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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.
In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to switch between artboards and we're also going to take a look at the Navigator palette. Now this document just contains one artboard. Notice down here in the lower left corner of the screen, we can see artboard controls. We can also see by the way this little Zoom popup menu so that you can determine the level of magnification. See how close you can get, 6400%. That's 64x magnification my friends. That's a lot of magnification. You can also go very wide if you want to 3.13%, which is very tiny as you can see, but we've only got one artboard inside of this document.
So let's switch to something that has more artboards. I'm going to go over here to Loyal Order of Wormwood.ai and it actually just contains two pages, but you can tell that it contains two pages because you can go down to this little icon. You can click on it and you can see that you have got pages 1 and 2. If you click on to, notice that it not only takes you to artboard 2, but it also zooms in on it. It zooms to the Fit In Window level of magnification, which in the case of this page is 81 %. You can also click on these little controls if you want to, to go back and forth. Notice, now it switches me to 52%. It's always doing the Fit In Window view.
So that's another great thing about if I go over here and grab the Artboard tool, which I will, and I decide I want to create an artboard just for this little dude. I like him so much, so I Shift+Drag around him, right? At least I start Shift+Dragging and then I'll release Shift after I start drawing the page, so that he is not entirely square. Oops! I wanted to move that artboard just a little bit, just nudge it over to the side and look what I did. I moved all kinds of little illustration particles inside of this document. Did you see how it was moving every single illustration object that was even partially enclosed in this little page? So that's a big problem.
So I'll go ahead and undo that modification there by pressing Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. Then I'll click on this guy to turn him off. Now, I can drag this page to a different location. All right, so I have got Artboard 3 that's surrounding the little dude there. That's great! Now I'm going to go back to my Selection tool or I could have just pressed the Escape key, of course. Now check it out. I'll go to page 1, just for starters there, or Artboard 1 so that I can see the entire thing. Now if I switch to Artboard 3, it goes ahead and zooms me. It goes ahead and fits them into the window. So that's really amazing. I mean it's really great how you can get around the document so easily just by choosing these pages.
I just want you to know this. the Illustrator does not in any way, shape or form consider itself to be a page layout application to the extent that Illustrator thinks of itself as being anything given that it's not a sentient being, but still, it's not going to let you, for example, go from one page to another page by pressing the Page Up or Page Down keys. I'll cover what those do in another exercise but just know that doesn't work. What does work is choosing your pages from this menu or taking advantage of these little buttons right there. That will do, yeah. You can also if you want to, you can take advantage of the Navigator palette.
So let's go back to the close-up view of the little guy. He is the king. Oh, my goodness! I didn't even realize he was king of the illustration. All right, let's go up to the Window menu and choose Navigator and if you find yourself dig in this palette then you can move it over with the groups over here if you like it. By default, it's not one of the ones that's displayed because not that many people take advantage of it, but it can be really useful. I'm going to go ahead and choose Navigator. Then notice, you can actually see the entire document mapped out and you can even see it bigger if you want to drag it big like this.
It becomes another view into your illustration and then this little red thing right there represents the viewable area on screen. You can just drag it to a new location. You can drag it right there and say hey! Look, we've got the eye in the pyramid right there at that location or you could go over and check out this sort of bucktooth dragon being thing. Then watch this; you can also just click on an item in order to go there. You don't have to drag, you can just click on it and then finally, you can draw your own custom zoom by pressing and holding the Ctrl key. This would be the Command key on the Mac and then just kind of drag in around in area like so.
So do a Ctrl+Drag or a Command+Drag and then you zoom in to that portion of the illustration. So the Navigator palette can be really good. I specially love this palette if I have got two monitors. So I throw it onto a second monitor and then I can get around, again, especially if I have got a multi-artboard document going. Anyway, if you like it, let's say I like it, I'll just go ahead and grab this guy and I'll move it over there so it's below the OT which represents OpenType so that I can see that little blue horizontal line and I'll let go. There is my Navigator and I can click to bring him up and I can click to hide him.
So, super way to get around inside of Illustrator and now that we have multiple artboards, in the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to nudge the screen image. That comes back to Page Up and Page Down, you will see.
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