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Covering a wide range of topics, from advanced masking to chart creation, Illustrator CS4 Beyond the Basics reveals a whole new level of power, creativity, and efficiency with Illustrator. Instructor Mordy Golding explores how to work with Live Paint groups, get the most out of the Live Trace feature, and take advantage of Illustrator’s wide range of effects. He also discusses advanced transformation techniques, powerful 3D functionality, and important color concepts. Exercise files accompany the course.
One of the great things about working with graphic styles is that you can easily apply them to objects and text objects alike. However, when you are working with text, there is a certain consideration you need to keep in mind. For example, let's take another look at this map. I have here some text which appears in certain areas but as you can see, the text is colored black. But depending upon where it appears in the map, it goes over some different colored backgrounds and that sometimes makes the text difficult to read. Now many times you might see this in other maps as well. What I'd like to do is create some kind of a graphic style that will instantly create some kind of an outline or some kind of background behind my text so that I can easily read it no matter what background it goes over. In fact, one of the easiest ways to do this is to create a stroke that will now appear beneath the characters in my text stacking order. So that will instantly create some kind of a white background that are border behind the text that I can easily read it. So let's quickly define a graphic style and see exactly what we have to do.
So I'll come here and I'll select this text here, Monterey Bay, and I can see that in my Appearance panel right now, I have a type object that's been targeted and I have my characters which are now inside of that type object and again, the type characters in this case are filled black. What I'm going to do is I'm simply going to add a new stroke. That stroke now is only going to change the color of it to white and I'll also increase the weight of that stroke to around 4 point. The white stroke is covering the black text that appears inside the characters there. So I now want to take the stroke and drag it that appears beneath the characters in my stacking order. So if I de-select the text, now you can see that I kind of have created some kind of a white boundary behind the text.
It's a very simple and straightforward appearance. You are simply going to click on it and now I want to define this as style. So to do so, I'm simply going to take this thumbnail from my Appearance panel and drag it down into the Graphic Styles panel. I'll double click on it and I'll call this one, text with background. I'll click OK and now I have created the style that I need. But watch what happens when I now try to actually apply this style to other text. Now this is the same text that's over here and actually, before I even apply it, it's important to realize that all I have done by creating a graphic style, I have captured the appearance; not the actual text based setting. In other words, the font, point size those are things that are not included in the actual appearance. So they don't appear in the graphic style. That's important to know because in these cases, I do want to preserve the appearance, for example, the point size of my text here; I just want to change its appearance.
But watch what happens now when I click on the state of Santa Cruz text and I apply that graphic style. See how the actual black letter disappears? Yes, it did apply the style but the text color also changed to white. Now why did that happen? That happened because of a setting that you actually set inside of the Graphic Styles panel. By default, if I go over here to the flyout menu or the panel menu here for the Graphic Styles panel, I'll see there's a setting here called Override Character Color, which is currently set on. Again, that's the default setting. So that means when I apply the style, it's also going to change the color of the text.
But in this case, I simply want to add the additional stroke; I don't want to really change any of the fill colors here. So I'm going to un-check that option. Now if I go ahead and I press Undo to get rid of that, I can click on this particular style and see that it simply adds that white stroke that appears behind it without changing the character color itself. Now I can click on this text object here, hold down the Shift key to select both of these text objects and now again, I'll click once to apply the graphic style and with one click of the button, I can now easily make my text readable across my entire document.
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