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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.
In this exercise I'm going to show you how to save and recall selections and this is a really wild thing, very few people know this is even possible inside of Illustrator. I have gone ahead and saved my progress so far as The eye head.ai because after all, we have created the eye-head and I want to be able to save off a selection that will allow me to select the eye-head very easily. So there is a few different ways to work here. One is to go here and marquee. This isn't really a terribly difficult item to select in the first place, but I've just marqueed with the Black Arrow tool these three paths in order to select all three of them and then the traditional way to work to make things easier to select as a group is to group them.
So you would go up to the Object menu and you choose the Group command or you press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. That is an old as the hills keyboard shortcut. That keyboard shortcut for the Group command has been around since, I want to say 1985, I think that's how old this is. Before Illustrator in other words. So I'm going to go ahead and choose that command and we now have a group and if I were to spin open the Primitives layer here, I'll go ahead and make my palette wider you could see that we got a Group. Now I can go ahead and name that Group if I wanted to, I could call it something more meaningful. For example, I can call it eye-head because that's what it is and then I'll go ahead and click on it and then I can go ahead and rename this path as well.
This is that guy that neck sort of body thing right there. So why don't we name it neck-body because he has got these interesting sort of shared body parts right here and I'll click OK and then the rational is this isn't really his body here, these are his pants, he just hikes them up really high and then down here we have got -- they are just legs or we can call them of course legs-feet and then click OK. So we have named each one of the items. Now let's say we want to name the paths inside the eye-head just for the sake of being as meticulous as humanly possible and also because I want to show you something about this in just a moment. I'm going to twirl open the eye -head group and I'm going to call this guy pupil of course because he has got that one giant pupil and this thing will be the eye and we will just make a determination. This thing is the head okay, so I'm just double-clicking on each one of those items and naming them.
I will go ahead and collapse that Group. The thing about working with a Group as we have done so far is that more or less limits us, unless we are going to resort to the Direct Selection tool or we are going to sort of look through the Layers palette and try to meatball just specific items. We are going to be limited in terms of, for example I should say we are going to have a hard time if we are trying to select both the pupil and the neck-body shapes independently of the eye and the head. This is not impossible it's just a little rougher than it needs to be. So if you decide you don't really want to group something but you do want to make them easy to select together, then there is another way to work. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and Ungroup eye-head and I want you to see something about this. Notice eye- head contains pupil, eye and head right there let's go and scroll down the list little more so that we can see neck-body and legs-feet like so.
All right, now I'm going to go up to the Object menu and I'm going to choose the Ungroup command, Ctrl+Shift+G, Command+Shift+G on the Mac. Watch what happens to that eye-head thing over there, when I choose this command it goes away, but Illustrator goes ahead and respects the names I applied to the paths inside the Group. So they are still called pupil, eye and head, which is great, and they are still selected which is nice too. All right, now I'm going to go up to the Select menu and I'm going to choose Save Selection. So this is another way to work and you can Save Selections that include elements from different layers from different groups from different anything.
So I'm going to choose Save Selection and I'm going to call it guess what eye-head makes a lot of sense of here and I'll click OK and it now appears in the Select menu as a command that I can choose. All right, I'll go ahead and put that away there. Now let's say we want the select the buttons on his pants. I'm going to go ahead and click on this first button and I can't select it because I have got to unlock the layer. All right so let's go ahead and unlock the Other stuff layer right there, by clicking on the Lock icon, I make it go away. Then I'll click on this button in order to select it. Now I could Shift- click on the other buttons if I wanted to or I could just go to this Select menu item right there in the Control palette and I can make sure that it's set to All which it is by default and if it is, all I need to do is just click on this little button and that we will select everything that shares the same attributes as the button.
The same fill, the same stroke etcetera, etcetera, which is just these four buttons and that's it and then I'll go up to the Select menu and I'll choose Save Selection again and I'll go ahead and name these buttons like so and then click OK in order to Save that out. Now let's say that we want to make sure that we select all the fleshy items at once inside of this fellow. So if I were to click this outside head thing right there, the head shape and then I were to go up to the same option right there in the Control palette and click on it, then I would also select -- oops! That doesn't work because nothing shares the same attribute as the head. Because the hands and the lips have different strokes, they are thinner strokes.
So what we need to do instead is click this down pointing arrowhead and choose Fill Color and that will get me all of the items that share the same fill color and that is just those fleshy items there good and I'll now go ahead save them off by choosing the Save Selection command once again as fleshy bits or something along those lines and then click OK. Now, notice that I can switch between these selections just by choosing one of these commands. So I'll go to Select menu choose eye-head there it is selected. I go to the Select menu, choose Buttons, there it is. There are the buttons now selected and then finally of course if I select fleshy bits.
Now the nice thing about fleshy bits what I'm trying to show here with fleshy bits is that both eye-head and fleshy bits share this outer head shape right here and that's totally okay. That's not something you could do with two different groups, but it is something you could with two different selections. Now where do you suppose these selections live? They live inside the graphic they are saved as part of this graphic file. So in other words, if you share this document with somebody else and you tell them hey! What you want to do is just go ahead and select the eye-head item there and move it over or change the colors or do whatever you want with it. Then you can walk them through, you can tell them to go to the Select menu, you choose eye-head and they are good to go.
And in very complicated graphics that can be really, really, super useful. So again, just another way to organize your graphic, make it easier to work through, by saving selections inside Illustrator.
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