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In Illustrator CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding explains the core concepts and techniques that apply to any workflow in Illustrator, whether designing for print, the web, or assets for other applications. This course includes a detailed explanation of the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of the Illustrator drawing tools. Also demonstrated are techniques for combining and cleaning up paths, organizing paths into groups and layers, text editing, working with color, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.
Sometimes when you're working inside of Illustrator, you just want to focus on the work that you're dealing. You don't want to be involved or become distracted by all these little things that are flashing on your screen. And yes, we know that we can turn off Smart Guides. In fact, I'm going to turn off Smart Guides for this one lesson here. I'm going to go to the View menu here. I'm going to choose to turn off Smart Guides. So now we don't see anything that gets highlighted on my screen. And let's focus on just this piece of artwork right here. So I'm going to click to make this artboard active and then I'll press Command+0 so that it fills my screen. Let's say I'm working on just getting the position of all these flowers just right.
I want to click on let's say this flower right here. And I want to move it around. It's hard for me when I'm working to actually see what my artwork is going to look like with it highlighted with all of these anchor points and paths. You see, Illustrator needs some way to let me know as a user which path I currently have selected. So whenever, you click on any artwork, for example I'll click on the hansel & petal text, you can see that all the anchor points and the paths become highlighted. Same thing when I click on this artwork here or this artwork here. That's Illustrator's way of letting me know that I've selected that artwork.
However, when I'm working though and I want to continuously move this piece of artwork around, it's kind of annoying that I see that because I don't get a true visual of what my artwork is going to look like. So that's why Illustrator has a setting called Hide Edges. You could find that setting in the View menu. The keyboard shortcut Command+H. When you choose that option, Illustrator hides the highlighted paths and the anchor points. However, it's important to realize that that artwork is currently selected. In fact, if I use the arrows on my keyboard, the up and the down arrows for example, you will see that that artwork is now moving.
I can reposition that artwork to get it just where I want it to be without being distracted by the highlighted areas. This is actually great when working on detailed artwork. However, the downside is that I have no way of knowing which artwork is selected. For example, if I want to move the hansel & petal text around somewhere else, I can click on it and now it's become selected. How do I know it's selected? Well, I guess it is I've to trust Illustrator, knowing that I've just clicked on it. I can use arrow keys now to move that around as well. I think that you'll find when you start using Illustrator you'll be turning this setting, the Hide Edges setting, on and off constantly to help you in your work.
Let me just leave you though with one piece of advice. The Hide Edges command that's what we call a toggle. That means that once you turn it on, it stays on until you turn it off. So you're maybe working on this piece of artwork. And you get everything just the way that you wanted and now you want to focus on another piece of artwork. So maybe I will open up my Artboards panel and I'll jump to working on the Seed Packets. Now I want to select just this one packet here, so I'll click on it. And well, it appears that nothing is happened. The truth is it is selected. If I click and drag, you'll see that object will move. But I don't see any outlines or highlighted areas to indicate that that path is highlighted.
That's because the Hide Edges command is still turned on. I would need to go back to the View menu, now choose Show Edges, and now you can see that that selection is indicated. Just something for you to keep in mind. I can't tell you how many times it happens to me where I click on an object and it looks like nothing's becoming selected and I think there's something wrong with Illustrator. If that ever happens to you, the first thing to check would be the Hide Edges command. Keeping that in mind, the Hide Edges command is extremely valuable. And I think you'll find it useful especially when trying to make subtle adjustments to your artwork.
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