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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.
This chapter is all about sharing your illustrations with other applications and other users because, after all, once you have created an illustration, you want to be able to re-purpose it six ways to Sunday, just as I'm doing here. This is a variation on that same illustration we saw in the previous chapter. It's called Alternative queen.ai found inside the 12_exporting folder. It uses those same fonts: Lithos Pro, Lithos Pro Bold and Vivaldi Standard Italic. If you don't have those fonts, then you go ahead and open the alternative version of this file, which is called Alternative outlines.ai, also found inside that same 12_exporting folder.
The idea is that she spells her name with a K, which I did because I really liked the way the K descends into the card right there. I decided it didn't make any sense for her to be the Q card. She should be the K card, but if she is the K card, then she must really be the King, in which case of course she is a he. That throws the whole concept on its head and that's why he is alternative, but the file still contains the same three pages. So if I were to go down here to the bottom-left corner of the illustration window, I could advance to page 2 right here and there is page 3 with a t-shirt. So all of our artboards are there.
Let's go back to page 1 and we are going to see that these really are pages where the rest of the world is concerned. Illustrator might consider them to be artboards. In InDesign 2, we saw how to place the artboards as individual graphics, spot graphics inside of InDesign, but where something like Acrobat is concerned, these are most definitely pages. So I'm going to go up to the File menu, choose the Save As command, because we are going to start things off by looking at the file formats that are supported by the Save As command. There are these file formats right here, starting with the .AI format. Now 90% of the time that you are in this dialog box, you are going to be saving out an .AI file.
The reason being that's what the rest of the modern Adobe applications expect from Illustrator. Even Photoshop can directly rasterize a .ai file as a flat image file, but InDesign, we saw how InDesign wants .AI files in the previous chapter, supports all the layers, and so on. No reason to go to encapsulate a postscript here, .EPS for InDesign. Any version of InDesign is going to accept an .AI file. Also .AI files are, by default, compatible with Adobe Acrobat and a free Adobe Reader. Let me show you what's going on there. I'll go ahead and choose the .AI format of course, and then I'll change the file name to, let's say Alternative king, and click Save. Up comes the big old Illustrator Options dialog box. Make sure that Create PDF Compatible File is turned on, as by default. That's available to you, when you select from a variety of different formats here.
Then you would click OK. I have of course already done it. So I'll cancel out of here. Then let's go ahead and switch over to the free Adobe Reader that I just happened to have open right now. This is not even the most recent version of the Adobe Reader. This is Adobe Reader 8 and by the way, you can download Adobe Reader for free from Adobe.com. Adobe Reader 8 came out, when Illustrator CS3 was out. So there was no such thing as a multi-page Illustrator document. It supports the multi-page Illustrator document. This is that same Alternative queen.ai file. I just happen to have opened it inside of Adobe Reader. If I go to this little Pages icon, there is page 1, there is page 2, there is page 3, everything is completely intact. It's about Illustrator saving PDF files that are compatible with older versions of the Acrobat software.
Something to know, by the way, if you are interested in opening, for whatever reason, or having somebody else open a .AI file inside of something like the free Adobe Reader, then you need to know, you go to the File menu and choose the Open command. Then on the PC, anyway, you need to change Files of Type from PDF to All Files and then you can see your .ai files right there. You can open either one of them. You don't have to convert the fonts to outlines in order to make them compatible with Adobe Reader and Adobe Acrobat. Unless you are going to be editing the text, you don't need the fonts in order to view them. So they are still viewable inside of these applications, whether you have the fonts on your system or not. You can try that out yourself to verify. I'm going to switch back to Illustrator.
So the question becomes, if a .ai file can be opened up by Acrobat or Adobe Reader, what's the reason for support here in the Save As dialog box for the PDF file format? There's a couple of reasons. First of all, it's less confusing. If you are just trying to put a PDF file out there for general use by the general public, then PDF is the better way to go because then it's got a PDF extension and it will open right up inside of Adobe Reader without any fussing around, like we just did. Also, you can save printer marks. So your printer may prefer a .PDF file.
Now notice that you can save your artboard. So I'll just say that I want to save all of my artboards, but you can also specify a range, if you want to. I'll click Save in order to save out this PDF file. Then I'll get this big whopping dialog box. By default, the Preset is set to Illustrator Default, which is great for just saving out general illustrations. Now your printer may want you to do something else. They may tell you to select one of these other presets by all means. Go with the recommendation, but when in doubt, stick with Illustrator Default. Then the only other change I would make, make sure that Preserve Illustrator Editing Capabilities is turned on, so you can modify the file inside of Illustrator, if you want to. That is going to increase the size of the file though. Just something you should be aware of, but something I would change.
I'd go over to Mark and Bleeds and I would turn on All Printer's Marks and then leave everything else alone. Notice that it's going to go ahead and support my Bleeds settings, which are set to a quarter inch all the way around, fantastic. Then I would go ahead and click on Save PDF and I'm saving that out to that same 12_exporting folder. Now let's take a look at the contents of that 12_exporting folder here inside of the Bridge. I'll go ahead and double click on Alternative queen.pdf in order to open them on up here inside the Adobe Reader. I'll zoom out so that I can see the entire page with its printer marks. Notice that. So all printer marks intact, as well as all pages intact inside of this document. Some of you are probably just saying or going, "Oh my god! Finally, Illustrator can do this." It is amazing and it is finally as well.
If we go back to Illustrator, this is the PDF document. If I were to close it and open it on up, it would look just like this again, the PDF document not the Illustrator document. They look the same. That is to say inside of Illustrator. We are not seeing the printer marks here inside of Illustrator. They are not editable printer marks, in other words. They are not appearing on some other layer, where we can modify them. They are essentially invisible to Illustrator. All right, so one else is available to us. Let's go to the File menu, choose Save As. The other file format is not quite so incredibly useful. They are there, if you need them. We have got the FXG format, which is a new one.
It's an XML based Graphics Interchange Format for the Flash platform. Beyond that, I don't really have anything to tell you. It was designed with Flex in mind. The guy that's probably going to be able to help you out right now, better than me, on this specific file format is Mordy Golding. Mordy has available here inside the lynda.com Online Training Library, a series on Illustrator and the web that you would check out, or Illustrator and Flash. He's got it all covered. Then next in the list is Illustrator EPS. This is only there just for backwards compatibility. If you are trying to save out an illustration, this could be just one artboard for use inside of QuarkXpress or inside of Gwiz Page Maker, then you would go with EPS.
Then we have got the Illustrator Template format, which saves a template. So the file would open up untitled. Then SVG, which is the Scalable Vector Graphic format, is an open source format, just as FXG is incidentally. FXG is kind of an updated version of SVG, as I understand it. SVG was originally created when Adobe was working on their Live Motion application, as an alternative to Flash's SWF format. The thing is it was a great idea, but it didn't really catch on. Of course, Adobe has since purchased Flash and killed Live Motion. You might find yourself using these on some occasion, but it had to research and find out why. I would say, as I said at the beginning, 99% of the time you are going to be sticking with the .AI format.
All right, so there it is. In the next exercise, we are going to be talking about exporting our illustrations, our vectors based graphics, as image files for use on the web.
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