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I started using Illustrator when I was 25, which was nearly 24 years ago, so I'm almost at that point where I've known Illustrator longer than I haven't. It's like some kind of twisted human/software marriage. So if you were to ask me, "What's your favorite feature in all of Illustrator?" it'd be like me asking you to choose your favorite thing about your best friend or your spouse or your child, which is why I say without hesitation the topic of this chapter, dynamic effects, which allow you to apply temporary non-destructive adjustments using numerical parameters.
Why are they so great? Because they're all available from one convenient menu, most are easy and obvious to use, they're wicked powerful, they pile up in the Appearance panel so can change your mind anytime you like, you can apply them to big things like layers or little things like a single stroke, and you can heap multiple applications of a single effect onto, well, anything you like. Or put more simply, they're effects-- meaning amazing object transformations-- and they're dynamic-- meaning that everything happens live, on the fly, and subject to your ever-changing moods.
But that doesn't tell the whole story. In fact, if I were to tell you the whole story, it would go something like this.
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