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Exploring panels

From: Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

Video: Exploring panels

Before we start drawing inside of Illustrator, we first have to learn about Illustrator's user interface. It's kind of like when you buy a car you first learn about what all the knobs and all the switches do, then you can start driving. Now Illustrator CS4 and in fact all the CS4 applications in Adobe Creative Suite have a brand new user interface. As you can see the colors are mainly muted tones of gray and that's mainly to allow you to focus on the artwork on your page and not be distracted by other things that appear on the side. I have just started by just creating a brand new print document, then clicking OK with whatever those settings are that we last used.

Exploring panels

Before we start drawing inside of Illustrator, we first have to learn about Illustrator's user interface. It's kind of like when you buy a car you first learn about what all the knobs and all the switches do, then you can start driving. Now Illustrator CS4 and in fact all the CS4 applications in Adobe Creative Suite have a brand new user interface. As you can see the colors are mainly muted tones of gray and that's mainly to allow you to focus on the artwork on your page and not be distracted by other things that appear on the side. I have just started by just creating a brand new print document, then clicking OK with whatever those settings are that we last used.

We will start on the left side of the screen here where we have what we call the tools panel. At the top of the tools panel is a dark gray bar with a double white arrow. By clicking once on that bar, I can now change the Tool panel to configure into two rows instead of one long row. Click again, reduces it back to a single row. Likewise if I go to the right side over here clicking anywhere in the gray bar at the top reduces all of these two icons. I can simply access any of these by clicking once and just that individual panel opens up. Clicking again closes that panel and again clicking anywhere in the top of the gray over here expands those panels, so I can see them all. Now you may notice that as I'm reducing the size of these panels to icons, you can see that the document itself resizes itself all the way to the edge.

This is because Illustrator CS4 now has the concept, there is something called an Application Frame. This is actually something that was always available on Windows but it's new to Macintosh. In fact, if you go over to the Window menu, you can choose an option here called Application Frame. I'll turn that off for now and you see that this is kind of the way that Illustrator had always worked before. You have your panels where they can be expanded and collapsed and a document Window kind of floats in the middle of your screen here. Personally, I like when the Application Frame is turned on. It allows me to treat Illustrator as one unit and when my panels collapse my document size is at the maximum viewable range. I'll go back to the Window menu and I'll turn that Application Frame back on. Now there is a lot more that you can do with the panels itself.

For example, let me go to the Window menu here and choose, open up the Align panel. Now in this case over here I have this panel that is not really docked or not attached to any side of the screen, it's kind of free floating and Illustrator calls it either a Floating panel or a Flotilla. This basically allows me to really put panels anywhere on the screen that I deem necessary. I can easily arrange these panels by clicking on any of the tabs. The tab of the panel is the exact part where the word of the panel appears and drag that outwards. I can also dock these panels with each other. For example I could take the Align tab right here and just touch the bottom. You see how this little kind of blue bar appears, when I release the mouse these all now move as a single unit.

What's great about CS4 is that I can now simply click on this gray bar and collapse these icons as well. I can use my mouse on any edge basically to reduce this to either icons or something as wider for that matter. Again, one single click opens up that panel temporarily. I click again and that disappears. Let me expand this for a minute here. I can always basically grab anything over here and just drag it to the side. Notice how now a little bar shows up on this side here. I have now created a dock basically where these panels can live in. Now I can go to the Window menu again, open up something else, for example, maybe I'll open up the Links panels for example. I can take the Links panel and drag it right in over here as you will see again a blue bar appears right here and now the Links panel appears down here.

Again I can collapse this. I basically now have two rows or two docks that contain these particular panels here. I can expand them individually or I can have them both expanded as well. Notice again how because I have the Application Frame turned on, my document Window resizes accordingly. I'm going to close the Actions panel here. I'm going to expand just this dock light here, just to show you as I'm working, sometimes I don't want to see any panels all at. So I can easily tap the Tab key on my keyboard. That hides all my panels instantly and now they are not in the way at all. What's great about that is if I need to quickly grab something from the panel, if I move my mouse towards the edge of the screen and I hold for a second, that panel does appear temporarily until I move my mouse away, in, which time it goes back to being unavailable.

Taping the Tab key brings those panels back again. Holding on the Shift key while I press Tab, so a Shift+Tab basically hides all my panels except for my Control panel and my Tool panel. So all the panels that are on the side appear temporarily. Again Shift+ Tab brings those back as well. Speaking of the Control panel on the top over here, let's take a closer look at what that does.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 48563 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

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