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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
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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