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Saving your artwork

From: Up and Running with Illustrator

Video: Saving your artwork

In this exercise, I am going to show you how to saveyourartwork from Illustrator. I have opened a document call Clothing on artboards.ai, it's found inside the Exercise Files folder, and note that this file contains a total of four artboards. Now I have just opened this file so there are no unsaved changes but let's say I go ahead and click on this blue shirt with a Black arrow tool and I press the down Arrow key to nudge you down a point, and then in the up Arrow key to nudge it right back where it used to be. In the title tab, I see an asterisk after the file name, that shows me that there are unsaved changes, anytime you see that asterisk you know that at some point you need to update the file by going up to the file menu and choosing the Save command, which will overwrite the old file on disk with your new changes.

Saving your artwork

In this exercise, I am going to show you how to saveyourartwork from Illustrator. I have opened a document call Clothing on artboards.ai, it's found inside the Exercise Files folder, and note that this file contains a total of four artboards. Now I have just opened this file so there are no unsaved changes but let's say I go ahead and click on this blue shirt with a Black arrow tool and I press the down Arrow key to nudge you down a point, and then in the up Arrow key to nudge it right back where it used to be. In the title tab, I see an asterisk after the file name, that shows me that there are unsaved changes, anytime you see that asterisk you know that at some point you need to update the file by going up to the file menu and choosing the Save command, which will overwrite the old file on disk with your new changes.

However, I want to show you what happens the first time you Save a file so I will go ahead and choose to Save As command or press Control Shift As, Command Shift As on a Mac. And I am going to go ahead and call this new file Most recent format, lets say, now I want you to notice that there's a few different ways to Save your file you can Save it as a native Illustrator document which is a .AI file, you can also Save it as a PDF file if you want to make it available to folks who don't have Illustrator. Some printers like to see PDF files as well, and then you have the EPS format the Encapsulated PostScript format which is only useful, by the way.

If you are saving a file for placement into Quark XPress or some older model page layout program, 99.9% of the time you want to go ahead and save your file to the native illustrator format the .AI format because, .AI files include PDF descriptions of the files by default and I will show you what that looks like in a moment. So if somebody wants a PDF file, go ahead and use the AI format and if you are placing the file into InDesign or a more recent page layout program then .AI is the best way to go.

I am going to go ahead and click on the Save format in order to bring up the next dialog box now this is a big whopping dialog boxes you can see all sorts of options here, you see it every time you Save the native file from Illustrator for the first time, notice right there we are seeing Create PDF Compatible File, leave that check box turned on, InDesign needs it other applications need it and this way, when you Save your file you can send it to somebody else and they can take a look at that file inside of the free Adobe reader which is downloadable as I say completely for free at adobe.com.

So the person doesn't even need Illustrator to see your file, they can zoom in on it and everything the only thing it can't do, is edit that file which is probably a good thing. These other check boxes you should just leave set as is, now the only reason is switch from the most recent version of the software which in my case is CS5 but might be something more recent for you, is if you are trying to save this file for use by somebody who owns an older version of Illustrator. For example, you might go ahead and choose the Illustrator CS4 format, if you do that though you might lose some information that's associated with your file.

Notice that were seeing this little Caution Icon and then down here in the warnings, we see this message Saving to a legacy format may cause some changes but it's very vague it doesn't tell you what changes might occur. Now, in a case of everything that we have seen there's only been one feature that would not be saved as part of the CS4 format and that is that variable with tool, remember when we changed the weight of that curlicue line, that wouldn't get save properly along with a file that stroke would be rendered out as a filled path outlined would still be there but it wouldn't be a variable weight stroke.

So you have to be aware of what stuff you are going to lose that's why I recommend you make sure that you saved everything you do, in at least that most recent version of the file format if you want to save some other versions of the file that's fine, but be sure to say the least one copy of your file to the most recent file format. Then if you go back farther than CS 4 and I don't recommend you go back any further than CS3 unless somebody out there that you work with is specifically working with an older version of the software, but if you saved to the Illustrator CS3 file format, then you are going to lose your artboards.

Multiple artboards were introduced in CS4 in which case if you want to break up your artboards then you go and turn on this check box which Saves each artboard as a separate file. So that's an option. Let's say you don't turn on however, go will go ahead and Save everything to a single document, however it's just going to have this weird artboard right in the center of it. Let me show you what that looks like a go and cancel out of this document here and I will switch over to another file I have open that's called CS 3 artwork.ai.

This is that same 4 artboard documents saved to the Illustrator CS3 format as you can see we have a single artboard right here in the center, and then we have guides around the previous artboards. So again let me make this perfectly clear. When saving your Illustrator documents the AI format is the way to go you don't need to go worry about PDF or EPS in most cases be sure to Save at least one version of your file to the most recent file format and make sure to turn on that PDF check box so that other folks can look at your document inside of the free Adobe reader or place that file into other applications that support PDF.

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Up and Running with Illustrator

26 video lessons · 20838 viewers

Deke McClelland
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