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After you have created a new document inside of Illustrator or if you've opened up a piece of artwork for the first time, you might be a little lost as to where exactly you go next. Well I already covered the Tools panel in the previous movie, but now I am going to walk you through some of the other panels inside of Illustrator, over here on the right-hand side, to give you a better idea of how to find the tools you need while you're working inside of Illustrator. Now the panel system itself is actually pretty cool. You can work with panels in a lot of different ways and I am going to show you how to do that first. When you first see the panels inside of Illustrator, they will be collapsed in what's called Icon Form over here on the right.
Hovering over the icons will show you exactly what panel you are hovering over, like Color, Color Guide, Swatches, Brushes and Symbols. Anytime you hover over a panel it automatically shows you in a tooltip the name of the panel that you're hovering over. If you want to access that panel, simply click on it and it automatically brings that panel to the forefront for you to use temporarily. When you're finished with that panel, simply click here to collapse it. If you want to see all of the panels expanded all the time, come up to the top and click this little arrow.
Once you do that, all of the panels will be in their full expanded form and you have access to all of them at once. This does take up about 10% of your screen real estate though, so I actually prefer, especially when I am working on a laptop, to have those collapsed in the Icon Form. But I understand that people like to see all of the tools available to them so if you want to leave them expanded that's totally up to you. If you wanted to maneuver these panels around inside of your document window, it's very easy to do that as well. For instance, if I need the Color panel to be undocked and over on the left, I can just grab the tab that says Color, click and drag it out and it goes right there.
If I want to resize that panel, I can resize it and all the options correspond to my resizing, making the spectrum little bit bigger for me to choose from. Same holds true for Color Guide. If I need that out here to, I can drag that over and notice when I hover over this box, I get a blue outline around the edges, indicating that I am about to doc this panel with that one. If I want them to be together, I will let go of the mouse and it automatically docks it in. You will notice over here on the right, that everything shifts up because I no longer have those two panels at the top.
If I want to move these panels back over, I can click, drag them over and I wait for that small blue line to appear. When I let go, it drops the panel right back in and we are right back to normal. If you don't want to take the time to replace every single panel that you drag out while you are working in Illustrator, you can always go up to the dropdown menu for workspaces, and then choose Reset whatever workspace you are using. So let's say that I had all these panels out here and I will just make a big mess of my interface really, quickly.
As you can see, I have created quite a clutter. If I want to, I can just go right here, choose Reset Essentials, and everything is right back to the way it was when I first started working in Illustrator. Now since this particular workspace had the panels collapsed in the Icon Form, when I choose to reset it, it automatically goes back in the Icon Form. I can then go back over and expand it if I want to. You will notice that the panels are arranged into groups that make sense, for instance Color and Color Guide are together. Swatches, Brushes and Symbols which allow you to create things are grouped together.
Strokes, Gradients and Transparency, things that change certain appearances of objects are grouped together. Appearance and Graphic Styles, two things that kind of go hand-in-hand with each other are right there together and then finally, Layers and Artboards are also there as well. You'll find as you're working throughout the panel system that you're able to do certain things, like make in line edits and things like that. That's very easy to do, for instance, if you wanted to change the layer name. You double-click, make your change and hit Enter. You can do that in many different panels including the Actions panel and Variables panel as well.
Anytime you have the ability to name something, basically you can change the name right there inside the panel without having to do anything else. You also have the ability to navigate certain panels using the keyboard, so if I were to open up the Type panel for instance by going to the Window menu and finding Type, you will notice that I can click here and use my Tab key to go all through the dialog box. So anytime you want to stay inside of a panel without having to move your mouse all over the place, just use your Tab key or your arrow keys on your keyboard to get you where you need to go.
If you wish to close a panel that's open here on your artboard, you simply click the little x right here on the top right corner and that panel will temporarily go away. You haven't deleted it from Illustrator per se, but it is just hidden from view. Anytime you want to get it back, just go to the Window menu, find it and open it up. Most of the panels over on the right are the ones that you are going to use most often, but in the Window menu, there are a bunch of panels that are out here by default. Anything you see with a check mark is already on your screen somewhere. Anything without a check mark is not currently being displayed.
So if you need to find a panel, and you don't know whether it's out in your document window or not, just go to the Window menu and see if there is a check mark next to it. If it is, chances are you should be able to find it. If there is no check mark, you can put a check mark beside it like let's say Image Trace and that panel automatically pops up. Let's close that up. The last thing that I want to show you about panels is something that's very important and it changes for every panel that you're working with. Let me bring out the Color panel to show you exactly what I'm talking about. Inside the Color panel, there is a little button right here on the right hand side.
This is called the panel menu and depending on what panel you have selected, the name of this actually changes. So for instance, when I have the Color panel selected, this is the Color panel menu. When I have the Layers panel selected, it would be the Layers panel menu. Clicking this is going to show a variety of different options which will be different for each panel. So in this case, I get the option to Show Options which will expand out to show me all the options in the dialog box. I can also hide the options, if the options are being shown and there are also various other operations that I can perform.
Again, this is going to be different for each panel that you work with. So take the time to explore this little menu item, and see exactly what you're able to do. I will bring this back up and doc it back in. Hopefully now you have a better understanding of where to find some of the more common panels inside of Illustrator and also a clearer picture of what they're used for and how they can help you in your workflow. No matter what though, take the time to go through each and every one of the panels inside of Illustrator, learn them, see what you are able to do with them and see how they fit into your workflow.
If you don't find the panel you need out on screen immediately, go to the Window menu, locate it, and then integrate it into your workspace by docking it over on the right-hand side. Remember panels are where you do the heavy lifting inside of Illustrator. So you need to have the ones you use most often at your disposal at all times.
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