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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.
All right. In this exercise, I'm going to show you how to select all of your guides in one fell swoop, and then we are going to put them all into their own independent layer. So we will have basically isolated the guides from the rest of the illustration, which is great if you want to hide and show the guides and lock them and everything else just here from the Layers palette. Now, if you are just joining me, I have a catch-up document you can open. It's called Guides are go.ai. So called because all the guides are done, we have drawn them all. But notice that they are all over the place inside this Horus layer that I have twirled open. We have three on top, and then we have three on bottom.
Let's say I want to select them all. Well, I could click on one and then Shift-click on another and Shift-click on another, like that, or I could just select one of these guides and I could take advantage of this wonderful feature right here, Select Similar Objects. I would click on it. That should just select all of the guides one would think. So I click on it, and for some reason it just selects the original three square guides. Why does it do that? Well, it's still remembering the Fill and Stroke attributes. It remembers that the Fill is blue; that's how I set them up in the first place, Stroke was nothing.
So if I click on this guide, he is different, see that, he has got a big thick black Stroke and he has no Fill whatsoever. Then these two, the Horizontal Guides, they don't have any Fill or Stroke. So they are all different in so far as Illustrator is concerned, because all Illustrator can see; if I click this down playing arrowhead, it can just see attributes, Fill Color, Stroke Color, Fill and Stroke Color, Stroke Weight, that kind of thing, that's the thickness of the stroke, and so one. Then there is this other guy over here, under the Select menu, you can choose Select Same stuff. Going on Appearance, I mean, that's going to grab objects and guides alike. By the way, based on their Appearance attributes from the Appearance palette, not their actual physical appearance on a page. The fact that they are all cyan looking, that's not it.
Then we have Same Object, and so you could select all of your Clipping Masks and all of your Stray Points, but there is nothing for guides. So a workaround is necessary. This is a really great workaround. Check it out. Go up to the View menu, choose Guides. Notice there is no Select Item here. Then choose Clear Guides. That makes them all go away. Then go up to the Edit menu and choose Undo Clear Guides or press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, and they are all back and selected. Thank you, gosh, that's a way to select the guides. Apparently you can't see them, Illustrator. I just have to go through this weird route to get to them. So anyway, that's pretty cool.
Now let's make a new layer, here inside the Layers palette. Make sure the Horus layer is active here, so we don't create a sublayer or anything. Then go down to the bottom of the Layers palette, this guy right there, notice this little Page Icon. Page Icons at the bottom of palettes in Adobe applications always mean create a new, whichever palette you are working in. So in this case Create a New Layer. It's going to make this little new layer, as you can see right there. I am going to undo that, because it's just calling it Layer 3. Notice that? I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command +Z on a Mac to undo that. I'm going to Alt-click or Option-click on that little item down there to force the display of the Layer Options dialog box, and I'll call this guy Guides, I don't really like this Green very much, this bright Green, so I'm going to change the color to Orange. That is going to affect the color of the guides when they are selected, as you will see in just a moment.
Notice, that the guides are appearing as Blue when they are selected, all objects on this layer are appearing as Blue when they are selected, because the layer's color is Blue; you can see that Blue running down the side of the layer, that's its color. If they were Red, they would be on the Draw here layer. If they were bright Green, they would be on this Layer 3. But we are going to change it to Orange. So click OK and now we have an Orange layer. That looks pretty similar to the Red layer actually, but we are going to move it down the stack. So let's go ahead and twirl Horus close right there. Notice none of this is affecting what's selected. As long as I don't go clicking inside the illustration, I'm not going to deselect anything.
Let's go ahead and grab Guides and drag it down. So notice I'm grabbing the Guides layer, dragging it underneath the Horus layer, so it's at the bottom of the stack. So we are putting the Guides at the back. Then see this little dude right there, can you see him, a little Blue square, that Indicates the Selected Art. Look at that, it even tells you to drag to move the Selected Art. All right. So let's grab it, and let's drag it down to here. Where do the Guides go? They go onto the Orange layer. They appear orange now to indicate that they are part of the Guides layer. If I click off the Guides, they are now deselected and notice, if I turn it off, those Guides go away, if I turn it on, the Guides go back. So it gives us this really quick control over the visibility of the Guides, just by clicking the eyeball, not having to worry about a keyboard shortcut. You can also lock the Guides down by clicking in this next column or unlock them by clicking there again.
Now, the thing about locking a Guides layer from the Layers palette right here is it turns the guides into non- snapping guides. So they are just visual guides now, nothing is going to snap to them. So if I go and click on this eyebrow, for example, above Horus, and I'll drag it by the point. Notice this. With the Black Arrow tool, I'm dragging it by the point, which is great, because I can use the point as a point that I want to align to the guide, but notice that I'm not snapping, I'm not getting any snapping action right there. So I'll undo that modification. If you want to be able to snap and you want your guides locked down so you don't accidentally modify them, then unlock the layer and just go up to the View menu, choose Guides and choose Lock Guides, like so. Then notice if I drag the eyebrow, it snaps into alignment. So just something to note in case you go locking your guides from the Layers palette.
All right. We have now relegated our guides to an independent layer, which is great. Tidy. We have seen how to make a layer. We have seen how we can turn off and turn it on, of course. In the next exercise, we are going to take this finished Horus drawing right there and we are going to turn it into a tracing template. Stay tuned.
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