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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 scale and position type inside of Illustrator, and along the way I'm going to impart a lot of different keyboard and mouse tricks that I think you'll find very helpful if you can keep track of them. Now, they do make a lot of sense, once you come to terms with them and they do allow you to keep your focus on your type without having to runoff and grab different tools and different options in the Control palette and so forth. I am working inside that same document we opened in the previous exercise which is called Plain old Verdana.ai found inside of the 08_type folder. Now I want to change the Typeface and the Size associated with the title, That Sock, independently the byline. So that means I need to select that title independently the byline with the Type tool.
Now it's telling you how you can switch over to the Type tool by double-clicking, if the Black Arrow is active double-clicking there inside of your type that sets the blinking insertion marker and switches you over to the Type tool here. But there is another way to work, watch this. I'll press the Escape key to switch back to the Black Arrow tool and if I triple-click on my type 1, 2, 3, that not only switches me over to the Type tool, but it also goes ahead and selects that entire first line of type. All right, now I'm going to go up to my Font option here and click inside of it, and I want to switch to Trajan Pro, which is one of those fonts I was telling you is available to you automatically if you installed the Design Premium version of CS4.
If you have some other version, you can't find Trajan Pro then try out any font you like. But I'm going to go ahead and enter Tra, and that's going to switch me to Trajan Pro and then I'm going to press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, and notice that I all of a sudden get All Cap type. And it's not really All Cap it's actually small caps. If you notice here, we've got a big T and then a little HAT, but they are capital letters, and that just happens to be how Trajan works. So some typefaces have all caps, some have lowercase characters, some have all kinds of different wacky characters inside of them. All right, now let's say I want to change the Size of this type, but it's too small of course, so I'll go up here to the Size value, click in it in order to select it, and I could say you know, I want 37.42 as my Type Size and press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, and that's totally fine, you can enter Type Size value that's accurate to a hundredth of a point if you want, and the only reason I'm showing you that, not because it's semi-reasonable or anything like that, just so that you can see that your type, no matter what value you enter is going to look perfectly smooth on screen and it's going to print perfectly smoothly as well.
Now if you click on this down pointing arrow-head, you will see some other common type sizes listed, for example, we jump from 36 to 48 point here, and that may imply to you that Adobe is somehow recommending these type sizes 36 point and 48 point over my 37.42 point. There is no implication like that going on. These are leftovers from the old days, these used to be screen size values. So back in the old days, really old days, 36 point did look better than 37.42, but that's not the case anymore. So you can enter whatever you want. Having said that I'm going to switch to 36 point, just so that we have a round value to work from here, as I show you a few other tricks that are available to you.
Now the first trick I'm going to start with this is notice that this text is off the screen to the right, think that's fairly obvious, so I want to scroll rightward. It's tempting to press-and- hold the Spacebar in order to access the Hand tool on the fly, but if you do that then you are going to go ahead and replace your text with a space. So that's no good, what do you do? Go ahead and undo, Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac. Well, you could resort to the scrollbar down here at the bottom of the illustration window, or even better, take advantage of one of those scroll wheel tricks I was telling you about long, long ago, when we were discussing Navigation. So if you press-and-hold the Ctrl key or the Command key on the Mac and then scroll down with the scroll wheel on your mouse, you are going to move things over to the right, like so, and of course, if you have a mighty mouse on the Mac you can just scroll to the right without pressing any special key.
All right, now we can see the entirety of That Sock. What if you want to be able to nudge the size of your text incrementally? Without having to worry about what this specific type size value as well? You have that option from the keyboard here inside of Illustrator, let's go ahead and zoom out so that we can see more of our text at a time. You can press Ctrl+Shift+Period or Command+Shift+ Period to make your text incrementally larger, and Ctrl+Shift+Comma or Command+ Shift+Comma on the Mac to make the text incrementally smaller. Now why Period and Comma? Because those are the same keys that share the greater than sign. This is Ctrl+ Shift+>, Command+Shift+> on the Mac or Ctrl+Shift+<, Command+Shift+< on the Mac to make the text smaller.
So American keyboards have the Less Than and Greater Than signs on the same keys as the Comma and Period keys respectively. All right, so that's it. I'm going to increase my text quite a bit, and as I increase the size of my text by pressing Ctrl+Shift+> or Command+Shift+> on the Mac, you will notice this value here raises in two-point increments. So notice that we are getting these galumphing bigger sizes here, and if you want better control, which I think you do, I certainly do, then you want to change your keyboard increments inside the Preferences dialog box, so here's how. I'm going to press Ctrl+K or Command+K on the Mac in order to bring up the Preferences dialog box and switch from General to Type. And then notice these first three numerical values, they all affect different formatting keyboard tricks that are available to you here inside of Illustrator. So the first one is Size/Leading. Size of course being type size, Leading being the distance between lines of type, and we will be discussing Leading in the very next exercise.
It's set to 2 points. That's way too big in my opinion, I would rather have 0.5 points, so half a point which is a- quarter of the value we have before. That's good control. And if you are thinking that's too small, wait, you will see that there is a way to make it bigger again. You can always go up; you can't go down except here from the Preferences dialog box. And then Tracking. Tracking is the horizontal distance between characters of type. It's measured in thousandths of an em space. Now an em space is a space that is as wide as the type size is tall, so it's a relative space. So in our case, we've got 50-point type, so it's going to be a space that's exactly 50 points wide. If we are changing things in thousandths of an em, that is great.
That's an amazing level of control. That's 0.05 point, so half of the tenth of a point, which might seem like a crazy level of control. Why change it? We are operating in twenty thousandths of an em. If you divide 1000 by 20, you get 50. So if you divide 50 by 50, which is what this would be here, then that single point controls. So tracking of 20, 1000s at 50 points is single point increments, which is huge when you are adjusting type. So what we want to do is take this down too. I'm going to change this value to a-quarter of what it was to 5. So a- quarter of what this was, a-quarter of what this was, and not surprising a-quarter of this value too. So Baseline Shift, I'm going to take down to 0.5 points as well.
Baseline Shift by the way is the distance between the bottom of the text and the baseline. So you can either raise the text or lower it. If you want to. And we'll see that in the later exercise as well. Click OK in order to accept that modification and now notice if I press, for example, Ctrl+Shift+< or Command+Shift+< on the Mac, I take this value down to 49.5 and this is much better control as you can see. So we are making slower progress but we are also making a more fine-tuned edit. Now if that's going too slowly for some reason and typically you will grab your type, you will select your type here and then you make big changes at first and then make smaller changes as you get closer to your goal.
If you want to make those big changes, you add Alt to the mix or Option on the Mac. So this is Ctrl+Shift+Alt+< or Command+Shift+Option+< on the Mac, and every time you press Alt or Option with that keyboard shortcut, you increase the increment by 5. So in our case we are changing the type by 2.5 points at a time when we do that. In my case, I want to take this type just so that we have something to work from here so that we can get the same results. I want this type to be 44 point. So I'm going to press Ctrl+ Shift+Alt+Period. That would be Command+Shift+Option+Period on the Mac. In order to raise that type in my case to 43.5 point and now we are very close. So now I would press Ctrl+Shift+Period without the Alt key, Command+Shift+ Period on the Mac in order to make my type 44 points in size.
All right, let's zoom out one more increment there and I'll press the Control key and scroll up with my scroll wheel in order to move over to the left, and then I'll also scroll down, and that's without the Control key or the Command key obviously. The final thing we are going to do inside this exercise is move this text into the right place. I could do that by switching back to the Black Arrow tool, but let's say for whatever reason you don't want to. You want to keep the Type tool active, you would press-and-hold the Control key or the Command key on the Mac in order to get the Black Arrow on the fly and then you can drag your text to the location where you want it, like so, then drop it in a place and then as soon as you release your key there, the Control key or the Command key, you will switch back to the Type tool cursor and then you can select your text once again or what have you.
All right, in the next exercise, we are going to begin work on this byline and we are going to change the Leading, the Tracking and lot more.
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