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Your working environment is one of the most important aspects of your daily existence. If you are not comfortable in your surroundings, you do things to remedy that. This might mean moving your desk to the other side of the room or adjusting the height of your chair, or any number of things, that might need to be tweaked for maximum comfort. Well a piece of software should be no different than your office. In this movie, I'll show you how to tweak the environment inside of Illustrator so that it's more comfortable for you, and I'll also walk you through saving that environment so that you can back to it anytime you need to.
By default, Illustrator ships with several different workspaces based on different tasks that you might be performing while using the application. If you go up to the top and look at these in the dropdown menu, you'll see things like Automation, which is supposed to be for making you faster, like recording actions or things like that. Essentials; these are the essential tools that Illustrator feels are necessary for you to work. Layout; if you are doing layout design. Painting; if you are doing things with brushes. Printing and Proofing; it's pretty self-explanatory. Tracing; if you are taking a raster-based graphic and tracing it into a vector format.
Typography; if you are working a lot with text, this might be the workspace for you; and then finally, web which is theoretically everything you need for the web. Now unfortunately, Illustrator can't accommodate everybody's needs in these workspaces. So you have the ability to actually rework these workspaces yourself because each workspace that's here contains panel configurations and tools that Adobe has deemed the most popular for that particular workflow. In my experience though, they've never really gotten these workspaces exactly the way that I would set them up.
I am sure you'll find that to be true as you go through the program as well. So let's take a look at how we can create and save our own workspace to suit our needs. So first of all, let me switch to the Selection tool to get everything off of my screen, and let's take a look at the workspace in general here. Now one of the things that I know because I am a web guy, I am generally not going to use a lot of these panels that are available to me here. So I want to go ahead and start retooling the interface to suit my needs. So the first panel that I am going to ignore is the Color panel.
Now the Color panel is quite useful for this hexcode value right here, but I can also do that in other places. So I am just going to go ahead and I am going to bring that out and I'll close it. The Color Guide panel is another panel that I don't use all that often because a lot of times I am working on specs from clients or companies that already have their set number of swatches and colors. So let's go ahead and close this up as well. Once I do that, I've got my Swatches, Brushes and Symbols. Well I actually prefer to create my own symbols, let's say, so I'll go ahead and I'll close that as well.
I actually like for my strokes to be up here inside of my Brushes and Swatches panel. So I'll move that up there and dock it and then I'll put it right there in the middle. Gradients, I am going to move those up there as well because they are a part of my Swatches in my opinion, so I'll get that up there. Transparency is actually a part of the appearance in my opinion, so I'll move that down and dock it with Graphic Styles and Appearance. As you can see, while I am working through here, I am building up my own workspace and making it suit exactly what I need it to do.
You'll also notice when I go in between panels, I have the ability to resize them. I am going to resize this one just like so. Resize this one as well. My Layers panel, I want to be one of the most prominent panels because I work a lot in layers. So I am going to leave it just like that. My Artboards panel, I am going to leave that right where it is. Now I also like to work with the Tool panel in single-column mode. Now on a smaller screen, this is kind of unfortunate because it goes off the edge of the screen.
So I might not actually do this in this particular case but just know that once you expand out into single- column mode, if you were to save this workspace, Illustrator would remember that your Tool panel needed to be in single-column versus two columns. So for this particular demonstration, I'll go back to two columns just so it's easier for us to see everything. All right, so I've reworked my entire workspace, I've rearranged panels and docked different things. Now I am ready to save it. There are two ways you can do that. You can do it from the Window menu and inside of the Window menu, you are going to look for the Workspace menu item, and then go down and choose New Workspace or you can go to this Workspace dropdown menu right here and choose New Workspace, that's probably the easier way to go.
So in this case, I am just going to call this Justin and hit OK. Once I hit OK, you'll notice that the Jump menu automatically re-labels itself Justin and now this workspace is saved as Justin so any time I need to get back to it, I can do so very quickly and very easily. Now that I've got my workspace all set up, let's say, someone comes in and starts using my computer and they actually reset it back to something like the Typography workspace. I need to be able to get back into my Justin workspace when I come back and take control of my machine.
The easiest way to do that is to come up to the workspace jump menu, drop it down and find Justin right here at the top. Once I do that, I click it and everything resets automatically to exactly the way I had it; Swatches, Strokes, Brushes, and Gradients, Appearance, Graphic Styles, Transparency, Layers, and Artboards. And you can see that this is very different from the Essentials workspace. If I go back and choose Essentials and then reset Essentials back to its normal state, you'll notice that all of the different panels go back to their original configurations.
Switching back to the Justin workspace gets me right back to that custom Essentials workspace that I was working in before. Creating workspaces inside of Illustrator is a great way to ensure that your environment reflects your needs and it always feels comfortable. If you are not comfortable with your surroundings, you have to change it and that's where workspaces come in so handy. You could have multiple workspaces for multiple different workflows. It's all up to you and Illustrator will remember it each and every time.
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