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Exploring the panels


Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

with Mordy Golding

Video: Exploring the panels

When working inside of Illustrator or for the most part any Adobe application, you'll be using a variety of tools, which appear in the Tools panel over here, menu commands or functions that are available through this menu across the top of the screen and panels over here that cover specific functionality. In truth, Illustrator has tons of panels. Some out of them you may find you need all the time, while others get used far less often. In fact, there are probably some panels that you will never ever use. To help you work more efficiently inside of Illustrator, Adobe designed a user interface that's customizable to each user's needs.
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  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 1s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 24s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 25m 52s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 18s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
10h 37m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding explains the core concepts and techniques that apply to any workflow in Illustrator, whether designing for print, the web, or assets for other applications. This course includes a detailed explanation of the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of the Illustrator drawing tools. Also demonstrated are techniques for combining and cleaning up paths, organizing paths into groups and layers, text editing, working with color, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Setting up a new document based on the output destination
  • Using rules, guides, and grids
  • Making detailed selections
  • Drawing and editing paths with the Pen and Pencil tools
  • Creating compound vector shapes
  • Understanding the difference between point and area text
  • Applying live effects
  • Creating color swatches
  • Transforming artwork with Rotation, Scale, and Transform effects
  • Placing images
  • Working with masks
  • Printing, saving, and exporting artwork
Mordy Golding

Exploring the panels

When working inside of Illustrator or for the most part any Adobe application, you'll be using a variety of tools, which appear in the Tools panel over here, menu commands or functions that are available through this menu across the top of the screen and panels over here that cover specific functionality. In truth, Illustrator has tons of panels. Some out of them you may find you need all the time, while others get used far less often. In fact, there are probably some panels that you will never ever use. To help you work more efficiently inside of Illustrator, Adobe designed a user interface that's customizable to each user's needs.

In this movie, we'll specifically talk about how to work with the panels inside of Illustrator. I'll just create a simple document in my file here, just to have something to work with on the screen. I'll use a Web profile here and you'll notice that flanking my document on either side are the tools panel right here and the default setting for some of the panels here inside of Illustrator. I'll move my cursor towards the top over here, which is a dark gray area with two little white arrows. When I click on this area right here, it expands these panels so that I can see them completely. Clicking on the white arrows once again will collapse and that's what we call an iconic state. All you see are just the icons themselves.

When you mouse over each of the icons, a little tool tip pops up to let you know which panel that is, but for the price of just a small amount of screen real estate, you can position your cursor just over the left edge of the panels until you see a double-headed arrow. Click and drag to the left and you'll see that you can actually pull out this area to reveal the names of each of those panels. Now when you're working, you can quickly see the icon and also the name of that panel. For now though, I'm going to move my cursor back towards the left-edge of this area here and click and drag to the right to reduce them back to the iconic state.

This darker gray area, which actually expands completely from the top to the bottom of my screen, is referred to as a panel dock. Within the panel dock, I have something called panel groups, and you can see that some of these panels are broken down into groups. Here I have the Artboards and the Layers panel and they have both been grouped together within this panel dock. Likewise, my Graphic Styles and my Appearance panel also appear in a separate group. You can rearrange these any way you like. Either grab an entire group from these little dotted lines over here and reposition them or you click on the icon for any panel and move that panel within the group, or completely outside the group, so that it creates a brand new group on its own.

When the dock is fully expanded, you can see the groups over here as tabs. In this example, Swatches, Brushes and Symbols are all appearing within a single panel group, but the Swatches panel is currently the active one. Clicking on any panel's tab will make that one active and you can also click and drag to rearrange the order of them inside of the group. In Illustrator you're not limited to a single panel dock. For example, if I have more panels that I want to use and that I'd liked to have easy access to it any time, I may create a second dock. Let's see how to do that.

I'm going to go to my Window menu and I'll choose to open up the Align panel. This panel which contains now a grouping of the Transform and the Pathfinder panel as well is something that I might use often, but maybe not as often as Swatches or my Color panel. In the current state right now, the Align panel and the group that it's in appears on its own. It's something that we call a floating panel. In other words, it's not tied to a specific dock. One of the attributes of that is that they'll always expand vertically to fill your entire screen. However, let's say if we wanted to turn this now into a dock. If I grab just the Align tab itself, that would mean I'm pulling that one panel out by itself.

Rather, I'm going to grab this by the actual dark gray bar on the top here and start to drag that towards the right. As I get close towards this dock right now, you'll see another line up here that animates out towards my cursor. I will do that once again so you can see it. As I move close, you'll see that little line slides out and you see this nice little thin blue line up here. That indicates if I now release my mouse, I will be creating a new panel dock. So I'll go ahead and I release the mouse and you can see now that I have a second dock. I can collapse this dock right here by clicking on the little white arrows and also as I did before, click and drag to reduce it to an iconic state.

In Illustrator, it's possible to have one dock expanded, but another one collapsed. In this way, you can really customize the user interface inside of Illustrator for your specific needs. In reality, the Tools panel acts just like any of the others. It's a dock that's simply on the left side of your screen, instead of the right side of the screen. If I pull this panel group out of the dock, you'll find that the panel dock automatically disappears. But if I wanted to attach it to the left side of the screen, I can do the exact same thing, bringing in it here and then create a dock on this side of the screen. Really it's whatever you prefer. But I'll go ahead here and pull this out over here, so that it's on its own.

It's back to a floating panel right now and if you like to save a little bit of real estate on your screen, you can convert the Tools panel to be displayed by clicking on this little white arrow as a single-row of icons instead of a double-row of icons. Finally, there may be times when you're working inside of Illustrator where you may not want to have any panels visible at all. You want to focus purely on your work. However, you need the panels sometimes to get your work done, so you are kind of in a Catch-22. Well, Illustrator has this specific mode where you can actually hide your panels and then bring them back temporarily when you need them.

To do that, simply hit the Tab key on your keyboard. When you hit Tab, all of your panels disappear. However as you move you move your cursor and you touch the edges of your screen, that panel will temporarily appear. As soon as you move your cursor away, the panel goes back to being hidden. Same thing over here on the right side of the screen. As I move my cursor and touch the edge of my screen on the right side, my panels will temporally appear, but as soon as I move my cursor away, those panels will go back to their hidden state. To return all your panels back to their shown state, again to the Tab key on your keyboard.

If you want to hide all of your panels but keep your tools panel visible, hold down Shift+Tab on your keyboard. In this case, your tools remain visible but all other panels become hidden in that state where once again if I move my cursor to the edge of the page, they'll temporarily appear. To bring everything back again, simply hit Shift+Tab once more and you're back to working with all of your panels visible. If you're ever looking for a panel and can't seem to find it, know that all the panels inside of Illustrator are listed alphabetically in the Window menu. A checkmark next to the name indicates that those panels are currently open.

Now that you're familiar with how panels work, maybe take a few moments to kind of practice, opening, closing and re- arranging some of the user interface. Don't worry about getting everything right the first time. We can always make adjustments to our interface as we work and as you become more familiar with Illustrator, you'll see which panels are most valuable to you.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 Essential Training .

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Q: Despite clicking the rectangle icon on the toolbar, as shown in the video, the other tool shapes are not accessible in Illustrator. The rectangle is usable, but the star, ellipse, etc. are not, and do not appear anywhere in the toolbar. What is causing this problem?
A: These tools are grouped together, so to access them, click and hold the mouse for a second until the other tools appear. If that isn't happening, reset the Illustrator preferences file. To do so, quit Illustrator and then relaunch the application while pressing and holding the Ctrl+Alt+Shift keys. Once the Illustrator splash screen appears, release the keys and that will reset the preferences file.
Q: In the video “What are vector graphics,” the author states that if he creates a 1 inch x 1 inch Photoshop file at 300ppi image, there are 300 pixels in that image. Is that correct?
A: This statement is by the author was not totally correct. If the resolution is 300ppi, it means that there are 300 pixels across one inch, both vertically and horizontally. That would mean you'd have 90,000 pixels in a 1 inch x 1 inch image at 300 ppi.
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