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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey
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Setting your selection preferences


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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

with Justin Seeley

Video: Setting your selection preferences

Before we get started with actually making selections inside of Illustrator, I think it's important that we explore the basic selection preferences to get a better understanding of how selections are being made and how they work so that we can customize Illustrator to make our selection process as easy as possible. The first thing I'm going to do is show you how basic selections work inside of Illustrator. If you want to select something with the Selection tool, all you have to do is click on an object, like so, to make it selected. You'll notice that once it's selected, there is a bounding box that goes all the way around it which represents the controls you have over that object.
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  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
8h 48m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks, from illustration to app development. This course demonstrates core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow—for print, the web, or building assets that will find their way into other applications. Author Justin Seeley explains the elements that make up vector graphics (paths, strokes, and fills) while showing how to use each of the drawing tools, and demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths and organize them into groups and layers. The course also covers text editing, working with color, effects, and much more.

Topics include:
  • Understanding vector graphics
  • Creating and setting up files for print or web destinations
  • Selecting and transforming objects on the page
  • Creating spot colors
  • Applying fills, strokes, and gradients to artwork
  • Adjusting appearances and effects
  • Working with anchor points and paths
  • Drawing with the Pen tool
  • Creating text
  • Managing layers
  • Creating and using symbols
  • Printing, saving, and exporting artwork
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Justin Seeley

Setting your selection preferences

Before we get started with actually making selections inside of Illustrator, I think it's important that we explore the basic selection preferences to get a better understanding of how selections are being made and how they work so that we can customize Illustrator to make our selection process as easy as possible. The first thing I'm going to do is show you how basic selections work inside of Illustrator. If you want to select something with the Selection tool, all you have to do is click on an object, like so, to make it selected. You'll notice that once it's selected, there is a bounding box that goes all the way around it which represents the controls you have over that object.

You can then use this bounding box to control the scale and rotation and all types of other things that are associated with this particular object. However, when we're in the normal Preview Mode like what you're seeing here, it's very easy to select an object just by pointing and clicking on it. But if we were to enter Outline Mode by pressing Command+Y or Ctrl+Y on our keyboard, you'll see that the selection process is actually very different. Let me zoom in on this same piece of artwork and I'll grab the Selection tool. If I click right in the center as I did before, I cannot select this object because I actually have to find the path in order to make that selection.

So depending on which Preview Mode you're in, it may be a little bit difficult to make selections, or you may find that this is actually a better way of making selections because it forces you to be precise on what you're wanting to select. If so, I'm going to show you how to tweak the preference settings to make it so that you have to click on the path each and every time. Now let's go take a look at some of the selection preference settings inside of Illustrator. In order to bring up my preferences, I'll simply hit Command+K or Ctrl+K on my keyboard and that will bring them right up. Once I have the Preferences open, I want to go to Selection & Anchor Display.

Once inside of the Selection & Anchor Display, you're going to see a lot of different things inside of here. Let's focus on the top section first. This is the Selection settings themselves. The first setting is Tolerance. This indicates how close to an object you have to be when you click in order to make that object selected. So in this case, the Tolerance is set to 3 pixels. So that means if I'm searching for an object on my artboard and I get within 3 pixels of it and I click, Illustrator is automatically going to select that object for me.

This is not as precise as some people like it to be, so you might want to back that down to 2 pixels or 1 pixel. Or if you're working on big chunks of artwork, you may want to beef that up to 5 or 6. The Tolerance is totally up to you, but just remember, taking it down makes it more precise, taking it up; you're going to make more loose selections. The second option is Object Selection by Path Only. This means with this turned on, if you're in normal Preview Mode, you cannot click directly in the middle of that object like I clicked on before.

So let's turn this on and hit OK. I'll exit Outline Mode by hitting Command+Y or Ctrl+Y on my keyboard and I'll click away to deselect this object. Remember, I've turned on that option where I have to click on the path in order to select the object. If I come here on this object and click in the middle, nothing happens. If I come to the side and find the path, I click on it and the object is once again selected. So again, this forces you to be very precise with your selections. So if you're dealing with small little pieces of artwork like I'm dealing with here, this might be a good option because it forces you to be precise and allows you to pick exactly the piece of artwork that you want.

If you want to turn this back off, simply go back in your Preferences, that's Command+K or Ctrl+K and then go to Selection & Anchor Display and then turn off Object Selection by Path Only. You can also choose to Snap to Point and Control Click to Select Objects Behind. This means that you will hold on the Ctrl key on your keyboard and then click an object which is behind another object in order to select it. Otherwise you're going to have to use something called Isolation Mode to get objects that lie behind other objects. Let's move down now to the second part of this dialog box, the Anchor Point and Handle Display.

This is a total personal choice but it's really handy. For instance, the anchor points; you can determine how big those anchor points are and you can also determine how big the handle points are and what they look like. So if you like your anchor points to be a little larger, you can pick this option to the right. If you like them to be smaller, you can pick this option to the left. The control handles are the same way. These are the handles that come off of an anchor point which allow you to control curves and corners. If you'd like for these control handles to be a little bit larger, then I'm going to pick the one in the middle, or if you like for them to be sort of an open circle and easier to see, you can the one in the far right.

Again, this is totally up to you and I'll leave it to you to make your own choice. You can also choose whether or not you Highlight anchors on mouse over. When you're dealing with complex artwork, sometimes it can be hard to determine exactly where the anchor points are. Turning on Highlight anchors on mouse over will automatically make the anchor point highlight momentarily when you hover over it to let you know that there's an anchor point there. This is extremely helpful and I always recommend leaving this checked on. However, if you find it a little bit distracting while you're working, you may want to turn it off. Again, totally up to you, but I recommend keeping it on.

You can also show the handles when multiple anchor points are selected. By default, inside of Illustrator when you have multiple anchor points selected that you'd like to modify, the control handles aren't being displayed for each anchor point. However, you can turn this on and then you select multiple anchor points and you'll see the control handles for each one. If you'd like to see that, you can check this box. If not, you can leave it unchecked. Once you've set up all your preferences the way you like them in here, you can simply hit OK and Illustrator automatically commits to those changes. No restart necessary. So now that you've seen how to control your selection preferences in Illustrator, you can begin to explore them on your own and determine just how you like them.

Once you've developed your preferences, just pop back into the Selection Preference dialog box and make the change. You'll be glad you did because making precise selections in Illustrator is going to go a long way for helping you improve your workflow.

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