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Creating artwork that you can then repurpose for multiple uses inside of Illustrator is one of the things that makes Illustrator such a great program. In this movie, I'm going to focus on one way that you can save your artwork inside of Illustrator in a more reusable format, so that basically, you can base other documents off of it as well. You are going to be doing this by saving it as a template. So the first thing I am going to do is I am going to open a file that I need to use. I will jump over into the Adobe Bridge, and I will go into my Exercise Files > Chapter 15 folder, and I will grab the template.ai file.
Basically, this is a business card template, and I am going to add a few things to this before I save it, so that someone could easily open this up, make a change, and save out as a new business card. So here I am going to grab the Type tool, and with the Type tool selected, I am going to down to the Layers panel, and I will double-click to expand it, so I can see it. And I'll create a new layer on top, and I'll call this layer Text. I'm also going to lock the Logos and Background layer. That way I have got the text on its own layer; the Logos and Background are unable to be changed.
I am then going to zoom in a little bit, and reposition it. When you're dealing with templates, templates save information like zoom Level, positioning, layer positioning, stacking order; all that stuff. So now I am going to take this, and I am going to draw out a box. Just type out your name here, and this could be any font that you want, any color; doesn't matter. I will just do this. Here we go. Now I am going to draw another box somewhere around here.
In this box we'll put Phone, Email, Fax, and then Address. And I will select all of these, and I'm going to significantly reduce the font size; something like 9 points. I will change that to white, and there we go. So essentially, I've set up my template now. The background elements are always going to remain the same; the only things that I want people to change are the name and the information.
So now I am going to go to the File menu, and I'll choose Save As Template. Then it's going to open up with the Templates folder, wherever that may be on my computer, and I am going to save this as this biz_card. I can even create new folders in here if I want to, but for now, I will just save it as biz_card; hit Save. You'll notice once I do that, that it gives it the extension .ait; .ait stands for Adobe Illustrator Template. So we will click Save to commit to the change, and now it is a template file.
I can then close it, and if I wanted to create a new file based on that a template, I would go to the File menu, New from Template, it would jump me to my Templates folder, and I could find biz_card; I will hit new. Notice, I get a brand new document entitled Untitled-1, because I haven't saved it yet, and I have the ability to change the Name, the Phone, Email, Fax, and Address, but I cannot click on the background elements. So I could ,theoretically send this out to somebody and say, all right Bill, I need for you to fill out your own business card, and send it back to me.
So in this case, Bill would come out, and he would type out -- and then he would fill out all of his information underneath. If Bill can't fit all of his stuff in here, he can always make changes, because he has full control over this panel. So for instance, I could go up here, and I could make changes to the Character panel by reducing the font size a little bit. And then we can move that back into position if we want to, and there we go. So Bill has been able to fill out his own business card, utilizing this template that I made, and I could also send this to the printer, and just give him a specified list of names and information to fill out to go along with it.
No matter what, using templates is a great way to jumpstart a project that you've already got artwork created for. Take some time, and set up some templates on your own. You will be glad you did, because once you do, you'll have a library of templates that you can choose from to start your next project from, and it's going to make life a little bit easier.
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