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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.
Something to note about the zoom functions that I've shown you so far, they all center the zoom, meaning they zoom in on whatever is that the center of your current screen display. So for example I'm working inside of this symmetrical art work. This is the Vectory.ai file that's included inside the 02 Setup_Navigate folder. And if I were to press Control Plus, the center of this illustration remains more or less at the center of the screen. It's actually moving down just a little bit, but that's because it was slightly below center in the first place.
So it keeps centering whatever was at the center originally. All right I'm going to go ahead and zoom out because when you zoom out, it also centers the zoom and the problem with working that way is that means you're going to spend a lot of time zooming and then scrolling and then zooming and then scrolling and so on. What if you want to zoom in on a specific portion of your illustration, you want to pinpoint your zoom? Why then you go and select the Zoom tool down here at the bottom of the toolbox, and you can get to this tool by pressing the Z key if you want to. For example let's say I want to zoom in on this violet sphere up here in the upper left-hand corner of the window, then I would just click on it with the Zoom tool, and just like that it's centered. Isn't that totally awesome? Let's say I want to zoom in on this wee little upside down blue triangle. I would click on it with the Zoom tool in that centers it.
Let's say I want to zoom out on this yellow triangle, this little bit of yellow triangle that we're seeing in the bottom right corner of the screen. Then I would press the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click on it and notice now that becomes the center point inside of my screen display. All right and I'll click again in order to center that location. So you get the idea. This is such a wonderful function being able to pinpoint your zoom, that you're probably going to want to memorize yet another keyboard shortcut and believe me, we haven't even begun with the keyboard shortcuts in Illustrator.
There is a million. But this one you want to remember. So let's say I'm working with the black arrow tool or something, any tool besides the Zoom tool, and I want to get to the Zoom tool function, but I don't want to switch tools because after all not permanently anyway, because after all I'm trying to draw and do work with the tool that I have. Why then, try out this keyboard shortcut: Control spacebar gets you the Zoom In tool. Click while Control spacebar is down and you zoom in or press Control+Alt spacebar to zoom out. Now for you Macintosh users that would be Command+spacebar to zoom in or Command+Option+spacebar to zoom out, and of course I'm clicking while I have those keys down in order to zoom in and out. Now a little note for you Macintosh users you may find that pressing, for example Command+Option spacebar brings up the Spotlight function and really I have to say that Apple is the interloper here. The actual operating system is snagging a keyboard shortcut before Illustrator can get to it because the operating system trumps the application, that's fair enough, but Adobe's been using these keyboard shortcuts for years and years and years and Apple decided to snag it. Now I had this guy tell me, Hey that's not true. Apple invented MacPaint and MacPaint had a Zoom tool. Yeah that's true, but the zoom tool has nothing to do with the Spotlight function. It has little magnifying glass icon that looks like a zoom tool, but it doesn't zoom in on your screen or anything. So anyway, I think Apple's wrong and if you agree and you want to be able take advantage of this keyboard shortcut here inside of Illustrator on the Macintosh side, then you need to remap your Spotlight keyboard shortcut and you do that by going to the System Preferences and then click on Keyboard & Mouse, and then switch to the Keyboard Shortcuts tab, and scroll all the way to the bottom and you will find Spotlight and go ahead and give it a different keyboard shortcut or none at all depending on how you work. Enough said on that topic. Now let's say that, I'll go ahead and zoom out here and this time I'm just pressing Control Minus.
Let's say that you want to zoom really far in, you don't want to do this incremental zooming. You want to zoom in on a very specific detail inside of your illustration and have that detail fill up the whole screen. Why then press Control and spacebar at the same time or Command and spacebar at the same time on the Mac, and then drag around that area in order to encircle it, or enquare it if you prefer, with a marquee, with a rectangular marquee and then that marqueed area, as soon as you release, that marqueed area fills up the screen. So Illustrator zooms in as far as it has to essentially and in my case it's to 1620.45%. Coolio. And then of course I could scroll around if I wanted to. A couple of other things to note.
You have these commands under the View menu that allow you to fit the illustration into the window and that's Control+Zero or Command+Zero on the Mac or you can switch to the 100% zoom level, Actual Size, which is Control+1 or Command+1 on the Mac. You can also do that by double-clicking on the tools, so if you double-click on the Hand tool that takes you to the Fit in Window size, and if you double-click on the Zoom tool. Notice this is 89% or whatever it is on your screen, if you double-click on the Zoom tool, you go to the 100% size. So there you are. A few more keyboard shortcuts to fill up your brain.
In the next exercise I'm going to show you how to get around inside of the Navigator palette.
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