Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
Illustration by John Hersey

Cutting lines with the Scissors tool


Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

with Deke McClelland

Video: Cutting lines with the Scissors tool

In this exercise we're going to draw this little doohickey right here to the left of the vertical line, and I'm working along inside The document. Again if you've been working inside of your original file, that's even better. And the reason I have this little doohickey here is because that's the way it is in the original Horus design. The Egyptians drew it this way. Don't know why but I'm following their lead here and it affords us a really great opportunity. We're going to be drawing this line as a combination of two arcs that we're going to have to cut into pieces and then join together.
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  1. 59m 51s
    1. Welcome to Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
      2m 0s
    2. The unwelcome Welcome screen
      6m 34s
    3. Browsing Illustrator artwork
      4m 53s
    4. Bridge workspaces and favorites
      6m 8s
    5. The anatomy of an illustration
      7m 2s
    6. Examining a layered illustration
      5m 38s
    7. Customizing an illustration
      5m 21s
    8. Creating a new document
      6m 12s
    9. Changing the document setup
      6m 50s
    10. Saving a document
      6m 14s
    11. Closing multiple files
      2m 59s
  2. 1h 3m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
    2. Keyboard Increment and Object Selection
      5m 52s
    3. Scratch Disks and Appearance of Black
      6m 43s
    4. Establishing the best color settings
      5m 35s
    5. Synchronizing color settings in Bridge
      4m 3s
    6. The new CS3 interface
      3m 55s
    7. Organizing the palettes
      9m 4s
    8. Saving your workspace
      2m 33s
    9. Zooming and scrolling
      3m 39s
    10. Using the Zoom tool
      5m 27s
    11. The Navigator palette
      3m 37s
    12. Nudging the screen image
      2m 50s
    13. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 11s
    14. Cycling between screen modes
      5m 55s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Why learn Illustrator from a Photoshop guy?
      1m 32s
    2. Introducing layers
      4m 37s
    3. Creating ruler guides
      6m 34s
    4. Creating a custom guide
      3m 28s
    5. Organizing your guides
      5m 50s
    6. Making a tracing template
      3m 34s
    7. Drawing a line segment
      4m 9s
    8. Drawing a continuous arc
      4m 17s
    9. Drawing a looping spiral
      5m 16s
    10. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 44s
    11. Aligning and joining points
      7m 57s
    12. Drawing concentric circles
      3m 45s
    13. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      6m 21s
  4. 1h 9m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 0s
    2. Meet the Tonalpohualli
      4m 8s
    3. Meet the geometric shape tools
      3m 47s
    4. Drawing circles
      6m 36s
    5. Snapping and aligning shapes
      6m 59s
    6. Polygons and stars
      7m 0s
    7. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 15s
    8. The amazing constraint axes
      6m 30s
    9. Grouping a flipping
      7m 37s
    10. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      6m 35s
    11. Drawing with Scissors and Join
      6m 3s
    12. Cutting and connecting in Illustrator CS3
      3m 49s
    13. Tilde key goofiness
      2m 55s
  5. 1h 22m
    1. Three simple ingredients, one complex result
    2. Introducing Fill and Stroke
      3m 42s
    3. Accessing color libraries and sliders
      7m 8s
    4. Using the CMYK sliders for print output
      5m 5s
    5. Using the RGB sliders for screen output
      4m 38s
    6. Color palette tips and tricks
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 13s
    8. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      7m 57s
    9. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 17s
    10. Dragging and dropping swatches
      6m 16s
    11. Paste in Back, Paste in Front
      5m 43s
    12. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 15s
    13. Pasting between layers
      3m 34s
    14. Joins, caps, and dashes
      5m 50s
    15. Fixing strokes and isolating your edits
      7m 34s
    16. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 38s
  6. 1h 22m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 25s
    2. From primitives to polished art
      4m 4s
    3. Clone and Duplicate
      6m 14s
    4. Moving by the numbers
      4m 15s
    5. Using the Reshape tool
      6m 29s
    6. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 0s
    7. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 24s
    8. Styling and eyedropping
      4m 11s
    9. The wonders of the translucent group
      5m 37s
    10. Making a black-and-white template
      3m 48s
    11. Scaling and cloning shapes
      4m 26s
    12. Enlarging and stacking shapes
      5m 6s
    13. Positioning the origin point
      6m 49s
    14. Using the Rotate and Reflect tools
      5m 16s
    15. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      4m 3s
    16. Rotating by the numbers
      5m 15s
    17. Rotating repeating pattern fills
      4m 32s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Points are boys, control handles are girls
      2m 16s
    2. Tracing a scanned image or photograph
      4m 34s
    3. Placing an image as a template
      5m 31s
    4. Drawing a straight-sided path
      5m 36s
    5. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      5m 51s
    6. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      7m 55s
    7. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 12s
    8. Defining a cusp between two curves
      4m 37s
    9. Adjusting handles and converting points
      7m 3s
    10. Cutting, separating, and closing paths
      7m 30s
    11. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 11s
  8. 1h 28m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 41s
    2. Meet Uzz, Cloying Corporate Mascot
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring the Appearance palette
      5m 37s
    4. Snip and Spin
      7m 27s
    5. Adding a center point
      3m 57s
    6. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 7s
    7. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      4m 14s
    8. Saving and recalling selections
      5m 18s
    9. Rotating is a circular operation
      7m 35s
    10. Lassoing and scaling points
      6m 7s
    11. Using the Transform Each command
      5m 9s
    12. Using the Magic Wand tool
      6m 46s
    13. Converting paths and text to rich black
      2m 27s
    14. The overwrought lace pattern
      3m 20s
    15. Eyedropping Live Effects
      5m 38s
    16. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 32s
    17. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      6m 30s
    18. Pucker & Bloat
      4m 49s
  9. 1m 59s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 59s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
9h 36m Beginner May 18, 2007

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.

Deke McClelland

Cutting lines with the Scissors tool

In this exercise we're going to draw this little doohickey right here to the left of the vertical line, and I'm working along inside The document. Again if you've been working inside of your original file, that's even better. And the reason I have this little doohickey here is because that's the way it is in the original Horus design. The Egyptians drew it this way. Don't know why but I'm following their lead here and it affords us a really great opportunity. We're going to be drawing this line as a combination of two arcs that we're going to have to cut into pieces and then join together.

So really wonderful thing actually. Bless those Egyptians. They prepared us for learning how to draw inside of Illustrator just wonderfully. So I'm going to grab my Arc Tool right here. And then I'm going to draw from here on up like this, and if you need to press the F key in order to flip that arc, by all means do. I just want to make sure, it doesn't matter if you draw beyond the edge of this line here, or how far beyond the edge you draw, just as long as that first portion of the line is in place. Once it is in place to the best of your ability, or to your satisfaction, whichever comes first, then just go ahead and release the mouse button in order to draw that line. Now I'm going to draw another line from this point down like so.

And actually if I wanted to make sure that these two lines were exactly aligned with each other, I would go ahead and undo the addition of this line. Here's my thought, is that I want this guy to start at the exact horizontal position as this guy started. So might as well drag out a new guideline. I'll go ahead and grab a guideline, snap it to this position, right here. It appears on the wrong layer. It appears on the Draw here layer, so I'll move it down to the Guides layer right here. Good. Now I need to make sure that the Draw here layer is active, so that I can draw another arc. I'll grab my Arc Tool. It's already grabbed and I'll start dragging from this position here. Now I am assured that these two lines are starting from the same horizontal location, and I'll drag outward until I'm matching this arc.

Now I no longer have the proper stroke attributes going on because I was working from a guide there. So I'm going to have to grab my eyedropper and I'll go ahead and click inside of this stroke in order to lift its attributes. All right so far so good. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on the slides a little bit here. What I need to do is cut these lines at this point, at the point where they intersect each other, and to see where that point is, you're probably going to want to go ahead and switch into Illustrator's Outline mode.

There's a couple of ways the switch into the Outline mode. One is to go to the View menu and choose the Outline command and notice if I do choose that Command or press Control+Y, Command+Y on the Mac, everything switches to the Outline mode, so we lose all of our fill and stroke attributes across the entire illustration, and we can see just our primitive paths underneath. So that's one way to work. It's a little too much maybe. So I'll press Control+Y or Command+Y on the Mac to switch back to the Preview mode and, oh I should show you. Let me go and switch back to Outline. If I go to the View menu, you can see that now I'm seeing the Preview mode right there.

So the command switches in other words to show you which mode you're going to be transitioning in to. Another way to work, if you want to switch into the Outline mode is to Control or Command click on that eyeball right there in front of the Draw here layer. Go ahead and Control or Command click on it and that switches that layer only into the Outline mode. Isn't that cool? Oh my gosh, I love that trick. Then I'm going to switch over to the Scissors Tool. Now, if you've been using Illustrator for awhile, if you used previous versions of Illustrator, you may wonder, Where in the world did the Scissors Tool go? Well, it's now available from the Eraser Tool flyout menu. The new Eraser Tool here inside Illustrator CS3 is the default occupant of that slot and you need to go into the flyout menu in order to find the Scissors Tool, but the keyboard shortcut remains C for the second letter in scissors.

All right and the great thing about the Scissors Tool is it allows you to cut a path in half. So I'm going to cut the path at this location right there. And then I'm going to get my black arrow tool, and I'm going to click on this portion right here that I want to get rid of, just to make sure that it's selected, and then I'm going to press the Backspace key or the Delete key in order to get rid of it. Now let's cut this guy at the same location, so go ahead and select this arc. And I will grab the Scissors Tool and I will cut it by clicking at this location right here.

And Illustrator's going to get mad at me. It's going to say, Please use the scissors tool on a segment or anchor point but not on an end point of a path. Which is Illustrator's way of just grumping at you. I hate this message because it's like how dumb are you Illustrator, that you don't know I'm working on the selected path? This is where it's confused. This here message it's giving you is totally a red herring. It's getting confused because it's perceiving this path over here as being in front and it thinks that you're clicking on this endpoint right there. And it's like okay. Don't say, Don't show again, because you might as well have this error message come up when Illustrator grumps at you, as opposed to just having the program ignore you, so click OK.

And then say, Oh you know what I need to do? I need to bring this guy to front. So I'll right-click on it and if you open don't have a right mouse button on the Macintosh side press the Control key and click, then choose Arrange and choose Bring to Front. Or you can take advantage of this keyboard shortcut Control+ Shift+Right Bracket or Command+Shift+Right Bracket on the Mac. That keyboard trick might not make a lot of sense, but here's the deal. It works across all of the Adobe applications. So if you just remember Control along with the bracket key moves things up and down the stack inside of a layer, then you're good to go. Anyway I'm going to go ahead and bring this object to front. Doesn't look any different of course. Now we still have the Scissors Tool. I'll click at this location. Illustrator happy, good. Me happy too.

Now I'll grab the black arrow tool, click on this item again just to make sure it's selected, press the Backspace key and I now have two arcs that are blending into each other. In order to switch back to the Preview mode so that I can see what I've wrought here, I'll go ahead and Control-click on this eyeball or Command- click on that eyeball on the Mac. And I have this nice pair of arc created with the Arc Tool, a combination of the Arc Tool and the Scissors Tool, the old-school Scissors Tool here inside Illustrator CS3.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials .

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Q: When trying to synchronize color settings between all Creative Suite programs in Bridge, the Creative Suite Color Settings command either does not appear in the Edit menu or does not work. What is causing this?
A: If the Color Setting command is not available or does not function, it's because Bridge thinks that a single application (such as Photoshop or Illustrator), is installed and not one of the many versions of the Creative Suite.
If only Photoshop or Illustrator is installed, skip the exercise and move on.
If the entire Creative Suite is installed, then, unfortunately, there is no easy fix. Either contact Adobe or completely reinstall the Creative Suite.
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