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Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
When you create a brand new document you may notice that the Swatches panel already contains a range of colors. How did those color get there? Well, the swatches themselves are there because they are present inside of the New Document Profiles. Remember that when you create a brand new document you can choose between the Print New Document Profile or the Web New Document Profile or Video and Films, so on and so forth. Those are actually Illustrator documents that have been saved in a certain location that act as profiles. Whenever you create a brand new document all the contents from that document, including the swatches that exist in that document, are basically used to create a brand new file, that's why they appear here in this particular Swatches panel.
Well, let's say you want to create your own. So there are a few things you can do. First of all, let's go to the Swatches panel directly here. I'm going to go to the flyout menu. I'm going to choose something here called Select All Unused. That's going to select all the unused swatches in my particular file, and now if I click on this button here to delete the swatches, I'll say yes, I want to delete the swatch selection, I'm left with the colors over here that are not used in the file. Now you may ask, hey, there are some black and red colors that appear here, why are they still here? Well, that is simply because they may be used inside of symbols or graphic styles that may also exist inside of the file.
But for now I removed most of the swatches that are here. You could of course manually delete a swatch by clicking on it and dragging it right to the trashcan directly. In fact, I'm going to go ahead and remove these other extra ones that are here as well. I can actually take this entire folder icon and drag it right to the garbage as well. Those are something called color groups, and we can discuss that little bit later on inside of this chapter. But for now I have a Swatches panel that only contains a black swatch and a white swatch. There is also a swatch here called Registration. Registration means that that particular color will print on every color plate that prints when separations are made. Then you have the None attribute as well. In any Illustrator document these two swatches, the None attribute and the Registration attribute, are protected, meaning that they cannot be deleted; they will always be inside of a document.
So let's talk about creating our own swatches. The reason why you would want to create a swatch is because maybe you want to use the same color over and over again. Rather than have to constantly specify colors inside of the Color panel, you want to be able to quickly just click on a color and choose that. By the way, you will notice that now since I have cleaned out the Swatches panel, should you come here to this little Fill Indicator to try to colorize any particular object; for example, I select this object, you notice that right now there are no colors here. So the colors that I see here are not just arbitrary colors made up, they are the same colors that are picked up directly from the Swatches panel here. So let's go ahead and create a few new colors. The easiest way to do that is to actually come over here to the Color panel, choose any color. For example, let's say I like this yellow color, surprise, surprise, and simply go ahead and click on this little icon right here and drag it right into the Swatches panel.
When I release the mouse that now adds that particular color as a swatch. Now if I choose any particular object, I can colorize it directly with that color. You can edit that particular color swatch by double clicking on it. That brings up something called the Swatch Options dialog box, where I can give it a name. By default Illustrator calls it by its own values that created it, and I can either change the values directly here, or if I was using things other than CMYK, for example, I can choose between the other methods of choosing color that we discussed before. One item that you will find here that you won't find inside the Color panel is something called Lab. We won't go into any discussions about the Lab format now, although if you really want to find out more information about it I do suggest that you head over to Deke McClelland's Excellent Photoshop Series, where he goes into detail about the Lab Color mode. But for now I'll switch us right back to CMYK, and I'll go ahead and I'll click OK.
Another way to create a swatch is to simply go ahead over here on the bottom of the Swatches panel and click on this icon called New Swatch. When you do so, it simply picks up the last swatch that you had selected, but here you can go ahead and make some changes. For example, I'll type in another value, may be we will do like a bright green color. So we do about 100% Cyan, 0 Magenta, and about 85% Yellow. I click OK and now I have just created a swatch here. By the way, I can double click on that and give this one a name; let's call this one Bright Green, for example. Again, to use that color, I can simply select any object, go ahead and click on that Bright Green color, and now I have applied it.
It's important to note that anytime that you save swatches to a document those swatches are now saved within that document. So if I now create a brand new document. For example, let's go to the File menu here and choose New to create a new document. I'll just choose the regular profile; for example, maybe the Web Profile, click OK. I'll see that the swatches that appear here are the swatches that were copied from the Web New Document Profile, the colors that I have created in the other document belong only to that document. Let's switch back to the applying_ colors document here, and it's important to note that there are different types of color swatches that exist inside of Illustrator. Not all swatches are created equal. So what we have done now so far is created what I call a regular plain color swatch, however in the next movie we will discuss something called a global color swatch, and global color swatches have additional functionality.
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