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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.
All right peeps, it's time for the wackiest trick in all of Illustratordom and it happens to apply to simple line and shape tools. Don't know what the people in Adobe were thinking when they came up with this one, but it's a wacky trick to be sure. And it involves the tilde key and in case you don't know, the tilde key on an American keyboard is directly below the Escape key, it's to the left of the 1 key, it's above the Tab key. You've seen it by now. It's the little wavy line, that little wavy character that goes over the n in pinata. You can use the tilde key to damage an illustration very quickly, and let me show you what I'm talking about. I'm going to go ahead and close the Shape Tool palette here. And I'm going to switch to the Line Segment Tool just by way of example, just one of the many tools that responds to this trick. And I'll draw a straight line. You know you can do that with this tool but did you know, if you press and hold the tilde key as you're drawing, you can do this number here. You lay down multiple incarnations of whatever it is you can draw with the tool. So in this case I'm laying down a bunch of different straight lines as I paint.
Wacky, just truly wacky. Now I'm going to switch to the Star Tool cause that's another cool demo with this feature here. I'll go ahead and draw a star. From the center outwaard of course and this happens to be an eight-pointed star for me. Fine. And then I'll press the tilde key and I'm going to go in people. Woo-hoo! Get this affect right there. Is that not cool? Yeah. I'll go ahead and undo that modification and then finally, I've got to show you this one. I'll demonstrate this little technique with the Spiral Tool of all things. Start drawing a spiral. You know, if you press the spacebar while you're drawing you can move that spiral around, but what if you combine the spacebar along with the tilde key. Then you can paint with spirals. Yes. Begs the question, was there a purpose behind this function? Was Adobe thinking that we could really use it? Maybe and I'm sure when I say stuff like that then somebody sends me back a piece of artwork and goes, I used it to great success, here it is. But you know, I've been demoing this feature for years now and I've never gotten a document like that. So you might be the first. But, tell you what, it is a wacky feature. It's a great thing to show other Illustrator users and show them how much you know. Bear in mind, you have this wonderful tilde key trick available to you to amaze friends and coworkers. Bear in mind you have all those other tricks that I showed you in previous exercises to actually get work done and make money inside of Illustrator. In the next chapter we're going to move on to the topics of fill, strokes and color and we're going to actually assign fill and stroke attributes to the objects that we've created so far, in order to finish off this beautiful 260-day Aztec calendar.
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