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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.
At point in the process, we still have some overset text in our poem. As you can see, indicated by this little red plus sign, sort of the variation on the Switzerland icon right there. What we want to do is we want to flow this text into multiple text blocks, multiple threaded text blocks. As you will see. I have saved my progress so far as a document called Partial poem.ai, found inside the O8_ type folder. With my Black Arrow tool, I'm going to click on this first text block right there that ends with "I thinks I'll puts it on." So, make sure you can see that entire line of type and I do take some liberties with the language here, as you'll see, that sometimes the verbs don't match the noun; other times, the words are just made up. But in any case, that's creative license for you.
Once you get the text block selected, make sure you can see the bounding box, by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B, Command+Shift+ B if necessary. If you can already see the bounding box, you are fine. Then I want you to go to this little Switzerland icon, and I want you to click on it in order to load your cursor with text, as you can see right there. Then I'll move my cursor over to this location here, and there is a variety of different ways that you can place text. I'll show you how it works here. One way is to drag with the cursor in order to define the size of the next text frame and then Illustrator will go ahead and flow the text from the first block into the second block, like so. And we can see this thread line that's showing us how the text is going from one location.
Notice now, what was formerly a red plus sign has changed to a blue right pointing arrowhead, showing us that we have more text and it is set and here is where it's set, inside of this text blocks right there. The thing is that those threads are helpful, but they are awfully thick. It's like these big pieces of yarn connecting all the text blocks. I hate them. Quite frankly, I don't like to see them on screen. So, I go up to the View menu. You can do this if you want. And I choose High Text Threads, Ctrl+Shift+Y, Command+ Shift+Y on a MAC. Go thee away. Now, it looks much better, in my opinion, we don't need those things. But obviously we are going from here to here. It's not rocket science. I'm missing part of my last line. It says " What ams I doing" and then I don't know what the next word is. So I'm going to drag this handle over until I see "Wrong" pop-up on screen, like so.
Then I'll drag this text blocks down a little bit. Obviously I can nudge it from the keyboard as well. Not that concerned about placement at this point. Now we need to place the overset text. We still have overset text on the next page of the document. So click on the little Switzerland icon and I'll spacebar+drag. You can do this, by the way. Notice that your Type tool is automatically active as your flowing text inside of Illustrator. That's okay. We don't have any text selected, so we can spacebar+drag, in addition to dragging. Dragging would be pretty tedious over time. If we had to drag every single one of these text blocks, because we really actually have six more text blocks to make here. Instead of dragging, you can just click.
Now, how is it that Illustrator is so super smart that it puts this text over on the right side of this left sock and above this right sock? How does it know? Is it sock sensitive or something? And the answer is no. All it's doing, if you click with the tool, it's duplicating the exact size of the very last text blocks. So that last text block was nice and wide, like this one is here. I think that's maybe a little bit too wide. So I'll go ahead and move it down and drag this over a little bit. Now, notice if I click on the red plus sign and click here, it makes this text block the same size as this text block, which isn't wide enough, because "your feets won'ts". So we don't know what the rest is. So you drag over until you see "number two", like so and then drag this down, so that we can see the rest of that text block.
There is still a little bit of TDM left here, which is the fact that we have to click on the plus sign and then click again and so on, and so on. Well, here is what you can do, click on that plus sign in order to load the cursor, and then press and hold the Alt key, or the Option key on a MAC. Notice that the cursor changes to what's known as the Semi-auto flow cursor. Now, InDesign has this thing called Auto flow that you get to by pressing the Shift key, but you don't have that in Illustrator. You can't automatically just fill in the entire document with text or generate pages or any of that stuff. So, you have to do one block at a time. But still, check this out, if I Alt-click or Option-click, not only do I create a text block that's the same size as the previous one, but I go ahead and automatically load my cursor once again.
Now. Let's spacebar+drag over here and I'll Alt-click or Option-click at this location. Don't have to click on the plus sign. Alt-click or Option-click here, then Alt-click or Option-click here. Now, that's the end of the story, actually at this point. So, let's go ahead and press the V key, in order to switch back to the Black Arrow tool. Now it is telling me that I still have overset text. Illustrator has a habit of doing this and it's a little bit problematic to eliminate it. If you know, this is the end of the document, as I do, I know "then daddy will rests easy that you grows a safely tot" is the end of this poem. Then. I'm going to double-click right at this location. Actually I missed it, double-click right here, after the period. There we go. And, if you just can't get it right, by the way, try this.
I will escape out of there for a moment, click off this text, so I'm not seeing that big gargantuan bounding box. I'll double-click at a location I know is inside the text block, like right here between the T and the period, and then I'll press the right arrow key in order to advance at the other side of the period. Now I'm going to press the Forward Delete key. On a PC, that's just the straight Delete that's under the Insert key. On the Mac, it's a little icon that shows you are going to delete the other direction. It's still over there next to the End key and so on in that little cluster of weird keys. And I press it several times until, by the way, that little plus sign goes away.
So I had to press it twice. I don't know, how many times you might need to. If you press it six or seven times, you definitely got every bit of weird little garbage that's on the right side of that period and now we are ostensibly done. Now, we do have a few little issues to tidy up. If you want to see exactly how to fix these text blocks, you can, by turning on the Type layer right there, here on the Layers palette because that shows you how I set my text and then you could lock it down, so that you don't end up messing it up and your focus on the My text layer.
Now for me, the first text blocks looks good. The text blocks over here on page 1 but the text blocks on page 2 don't look so good at all. So click off the text in order to deselect, because what Illustrator has a habit of doing is trying to select all of the threaded text blocks. By the way, multiple threaded text blocks inside of Illustrator and other applications are known as a Story. Collectively all of this text inside of the poem is known as a story. Just so you know. Now, this part of the story that was not in good space, so let's go and drag it down so that more or less matches, it doesn't have to be exactly on, we have different kerning going on is the reason we are seeing slightly different alignment there. But those look pretty darn good. Let's go ahead and drag this guy over. Just to be nice and tidy. Then on this page, we have got bigger problems, as you are about to see.
So, this group of three lines right here, works out very nicely. But this one, notice it, if I try to pull it in place, we still have "and keeps your footsies hot". That's the final line. It's hard to read. But that's what it says and it doesn't fit on the line no matter what we do. So I cheated, is what I did. I'll double-click right there between the 'l' and the 'e' and I'll press the left arrow key to move the blinking insertion marker to the left side of that 'l' and I'll press the backspace key in order to move the 'l' to the next line, after the word "dear" right there and I'll go ahead and enter a space character as well. So that we have some space between that. Then I'll click in front of the word "and" and I'll press backspace and I'll press spacebar to move it over as well.
Now, I'll press the Escape key to return back to the Black Arrow tool. Click off, again, click on, this text block right there and let's go ahead and move this edge over so that things match the way that we want them to match and this should match pretty nicely. So you can see now. "So please dear" this is why I'm saying I cheated because the stanzas don't work out right anymore. "So please dear, leaves your sockie on" those go together and "keeps your footsie hot". Well, whatever. So that's the decision I had to make in post here when I was laying out the document. It's difficult to be both the author and layout artist. It's much easier if you are just laying out and you say 'Whatever the author looses, I'm in control'.
Anyway, so this looks pretty darn good. I'm going to turn off the Type layer here and these are our good -looking lines right here. Now notice that all of the text is formatted pretty darn well but what if at some point here, you decide, you know what? The leading could be ever-so slightly different and I think I want to change the kerning as well. How do you figure out what that leading and kerning should be and then apply it to the rest of the article? I will show you how that works using a paragraph style in the next exercise.
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