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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.
In this exercise we're going to move our fingers vertically so that they look more like fingers on a hand, instead of popsicle sticks on top of the spiral. Notice that I'm working inside of a document, a little catch up document called Five fingers.ai, and I've gone ahead and simplified this document. I deleted all the steps in between elements and big unite, so it just has those two layers left over. If you're working in the previous file, inside the Anasazi stop file, keep working inside that file by all means.
I'm going to select all of the fingers, all four of the fingers and leave the thumb deselected just by marqueeing around them, partially marqueeing them with the black arrow tool. Now you know that you can move the fingers just by dragging them with the black arrow. You also know that you can nudge from the keyboard, you can either just press an arrow key in order to move by the keyboard increment that you specified in the Preferences dialog box. Or you can press Shift and an arrow key to move 10 times the keyboard increment. But as you'll see if I press Shift up arrow, I barely make any progress because my keyboard increment is so tiny and I want to leave it that way. I'm not really interested in making big progress from the keyboard with the arrow keys, that is to say.
So I'll undo that modification. Let's say that I know exactly how far I want to move these fingers. I know that I want to move them 50 points upward. Well then I could go ahead and invoke a Move dialog box as it turns out, either by double-clicking on the arrow tool icon here, or by pressing the Enter or Return key when the black arrow is active and that brings up the Move dialog box as you can see right here, and for me it wants to by defaults move the objects 48 points, and that may be because it recorded the last movement I made. The Transformation dialog boxes have a habit of recording your last movement, which is actually really great because that way you can replicate movements very easily. or move something by half as much as the last time, or something along those lines.
But in my case I want the horizontal nature of this movement to be 0. So I want no horizontal movement. And by the way positive values are to the right, negative values to the left. I want to move things upward, the selected items upward 50 points. I'll just enter 50 and press Tab and in order to see that I've done a good job here, I can click on the Preview checkbox and sure enough, those guys leap up 50 points, which is exactly what I want. If I wanted to move them down I'd use a negative value. But this is great. You can also, notice this, you can also move by a specific distance at a specific angle if you want to. But we're fine the way we are. I'll go ahead and click OK in order to accept that modification.
Now I want to select these three fingers, that is everything but the pinky, and I want to move them up another 20 points. So I'll press the Enter key once again. Notice that it brings up the last movement I applied, very smart, which was 50 points of course. I'm going to reduce this value though, to 20 points this time around, and it will invoke the Preview as soon as you press the Tab key, so that's what I'm going to do and sure enough it's gone ahead and moved these fingers upward 20 points, awesome. I'll click OK in order to accept that modification. Now what if I want to move this middle finger right here up another 20 points? Why then I could do the same thing I just did before or I could go up to the Object menu, choose Transform and choose Transform Again, because I'd be repeating the last transformation, which was an up movement, an upward movement of 20 points. Now you might say Hey wait a sec, Deke. Isn't that Control+D for duplicate? Won't you end up duplicating the object as you move it? No.
Because my last transformation did not include a clone as part of the transformation, neither will the replication. So if I just go ahead and choose this command, or even if I had pressed Control+D or Command+D on the Mac, I would just go and repeat the movement and move the middle finger up another 20 points. Amazing that you can pull that off that easily by using a combination of numerically specified movement values and of course the good old Transform Again command.
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