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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
Now, I was saying I love Ctrl+Plus and Ctrl+Minus for zooming, but there is a problem with them and that's that they are generalized zoom functions, they lack focus. In other words, if you press Ctrl+Plus or Command+Plus on the Mac, you are just going to zoom in on the central part of the illustration here, the part that's actually centered inside of the illustration window. So what it typically means is that you have got to zoom in a little and then you Spacebar+Drag around to determine which portion of the illustration you want to zoom into and then you press Ctrl+Plus a few more times and then you Spacebar+Drag a little bit. Of course, you are Command+Plusing on the Mac to zoom in.
What's better, if you have a specific idea of the area that you want to zoom into, you're better off using the Zoom tool. So I'm going to go ahead and press Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac to zoom out to the Fit In Window view right there. Fit In Window, notice, in this case, it sends us to 61%. It's always going to be different. It's going to depend on how big the document is and how big your screen is and so on. All right, so I'm going to go ahead and grab the Zoom tool right here. If you click with the Zoom tool, you are going to zoom in on that specific item that you clicked on. So it not only zooms in, it also centers your zoom.
If you want to zoom out, you press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac and click. When you have the Zoom tool selected, you can also right-click and you have got some navigation options that are available to you right here as you can see and just go ahead and Escape out of there. I don't like to have to go all the way down to the bottom of the toolbox to grab the Zoom tool and most of the time when I'm working inside of Illustrator, I'm just goofing around with these two tools, the Selection tool and the Direct Selection tool, what I call the Black Arrow tool and the White Arrow tool. They allow you to select entire shapes, the Black Arrow tool does, and individual points and control handles, you can select those using the Direct Selection tool.
So, some pretty great tools right up there. Why go all the way down to grab the Zoom tool when you can get it on the fly this way by pressing Ctrl and Spacebar at the same time? That would be Command and Spacebar on the Mac. So Command+Spacebar-click on the Mac, Ctrl+Spacebar-click on the PC. If you want to zoom out, you add Alt or Option. So in this case, I'm going to Ctrl+Alt+Spacebar-click and on the Mac. That would be Command+Option+Spacebar-click to zoom out. Now that does take a little bit of sort of memorization on your part, but if you can remember Ctrl+Spacebar or Command+Spacebar to get in and then that you add Alt or Option to get out, you're golden.
Then check this out. Let's say you want to really zoom in to a specific portion of the illustration. I'll start wide again by pressing Ctrl+0 or Command+0 on the Mac. Let's say I want to zoom in on this word CON right there. Then I would press and hold Ctrl+ Spacebar or Command+Spacebar on the Mac and drag, check that out. I zoom in on that word and fill the window with it, just a rocking feature for just getting in there really tight. So that's how the Zoom tool works here inside of Illustrator CS4.
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