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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.
Hi there. My name is Justin Seeley, and I want to welcome you back to another installment of Creative Quick Tips. This week we're going to be talking about how to create diagonal and elliptical guides inside of Adobe Illustrator. You're looking at a document that I've created. And if I mouse over one of these things that I have on screen. You'll notice when I do that, the smart guide tells me, it's a guide. But logic tells us that guides in Illustrator just come from the top or the side. They're not diagonal, and they're definitely not elliptical, or circular in nature. So, how did I do this? First thing's first.
Let's create a new document. Does not matter how big or how small. And then what I'm going to do, is I'm going to start drawing out shapes that represent the guides that I want to create. So I'm just going to grab the line tool, for instance, and we're going to go here, to the top left corner. Wait for the smart guide to tell me that it intersects, and then drag all the way down. I'll wait for another intersect smart guide to come up. Same thing over here, click and drag. Move it over. There we go. Then I'm going to grab this Ellipse tool. Go right to the dead center. I'm going to click, and start dragging out.
As I do that, I'm going to hold down Shift to constrain, and Option to draw out from the middle. And then, we're just going to do it until it reaches the edges like so. So I've got my shapes in place. And really, if you wanted to use these as guidelines, you actually could. Just change the stroke to a light blue, lock the layer, and move it on top of everything else. But why go through all that trouble? Just select everything on screen, Cmd+ or Ctrl+A. Go up to the View menu. Go down to Guides and click Make Guides. Then when you do that, everything that you've drawn that you had selected is now just a guideline.
And you can move it around, whatever you want to do or if you go to the View menu, go back to Guides and choose Lock Guides. That means you can't move em. But now you have these guides to use anytime you want. So if you were designing icons or something like that, you can have this as like the main part of the icon. You could keep everything in alignment, with the diagonal guides. Whatever the case maybe, I know not all guidelines need to be just straight up and down or straight across. So, this is a way to quickly and easily create diagonals, ellipses, you could do diamond shapes, it doesn't matter what you do.
All you have to do is create the shapes then make them into guides and there you go. So the next time you start a project that needs a little something different like this, try out creating your own guides. See what you come up with.
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