Viewers: in countries Watching now:
Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials is the first installment in a series of courses designed to show experienced Illustrator users to how master core features and build art more efficiently. Adobe Illustrator has evolved dramatically over the years, and many creative professionals may be missing out on features that have been added to the latest versions. This course takes a fresh approach to core concepts, such as paths, attributes, object hierarchy, groups, and layers. Advanced techniques such as combining multiple effects and customizing textures are also included. Exercise files and a free worksheet are included with the course.
So we now have a clear understanding of just how valuable the Layers panel is. We know that we can use it even if we aren't creating layers at all inside of Illustrator. Keeping all that in mind, I just wanted to show you a few quick tips and tricks about how to get the most out of the Layers panel itself. Now I'm going to open up the flyout menu, or the Panel menu here, of the Layers panel itself. I want to show you a few settings here. First of all, let's scroll all the way to the bottom where it says Panel Options. If I choose that, the Layers Panel Options dialog box opens up, and there are several settings here.
First, let's focus on Thumbnails itself. Thumbnails are the little icons that appear to the far-left of the layers themselves that give me a little preview of the artwork on that layer. Between you and me, I have no value at all in these little teeny little thumbnails here. I really can't see at all where this artwork is, and here's a little secret: Illustrator has to work really hard in order to create those thumbnails. You see, when Illustrator re-draws your page, Illustrator uses its valuable memory for screen re-draw. However, once it's done drawing with the artwork on the screen itself, or on your artboard, it also has to draw each of these shapes inside of the little icons here, or in these thumbnails.
Now if you have a lot of layers open, it could take Illustrator a long time to actually build those, so some people who complain about performance when they have really large files inside of Illustrator. One way to really kind of speed things up just a little bit is to actually turn these thumbnails off. You can actually control exactly what kind of objects get thumbnails. Right now, Illustrator by default is displaying thumbnails for objects, groups, and also for layers. However, there are many times when I just turn all of these off. In doing so, Illustrator will not display any thumbnails at all.
Now, another thing to note here is the actual Row Size itself. By default, Illustrator uses a Medium size. The Row Size refers to how much space each entry here inside of the Layers panel takes up. Now if I've a very complex document and I really want to see as many layers and objects in my file as possible, using Medium or Large may not allow me to see enough information at once. So if I'm working with very complex documents, I may even choose to go with a small Row Size. So just to show you what these settings actually do, I am going to click OK, and you can now see what my Layers panel looks like.
It's just simply a list of words. I still see my target circles, the functionality of everything is the same, but I speed up my screen re-draw, because they don't have the thumbnails, and I can also see a picture of more detail at once. For example, I could reveal the contents of the Store group, the Logo group, and each of the settings inside of it as well. Now I want to show you one of the settings inside of that dialog box, so I'll go back to the Panel menu and choose Panel Options. And at the top over here there is a check box that says Show Layers Only. You know, in this entire chapter, we've been talking about how powerful the Layers panel is.
We know that if we're not actually using layers, we can actually view each group and each object inside of our document inside of the Layers panel. Well let's say you actually have no interest in that whatsoever; you just want to have Illustrator work the same way that it is used to work back in Illustrator 8, or Illustrator 7. When you see a layer, you just want the layer and nothing else. If that's the case, you can check this box over here, which is Show Layers Only. I'll turn this Medium setting back on, and I'll turn the Thumbnails for layers on now, just so that you can see what it might look like. And when I click OK, you can see just the layers.
You will not see any objects. Notice the triangles are gone, and now inside the Layers panel I have no way to actually see the objects or the groups or the entire hierarchy of my file. The Layers panel right now is strictly purely for layers. Of course in this mode right now, you don't have the ability to see the target circles and the meatballs to understand where certain complex appearances may apply. All you have visibility of is just the layers themselves. So as we said before, with power comes responsibility. If you don't want all that responsibility, you can simply turn that off by viewing just the layers inside of the Layers panel.
Keep in mind, however, that if you get files from other people, keeping your Layers panel set just to view layers may hinder your ability to help reverse- engineer that file. Now, let me show you one other setting here inside of the flyout menu. If I go back over to here to the Panel menu and I choose Paste Remembers Layers, this is the setting that's actually a toggle. Now if I select a whole bunch of artwork and I copy it from one document to another, Illustrator will take it even though it may be on five different layers in one document. When I paste it into that new document, it will all be collapsed into one layer, meaning I'll lose my layer structure.
However, if I want my artwork to be copied from one document to another, and I want the artwork to actually maintain its layer structure, by choosing Paste Remembers Layers, Illustrator will indeed preserve that layer structure when I copy it from one document to another, or even when copying and pasting within the same document. Now this one final thing to note about these settings here, both Paste Remembers Layers and also Panel Options, and that is that these settings are actually locked to the document itself-- meaning that right now, if I were to save this document called layers 2, then the settings that I've just chosen into the Panel menu will be maintained for this document, but if I create a new document that will default to the basic setting that I have inside of my new document profiles when I create that document.
Meaning the actual appearance of the Layers panel, the settings that we've just been discussing, aren't saved in a workspace per se. So if you're really kind of a person that really wants to create your layers but you want to hide the Thumbnails and you want be able to set your Row Size to Small and you want that to be your default setting for all new documents, you need to actually make that change to the new document profile document and therefore, every time you create a new document, it will take on those settings.
There are currently no FAQs about Illustrator Insider Training: Rethinking the Essentials.
Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.
Search within course videos and transcripts, and jump right to the results.
Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.
Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.
Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.