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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.
All right, I'm pretty happy with the way my illustration is coming together here. There is only thing about it I don't like and that's that the stars are in front of the circles. I think these stars with the green strokes here would look better in back of the circles with the black strokes, just an aesthetic decision on my part. So what I want to do is I want to select all the stars, and move them to the back of the layer, and I'm going to show you how to do that. Now one of the stars is currently selected, because I just got done drawing it. If your star is not selected for some reason, then you go get the Black Arrow tool, and then click on that central star, the four pointed start, assuming that you are working along with me of course. Then you've got this guide right here, and what you really like to do is just tell Illustrator, hey, would you please select all the stars? But it doesn't work that way. It doesn't know stars from the circles, but it can recognize different formatting attributes.
So if I were to click right there and select similar objects, it's going to go by the strokes, right? It's going to find all the guides that have green strokes, so I'll click that icon up in the Control palette, but what happens is it just goes and selects the inner most star and the outer most star, and the reason is it's basing its selection on all formatting attributes. So that is to say not only the transparent fill and the green stroke, but also the fact that we have a two point stroke way, versus a one point stroke way. That's not what we want. So I'll click off, click on one of these guides, because you have the basis selection on something. Then I'll go to this down pointing arrowhead right next to that icon we clicked on the movement ago, and I'll choose Stroke Color, just to identify the stroke color, and now we will get all the stars All right, so that's step one, select all the stars. Step two, let's arrange them, we are going to move them down to the bottom of the stack.
We could do that from the Layers palette. I have showed you how we can drag items. If you go ahead and twirl open a layer, you can select these items and drag them down the stack. But you have to actually click and Shift-click in order to get that to identify them here inside the Layers palette. The fact that they are selected is not really totally recognized by the Layer palette action, and then you would drag it down to the bottom of the stack, but because we already have these guides selected, I want to show you different way to work. I am going to right-click in order to bring up this context sensitive short cut menu, and if you don't have a right mouse button on the Mac, then you can press the Ctrl key and click. You also can do a two finger click with some track paths out there, the newer ones, and then choose Arrange, and you can choose this guide, Send to Back. Now we will send it to the back of the stack. Now notice we have got keyword shortcuts. They are weird keyboard shortcuts on first blush if you haven't seen these kinds of keyboard shortcuts before from another Adobe application, but they are really good ones to remember, because they can be really handy, and they are work inside of Photoshop and InDesign as well.
So what we've got here is the left square bracket, send shapes backward. And the right square bracket sends them forward. So if you just do Ctrl+Right bracket, you will move it up one step. That would be Command+Right bracket on the Mac. And if you just do Ctrl or Command+Left bracket, you are going to move it backward one step. If you press Shift in combination with those guides, you will move it all the way back, or all the way forward. We wanted to go all the way back, so I'll go ahead and choose Send it Back or I can press Ctrl+Shift+Left bracket, Command+Left bracket on the Mac and it moves it all the way to the back of what? Well, let's go ahead and twirl open my drawings once again, and we will go down, and you can see it moves to the bottom of the layer.
So all of those Arrange functions there bring to front, send to back, and all the others, they work inside the confines of the active layer. I'll show you ways to move shapes between layers, layer, but just so you know. All right, so we moved it to the back of the layer. Good for us. I'll go ahead and twirl that close. And I'm going to go ahead and turn these layers off so we can see what we are doing, and I'll click off the stars so that I can see that yes indeed, the stars now exist in back of the circles. In the next exercise we are going to see how to draw rectangles and rounded rectangles, which may seem pretty straightforward, but there is a few tricks associated with that, and then we will do something with that information. You'll see.
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