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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 I'm going to show you how to organize and manage your guides inside of Illustrator and while this may sound like a fairly dry topic, it's not. It's very exciting, plus it's essential. If you take the time to relegate your guides to an independent layer, then you afford yourself more control over those guides and the entire illustration process in the future. If you've been working along with me inside of the Horus.ai file, then keep on working. If you want to catch up with me, you can open this illustration right here. It's called Guides are go.ai, and it's included inside the 03_Line_Art folder.
Now I need you to make sure that your guides are unlocked. So if you'll take a moment to go to the View menu, go down here to Guides and turn off the Lock Guides command if indeed it's turned on. So I'm going to go ahead and turn the command off. Now all we can select the guides, and I'm going to go ahead and click on one of the guides to make it active. Now notice that it went from being the default cyan guide to having something of a dark blue boundary around it, and that has nothing to do with the fill color here, that has everything to do with the layer to which this guide is assigned. Bear in mind, every single guide or guideline, every single custom guide or ruler guide inside of Illustrator is a full-fledged object on a layer inside of the program. And you can tell what layer it's on by noticing the color of the guide and then matching it to the layer so this is a dark blue guide now, and I can see that I've got a dark blue layer here we can see this dark blue bar associated with the horus layer. We can also see this little square over here in the right hand side and that indicates the selected object inside of the layer. Now I want to select all of the guides on this layer and I could go ahead and Shift click on them and that kind of thing, but a simpler way work is to go up here to this new option inside the Options bar. Check it out. This is new to Illustrator CS3, and it allows you to select similar objects inside of the illustration. If you just go ahead and click on it, you'll select all four of the custom guides, and if that doesn't work out for you, then click on the down pointing arrowhead and choose All.
Now the reason that this works, and All by the way means all stroke and fill attributes and other attributes that you can assign to objects inside of Illustrator. Now the reason that this works, just for these custom guides here is because Illustrator thinks all of these custom guides, all of these squares are filled with blue. So it remembers the original attribute even though that attribute is long gone now, even though it's not associated with these guides. There are no attributes associated with guides. But anyway there are, they just happen to be hidden from us for now.
Now fair enough. We don't select the two horizontal ruler guides here because they don't have any attributes associated with them at all. So you're going to have to grab that black arrow tool if you don't already have it selected, and then Shift drag around those two guides like so. So Shift drag in an empty area over here on the left-hand side in order to select those two guides, in order to marquee them, and add them to the selection. Now I have all six of my guides, the four custom guides and the two ruler guides selected here inside of the illustration.
They're all part of the Horus layer because the Draw here layer is inactive. So we're now going to make a new layer for our guidelines and you do that by clicking on this little page icon down at the bottom of the palette, this little Create New Layer icon and that adds a new layer. It appears green by default. I want you to go ahead and double-click on that layer for two reasons. One is we can name this layer Guides now and you can also associate a different color. I'm going to change this layer from green, because it's an awfully bright green, and I just don't really dig it on screen. I'm going to switch it over to orange. And you might want to too. You don't have to, but you might want to. And then click OK in order to accept that modification. Now we have an orange layer. I'm going to drag guides underneath Horus so that I can keep my guidelines underneath my drawn objects inside of this illustration. Now so far we haven't moved the guides at all.
They are still on the blue Horus layer right here. In order to move them onto the Guides layer, we need to drag this tiny little blue square here inside the Layers palette. Go ahead and drag it down like so over here in the far right side of the screen, and that moves those guides down on to the guides layer and you can tell that they're all now on the guides layer because they're all orange when selected. Now, I can do anything I want to this Guides layer. I can turn off the Guides layer in order hide the guides. So no need to go to the menu, no need to memorize a keyboard shortcut.
I can turn the guides back on by clicking on this little eyeball right here, in order to show the guides once again on screen. If I want to lock the guides down I click on this next column in order to turn on a lock icon and now all I'm prevented from editing those guides. Now the thing to bear in mind when you lock a layer like this, the guides are no longer snappable, so you're not going to snap to those guide items there. If you want to lock down your guides and you want to keep them snappable, you have to go up to the View menu, choose Guides, and choose that Lock Guides command. So you still have to go to the command for that one. I'm going to Escape out of there.
And of course if you want unlock this guides layer, which I suggest you do by the way, leave it unlocked by clicking on the lock icon so that the guides remain snapable. That's all there is to it. You have successfully relegated your guidelines to an independent layer. Consider them organized and managed from this point on. We are going to begin drawing inside of our illustration in the very next exercise.
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