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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.
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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