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Saving appearances as graphic styles

From: Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

Video: Saving appearances as graphic styles

So, we know that when using Illustrator, if I want to copy the appearance of one object and apply it to another, I could use the Eyedropper tool to do that. However, if I have many objects that I want to copy attributes to, using the Eyedropper tool repeatedly can be quite tedious. More so, if I then realize, after I have applied many objects with the Appearance panel, in addition, if I later decide that I want to make a small modification to all those objects, I would need to reapply all the appearances again.

Saving appearances as graphic styles

So, we know that when using Illustrator, if I want to copy the appearance of one object and apply it to another, I could use the Eyedropper tool to do that. However, if I have many objects that I want to copy attributes to, using the Eyedropper tool repeatedly can be quite tedious. More so, if I then realize, after I have applied many objects with the Appearance panel, in addition, if I later decide that I want to make a small modification to all those objects, I would need to reapply all the appearances again.

That's why, inside of Illustrator, there is a far more efficient way of managing appearances. And that's using something called Graphic Styles. Graphic Styles is a way to save, or capture, the full appearance of any artwork and then apply that appearance to any other artwork. In addition, you could always make modifications to those styles. Any object that has those styles applied to them will update accordingly. Let's see how that works. I'm going to start out by going to the Window menu and opening up my Graphic Styles panel.

In fact, quite often, I use the Graphic Styles panel together with my Appearance panel. So for now, I'm just going to kind of pull it out here ad even have it attached towards right here at the bottom of the Appearance panel, so they kind of act as if they are one big panel. Here's the way how to define a Graphic Style. I have this shape right over here. It has a simple Fill and a Stroke applied to it. I want to capture that appearance. Remember, I'm not saving the path right now. All I'm thinking about are the attributes that are applied to that path, in this case, a green fill and a 2-point black stroke.

I'm going to go to my Appearance panel, and right next to where it says the Object, which is currently a Compound Path, I have this little icon here. We call this a thumbnail. It basically gives me a small preview of what the appearance looks like. I'm going to take that thumbnail, click on it and drag that thumbnail into the Graphic Styles panel. Now I've created a Graphic Style. I've captured all of the appearance settings of that object. I'm going to double-click on it to give it a name. Let's call this one green flower.

I'll click OK, and you could see now this object is currently selected. In the Appearance panel, not only is the Appearance panel telling me that I have a Compound Path selected; it's also telling me that the green flower Graphic Style is currently applied to that object. Let's now create, or define, another Graphic Style. For example, this one down here has the exact same attribute as the one above, with one addition. This one has a Drop Shadow applied to it.

Once again, I'll just take the thumbnail, drag it into the Graphic Styles panel, and I'm going to double-click on it. I'm going to call it green flower with shadow. So right now, we've defined two Graphic Styles. Let's apply them to our objects. So remember before, if I wanted to click on this object and have it pick up some other appearance settings, I may have used the Eyedropper tool. Well, now instead, I'm just going to select this object, and then click on one of the styles. If I wanted to use the Drop Shadow style, I'll click on this one right here and now the object picks up the Drop Shadow.

I can click on these over here and do the same. Now I'm going to deselect my objects here. The real benefit of using a Graphic Style is not that I can just quickly apply a similar style across multiple objects; it's that I can now modify or make changes to that style as needed. Let's see how we can modify that style. I'm going to come over here to my Graphic Styles panel. You'll see that as I click on the styles, I have no artwork selected on my artboard right now. So you can see my Appearance panel says, No Selection.

But it does tell me that it's currently displaying the settings for the green flower Graphic Style, because right now my Graphic Style is selected in the Graphic Styles panel. You see when using the Graphic Styles panel and the Appearance panel together, each time I click on a style, I see the appearance settings for that style. So in this case here, we've applied Drop Shadows to all of these objects. Now remember, none of them are selected right now, but let's say my client comes back and tells me that that Drop Shadow is a little bit too extreme.

And you know something? This Stroke setting is also a little bit too thick. So we want to make some adjustments to the style. I had the style selected now, in the Graphic Styles panel, so I see all of its settings in the Appearance panel. I'm going to change to Stroke setting here to about half a point. I'm also going to click on the Drop Shadow and change its Opacity value to 40%. I'm now going to click OK. Now at this point, I haven't made any changes yet. However, if I go to the flyout menu here, there is a setting at the bottom called Redefine Graphic Style "green flower shadow".

You see, Illustrator knows that I had first clicked on this icon here to load the settings of this Graphic Style into the Appearance panel. And now, it saw me make some changes to those settings. So maybe I want to actually have those changes be incorporated back into the style. So, I'm going to choose Redefine Graphic Style "green flower with shadow". When I do so, all the objects of my artboard will automatically update to reflect that change in the style, without me having to select them to begin with.

So, it's a way for me to make changes to my document without having to actually physically go into my document, select those objects and make those changes. This is an incredibly powerful way of working with Illustrator and managing changes throughout the course of working on a document. So, when you're working on a file, it's best to think about where you might be able to apply and use Graphic Styles, so that you can save a tremendous amount of time and be more productive.

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This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

126 video lessons · 81587 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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