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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Mastery, the third and final part of the comprehensive Illustrator One-on-One series, author and industry expert Deke McClelland shows how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic effects in Illustrator CS5. Deke explores Illustrator’s powerful Gradient Mesh feature, great for creating photorealistic airbrushing effects. He also covers graphic styles, the liquify tools, envelope-style distortions, the new Bristle Brushes, 3D text, and perspective drawing. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, I am going to show you how to disable those dialog boxes, so Illustrator just plows through the action. We will also see the big drawback of working that way and then in the next exercise, I will show you the solution, which involves a little bit of hacking with the Text Editor as you'll see. So I am still working away inside Musical review.ai, but I have a couple of other files open as well. I've got Variation 1.ai and I have Variation 2.ai and they're both found inside that very same 30_actions folder.
So I am going to start things off in the original Musical review.ai file. And notice here inside of the panel that we've got these little squares with dot, dot, dots in them, that's a very miniscule dialog box, is the idea. And if it appears black, it means all the dialog boxes in that action or in that action set are turned on. If it appears red, it means some are on and some are off. So I could, for example, notice if I twirl open Default Actions, we've got some actions that don't involve dialog boxes, so we don't even see space holders for dialog boxes there.
And then we have got a few dialog boxes turned on and a few turned off and so forth. If I were to click on that red dialog box, I would turn them all off, which generally speaking is a pretty dangerous thing to do because now if I click in there again, it's going to turn them all on, so I have no idea of which ones really need dialog boxes on and which ones really don't.So I don't suggest that you click on a red dialog box. In my case, I did it to Default Actions, which I loathe so I don't care. But anyway I am going to twirl that close.
What I recommend you do instead, is just go ahead and click on the dialog box in front of either an operation name or in front of the action name to turn off the dialog boxes that are associated with that operation or action. So in my case, I am going to turn off the one in front of Save for Web PNG 8/64, and that goes in and turns off the dialog box in front of dekeSet as well, because that's the only action in dekeSet right now. Now let's go ahead and play back it back. So I will go ahead and click the Play button right there, and it doesn't seem like anything has happened, but in fact you just play back the action.
It just so happened that you didn't see a bunch of dialog boxes and it took next to no time for that action to play, less than a second in fact. So let's go ahead and check out this file inside the Bridge. If I click on Go to Bridge in order to bring up the Bridge, and I train it on the 30_actions folder, I will see that there is a file called Musical review.png. There was a file like that that I created just two exercises ago, as you may recall, Illustrator automatically saved over it. It's something to be very careful of by the way is Illustrator will save over files when you are playing back actions without even telling you. Danger! So you need to make sure that you have got all your ducks in a row or you need to make sure that your files are backed up, so you don't care if they get over saved as you're learning. All right! I am going to switch back to Illustrator by clicking on the little boomerang icon.
Now I want you to see the real problem, the larger problem associated with turning off the dialog box. I am going to twirl open, Save for Web and I am going to go ahead and scroll to the bottom, and I am going to increase the width of my Actions panel even further and scroll again so that I can show you that the entire path is mapped out here. So Illustrator didn't just save all the settings, it saved that I went to my Exercise Files folder on the desktop, then inside 30_actions and then I save the file as Musical reviw.png.
It actually pays attention to the file name, which is insane. That is such a bad idea on Illustrator's part, but and I will show you the problem in the second. But you would think, you would be able to grab this guy, right? There is a Trashcan right there, and look, it even lights up when you drag and drop it on to the Trashcan, it just doesn't happen to work. If I go ahead and select that piece and I click on a Trashcan, Illustrator says, hey do you want to delete that selection? And I say, Yes and then I guess Illustrator decides, well you don't get to.
I figured, I'd ask you first, before I said No, was what Illustrator was doing there. So you can't delete just a single part of an operation, just not possible, so check it out. Let me show you the problem with this. I am going to go and twirl this guy back closed and make my panel narrower. I will go up to Variation 1.ai; you probably see where I'm going with this. I will click on the action, I will play it back, it's done. All right! So the only way to check out whether it worked or not or how it worked is to go back to the Bridge.
Now notice, for one thing there is no file called Variation 1.png but there is this file called Musical review.png and it now looks like Variation 1. Gosh! you know, I bet, the chances are really good. If I return to Illustrator and I go to Variations number 2 and I go ahead and play that action again, and then I go back to the Bridge, then sure enough, Musical review looks exactly like Variation 2.ai. So not to make fun of it too much because this is actually a real big problem, but I do want you to know that the problem exists.
So if you go turning off the dialog boxes during a save operation or an export operation, technically, this is an export operation as we'll see. If you do that, then Illustrator is going to be over saving and saving on that exact same file name over and over again. Big huge problem! So what in the world do you do? Well, you get that file name out of there. I am going to go back to Illustrator. What we need to do, is we need to take this action right there and we need to take this line of code, and we need to edit it, so it no longer has a file name in it.
And we are going to do that exact thing in the very next exercise.
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