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Snap-to points

From: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

Video: Snap-to points

In this exercise, I'm going to demonstrate Snapping to you. It's a small topic, but it's a very important one inside of Illustrator. So the notion is that just as objects snap to guides, as you would expect, as you are drawing and dragging objects around inside of Illustrator, guides also snap to objects, and object snap to objects and guide snap to guides, and everybody is aligning with everybody else. When you go up to the View menu, assuming this guy right here is turned on, Snap to Point. So it's very important that Snap to Point is turned on so that everybody snap into each other.

Snap-to points

In this exercise, I'm going to demonstrate Snapping to you. It's a small topic, but it's a very important one inside of Illustrator. So the notion is that just as objects snap to guides, as you would expect, as you are drawing and dragging objects around inside of Illustrator, guides also snap to objects, and object snap to objects and guide snap to guides, and everybody is aligning with everybody else. When you go up to the View menu, assuming this guy right here is turned on, Snap to Point. So it's very important that Snap to Point is turned on so that everybody snap into each other.

Sometimes we need to get objects very close to each other without snapping and you want to be able go back and forth, you might want to remember this keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+Alt+", Command+Option+" on the Mac. But its not one that I have assigned to memory, and I just leave Snap to Point turned on. All right. So, let's go ahead and set up a couple of guides that are going to snap to the objects that are already in this illustration. In case you are just sitting there thinking, okay, if objects snap to guides and guides snap to objects and objects snap to objects and guides snap to guides, if all that stuff is true, why do we even need guides, why don't we just work with the fact that object snap to other objects? The reason is guides are invisible for one thing. Guides do not print, of course, not really part of the illustration.

Then also, an object is going to snap to the entire length of a guide, whereas objects only snap to each other's anchor points, to the ends and the corners and the other points that make up the path. All right. So I'm going to go ahead and click on this path right here. I'm still working inside of Horus.ai by the way. The only difference between the file we are seeing on screen and the file that's actually saved to disk, that I provided to you, is that I have added this upper left quadrant of a square guide here. So I went ahead and clicked on this dude, and notice that it has a bounding box around it. So not only can we see this path running sort of through the center of the stroke in blue, we can also see a bounding box.

The bounding box is a convenience feature. If you drag one of these corner handles, you can scale the item, as you see right there. If you move your cursor close to one of those corner handles, you will get this Rotate cursor. Then you can rotate the path. So with such a wonderful, convenience feature, you may be surprised that I hate the bounding box. I just hate this darn thing. I'm going to press Ctrl+Z, Ctrl+Z, Command+Z, Command+Z on the Mac, two times in a row there. The reason I hate it is because it really gets intrusive. It gets in a way of your access to the points, and there is just better ways to work. You are better off scaling a shape using the Scale tool. You are better off rotating using the Rotate tool. There are just much better tools for that purpose, as we will see in a future chapter.

Anyway, what I would like you to do right now is just turn the bounding box off, on a leap of faith, just imagine that I'm right. Go up to the View menu and choose Hide Bounding Box. You can always bring it back by pressing Ctrl+Shift+B or Command+Shift+B on the Mac. Notice, in case you are sitting there going, "Well, it doesn't say Ctrl+ Shift+B, it says Shift+Ctrl+B." Many of the Adobe applications talk in opposite order. The way of expressing keyboard shortcuts throughout the industry is to say Ctrl or Command first, Shift second, and then Alt or Option third. That's the way everybody does it, except for the Adobe applications. Anyway, just so you know why I'm speaking differently.

I am going to choose that command to make the bounding box go away. Those tiny squares are anchor points, so we have access to all of the anchor points, all three of them. Those blue lines in between, those are the segments that represent the path inside of this thick stroke. So what we are seeing here, this path is really the skeleton of the object. All right. I'm now going to go up to my Horizontal Ruler. I'm going to drag out a Ruler Guide, like so. Notice the appearance of my cursor right there, looks like a black arrow. As soon as I move it over the point, it changes to a white arrowhead, and that shows me that I have a snap. That snap means I'm exactly locked down on that point. There is no wiggle room whatsoever. I'm exactly locked on to it. Then I release and I create a new guide.

It's important, by the way, that your guides are not locked so that you can see them here selected. If you want to check on that, if you have any concern about that, you can go down here and locate Guides in the View menu, and then make sure that Lock Guides is turned off, as it is for me. All right. Next, I'm going to create another guideline that's going to snap into alignment with this anchor point down here, so that we have guidelines marking the top and the bottom of these lines. I'll go to that Horizontal Ruler once again, drag all the way down, and snap it into alignment, like so. We now have a series of six guides inside of this illustration.

Now, I'm going to show you one other way that you can make a guide, just in case you are curious. I'll go ahead and press Ctrl+Z, Command+Z on the Mac to undo that guide that I just added there. You can also duplicate a guide. So if you have got one and you want to clone it, click on it to select it, and then go ahead and drag it, like so. Midway into the drag, press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and then snap that guy into alignment. Now, you can see the cursor, while you have Alt or Option down, it says double cursor, showing you that you are going to clone it. It doesn't look like you are going to clone it, because the old one's gone, but you are.

Then as soon as you snap into alignment, look at that. You get a double white arrowhead. Then release the mouse button and then release Alt or Option, and notice you went ahead and cloned that guide. So just another way to work, just in case you are curious. We now have a series of guides going on inside of this illustration, six guides altogether, two Ruler Guides and four Custom Guides. In the next exercise, I'm going to show you how to select all these guides, and then we are going to relegate them to an independent layer, really great way to work inside Illustrator.

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Image for Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

182 video lessons · 38143 viewers

Deke McClelland
Author

 
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  1. 42m 7s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 2s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
      56s
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
      35s
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 14s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 39s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
      55s
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 43s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
      54s
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 38s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 28s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
      55s
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 48s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 30s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
      44s
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 55s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 32s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
      51s
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 1s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 26s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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