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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.
So we know that groups are different. Different meaning that they become an important part of the way that you build your files inside of Illustrator, but that they are different because they also have the ability to take on attributes. The same way that I can apply a Drop Shadow for example to a shape inside of Illustrator, I can also apply a Drop Shadow to a group inside of Illustrator. So you have to think of a group inside of Illustrator as an actual object itself. However we start to see some problems with regards to workflow. For example, in the previous movie we showed how you can basically apply a Drop Shadow to a group, but then if you were to ungroup that particular group the Drop Shadow disappears. So let's see how we can start editing groups once we have them created.
I'm working in a file here called editing_groups, which you will find inside of Chapter 09 in the exercise files. I have one logo element here, and if I click on it you will see that I have already created a group. I'm going to go to the Effect menu and I'm going to choose Stylize and we are going to add a Drop Shadow to this. Click OK. I now have a Drop Shadow applied to the group. Remember that we know that if I click on this I can see that my target is my group, but if I go to my Appearance panel I see very clearly that the Drop Shadow belongs to the group, not to the contents of the group on its own. For example by the way, I can double click on the word Contents here.
Now I have changed my target; my target is the bold word here. Notice that my targets are now mixed objects. By the way, should I apply Drop Shadow now all the individual elements will get a Drop Shadow just as it did when we applied it to individual objects in the previous movie. So you can change the target very easily by doing that, but I'm going to go ahead and double click on the Group and now I'm back to the Group as being my target. Now, when I mentioned before that we have a problem in a workflow perspective, let's explore a possible design related issue. Say this comes back from the client. They love the design but they need to add a trademark symbol to this particular logo. Now obviously, you want the trademark to be part of the group as well.
Now, in the past if you had certain elements that already existed inside of a group, and then you wanted to add additional elements to that group, you probably created the shape, then went ahead and ungrouped all the elements in your group, selected everything altogether now including the new elements, and then regrouped them, which may have worked fine then but if you have an attribute applied to the group, when you go ahead and you ungroup your object you will lose those attributes as well. Let me illustrate this by giving you an example. We are going to go ahead over here. I'm going to deselect my shape. I'll go to my Type tool here and I'll create a Point Text object and I'll type Option+R to create a registered trademark symbol on my keyboard. I'll go ahead and I'll just change the size here. I'm going to go ahead and scale this up to make it just a little bit bigger so we could see it. Maybe we will go ahead and we will fill this white, so we will go ahead and we will change our Fill color here to white.
I'll drag this registered trademark symbol let's say right about over here. Let's just put it somewhere where we all know that we can see it. Now, if I go ahead and I move this design element elsewhere that registered trademark symbol is not part of the group. So as I mentioned before in the past I might go ahead and I might choose Object > Ungroup to ungroup all my elements, but notice now that my Drop Shadow disappears. Even if I now go ahead and I choose all the elements and I choose to regroup them now into one group, the Drop Shadow doesn't come back. Once I got rid of the group the Drop Shadow disappeared. So what we want to do is we want to find a way to add that registered trademark symbol to our artwork without having to destroy the group.
So I'm going to press Command+Z or Ctrl+Z just to go back to where I had the Drop Shadow applied to the group. I'm now going to take this registered trademark symbol and I'm going to copy it or actually cut it to my clipboard; I'm going to hold down Command+X or Ctrl+X on PC. Now what I'm going to do is I'm going to use something called the Isolation mode feature to get into the group. So I'm now simply going to go ahead and double click on the group itself. Notice the background now, its dimmed but its no longer selectable. I have now isolated my group here. I can see over here this gray bar. I'm now in Layer 1 and I'm now inside of this group here that I created inside of Layer 1.
Now if I choose Edit and I choose Paste in Front, that shape now is being isolated currently inside of my group, so I'm in my group, now that particular shape belongs to this group. If I now double click outside this area to return to regular editing this shape is now part of that group. In this way I don't lose my Drop Shadow at all. So when I'm working with particular groups and I want to either add or delete elements from a particular group, rather than ungroup and then regroup my objects, which will then go ahead and blow away any appearances I may have applied to that group, I'll now use Isolation mode to dive into a particular group, make whatever changes that I want to there, and then exit Isolation mode when I'm ready to move forward. Now again, here on the case of the registered trademark symbol, rather than copying and pasting inside of that particular group, I could simply just double click on the group to enter Isolation mode and now type it from scratch in this particular location.
Now, in my object hierarchy I'm now creating artwork; I'm basically inserting this artwork into the correct location in the hierarchy. Any shape that I create now automatically belongs to this group. In fact, to illustrate that point, watch what happens if I go ahead and I take let's say an Ellipse, and I click and drag to draw just about over here like this. When I release the mouse you can see that now the Drop Shadow automatically is applied and these are all combined into one shape, because this now belongs to the group and the group has a Drop Shadow on it. If I exit Isolation mode, these objects are all grouped together and they all have the Drop Shadow on it. Now, while Isolation mode does make it a little bit easier to work with groups itself while you are editing them, there is another way that you could also work with groups and even see objects on an object-by- object basis in a list that can be found inside the Layers panel. So next, let's explore how working with Layers works inside of Illustrator as well.
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