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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
Okay, gang. I'm still working inside the timetoflip.ai document that I opened in the previous exercise. The difference is that it really is now time to flip. So we have gone ahead and grouped these five rectangles together. We can see the group here in the Layers palette. It's selected. Now one way to flip a selected object is to go up to the word transform here in the Control palette, click on it, and then you can say all right, let's go ahead and click on this menu icon right there, and select, let's say, Flip Horizontal, because we want to flip it horizontally right? So flip horizontal, the problem is we don't really control where it goes. That's not a very good way to work, I wanted to be flipped over here, and I also want to duplicate it.
So Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that. The better way to work is to use the Reflect tool but it allows you to flip shapes, and it's located over here with the Rotate tool. So you click and hold rotate and you select the Reflect tool or you can press the O key. Why the O key, when O doesn't appear anywhere inside the word reflect? Because it's the perfect flipped letter, flip it in any direction, and it's still an O. So think of it that way. I'm going to now Alt-click, okay, so what I want to do, you can't click and drag with this tool and do weird things with it. It's not going to make any sense if you click and drag, it going to seem like you are rotating the shape. You are really flipping it and rotating, but this is a symmetrical shape, so you can't tell the difference.
So I'm going to undo that modification. What you want to do instead is force the display of a dialog box. Two ways to do that, one way is to double-click on the tool. But if you do that you can't set the central point of the flip. It's just going to flip this thing like I say flip horizontal preview. All right, it flipped it horizontally. That's a horizontal flip, all right fine. Oh, why? Because it's flipping it across the horizontal axis so it's actually performing a vertical flip. But that's not what I want, so I'm going cancel out of there. This is what I want. I want to set the center of the flip. So I'm going to Alt-click. Notice, by the way, when I press the Alt key or the Option key, I get a little dot, dot, dot. That dot, dot, dot, you may know from experience. Like if I go up to the Object menu, this dot, dot, dot after the word Expand, that tells me that I'm going to get a dialog box.
So it's not something that's going to happen immediately like group or ungroup. It's going to invoke a dialog box so that we are going to have a little bit of conversation with the program of course. So the dot, dot, dot means more to come. All right, Escape out of there. So the fact that when I press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on a Mac, I get a dot, dot, dot means, here comes the dialog box. So Alt or Option click at that center point. Now notice what I get something much better, it's like it's all of a sudden very smart in fact. It's going to flip around a vertical axis, which is exactly what I want, because that's a horizontal flip around a vertical axis. So an up and down axis, so it's talking to you in this weird language, but that's all right. And we have preview turned on, so we can see what we are doing. So it's going to be that kind of flip. That's great! And I have got this copy button so if I click Copy, it's going to copy the shapes instead of just flip them. Then I'm going to switch back to the black arrow tool, Shift-click on this first group so I have them both selected, go back to the Reflect tool, then I'll Option-click right there in the center.
That will be an Alt-click on a PC which is where I'm actually working, and I'll flip across the horizontal axis, nice, okay, so vertical flip around a horizontal axis and I click Copy, and you get this. Awesome! And so, I want to demonstrate very early on to you that Illustrator takes a different approach to transformation. So these transformed tools over here, like Reflect and Rotate and Scale, they are version 1.0 features. This transform palette didn't come around for years afterward, and I have to tell you, the only reason it came around was because so many people gripped about this weird approach with the tools. Now I'll tell you what, this is the bad approach right here people. These guys, they are the great approach, they give you way more control, and we will see a lot more of that in the future.
So these old tools are the goods tools, here in Illustrator, even CS4.
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