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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.
All right now one of the most important first steps that you can take inside of Illustrator and that is to establish proper color settings throughout not only Illustrator but across all of the Adobe applications in your Creative Suite. And here's how you do it. The first thing I want you to do here in Illustrator is to go to the Edit menu and choose the Color Settings command. You can also press Control+Shift+K or Command+Shift+K on a Mac. And the whole reason we need this Color Settings command is to ensure accurate color. This is the control central the big headquarters for color management inside of Illustrator and the other Adobe applications, because you want your colors to print the way that they look on screen. You also want your colors to match from one Adobe application to another.
So if you take a blue circle from Illustrator and paste it into InDesign you don't want it turning purple on you, which is the way it used to work in the old days before Color Management. So let's get everybody in line. Now notice I could change my color settings here inside of Illustrator, but I have to be careful because it says that right now my color settings are synchronized across all of the Creative Suite applications, and you can they're synchronized because of this beautiful little matching icon here. When things get unsynchronized that icon gets all discombobulated as well.
Case in point, if I were to switch to different set of color settings here like let's say instead of General Purpose, which is really for Web graphics and illustrations that you want to print exclusively to inkjet devices, I want Prepress 2. I want to go ahead and to send my illustrations of for commercial reproduction. As soon as I do that changes a few settings down there, but it also makes the synchronization very unhappy, notice how incredibly unsynchronized things are now. And that's a bad sign, a really bad sign. It means that I could get my blue circle in Illustrator and past it into InDesign and it would look purple. That exact horrible scenario that I was just telling you about. So what's the better solution? It's a several part solution. First os all, cancel out of here.
What I want you to do, we're going to build our own customized color settings file, and then we're going to apply that color settings file across all of the Adobe applications. Now the best place to build the file happens to be Photoshop. So I want you to go ahead and run Photoshop, if you have it available to you, and I've already got my copy of Photoshop running, so I'll just go and switch over to it. And you can tell we're in Photoshop, because things aren't orange any longer, they're blue. And now I'm going to go up to the Edit menu and I'm going to choose the Color Settings command.
And I'm going to establish the perfect color settings. Notice we're starting with North America General Purpose 2, and the only reason it says 2, it's not like 1 is there anymore, the server upgrades to the old ones that they used to give you. Notice things are synchronized. They soon will not be synchronized. I'm going to have you change RGB from sRGB, which mimics the behavior of sort of a worst case scenario PC monitor, which isn't what we want because we're working with better monitors for one thing and we're also working in these wonderful applications, this suite of applications that can do much, much better than that.
So lets up the ante here, let's raise the bar by switching over to Adobe RGB (1998), which is the standard for printing by the way. You can leave CMYK set to US Web Coated (SWOP) because unless you know exactly what Prepress house you're going to, you can't make that determination, so you might as well leave that just set the way it was. All these other options are actually quite good. We want to preserve embedded profiles. We don't want to be bugged to every time we open a file, so everything else is in really good shape.
The only thing we need to do now is save our modifications to a custom color settings file. So go ahead and click on the Save button to bring up the Save Settings dialog box and make it a tad bit smaller here. And I'm going to go ahead and call this document Best Workflow CS3 and then click on the Save button. Now here's the special thing Photoshop does that none of the other applications do. It allows you to enter a description for your color settings file, which is a really great function because that way if you pass this color settings file off to somebody else, they'll see a description and they'll know what your reasoning was. So I've gone ahead and copied some text that I created in advance. So I'm just going to paste it into this dialog box here and you can see what it says and you can enter your comments accordingly. If you want, you can match my comments that is to say. It's: These are the settings that Deke recommends in his Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign CS3 One-on-One series for lynda.com, Deke Press and O'Reilly Media. I don't know if he's right or not, but the guy sounds smart enough (well at times) so what the heck. All right so that's it. That's the transcription right there. Click OK in order to accept that new file. You have now generated a file that's available to all of the Creative Suite applications. So why is it like still unsynchronized? What gives? Well, we've got to go to the Bridge to synchronize our color settings. So what I recommend you do right now is click OK, so that at least Photoshop is set up properly. Then join me in the next exercise when we apply our Best Workflow CS3 settings to the entire Creative Suite.
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