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Navigating within a document

From: Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

Video: Navigating within a document

In the previous chapter we spent some time going over the user interface inside of Illustrator. Now in this chapter we are going to focus on learning to get around the document itself. I have this file open right now and it has several artboards inside of it. On a day-to-day basis you will be moving around your document. Even if it has only one artboard, you are going to move around between different parts of your artwork. There are two main tools inside of Illustrator that are used to move around in your document. They are located here in the bottom of the toolbar. One is called the Hand tool and one is called the Zoom tool.

Navigating within a document

In the previous chapter we spent some time going over the user interface inside of Illustrator. Now in this chapter we are going to focus on learning to get around the document itself. I have this file open right now and it has several artboards inside of it. On a day-to-day basis you will be moving around your document. Even if it has only one artboard, you are going to move around between different parts of your artwork. There are two main tools inside of Illustrator that are used to move around in your document. They are located here in the bottom of the toolbar. One is called the Hand tool and one is called the Zoom tool.

The Hand tool allows you to simply grab any area of the entire canvas itself and move it around. It is as if you're moving the furniture in your room, your entire desk, and everything is on that desk simply moves around with it. For example, if you really wanted to focus on working with this one flower, you might position this towards the center of your screen. You notice that when you move this around, the little sliders that appear on the bottom and the right side of your screen also are adjusted as well. You can grab on these icons called thumbs and actually move them around as well to go either vertically or horizontally and navigate within your document that way as well.

So you can see that you would use the Hand tool a lot on a day-to-day basis in Illustrator. The other tool is the Zoom tool. I'll choose that tool right here. When you click in an area, you see this little plus sign inside of the Magnifying Glass icon. It will zoom in on that area. So you might use a combination of these tools. If you wanted to zoom in on working on this one flower, you might zoom in on it over here and then use the Hand tool to make sure that it appears in the right place that you want on your screen. Clicking with the Magnifying Glass tool is called Zooming In.

But if I switch back to the Magnifying Glass for a moment, you see that I have the plus sign there. That means it will zoom in. There may be times that you want to zoom out or see more of your document. Pressing the Option key on Mac or Alt on Windows turns the plus sign into a minus sign. When you click again it zooms out. An interesting thing about the Zoom tool is that it has something called a Marquee Zoom setting. For example, if you wanted to zoom in on a specific area in your document, you can create a marquee area around that object using the Zoom tool and then zoom in on that specific area.

If I wanted to focus on this area where it says "Get Well Soon," I could click and then drag to draw a rectangle or a marquee around that one little area and upon releasing the mouse, I will zoom in on just that one area. So it is obvious that the Hand tool and the Zoom tool are both valuable inside of Illustrator, which is why I will tell you, never use them. Why? For a couple of reasons. First of all, as we are about to find out there are many other ways to navigate around inside of your document. More importantly, constantly switching between your content creation tools and these Hand and Zoom tools can really take you out of the flow and context of your design.

So the key here is going to be learning about how to use keyboard shortcuts. Let's take a look at how this works. I am going to switch here back to my Selection tool and say I am working on this artwork right here. Notice I can click on this shape right here to select it. We will talk more about selections in our next chapter. But if I wanted to zoom in for example on this W right here, rather than switch to my Zoom tool I will simply leave my cursor here and on my keyboard press Command+Spacebar. If you are on Windows that would be Ctrl+Spacebar. While you are holding those two keys down, you will see that your tool temporarily changes to the Zoom tool.

Upon releasing the keys my tool goes back to the Selection tool. So if I really want to work on this one W here, what I might do is press Command+Spacebar. It switches to the Zoom tool. I will then draw a marquee around the W, release the mouse and then release the keys on my keyboard. If I wanted to zoom out a little bit, I simply would add the Option or the Alt key to that keyboard shortcut. For example I will press Command+Spacebar. You will see now that I have the Zoom tool selected. I am now going to add the Option key or the Alt key on Windows and now you can see the minus sign there.

Now when I click, it will actually zoom out so I could see more of the artwork. Now let's say I wanted to focus more on the word Get. Well, I can't really see the G on my screen just now. I would need to adjust my canvas so that I can see more of my work. The last thing that I want to do is start coming down to these scrollbars and making adjustments. I also don't want to specifically choose the Hand tool. The keyboard shortcut to access the Hand tool temporarily is to press the Spacebar on your keyboard. So I am holding the Spacebar down. You see that my tool has changed now to the Hand tool.

I will now go ahead and click and drag so that I can see the G on my screen and now I'll simply release the mouse and the Spacebar on my keyboard to return back my Selection tool. But there are several commands inside of Illustrator that will really let me look at my entire document as a whole. Let's take a look at some of the settings that are available in the View menu. First of all we have seen these Zoom In and Zoom Out settings. The keyboard shortcuts here are Command+ Plus and Command+Minus or Ctrl+Plus or Ctrl+Minus on Windows. But I also have a setting here called Fit Artboard in Window. Command+0.

That's probably one of the most often use keyboard shortcuts inside of Illustrator. If I choose that option you will see that my entire artboard now fits inside of my window. Now I do have other artboards in my document. But right now, Illustrator is filling this one artboard to my entire screen. If I wanted to see all of my artboards, what I would do is I would go back to the View menu and I would choose Fit All in Window. And doing so, I now see all of my artboards. How does Illustrator know which artboard I am working on to focus in on just that one artboard? The answer is that Illustrator has a concept of something called an active artboard.

Take a look at all of my artboards right now. They all have light gray borders around them. However this one artboard has a black border around it. That indicates that this artboard is currently the active artboard. How do you choose which artboard becomes the active artboard? Well, Illustrator does so automatically based on how you work. Anytime that you click on a piece of artwork that's in an artboard, Illustrator automatically makes that artboard the active artboard. For example, if I wanted to work on this flower down over here, simply by clicking anywhere on the art or even on the artboard itself would now make this the active artboard.

Now if I were to go back to the View menu and choose Fit Artboard in Window, this artboard with the flower would fill my screen. So that's the main difference between these two settings here, Fit Artboard in Window and Fit All in Window. There's another setting here called Actual Size, which will display your artwork at 100%. It can be somewhat confusing. Don't think that actual size means that's the size it is actually going to print at. That depends on other variables, for example, the resolution of your monitor. In this case actual size just means 100%. Speaking of different zoom percentages, you will notice in the lower left-hand corner of your screen is a value here that says 100%.

This is actually a pop-up setting where you can click on this and choose to view your artwork at different values. If I wanted to work really close on this artwork, I can zoom in as much as 6400%. Once again here I will press Command+0 to fit this artboard on my window. This is the active artboard. Let's talk a little bit more about artboards though because we will be navigating between different artboards all the time. This document has five artboards inside of it. If I click on this pop-up right here, I'll see a list of all my five artboards and the artboard names and I could jump to any of those artboards by simply selecting them from this list.

For example, if I wanted to work on the branding elements, I can simply go here to the first artboard, Branding. Illustrator does two things. First of all it enlarges that artboard to fill my screen and it makes this artboard now currently the active artboard. I can also use these little arrows down here to step between each artboard. However, I think a more intuitive way to move between artboards is to use the new Artboards panel. This is new to Illustrator CS5. I will go ahead and I will open it right over here. It is on this side of the screen. You can see now a list of all my artboards.

If I double-click of any of these artboards, Illustrator will make that artboard the active artboard and center it on my screen. Finally, there is one other panel inside of Illustrator called the Navigator panel. Let me close the Artboards panel here, go over to my Window menu and choose Navigator. This is a panel here that gives me a little preview of my entire canvas. The highlighted area refers to when it is currently visible on my screen. I can click on this little highlighted area and move it around to view different parts of my document. For example, if I wanted to focus on the part of the flower I can go right over here.

I can also use the slider to zoom in on those areas or to zoom out as well. While the Navigator panel is nice in concept, I don't rely on it as much because it is so much easy to navigate your document once you learn how to use the keyboard shortcuts. So let's take a moment to review that. Remember that right now there is an active artboard. If I wanted to go and zoom in and work on that one artboard, I would press Command+0 on my keyboard and focus on that one artboard. Command+Minus will zoom out, Command+Plus will zoom in, pressing the Spacebar will change to the Hand tool, so I can move this artwork around and Command+Spacebar will let me zoom in on a piece of artwork.

Command+Option+0 will go ahead and fill all of my artboards in my view and clicking on any artboard turns that artboard into the active artboard. So that once again pressing Command+0 fills that artboard in view. When you get started using Illustrator, it is really important to become familiar with these settings and even though it may be a little bit slow at first, force yourself to learn these keyboard shortcuts. Before you know it, they will become second nature and your brain will be focusing on how to create your artwork and less about how to get around your document.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

126 video lessons · 83110 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 5s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 28s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 26m 2s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 28s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
      55s
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      42s

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