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Creating ruler guides

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Creating ruler guides

In this exercise we are going to talk about guides, and guides are snapping lines, and they have this magnetic attraction to your cursor, or your cursor has magnetic attraction to them, either way, and that means that as you draw or as you move objects inside of an illustration, then you are going to snap into alignment with the guides. So the guides provide basically a framework for your artistic expression. And there a couple of different ways to create guides, we are going to create a simple horizontal and vertical guides, so called perpendicular guides inside of this exercise, and in the next exercise I'll show you to create custom guides.

Creating ruler guides

In this exercise we are going to talk about guides, and guides are snapping lines, and they have this magnetic attraction to your cursor, or your cursor has magnetic attraction to them, either way, and that means that as you draw or as you move objects inside of an illustration, then you are going to snap into alignment with the guides. So the guides provide basically a framework for your artistic expression. And there a couple of different ways to create guides, we are going to create a simple horizontal and vertical guides, so called perpendicular guides inside of this exercise, and in the next exercise I'll show you to create custom guides.

Now down here towards the bottom of the Layers palette, you may recall, I went in and twirled open the horse layer. You can see that there are three guides ostensibly, but where the heck are they? I can't see them in the illustration window. And notice if I turn that eyeball off and then turn it back on, I'm not seeing anything changed. That's because there is yet another level of guide visibility that is currently turned off, which can be a little confusing. You have to go up to the View menu, go all the way down here to Guides, and then choose Show Guides to turn them on, or you can press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+;. That's Command+; on the Mac.

Now what I want you to note about this is that guides are visible by default, so I must have turned them off for the sake of this demonstration, which is exactly what I did. But how can I be so confident that your guides are turned off as well, because this is a saved state for the illustration. And I know this because Illustrator is so amazing in this regard, and the illustration has all sorts of stuff that's saved about it down to this molecular level of detail here, whether the guides are visible or not, it is a savable attribute, just totally rocks. It gives you a lot of control as you become more and more familiar with the program. Anyways, go and choose Show Guide, there they are now, we can see the sign guides, and they are all essentially rectangles. So notice if I turn, I think it's this guide off. As I turn this second guide right there, and that was this top square, square guide. So it's a custom guide.

So anyway, let me show how you make the really simple perpendicular guides. First of all you make sure are visible, as they are for me. If they are not for you then you go to the View menu and you choose what would be the Show Rulers command. Ctrl+R or Command+R on the Mac, very standard keyboard shortcut for rulers incidentally. Not surprisingly. And now you drag from the ruler in order to make the guides, so you do this right there. So in order to make a horizontal guide you drag and drop from the top ruler. As I drop it in the place, there it is. And if want a vertical guide, you drag and drop from the left hand ruler. Right there, the vertical ruler. Notice you can make a horizontal guide from the vertical ruler if you want to, by pressing and holding the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac. And notice that that will toggle the guide in the other direction, and then if you don't want that then you release the Alt or Option, just go back to your merry business area and you would get a vertical guide once again.

So that flips things. Also worth knowing, I want you to check this out, this is a real good one. As you are moving your guide around, you and hold the Shift key to get it to snap from one increment to the next. So if want a guide in a very specific location press the Shift key as you are dragging in order to snap it into alignment with a tick mark. All right, and notice what I'm doing here. This is big issue with Illustrator, and a big pain in the neck when you are training on it. It does auto scrolls. So that can be useful for you. For me it's a big nuisance as I say. But anyway, I do want you to notice that, if you drag into the area near a ruler or near the edge of the illustration window, you are going to start auto scrolling in that direction. But it works in, you know, both directions. I can go down this way as well. All right, so those are the basics of guides. I want you to see one more thing where this is concerned.

This is new in Illustrator CS4. You have got these big rulers; you always had the big rulers. And by default the big rulers are aligned to the bottom left corner of the page. Notice, right there is a zero, zero point, and you can change that, you can move it to different location by dragging that intersection of the two rulers to a different location like so. So I can make this the zero, zero point right there. But you may wonder why in the world is that zero, zero point, why is that the bottom left corner of the document? Postscript, for some reason way back in the day when Adobe first invented the postscript, they decided the bottom left corner of the page should be the zero, zero corner. And Illustrator adopted that and here we are. But in CS4, if you go to the View menu, you have also got additional rulers. You have got an artboard ruler, so individual rulers for each of your independent artboards, and it has got the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+R, Command+Option+R on the Mac.

If you choose that, you get these rulers right here. You can't drag guides out of them, incidentally. You can't really do anything with them; they will just sit there. But notice suddenly if they have decided that the upper left point is the zero, zero point. March of progress I guess. Anyway, now notice that those new guides that we have added, we have added three new guides to the stack here. They are at the top of the layer, so I have to scroll up to the top of the layer. There they are, they are just plop to top. So you wanted to get rid of one. One way to do it is to grab that guide and just throw it in the trashcan like that. And that will get rid of whatever guide line that was, and it turned out to be that vertical guide right there, or you could try to get the line right, you try to click on it, but you can't.

You can't actually select this line right there, this guide, because guides are currently locked. So if you actually want to be able to click on the item to select it, you need to go up to the View menu, you need to choose Guides, and then you would choose this dude right here, Lock Guide, so turn him off. And it's got a keyboard shortcut, I won't worry about that one too much, but it's Ctrl+Alt+; or Command+Option+; on the Mac. I'll go ahead and turn off Lock Guides, and now notice I can click here in order to select this guide, and I'll see it's selected inside of the Layers palette as well, that little square right there indicates that that's a selected element, and then I could just press the Backspace key, or the Delete key on the Mac. So you don't have to actually drag these things back into the rulers, you just click on them, and then Backspace or Delete, to get rid of them.

So those are the basics of creating guides, establishing guides, and of course, you know, moving them around inside of an illustration. In the next exercise I'll show you to establish a custom guide, which is an amazing thing that you can do inside Illustrator.

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This video is part of

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Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

182 video lessons · 38075 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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