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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, so here we are looking at this Six artboard document. Every artboard measures six inches wide by eight inches tall. And let's imagine this is the kind of document I'm going to be creating on a regular basis. Client X, whoever that client is. Every time I'm creating something for them I'm trying to put various assets, various artistic resources inside different containers here and I want to be able to see all these assets at the same time and it is probably going to take me six different artboards to do it. It might take more; it might take less. But this is a good starting point.
So I'm going to be doing this kind of thing regularly, I would like to create my own custom New document profile. So let's go up to the File menu and choose the New command. And here we are. Here is all of our settings right ready to go. What would be great is if I can to the New document profile and I could click on the down pointing arrowhead there. And in addition to these predefined profiles I had the one that said Save or something along those lines or there was a Save Document profile button over here or anything. Instead what we have got is Browse, which allows you to open another document. Any Illustrator document that has a custom profile that will then show up here. But there is no way to just save a profile for later use from this dialog box. But I'm going to go ahead and choose Browse because I want you to see how this works. I'll go ahead and choose the Browse command and I have got this dialog box set really wide, so that we can see the entire path to get to these files. Because here they are.
Notice that there is print.ai, there is filmandvideo.ai, there is web.ai. These are actual Illustrator documents that Illustrator is resourcing over here and they are found in several folders deep here inside of basically the system architecture of my hard drive. Now this path is going to be different for Windows Vista, which is what I'm operating on right now. It is going to be different from Windows XP and it is going to be different than the Mac. So that is why I'm just telling you how to find it. How to find this information in case you are curious. I'm going to go ahead and click on this little folder icon right there here on the PC and that allows me to actually select this path and I'm going just going to go ahead and copy it by pressing Ctrl+C that would be Command+C on the Mac. But it does not work on the Mac. You cannot just do a copy like that on the Mac. You may end up having to just writing it down. Write down that path, all right and then just cancel out. I know this is weird, cancel again. But this is how it works and the reason it works this way, basically what you are going to have to do is you are going to have to take this new document that you made and save it in the folder as an illustration, inside that folder we were just in a moment ago.
And the reason Illustrator requires you to jump through that really ridiculous hoop, for just the sake of creating a new document profile is because you can load this document with Custom Swatches if you want to. You can load it with predefined brushes. You can load it with all kinds of junk. So that it basically comes to life with all this other stuff that you use on a regular basis. And we will get to that stuff. I'm not going to show it to you now because we are too early on in the process. But you can create that stuff in the future and then go ahead and save a file with or without pieces of artwork inside of it. So those pieces of artwork would actually come to life as well, when you chose the profile. With or without, as an illustration inside of that folder.
So here it goes. Let's go ahead and save this illustration right here for future use. I'm going to first just sort of reduce the size of my application in there for just a moment. Because in order to get to this location on the window side of things you have to make sure that you can see hidden files. I hate this stuff. It is mind numbingly boring. But anyway, I got to show it to you here. So I'm looking at a window for basically, my computer. Just open up My Computer here, it does not matter. You just want to see a window on your desktop for the contents of the folder. So that you can go under Windows Vista.
You will go over to Organize and you will choose Folder and Search options. It is available elsewhere under XP. But you will find something that says Folder Options or folder and search options like this. Then go ahead and select it. Otherwise now, XP and Vista are pretty similar. You go over to the View tab here. I scroll down a little bit and make sure that Hidden files and folders is set to Show hidden files and folders. That is going to give you a couple of extra icons on your desktop here in Vista, but that's okay. Just go ahead and turn it on because you need to see those and then I also suggest by the way turning off Hide extensions for known file types. I think it is useful to see extensions but that is just me. That is not part of what we are doing here. Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).
That needs to be turned off. So I'll go ahead and show you what happens when you turn it off. You are going to get this warning telling you that you now have free access to completely mess up your computer. If you grab a file and throw it away, for example, if you are a complete bonehead, then you are going to mess things up. We will just basically say Yes. Trust me, with this stuff, I can do this. click Yes. Do not worry about it, just do not go on throwing things away when you encounter them in these hidden folders and then click OK. In order to apply your modifications, you can also click Apply as well, if you want to. Anyway, I already had it done so I'm going to click Cancel.
Let's go back in Illustrator, make it big again. Now, remember how a moment ago I went ahead copied that path. I'm going to go ahead and paste it for myself. I'm going to grab my Text tool right here and I'm going to kind of zoom in on a page so that I can see what I'm doing and I'm going to click just to set a bit of point text. We will be discussing that later, but and I'm going to paste by pressing Ctrl+V or Command+V on the Mac. I'll go ahead and get the black arrow tool. Doing this fairly deliberately in case you are not that familiar with the program. Move it over so I can see what I'm doing. All right, and now I just need to just follow this information. I'm sitting down here lowering the screen so I can see it. Now go to the File menu. I'll choose Save As and I'm going to go all the way down to the Local Disc. Here we go. This is, by the way-- look it is in Users/Deke McClelland. So I can just click on Deke McClelland right there to go to that guy and then AppData to see how that is a hidden folder. That is also a protected folder. That is why we had to make those modifications so that we can even see the darn thing. Go in to AppData and then you want to go into Roaming. Do not ask me, some -- the Windows thing.
Only Roaming would come out of the mind of Microsoft anyway. Then we have got Adobe. That makes sense. Then Adobe Illustrator CS4 Settings, fine. There it is right there then en_US, English US. That's what that means and that could be different for you if you are in a different country and then New Document Profiles, let's go in there and there they are. There is all our profiles. Let's just call this for now Six artboards and nothing more. We can - well, do call it whatever you want. But anyway, we will go ahead and save it in the Adobe Illustrator format. Click Save. It is going to ask us about the version.
We are just going to leave this stuff alone. We just accept default settings and click OK. And it is now Save As, wait for the save. Then I'm going to go ahead and zoom out, because I just zoomed in there and I'll show you navigation later in this series. I'm going to click down here on the text in order to make it active and I'm going to press the Delete key, in order to delete it and I'll click on this first artboard to make it active like so and then I'm going to re-save my document. I'll go ahead and save it to update at Six artboards.ai file. Now what you want to do is you want to go ahead and quit Illustrator. So you go up to the File menu and choose the Exit command here in the PC, on the Mac you would go to the Illustrator menu and choose the Quit command. Either way, you want to go ahead and quit the program and then relaunch it. And then after you do that, I'm not going to show you that part, because of the miracle of the video editing, I'll just show you what happens.
So here we are. Thanks to the miracle of video editing we are back now with the relaunch version of Illustrator. So I'm going to go up to the File menu and choose the New command and notice that I have a New Document Profile of Six artboards and if you do not see Six artboards, just go ahead and choose it from this list right here if you are working along with me. And then you will see all of your saved options right ready to go. I'll go ahead and click OK and there is your document, there is your brand new, spanking new document with all of your artboards and your bleeds and everything else intact. You will also notice if I go up to Help and I choose Welcome Screen that Six Artboards is an item here. In Open Recent, if I go to create New, it is also here as Six artboards document and then I can Alt- click or Option-click to go ahead and bypass the New Document dialog box and create my Six artboards document. So, there you go, a little bit of early minutia for you. But it is just so strangely handled and it is the kind of thing that you have to know when creating a new document.
In the next exercise, we will start getting back to a little bit more of the brass tacks and I'll show you how to modify an existing document.
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