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Join Justin Seeley, lynda.com staff author and design enthusiast, each week for a new 5-minute, self-contained tutorial that you can use to instantly improve your design workflow. This series covers techniques for print, digital, and web design, addressing the tools that creative professionals like you use most. Learn new ways to leverage layer styles and vector shapes in Adobe Photoshop, work more efficiently with text in Illustrator, and embed videos and even tweets in WordPress posts, and much more. Check back each week for a new installment, and a new design hack.
Hello, there. And welcome to another installment of Creative Quick Tips. My name is Justin Seeley. And this week, we're going to be talking about spacing options inside of Adobe Illustrator. Now, exactly, what do I mean by that? Well, what I mean by that is, how much space you generate when you move objects around in Illustrator with your keyboard. By default, it's one pixel. But that's not really helpful in some cases. For instance, I do a lot of website design and website mockups and I like to sort of simulate the actual margins, padding, spacing and all that kind of stuff that I'm going to have when I create the actual working website some time down the road.
The issue I run into with that is the fact that if I have two objects like these two blocks right here lined up on top of each other. If I want 30 pixels of space in between them, I have to hit my mouse 30 times in order to get that amount of space in between them because the default is set at one pixel. Wouldn't it be nice if I could just hit one keystroke and it moves it 30 pixels or 15 pixels, or something like that. So let's take a look. First thing I'm going to do is, jump into my Preferences panel with Cmd or Ctrl+K. That's going to bring up your general preferences. And right here, keyboard increment is the first thing you're going to change.
So let's say that I want everything to be spaced out, 15 pixels apart. Easily done. Just type in 15, hit OK. Now I'm going to realign these and once the smart guy tells me that they are intersected just like that. I'm then just going to press the down arrow key on my keyboard one time. Boom, 15 pixels of space. Let's do the same thing here. I'm going to select both of them this time and I'm going to align them with this top header bar here. And let's say I wanted 30 pixels from the top. Well that's easy, just tap twice. Just like that. Let's say that the sidebar needs to match that.
So let's bring that down until it snaps into place. And then I also want to intersect it with the left hand edge, right there. And so now, I'm going to space that out, 15 pixels to the right. And if I wanted to give it even more, just tap it one more time, and there's 30 pixels, making it very easy for me to create consistent, well-spaced out elements inside of my web design mockups, or any type of mockup that I happen to be working on.
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