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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, I'm going to show you how to assign a couple of treasured commands, keyboard shortcuts and then save those shortcuts as a custom shortcuts file. So here are the commands in question. I'll go ahead and select an object here inside of this illustration that I'm working on. Now I'll go up to the Object menu, I'll choose Path and there they are. Outline Stroke, which we saw in the previous exercise, and Offset Path, which we will see. We are going to be using and reusing both of these commands over and over again throughout this chapter. So to give them keyboard shortcuts, we go next door to the Edit menu and choose the Keyboard Shortcuts command which itself has a keyboard shortcut. Mash your fist on the keyboard, so Ctrl+Shift+Alt on the PC, Command+Shift+Option on the Mac, and K for keyboard of course. Now we start in this tools area which allows you to assign keyboard shortcuts to tools and some other options such as Opacity and so on.
I am going to switch over to menu Commands and then I want you to twirl open Object right there by clicking on its triangle and notice that the commands are grouped according to sub-menu. That's so great. That's something that I wish Photoshop did and now go ahead and twirl open Path after you scroll down to it and I'm using my scroll-wheel at this point to scroll down the list. There is Outline Stroke, there is Offset Path, click in this area next to Outline Stroke and the keyboard shortcut I want you to assign, now you can do anything you want. But most of the keyboard shortcuts are already taken. It's hard to find ones that are free in Illustrator. I'm going to press Ctrl+\ or Command+\ on the Mac. Not a super-memorable one. It would be nice to assign something involving the O key but they are all taken by things like the Create Outlines command. In the Type menu, you have got the Browse and Bridge command under the File menu and so on.
Anyway, this guy is great, so now I'll just click inside of Offset Path, inside that same area for Offset Path by the way. You need to make sure this area is active and then press Ctrl+Shift+\ or Command+Shift+\ on the Mac like so, which will show up as Shift+Ctrl+\ for whatever reason. All right, and that's it. Those are the two I want you to assign for now. Later, you can assign more if you want to and then I'm going to click on the Save button because we want to save out our Custom Set up here. Click Save and I'm going to call this dekeKeys because I'm building a special set of dekeKeys for AIcs4 and then I'll click OK in order to save those as a set up here in the Set pop-up menu.
So if I were to click, I can switch between the Illustrator Defaults and then my keyboard shortcuts if I had mine too. So you can build multiple keyboard shortcut variations if you like, then click OK in order to accept that modification and now, notice if I were to press Ctrl+\, I would go ahead and convert that stroked path to a filled shape or I'll press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac in order to undo that modification, because we are not quite ready for that one yet. So we don't want to convert this spiral quite yet. Or I can press Ctrl+Shift+\ that's Command+Shift+\ on the Mac to bring up the Offset Path dialog box.
So there you have it, two Custom Keyboard shortcuts for two fantastic commands here in Illustrator.
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