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Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
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Using the basic selection tools


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Illustrator CS5 Essential Training

with Mordy Golding

Video: Using the basic selection tools

There are a lot of great tools inside of Illustrator to be creative with. Pen tools, Paintbrush tools, a variety of shape tools. However, the most important tools inside of Illustrator are the Selection tools. In fact on a day to day basis you'll find that use of Selection tools far more than any other toolsinside of Illustrator. The Selection tools are all grouped over here at the top of your Tools panel and for good reason. They are up here because of how often they are used. Before we learn how to draw inside of Illustrator it's really important to get an understanding of how the Selection tools work inside of Illustrator and the reason for that is because the Selection tool is your way to tell Illustrator what it is that you're trying to do. For example if you wanted to change the color of some of the leaves in this document how would Illustrator know which of those leaves you want work with? By selecting some of them, in other words making a choice and letting Illustrator know these are the ones that I want to change, Illustrator can help you accomplish a task.
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  1. 3m 35s
    1. Welcome
      1m 18s
    2. What is Illustrator CS5?
      1m 46s
    3. Using the exercise files
      31s
  2. 12m 37s
    1. What are vector graphics?
      6m 3s
    2. Path and appearance
      3m 42s
    3. Stacking
      2m 52s
  3. 32m 6s
    1. The Welcome screen
      2m 23s
    2. Creating files for print
      6m 7s
    3. Creating files for the screen
      2m 55s
    4. Using prebuilt templates
      2m 40s
    5. Adding XMP metadata
      4m 18s
    6. Exploring the panels
      6m 33s
    7. Using the Control panel
      3m 11s
    8. Using workspaces
      3m 59s
  4. 43m 44s
    1. Navigating within a document
      9m 15s
    2. Using rulers and guides
      7m 26s
    3. Using grids
      3m 6s
    4. Using the bounding box
      3m 37s
    5. Using Smart Guides
      5m 56s
    6. The Hide Edges command
      3m 22s
    7. Various preview modes
      3m 47s
    8. Creating custom views
      4m 3s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 12s
  5. 28m 46s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      8m 50s
    2. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 22s
    3. Using the Lasso tool
      2m 28s
    4. Selecting objects by attribute or type
      3m 37s
    5. Saving and reusing selections
      2m 15s
    6. Selecting artwork beneath other objects
      2m 13s
    7. Exploring selection preferences
      4m 1s
  6. 1h 16m
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 52s
    2. Drawing closed path primitives
      11m 38s
    3. Drawing open path primitives
      5m 47s
    4. Understanding anchor points
      3m 43s
    5. Drawing straight paths with the Pen tool
      7m 37s
    6. Drawing curved paths with the Pen tool
      9m 47s
    7. Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool
      5m 33s
    8. Smoothing and erasing paths
      3m 8s
    9. Editing anchor points
      7m 21s
    10. Joining and averaging paths
      10m 9s
    11. Simplifying paths
      4m 55s
    12. Using Offset Path
      2m 17s
    13. Cleaning up errant paths
      2m 32s
  7. 48m 26s
    1. The Draw Inside and Draw Behind modes
      7m 34s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 56s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      8m 0s
    4. Using the Shape Builder tool
      10m 28s
    5. Using Pathfinder functions
      8m 6s
    6. Splitting an object into a grid
      1m 16s
    7. Using the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      7m 6s
  8. 49m 5s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 2s
    2. Creating area text
      8m 13s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      7m 44s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 28s
    5. Creating text threads
      8m 25s
    6. Setting text along an open path
      6m 29s
    7. Setting text along a closed path
      6m 24s
    8. Converting text into paths
      3m 20s
  9. 18m 55s
    1. Create a logo mark
      11m 26s
    2. Add type to your logo
      7m 29s
  10. 42m 42s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      8m 21s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      4m 42s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      4m 25s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      5m 18s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 42s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      4m 33s
    7. Copying appearances
      4m 51s
    8. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      5m 50s
  11. 34m 0s
    1. Applying color to artwork
      5m 57s
    2. Creating process and global process swatches
      8m 54s
    3. Creating spot color swatches
      3m 19s
    4. Loading PANTONE and other custom color libraries
      4m 49s
    5. Organizing colors with Swatch Groups
      3m 31s
    6. Finding color suggestions with the Color Guide panel
      4m 24s
    7. Loading the Color Guide with user-defined colors
      3m 6s
  12. 50m 23s
    1. Creating gradients with the Gradient panel
      8m 12s
    2. Modifying gradients with the Gradient Annotator
      4m 37s
    3. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      5m 33s
    4. Defining your own custom pattern fills
      9m 13s
    5. Applying basic stroke settings
      5m 22s
    6. Creating strokes with dashed lines
      3m 41s
    7. Adding arrowheads to strokes
      2m 45s
    8. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 35s
    9. Working with width profiles
      2m 36s
    10. Turning strokes into filled paths
      3m 49s
  13. 32m 46s
    1. Creating and editing groups
      8m 18s
    2. Adding attributes to groups
      12m 17s
    3. The importance of using layers
      5m 9s
    4. Using and "reading" the Layers panel
      7m 2s
  14. 12m 13s
    1. Creating and using multiple artboards
      7m 52s
    2. Modifying artboards with the Artboards panel
      2m 2s
    3. Copy and paste options with Artboards
      2m 19s
  15. 31m 10s
    1. Moving and copying artwork
      3m 55s
    2. Scaling or resizing artwork
      6m 47s
    3. Rotating artwork
      2m 44s
    4. Reflecting and skewing artwork
      2m 34s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 15s
    6. Repeating transformations
      3m 39s
    7. Performing individual transforms across multiple objects
      2m 10s
    8. Aligning objects and groups precisely
      4m 27s
    9. Distributing objects and spaces between objects
      2m 39s
  16. 35m 40s
    1. Placing pixel-based content into Illustrator
      5m 14s
    2. Managing images with the Links panel
      4m 49s
    3. Converting pixels to paths with Live Trace
      8m 44s
    4. Making Live Trace adjustments
      6m 9s
    5. Controlling colors in Live Trace
      6m 4s
    6. Using Photoshop and Live Trace together
      4m 40s
  17. 14m 42s
    1. Managing repeating artwork with symbols
      4m 38s
    2. Modifying and replacing symbol instances
      3m 8s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      6m 56s
  18. 16m 57s
    1. Cropping photographs
      1m 59s
    2. Clipping artwork with masks
      3m 22s
    3. Clipping the contents of a layer
      3m 31s
    4. Defining masks with soft edges
      8m 5s
  19. 26m 2s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      7m 48s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      8m 46s
    3. Moving flat art onto the perspective grid
      9m 28s
  20. 25m 8s
    1. Printing your Illustrator document
      3m 26s
    2. Saving your Illustrator document
      6m 39s
    3. Creating PDF files for clients and printers
      7m 30s
    4. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Microsoft Office
      1m 4s
    5. Exporting Illustrator files for use in Photoshop
      2m 31s
    6. Exporting artwork for use on the web
      3m 3s
    7. Exporting high-resolution raster files
      55s
  21. 2m 18s
    1. Additional Illustrator learning resources
      1m 36s
    2. Goodbye
      42s

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Illustrator CS5 Essential Training
10h 37m Beginner Apr 30, 2010

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In Illustrator CS5 Essential Training, author Mordy Golding explains the core concepts and techniques that apply to any workflow in Illustrator, whether designing for print, the web, or assets for other applications. This course includes a detailed explanation of the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of the Illustrator drawing tools. Also demonstrated are techniques for combining and cleaning up paths, organizing paths into groups and layers, text editing, working with color, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Setting up a new document based on the output destination
  • Using rules, guides, and grids
  • Making detailed selections
  • Drawing and editing paths with the Pen and Pencil tools
  • Creating compound vector shapes
  • Understanding the difference between point and area text
  • Applying live effects
  • Creating color swatches
  • Transforming artwork with Rotation, Scale, and Transform effects
  • Placing images
  • Working with masks
  • Printing, saving, and exporting artwork
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Using the basic selection tools

There are a lot of great tools inside of Illustrator to be creative with. Pen tools, Paintbrush tools, a variety of shape tools. However, the most important tools inside of Illustrator are the Selection tools. In fact on a day to day basis you'll find that use of Selection tools far more than any other toolsinside of Illustrator. The Selection tools are all grouped over here at the top of your Tools panel and for good reason. They are up here because of how often they are used. Before we learn how to draw inside of Illustrator it's really important to get an understanding of how the Selection tools work inside of Illustrator and the reason for that is because the Selection tool is your way to tell Illustrator what it is that you're trying to do. For example if you wanted to change the color of some of the leaves in this document how would Illustrator know which of those leaves you want work with? By selecting some of them, in other words making a choice and letting Illustrator know these are the ones that I want to change, Illustrator can help you accomplish a task.

But it's not just working with colors. It's everything you do inside of Illustrator. Copy and paste, moving things around, reshaping or resizing artwork. It all boils down to making your selection first. Now Illustrator has three main Selection tools. They actually appear in your tools panel as just two arrows, a black arrow and a white arrow. The official names are the Selection tool and the Direct Selection tool but there is a third one hidden behind the Direct Selection tool. If you click and you hold your mouse button down you'll see there is something there called the Group Selection tool.

It's the white arrow with a little plus sign that appears next to it. In this movie, we are going to go over using these three different tools. Let's start first with the regular selection tool, the black arrow. There are two ways that you can make a selection. The first is actually just click on any object doing so selects the artwork. The other way to make a selection is to click and drag and create a marquee. Anything within this little dotted border become selected when you release the mouse. Now artwork inside of Illustrator can be made up of one object or several objects that are grouped together.

The black arrow or the Selection tool selects entire groups or entire objects. For example, if I click over here all these elements become selected because they're all grouped together. We're going to learn more about groups and how they're structured in another chapter. But in this particular document each of these are also grouped together. You can click on an object and drag to move the entire group as a whole. Let me press Undo and come back to the shape over here. Let's say I just wanted to adjust the position of one of these leaves. By using the Selection tool I select the entire group so everything moves together.

I'll press Undo and I'll now switch to the Direct Selection tool, the white arrow. Notice now that when I click on this leaf just this one leaf is now selected. Now I can move it and the entire group doesn't move; just this one leaf does. I'll press Command+Z to undo that action because I'll show you that the Direct Selection tool also allows you to select individual anchor points on a path or an object. For example right now this leaf has three anchor points. One here, one here and one here. If I were to click on just this one anchor point right now you can see that this anchor point is now selected, but these are hollow, indicating that they're not selected. That means if I now click and drag on this anchor point just this anchor point moves not the other ones that are here.

So you can see that you'll use the Selection tool, the black arrow, to select entire objects or entire groups. However if you want to select just individual anchor points or individual objects within a group you would use the white arrow or the Direct Selection tool. Let me press Undo and now let's see what the Group Selection tool does. I am going to come over here to the Tools panel, click and hold my mouse button down, and choose the Group Selection tool. Now in Illustrator when we create groups we have the ability to have something called a nested group. That means that you'll one group and then inside of that group is another group and then inside of that group is yet another group. For example if I take a look at this artwork right over here, I know that all of this is a group together. However within the overall group this bottom part where it says Seeds is one group and these leaves and flowers are a second group.

Within this top group the leaves and the flowers are in two separate groups and each of the flowers themselves are a separate group as well. When you understand how the Group Selection tool works you can also understand how valuable it would be to structure your artwork in an efficient way. The Group Selection tool will allow you to make selections based on the structures inside of that group. Let's take a quick look. If I take my Group Selection tool and I position it over this leaf right here and I click once this selects, this entire object. However if I click again it selects the other objects that are grouped with that leaf.

Notice right now that all the leaves are selected. Watch what happens when I click yet again on this leaf. It now selects the next higher group. If I click now even one more time this part gets selected as well. So we understand what these Selection tools do, but let me share with you a few pointers on how to use these tools in a more efficient manner. First of all, it's rare that experienced Illustrator users actually choose the Group Selection tool directly from the Tools panel. I'll go back to the Direct Selection tool and you'll find when I'm using this tool if I hold down the Option key on my keyboard. I'm on a Mac now but if I were on a PC I'd hold down the Alt key.

You can see that my tool temporarily changes to the Group Selection tool. Therefore changing between those two tools are not necessary. I can do so directly from the keyboard. So I can use the white arrow for example to click on just the edge of a path to select a few anchor points. I can click on the center of the path to select the entire object and I can hold down my Option key and click to select entire groups. In this case, I'm selecting individual parts of my group and then with each click selecting more and more of my group. But if I use my regular Selection tool, the black arrow, I can actually go in reverse.

Let me show you what I mean. I am going to deselect everything but just clicking on any area here, and I am going to click on the Selection tool itself and I'll select my group with one click. What I'll do now though is I am going to double-click. When you double-click on a group that group becomes isolated. See how now how everything else inside of Illustrator has been dimmed back and is instantly locked? I can longer select these elements. Even this part which was part of a group of four is now selectable when I click on it but it's separate from this group. Now that I'm basically inside of this group I have two groups that I can see.

If I want to go deeper into this group I'll double-click now in this group. Notice now I cannot select this element right here. This part has been isolated. Now if I want to work strictly on just one of these leaves, I'll double click again. Notice now that all the leaves are now isolated and if I only want to work on just this one leaf I'll double-click on this one and now everything else is completely locked and unable to be selected. If you take a look at the top of my screen I have a gray bar that identifies exactly where I am in my artwork. You can see that right now I have a path, which is inside of a group which inside of another group which is inside of another group that's on Layer 1.

We'll learn more about document structure in another chapter but for now you can see how I can use the two arrow tools to kind of go in different directions. In this example here, with the white arrow I can start with the leaf and work my way up the entire group. And with the black arrow I can start with the entire group and work my way back down towards the leaf. It's not a question of which tool is better it's a question of what you need to do to accomplish a task at hand. To exit this isolation mode simply double click on an empty area on the artboard. For the most part the selections you'll be making every day inside of Illustrator will encompass the use of these arrow tools. However, there is also a keyboard shortcut, which I think you'll make great use of which is the Select All command.

While you can certainly find that here inside the Select menu by choosing Select > All, the keyboard shortcut to memorize is Command+A. This will allow you to quickly select everything. Or you can also choose this command called All on Active Artboard because if your document has multiple artboards you may just want to select all of the elements within this active artboard. Here is a reason of why that might be important. As we've already seen, you can use the black arrow to click on a group to select it. However, if you want to select two groups the way, that you would add to a selection is to hold down the Shift key on your keyboard and click on another object.

If you click on a second object while the Shift key is down, Illustrator adds that object to your selection. But it's important to realize that the Shift key doesn't mean add. The Shift key really acts as a toggle. In other words, I am still holding the Shift key down on my keyboard right now. If I were to click on this object, that would remove or drop that piece of art from my selection. So just to quickly review, if I wanted to make some selections on this artboard right now, say maybe I wanted to select this element this element down here and this element here, I could click on this one first, hold down the Shift key, click on this one, and then while still holding the Shift key down click on the third one.

Now all three of those are selected. If I know that I want to select multiple objects that are near to each other I could also use the Marquee method. For example, I can click and drag to select all of these elements. But as you can see if I click and drag along this, I get all the elements. I would have no way choose just this one and this one or this one. Finally pressing Command+A on my keyboard would select everything select so I could move everything at once.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS5 Essential Training.


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Q: Despite clicking the rectangle icon on the toolbar, as shown in the video, the other tool shapes are not accessible in Illustrator. The rectangle is usable, but the star, ellipse, etc. are not, and do not appear anywhere in the toolbar. What is causing this problem?
A: These tools are grouped together, so to access them, click and hold the mouse for a second until the other tools appear. If that isn't happening, reset the Illustrator preferences file. To do so, quit Illustrator and then relaunch the application while pressing and holding the Ctrl+Alt+Shift keys. Once the Illustrator splash screen appears, release the keys and that will reset the preferences file.
Q: In the video “What are vector graphics,” the author states that if he creates a 1 inch x 1 inch Photoshop file at 300ppi image, there are 300 pixels in that image. Is that correct?
A: This statement is by the author was not totally correct. If the resolution is 300ppi, it means that there are 300 pixels across one inch, both vertically and horizontally. That would mean you'd have 90,000 pixels in a 1 inch x 1 inch image at 300 ppi.
 
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