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Join Justin Seeley, lynda.com staff author and design enthusiast, each week for a new 5-minute, self-contained tutorial that you can use to instantly improve your design workflow. This series covers techniques for print, digital, and web design, addressing the tools that creative professionals like you use most. Learn new ways to leverage layer styles and vector shapes in Adobe Photoshop, work more efficiently with text in Illustrator, and embed videos and even tweets in WordPress posts, and much more. Check back each week for a new installment, and a new design hack.
- Hi there. Welcome back to Creative Quick Diffs. My name is Justin Seale. And this week, I've got a really cool little Illustrator tip for you. Did you know that when you go to create a new document inside Illustrator by going up to the File menu and choosing New, that you can actually perform calculations inside of the dialogue box? So what I'm gonna do is drop down this little Profile box and I'll choose Devices. And, then let's just select something like Surface Pro 2. So that gives me a width and height of 1920 by 1080. Let's say I needed to double the size of that screen. Inside of this, I don't have to think about it.
I don't need to use a calculator app or anything like that. I don't need to write it down. All I have to do is type out an asterisk symbol and the number two and then press the tab key. And that's going to automatically multiply that by two. Same here, let's say I need to double this. Asterisk, two, tab and it automatically does it for me. You can also use this dialogue box to perform conversions in terms of inches to pixels, or pixels to inches, and so forth. So, for instance, let's say I wanted this to be five inches, 5in, tab, and it automatically converts it to pixels. Same here, let's say I need this to be eight inches, tab, and it automatically converts it for me.
The same would hold true if I were working on a print preset. So, let's say I jump into Print and now it's in Points, so let's change that over to Inches. So I've got eight and a half by 11 inches, right? All I have to do here is type out something like, okay, I need this to be 800 pixels wide, how many inches? It's 11.11. And I need this to be 600 pixels wide and 8.33. You can instantly do these calculations in just about any dialogue box that supports it throughout Illustrator, making it really super simple to do these conversions on the fly without having to do any arithmetic in your head.
So the next time you find yourself in need of a little mathematical help inside of Illustrator, try out this little tip, see if it doesn't help you.
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