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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.
Back in the previous chapter, we explored a tool called the Rectangular Grid tool. You will find it here underneath the Line Segment tool, it's called the Rectangular Grid tool and it also has a way for you to actually create numerical grids. For example I can just click once and release the mouse and I get a dialog box that allows me to specify exactly the Width and Height or what I want the overall grid to be; how many Horizontal and Vertical Dividers I want; if I want a Skew to be there; the grid should actually be filled with color so on and so forth? So these are all settings that I can do, which is great. But there are times when I create some kind of a shape. Just on the fly as I'm working, I don't really want to create a grid per se, but I want to split it up into individual parts. Well, there is a way that you can do that inside of Illustrator very easily, I'm just going to take my regular Rectangle tool. Click and drag and just draw any shape at all, and then go to the Object menu here and then choose Path and then choose this option here called Split Into Grid.
Now when I do that, I get a dialog box here and what's really cool about this is that there is also a setting here called Add Guides. This is great if you are actually working with some kind of a layout. You want to quickly determine how some of these should be laid out. You choose Add Guides. You choose the number of rows that you want and the number of columns. Let's say we choose, 3 Columns x 2 Rows, and you see how it automatically splits that object for you. It's a great way to just go ahead and start creating a grid, and what's great about it is that you can also specify values for the Height or if you want the Gutter to be somewhat uneven, you could easily do that as well by putting these particular values in there.
It's really a nice way that you can start working with just taking any object and just literally once that turned into a grid, again, you can either use the Guides or not, that's completely up to you. Click OK and that's a quick way to turn just about any object at all into a grid and you are ready to go.
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