Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
Illustration by John Hersey

Keyboard Increment and Object Selection


Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Keyboard Increment and Object Selection

Now in this first exercise we're going to start things off with Preference settings and if that sounds like a really dry boring topic, you got it. That's what it is. There's no disputing it. I just cannot lie to you people, but I'll tell you what. A couple of promises. First I'm going to try to keep the proceedings as lively as possible by doing this: Hey, hey, hey. So that'll help out a lot and then secondly, I promise not to show you all the Preference settings, because if I did by the end of that you would be in a stone cold coma, I swear you.
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  1. 59m 51s
    1. Welcome to Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
      2m 0s
    2. The unwelcome Welcome screen
      6m 34s
    3. Browsing Illustrator artwork
      4m 53s
    4. Bridge workspaces and favorites
      6m 8s
    5. The anatomy of an illustration
      7m 2s
    6. Examining a layered illustration
      5m 38s
    7. Customizing an illustration
      5m 21s
    8. Creating a new document
      6m 12s
    9. Changing the document setup
      6m 50s
    10. Saving a document
      6m 14s
    11. Closing multiple files
      2m 59s
  2. 1h 3m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
    2. Keyboard Increment and Object Selection
      5m 52s
    3. Scratch Disks and Appearance of Black
      6m 43s
    4. Establishing the best color settings
      5m 35s
    5. Synchronizing color settings in Bridge
      4m 3s
    6. The new CS3 interface
      3m 55s
    7. Organizing the palettes
      9m 4s
    8. Saving your workspace
      2m 33s
    9. Zooming and scrolling
      3m 39s
    10. Using the Zoom tool
      5m 27s
    11. The Navigator palette
      3m 37s
    12. Nudging the screen image
      2m 50s
    13. Scroll wheel tricks
      3m 11s
    14. Cycling between screen modes
      5m 55s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Why learn Illustrator from a Photoshop guy?
      1m 32s
    2. Introducing layers
      4m 37s
    3. Creating ruler guides
      6m 34s
    4. Creating a custom guide
      3m 28s
    5. Organizing your guides
      5m 50s
    6. Making a tracing template
      3m 34s
    7. Drawing a line segment
      4m 9s
    8. Drawing a continuous arc
      4m 17s
    9. Drawing a looping spiral
      5m 16s
    10. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 44s
    11. Aligning and joining points
      7m 57s
    12. Drawing concentric circles
      3m 45s
    13. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      6m 21s
  4. 1h 9m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 0s
    2. Meet the Tonalpohualli
      4m 8s
    3. Meet the geometric shape tools
      3m 47s
    4. Drawing circles
      6m 36s
    5. Snapping and aligning shapes
      6m 59s
    6. Polygons and stars
      7m 0s
    7. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 15s
    8. The amazing constraint axes
      6m 30s
    9. Grouping a flipping
      7m 37s
    10. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      6m 35s
    11. Drawing with Scissors and Join
      6m 3s
    12. Cutting and connecting in Illustrator CS3
      3m 49s
    13. Tilde key goofiness
      2m 55s
  5. 1h 22m
    1. Three simple ingredients, one complex result
    2. Introducing Fill and Stroke
      3m 42s
    3. Accessing color libraries and sliders
      7m 8s
    4. Using the CMYK sliders for print output
      5m 5s
    5. Using the RGB sliders for screen output
      4m 38s
    6. Color palette tips and tricks
      4m 46s
    7. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 13s
    8. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      7m 57s
    9. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 17s
    10. Dragging and dropping swatches
      6m 16s
    11. Paste in Back, Paste in Front
      5m 43s
    12. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 15s
    13. Pasting between layers
      3m 34s
    14. Joins, caps, and dashes
      5m 50s
    15. Fixing strokes and isolating your edits
      7m 34s
    16. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 38s
  6. 1h 22m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 25s
    2. From primitives to polished art
      4m 4s
    3. Clone and Duplicate
      6m 14s
    4. Moving by the numbers
      4m 15s
    5. Using the Reshape tool
      6m 29s
    6. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 0s
    7. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 24s
    8. Styling and eyedropping
      4m 11s
    9. The wonders of the translucent group
      5m 37s
    10. Making a black-and-white template
      3m 48s
    11. Scaling and cloning shapes
      4m 26s
    12. Enlarging and stacking shapes
      5m 6s
    13. Positioning the origin point
      6m 49s
    14. Using the Rotate and Reflect tools
      5m 16s
    15. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      4m 3s
    16. Rotating by the numbers
      5m 15s
    17. Rotating repeating pattern fills
      4m 32s
  7. 1h 4m
    1. Points are boys, control handles are girls
      2m 16s
    2. Tracing a scanned image or photograph
      4m 34s
    3. Placing an image as a template
      5m 31s
    4. Drawing a straight-sided path
      5m 36s
    5. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      5m 51s
    6. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      7m 55s
    7. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 12s
    8. Defining a cusp between two curves
      4m 37s
    9. Adjusting handles and converting points
      7m 3s
    10. Cutting, separating, and closing paths
      7m 30s
    11. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 11s
  8. 1h 28m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 41s
    2. Meet Uzz, Cloying Corporate Mascot
      2m 22s
    3. Exploring the Appearance palette
      5m 37s
    4. Snip and Spin
      7m 27s
    5. Adding a center point
      3m 57s
    6. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 7s
    7. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      4m 14s
    8. Saving and recalling selections
      5m 18s
    9. Rotating is a circular operation
      7m 35s
    10. Lassoing and scaling points
      6m 7s
    11. Using the Transform Each command
      5m 9s
    12. Using the Magic Wand tool
      6m 46s
    13. Converting paths and text to rich black
      2m 27s
    14. The overwrought lace pattern
      3m 20s
    15. Eyedropping Live Effects
      5m 38s
    16. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 32s
    17. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      6m 30s
    18. Pucker & Bloat
      4m 49s
  9. 1m 59s
    1. See ya for now
      1m 59s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials
9h 36m Beginner May 18, 2007

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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.

Deke McClelland

Keyboard Increment and Object Selection

Now in this first exercise we're going to start things off with Preference settings and if that sounds like a really dry boring topic, you got it. That's what it is. There's no disputing it. I just cannot lie to you people, but I'll tell you what. A couple of promises. First I'm going to try to keep the proceedings as lively as possible by doing this: Hey, hey, hey. So that'll help out a lot and then secondly, I promise not to show you all the Preference settings, because if I did by the end of that you would be in a stone cold coma, I swear you.

You would be sleeping for 20 years. It would be just like Rip van Winkle except it would be you and I don't want that on my hands, so I'm just going to show you the key preference settings, the ones that you need to know so that you and I are in simpatico, and also these are the Preference settings that will make you a better user inside Illustrator, I guarantee it. In any case, it's all good, right? Any information's good information, right Daddy-o? Right sonny-o. All right, so let's go. My first bit of information is to go ahead and close this darn dialog box here. I'm sick of seeing it. I'm going to turn on Don't show again. And I'm going to close the unwelcome screen.

Now the part I'm going to miss is that big bunch of orange right there cause it gave us a little bit of color. We're no longer going to have any color. It's going to be very, very gray. As we go up to the Edit menu, choose Preferences and choose General. On the Macintosh side of life you go to the Illustrator menu, choose Preferences and then choose General. Either way, you got a keyboard shortcut, that's Control+K on the PC and Command+K on a Mac, and that's definitely a good one to memorize because if you know it once inside Illustrator for example then that information goes over to Photoshop and InDesign and the other applications as well, cause they all use Control+K. All right so, go ahead, however you get there, mosey on over to the General panel of the Preferences dialog box and note this very first option: Keyboard Increment. That's the one I want you to change. Here's the story.

When you have an object selected, you can nudge it from the keyboard by pressing the arrow keys and each arrow key is going to by default nudge that selected object one point in one direction or the other. Now one point is a very small increment, right? It's 1/72 of an inch, so it's about the thickness of your fingernail when you look at it sideways. That's a very small increment. But I'm here to tell you from experience, it's not small enough. When you're nudging from the keyboard, you want really ultrafine control, so I'm going to have you set this down to 0.2 pt.

You don't have to enter the point necessarily but if you're working in a different unit of measurement you should. Son 0.2 pt and the good news is that now, you might think, That's so tiny, I'm never going to get anywhere as I'm nudging things from the keyboard. Well there are ways to up the keyboard increment by pressing the Shift key along with the number key, but there's no way to go down. So you might as well set that low in advance. All right, that's our first Preference setting, excellent. Now let's go on to our next one. Click the Next button in order to go to Selection & Anchor Display, a new panel of options here inside of Illustrator CS3. Notice that you can change the size of your anchor points here.

So if the dinky anchor points that Illustrator shows you by default are too dinky, then you can select to have a larger selected point and leave the deselected points dinky, or you can make them all bigger just by clicking on one of these guys here. I'm going to leave it set to dinky, that's they way I like it. You can also control the display of handles. Should they be round handles? Should they be big round handles? Should they be diamond shaped handles, like you're used to seeing inside of FreeHand, if you migrated from FreeHand over to Illustrator. It's up to you which ones you choose. I'm going to stick with the default.

Highlight anchors on mouse over. Such an awesome new function inside of Illustrator CS3. I love this one. It means that if you just randomly move your mouse over a point it'll show you there it is and that makes it a lot easier to locate and select points, which is something you do a lot inside of Illustrator. You can show handles when multiple anchor points are selected so that you can see all the control handles that are associated with anchor points. It can be nice. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't worry about it but I'm telling you it can be nice, but it's going to also interfere with your ability to tell what's going on, because things get very busy very quickly. So I'll leave that checkbox turned off.

The one checkbox I'm going to recommend you change here is this guy: Object Selection by Path Only. Here's the story. Imagine you've got a blue rectangle. You want to select that blue rectangle. Well, normally by default cause this checkbox is turned off, you can just click in the blue and you select it. Makes sense, right, because you want to be able to select the darn thing as easily as possible. Imagine a much more complicated scenario where you have like a thousand lines crossing at this blue rectangle. Wouldn't it be better if the blue rectangle didn't get in the way of all the lines and you could click on a path outlines and specifically the path outlines, and only the path outlines, in order to select a path.

It means you have to be a little bit more careful, but it means Illustrator responds positively to your careful behavior. So what I'm going to tell you to do is turn this checkbox on. I'm going to remind you to turn this checkbox on several times throughout the training because it's super, duper important that it be on, if you want to follow along with me. Turn it on. All right, I think I made my point. That's good. Hey, that's enough for now. I don't want to overwhelm anybody here. We saw a couple of really cool Preference settings that needed to be modified. In the next exercise we'll see a few more, and then you and I will be on the same page.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials .

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Q: When trying to synchronize color settings between all Creative Suite programs in Bridge, the Creative Suite Color Settings command either does not appear in the Edit menu or does not work. What is causing this?
A: If the Color Setting command is not available or does not function, it's because Bridge thinks that a single application (such as Photoshop or Illustrator), is installed and not one of the many versions of the Creative Suite.
If only Photoshop or Illustrator is installed, skip the exercise and move on.
If the entire Creative Suite is installed, then, unfortunately, there is no easy fix. Either contact Adobe or completely reinstall the Creative Suite.
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