your life? Me neither. It's just. I don't know what it is. Something in the air I think. So here's what we're going to do. Before we draw we're going to establish some guidelines and guidelines are extremely important because they not only serve as visual guides inside of your illustration, but they also serve as snapping guides. They're not going to bite you. The idea is that objects snap into alignment with them so that you're ensured that everything lines up properly.

Creating ruler guides

Now in a previous exercise, we went ahead and opened up this illustration Horus.ai included inside the 03_Line_Art folder, and we clicked on the Horus layer to make sure it's active. And I ask you this point, have you ever been so excited to draw in your life? Me neither. It's just. I don't know what it is. Something in the air I think. So here's what we're going to do. Before we draw we're going to establish some guidelines and guidelines are extremely important because they not only serve as visual guides inside of your illustration, but they also serve as snapping guides. They're not going to bite you. The idea is that objects snap into alignment with them so that you're ensured that everything lines up properly.

Even if an object looks like it's aligned on screen when you go to print it, it could be a little bit crooked. With guidelines you ensure that nothing is crooked. Everything is straight an aligned and ready to go, because a lot of what we do inside Illustrator is schematic. True story. So I want you to show the guidelines that I've already got set up inside of this illustration by going up to the View menu and then going all way down this list to Guides right here, and then choose Show Guides. Or you can take advantage of the keyboard shortcut Control ; or Command ; on the Mac. Yes, it officially makes no sense whatsoever, but there it is. That is the keyboard shortcut and I'm not really too fond of these keyboard shortcuts. I'm also not fond that the guides are so hard to get to here. I'm going to show you ways around this. I'm going to show you, eventually here, I'm going to show you ways to control guides more easily from the Layers palette.

But for now just go ahead and choose this command and you'll see a handful of guides. Actually three square guides in all, and guides can look like this inside Illustrator. You can not only create horizontal and vertical guidelines as we're going to do inside this exercise, you can also create guides in any shape that you like, as we'll see in the next exercise. But for now I just want you to create some ruler guides, some vertical and horizontal guidelines. Make sure that your rulers are up and visible on screen and you can do that by going to the View menu and choosing the Show Rulers command. So right now mine says Hide Rulers, and that's because my rulers are visible, but if you didn't see your rulers you would choose Show Rulers or you would press Control+R, Command+R on the Mac. Pretty simple stuff. Now you can drag a guideline out from this ruler. For example I could just drag down from the horizontal ruler at the top of the window in order to add a horizontal guideline.

And notice that all of my guidelines appear in cyan on screen. If you don't like that color, if you want to use a different color, then you can go to the Preferences command, you can press Control+K or Command+K on the Mac and then switch from this first Preferences panel to this one right here that says Guides & Grid, and then you can select one of the other colors to use it instead, or you can click on this color swatch, or you can double-click on that color swatch and dial in your own color either inside the Windows color picker that we're seeing here or inside the Macintosh color picker. All right, but I'm happy with cyan, more or less happy anyway.

I think it looks pretty good on screen. Now guidelines do not print. You should know that. By default they do not print. So anyway I just added a horizontal guideline there. I can drag it to a different location, if I want to, assuming that the guides are not locked. Now in my case obviously the guides are locked and you may run into that problem as well. If so, go to the View menu and choose Guides and then say, No, no, no, don't lock the guides, Illustrator, unlock them please. You can take advantage of that keyboard shortcut as well, if you can remember that one. I'm not going to bother with it.

Now I can move it to a different location like this or I can also just select the guide and press the Backspace key or the Delete key on the Mac, in order to get rid of it. So that's how you delete guides inside of Illustrator. You don't have to drag them back into the ruler the way that you do inside other programs. You just click on them and press the Delete key. So guides are full-fledged objects inside the program, which is a really great thing. You can also drag out vertical guides, obviously. If you start dragging a guide out and then you think, wait a sec, I don't want a vertical guide, I want a horizontal guise, then press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and it flips for as long you keep that key down. So it'll switch to the other direction. Also by the way you can advance from one tick mark to another along the ruler here by pressing and holding the Shift key, so that allows you to align the guideline with the tick marks in the ruler.

I'm going to go ahead and backspace that guy too, because I want you to set two very specific guidelines in place inside of this illustration. And I want them to align with the bottom of these objects right here, the bottom of these lines and notice what I did. By the way I've got the black arrow tool selected, what Illustrator calls the Selection tool, I just call it the black arrow tool because after all it's black and this guy right here is white, and you can get to the black arrow tool by pressing the V key.

And I'm going to drag. Notice I'm dragging in an empty area of the illustration in order to draw a marquee and everything that's encircled in that marquee becomes selected. Notice I have some anchor points at the bottom of these lines that are active now. Check out what happens now if I drag out a horizontal guideline from the top of the illustration, notice as soon as I drag it over one of these points down here the bottom I get a white arrowhead, a little hollow arrowhead, and that shows me that I'm snapping the guideline into alignment.

So objects snap to guidelines, guidelines snap to objects, objects snap to each other. Everything should snap into it's neighbors inside of Illustrator. It's really wonderful. That way you get things into alignment. It's a really good thing. All right, so when that happens, go ahead and release. Now I'm going to click on this guy right here in order to make it active and I want to snap to the top point in this arc right here. And I'm going to do that by drawing yet another guide and snapping to it and then releasing. So these are the two guides that I want you to make and I'm selecting both of them by clicking on one and Shift-clicking on the other. These are the two guidelines I want you to make. As soon as you have those guidelines made and raring to go, then you're done with this exercise. Prepare to join me in the next exercise when we create a custom guide.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

114 video lessons · 36997 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 59m 53s
    1. Welcome to Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
      2m 0s
    2. The unwelcome Welcome screen
      6m 35s
    3. Browsing Illustrator artwork
      4m 53s
    4. Bridge workspaces and favorites
      6m 8s
    5. The anatomy of an illustration
      7m 2s
    6. Examining a layered illustration
      5m 38s
    7. Customizing an illustration
      5m 21s
    8. Creating a new document
      6m 12s
    9. Changing the document setup
      6m 51s
    10. Saving a document
      6m 14s
    11. Closing multiple files
      2m 59s
  2. 1h 3m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      55s
    2. Keyboard Increment and Object Selection
      5m 52s
    3. Scratch Disks and Appearance of Black
      6m 43s
    4. Establishing the best color settings
      5m 35s
    5. Synchronizing color settings in Bridge
      4m 3s
    6. The new CS3 interface
      3m 55s
    7. Organizing the palettes
      9m 4s
    8. Saving your workspace
      2m 33s
    9. Zooming and scrolling
      3m 39s
    10. Using the Zoom tool
      5m 27s
    11. The Navigator palette
      3m 37s
    12. Nudging the screen image
      2m 50s
    13. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 11s
    14. Cycling between screen modes
      5m 56s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Why learn Illustrator from a Photoshop guy?
      1m 32s
    2. Introducing layers
      4m 37s
    3. Creating ruler guides
      6m 34s
    4. Creating a custom guide
      3m 28s
    5. Organizing your guides
      5m 50s
    6. Making a tracing template
      3m 34s
    7. Drawing a line segment
      4m 10s
    8. Drawing a continuous arc
      4m 17s
    9. Drawing a looping spiral
      5m 17s
    10. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 45s
    11. Aligning and joining points
      7m 58s
    12. Drawing concentric circles
      3m 45s
    13. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      6m 21s
  4. 1h 9m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the Tonalpohualli
      4m 8s
    3. Meet the geometric shape tools
      3m 47s
    4. Drawing circles
      6m 36s
    5. Snapping and aligning shapes
      7m 0s
    6. Polygons and stars
      7m 0s
    7. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 16s
    8. The amazing constraint axes
      6m 30s
    9. Grouping a flipping
      7m 37s
    10. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      6m 36s
    11. Drawing with Scissors and Join
      6m 3s
    12. Cutting and connecting in Illustrator CS3
      3m 49s
    13. Tilde key goofiness
      2m 55s
  5. 1h 22m
    1. Three simple ingredients, one complex result
      33s
    2. Introducing Fill and Stroke
      3m 42s
    3. Accessing color libraries and sliders
      7m 8s
    4. Using the CMYK sliders for print output
      5m 6s
    5. Using the RGB sliders for screen output
      4m 39s
    6. Color palette tips and tricks
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 14s
    8. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      7m 58s
    9. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 17s
    10. Dragging and dropping swatches
      6m 16s
    11. Paste in Back, Paste in Front
      5m 43s
    12. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 16s
    13. Pasting between layers
      3m 34s
    14. Joins, caps, and dashes
      5m 50s
    15. Fixing strokes and isolating your edits
      7m 35s
    16. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 38s
  6. 1h 22m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 25s
    2. From primitives to polished art
      4m 4s
    3. Clone and Duplicate
      6m 15s
    4. Moving by the numbers
      4m 16s
    5. Using the Reshape tool
      6m 30s
    6. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 0s
    7. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 25s
    8. Styling and eyedropping
      4m 11s
    9. The wonders of the translucent group
      5m 37s
    10. Making a black-and-white template
      3m 48s
    11. Scaling and cloning shapes
      4m 26s
    12. Enlarging and stacking shapes
      5m 6s
    13. Positioning the origin point
      6m 50s
    14. Using the Rotate and Reflect tools
      5m 16s
    15. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      4m 3s
    16. Rotating by the numbers
      5m 15s
    17. Rotating repeating pattern fills
      4m 32s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Points are boys, control handles are girls
      2m 16s
    2. Tracing a scanned image or photograph
      4m 34s
    3. Placing an image as a template
      5m 32s
    4. Drawing a straight-sided path
      5m 36s
    5. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      5m 51s
    6. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      7m 56s
    7. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 12s
    8. Defining a cusp between two curves
      4m 37s
    9. Adjusting handles and converting points
      7m 4s
    10. Cutting, separating, and closing paths
      7m 31s
    11. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 11s
  8. 1h 28m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 42s
    2. Meet Uzz, Cloying Corporate Mascot
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring the Appearance palette
      5m 37s
    4. Snip and Spin
      7m 28s
    5. Adding a center point
      3m 57s
    6. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 8s
    7. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      4m 14s
    8. Saving and recalling selections
      5m 18s
    9. Rotating is a circular operation
      7m 35s
    10. Lassoing and scaling points
      6m 8s
    11. Using the Transform Each command
      5m 9s
    12. Using the Magic Wand tool
      6m 46s
    13. Converting paths and text to rich black
      2m 27s
    14. The overwrought lace pattern
      3m 21s
    15. Eyedropping Live Effects
      5m 39s
    16. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 32s
    17. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      6m 30s
    18. Pucker & Bloat
      4m 49s
  9. 1m 59s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 59s

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