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The Live Trace feature inside of Illustrator comes with a variety of presets that you can apply. However, don't think that's all that you can do with Live Trace. You can create your own presets. For example, maybe you have gone ahead and you have experimented with all the settings inside of Live Trace and you have found just the right settings that you want for a particular task and maybe you repeat that task often. Rather than having to memorize each of the settings and continuously apply them over and over again, you could simply create a preset to memorize those settings. To do so, you don't even need a document open inside of Illustrator. Just go over to the Edit menu and choose Tracing Presets. That opens up the Tracing Presets dialog box where you see a list of all the preset that come with Illustrator.
To create your own, start with one as a base. For example, I'll start with Color 6 and then I'll click on the New button. It opens up the Tracing Options dialog box. Anything that's grayed out is something that cannot be saved within a preset. But let's change some of the settings here. First I'll change the name. Let me call this one Loosy Goosy for example. And we want one that doesn't really match the exact paths that I have. So I'll change the Path Fitting to like maybe something like 4 pixels and the Minimum Area I'll crank up to around 20 pixels, and I'll set a Corner Angle as well to about 120. I'll choose the Ignore White option, for example here. I'll also set a Blur to around maybe 1 pixel blur.
That will just kind of help things out, basically to reduce the number of anchor points that are there. Then what I'll do is I'll click on the Done button and now I have defined my preset. Now this preset is great for the computer that I'm on right now, but if I want to now save this and export it so that other people can use it, I could simply go over here and click on the Export button and then maybe throw it on my Desktop here. It doesn't pick up the name itself. But I can name it what I want to here and then click on the Save button. That just saves it as a text based file, which also happens to be a cross platform file. So I can easily import that particular preset using the Import button here and I can do that on a Mac or a Windows computer. Once I'm done, I'll simply click OK, and now that preset lives here inside of Illustrator. Let me show you one interesting thing about these particular presets though. I'm going to hide Illustrator for a second. I'll go to my Desktop where I have that file that I just saved.
Notice that the text that appears in here, it's just regular text. Again, like I said, it is a cross platform file. I can easily import this on both Mac and Windows based computers. But there is also an option down here called canEdit and canDelete. These are currently set to 1. If you change these to 0, you can also adjust whether or not these can be edited or deleted from those computers. Now even if the presets themselves don't give you the exact results that you are looking for, by getting the settings down right and saving your own presets, at least you can put yourself in a position where you can quickly apply one of your customized traces, and then all you need is just a little bit of tweaking for each individual image.
So go ahead and create your own custom presets. After all, they are free.
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