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Creating and saving workspaces

From: Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

Video: Creating and saving workspaces

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.

Creating and saving workspaces

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.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 70826 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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