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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 begin to show you how to apply formatting attributes inside of Illustrator, and formatting attributes include things like type face, type size, leading, all the stuff that goes into making your text look as good as it possibly can inside of an illustration. I'm working inside of this catch-up document called Plain old Verdana.ai found inside the 08_type folder. And I called it Plain old Verdana because all the text so far is set in the cross-platform font Verdana, which is a very legible font, and I actually find it very useful when I'm writing documents inside of Microsoft Word; however, it's not much of a looker, so I don't think I have ever used it in print.
It's kind of a clunky font. I want something that's snazzier, so why don't we change the typeface? By the way, select the text before you can change it of course, and you select the text either using the Black Arrow tool as I have done here, or you can switch over to the Type tool. So, if you just want to format some of the type, you could select it and then these highlighted characters would be modified. But if I wanted to change all of the text inside of the object, then I would press the Escape key in order to switch back to the Black Arrow tool. That selects the text as well, so now it's all ready for editing. All right, I'll go up to the Control palette and notice this option right here that says Verdana--that is our Font Option. Click on the down-pointing arrowhead and you will see a dropdown list, or a pop-up menu--whatever you prefer--of font names. Now your font names are going to vary from mine because every system has different fonts installed.
However, you should see some common fonts; for example, if I scroll up here a little, I'll see Times New Roman. You probably will too, if you are working on a PC especially. There's Trajan Pro, which installs with the Design Premium version of CS4, so depending on how you purchased Illustrator CS4 in the first place, you are going to see different fonts as well. Notice that I'm not seeing font previews. If you are working on the Mac, you will see previews of your typefaces, but I'm not seeing them here on the PC. If you want to see your fonts on the PC, then go up to the Type menu, choose Fonts, and you will see all of your fonts rendered in the proper fonts, just like so.
You will see them there on the Mac as well. Now, these are medium-size fonts; I prefer to work with large-size fonts, so that I can really see the differences between my fonts right here inside of the submenu. So I'm going to escape out of this menu by pressing the Escape key a few times in a row. Then I'll press Ctrl+K, Command+K on the Mac, to bring up the Preferences dialog box, and I'll switch from general to type, and then make sure Font Preview is turned on, and then change the size from Medium to Large. Then click OK. All right, now if we go up to the Type menu, choose Fonts, and we have got some bigger fonts.
Now, it might take a moment for this submenu to display. That's Illustrator rendering out all the fonts and calculating what they look like. But once you have done it just one time, then those fonts are loaded for later, so big fonts are better. Now I'm going to go down here to this font--notice it's enlisted with the C font--Adobe Caslon Pro, it's included along with the Design Premium version of CS4. It's been included with previous versions of the Creative Suite as well, so depending, you might see it, you might not see it. If you don't, choose another font.
Choose something else that is available to your system. But not only do you have to click on a font name, you have to click on a style. So I'm going to click on Regular in order to choose that style of Caslon Pro, and there is my modified text. As I say, that's one way to work is to choose your font either from this drop- down menu from the Control palette here, or to go up to the Type menu and choose the typeface from Font submenu. A more convenient way to work-- I'll just go ahead and escape out once again-- is to press the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F for font, and you will see that you have highlighted the font name here inside of the Character palette.
Now with that font name selected, you could type something else in. For example, I could type, if I wanted Trajan, I could type 'Tra' and it is going to go for the first font that begins with 'Tra', so Trajan Pro. And then if I press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, I apply that font to my text. Here's another way to work. I'll press Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F to highlight my font, and then--this is really, really great-- you can press the Up arrow key in order to go back through your fonts that are loaded on your system, or you can press the Down arrow key to move forward through your fonts like so.
So arrowing through the fonts is the perfect way to preview your fonts because then you could see them at any size right here inside of your illustration window. So I'll press Ctrl+Shift+F again because zooming in went ahead and deselected that text. Ctrl+Shift+F, Command+Shift+F on the Mac, and then I can go ahead and arrow through these fonts. But as I say, I prefer to work, where this document is concerned, with Adobe Caslon Pro, so I'm just going to type in C-A-S-L-O-N. Actually, that's not going to work, so isn't that a beautiful thing that I showed you, something that doesn't work? I'm going to go ahead and backspace a little here.
I want Adobe, even though it's alphabetized along with the C-- that's what threw me, personally. I want to type in the actual font name, so Adobe and then Caslon Pro. So the first font that begins with Adobe, or at least Adob, which is what I typed, is Adobe Caslon Pro, so it goes and grabs it. If there's something else like I'm thinking, well, you know I want Adobe Garamond, then you will have to do E space G, and it would grab the first font that begins with Adobe G like so. I don't want that, so I'd backspace to get rid of the G. Now notice it doesn't get rid of anything, it just moves your cursor back, and then I press C and it would go with Adobe Caslon Pro.
I'll press the Enter key, or the Return key on the Mac, in order to apply that font to this text. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to change the type size, not only by just grabbing a different type size here from the Control palette, but from the keyboard as well.
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