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Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
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Using the basic selection tools


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Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

with Mordy Golding

Video: Using the basic selection tools

Back in Chapter 01 where we discussed key Illustrator concepts, we covered something called Selections. Now let's focus on exactly how Selections work when you're using Illustrator. For this chapter, I'm actually going to use this file called making_selections. So if you have access to the exercise files, go ahead and open that file. Selecting things inside of Illustrator is probably more important than even using any of the Drawing tools. Without knowing how to select things, it's very difficult for you to edit just about any piece of artwork inside of Illustrator. Day in and day out inside of Illustrator you'll be using the two main selection tools, the regular Selection tool or the Black Arrow and Direct Selection tool or the White Arrow.
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  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

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Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
8h 25m Beginner Oct 13, 2008

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks. For this reason, Illustrator CS4 Essential Training teaches core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow for print, the web, or assets that will find their way into other applications. Mordy Golding explains the elements that make up vector graphics—paths, strokes, and fills—and shows how to use each of Illustrator's drawing tools. He demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths, and organize them into groups and layers. Mordy also covers text editing, working with color, expressive brush drawing, effects, and much more. Exercise files accompany the course.

Topics include:
  • Making efficient use of the Illustrator interface
  • Creating text on a path
  • Using the Magic Wand and Lasso selection tools
  • Working with a pressure-sensitive tablet
  • Applying 3D extrusions and resolves
  • Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
  • Exporting files for use in Photoshop, Flash, and other applications
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Mordy Golding

Using the basic selection tools

Back in Chapter 01 where we discussed key Illustrator concepts, we covered something called Selections. Now let's focus on exactly how Selections work when you're using Illustrator. For this chapter, I'm actually going to use this file called making_selections. So if you have access to the exercise files, go ahead and open that file. Selecting things inside of Illustrator is probably more important than even using any of the Drawing tools. Without knowing how to select things, it's very difficult for you to edit just about any piece of artwork inside of Illustrator. Day in and day out inside of Illustrator you'll be using the two main selection tools, the regular Selection tool or the Black Arrow and Direct Selection tool or the White Arrow.

In reality, there is a third Selection tool here, if I press and hold down the mouse button on the Direct Selection tool I'll see this something here called the Group Selection tool. We'll talk about that in a moment and we'll see that really it's not necessary to actually physically choose that tool. So first let's do a quick review of exactly differences between the Selection tool and Direct Selection tool. The Selection tool allows me to select entire objects and move them around as a whole. As you can see over here, this is actually a group of several different shapes. If I use the Direct Selection tool, I can click on parts of an object, notice here that the line that's staying behind that allows me to dive into parts of an object or I can click on individual anchor points with Direct Selection tool and move around the anchor point itself or the Control Handle for that anchor point.

Additionally, if I do have the bounding box turned on and I go to the View menu here, and I'll choose Show Bounding Box, then when you're using the regular Selection tool you will always see the bounding box when you select objects. However, on using the Direct Selection tool you will not see the bounding box. When you're using Illustrator, the Command key under keyboard or if you are on a PC, the Ctrl key basically allows you to toggle between these two selection tools. So for example, right now I have the Direct Selection tool Active, simply by holding down the Command key, it switches to the Selection tool.

Notice now the bounding box appears. As soon as I release the Command key or the Ctrl key then the bounding box disappears. As you're working in Illustrator you're constantly moving back and forth between the Selection tools. So it's important to know the keyboard shortcuts. As I said, if you are using either the Selection tools, simply hold down the Command key to toggle between the two. However, if you have another tool, for example, maybe drawing a rectangle and you realize you want to select something, again, the Command key brings your back to the last Selection tool that you've used. In this case here, the last one was the Direct Selection tool. As soon as you release the Command key or the Ctrl key on Windows, you're back to drawing a rectangle.

Alternatively, you can jump direct to these tools by pressing the V or the A keys on your keyboard. A cute way to remember that those are the keyboard shortcuts is that the V is like an inverted arrow, and the A is also like an arrow pointing upwards. In fact, the A is the shortcut for the White Arrow or the Direct Selection tool, why? Because the A has a little hollow center inside of it, which again some people refer to the White Arrow as the Hollow Arrow, again it's a way to remember that the A key is the keyboard shortcut for Direct Selection tool and the V key is the keyboard shortcut for the Selection tool. So now let's take a look at this other tool here called the Group Selection tool.

If I go ahead now and I switch to the Group Selection tool, and I now click on let's say this surfboard that we identified before that each of these surfboards are grouped, it's actually the shape and then the line that goes down the middle. If I click on it, notice that the shape itself has been selected. If I click it second time now, then the other objects inside of that group are selected, and now I can move the entire object around. So what the Group Selection tool allows me to do is basically target either a part of a group, but then without having to switch to anything else, click once again and then simply select more objects or items in that particular group. In fact, it basically works according to the hierarchy of that group. Let me explain.

Let's go back to the regular Selection tool here for a moment and we're going to change this file somewhat. I'm going to basically go ahead and click and drag to marquee select all these surfboards. I'm not going to go to the Object menu; I'm going to choose Group. We'll discuss more about groups later in Chapter 09, but for now let's just go ahead and make a group out of this. I'll also go ahead here and select all these bodysuits and group them as well. I'll use the keyboard shortcut here, Command+G or Ctrl+G. I'll do the same thing for all the flip-flops down here on the bottom, group those as well. Now what I'll do is I'll select all of these objects and I'll group them, again, pressing the keyboard shortcut Command+G or Ctrl+G.

So now if I use my regular Selection tool and I click on even this-this one surfboard, this surfboard is not only within a group on its own, but it also is part of an overall group here, and additionally belongs inside of group with all these objects together. Remember that the Selection tool itself does not really have the ability to go into a group, so it automatically selects the topmost group, which is all these objects. So if I wanted to just adjust something within this surfboard alone, using the Selection tool that would not be possible. I'm going to go ahead and de-select by clicking elsewhere. I'm now going to use the regular Direct Selection tool.

I can click and I can go ahead and I can move this-this part of the group itself of that particular surfboard, but I can't really move the entire surfboard on its own. So here's where the Group Selection tool comes into play. When I use the Group Selection tool, and I'll de-select over here, I can click once to select that piece of surfboard inside of that group, click again and it now selects the group that that belongs into. If I look over here I see that I've now selected or targeted that group. Click now another time, and now all the surfboards in that first level with that group becomes selected. Click now again and now all the other objects become selected. So each successive click with the Group Selection tool selects one group higher in my hierarchy, in my particular file.

In reality, there is no need to actually use the Group Selection tool. Because there is a keyboard shortcut that allows us to access that. I'll switch back to the regular Direct Selection tool. I'll de-select everything. If I decide that I want to click the surfboard here, and I want to adjust the surfboard but I really now need to select the group because I need to have the line moving that as well, I'll hold down the Option key on my keyboard; I'm on a Mac but if you're on a PC, hold down the Alt key, and then click again. This is the same thing right now. You can see that when I hold down the Option key or the Alt key, then a plus (+) sign appears, which means that now Illustrator is toggling to the Group Selection tool.

So it has the behavior of the Group Selection tool, basically, that's now built-in to this Direct Selection tool itself. If I Option+Click again, now this entire group becomes selected. I can move these around individually. I'll press Undo. Again, Option+Click one more time and now all of them become selected. So now basically when I'm working inside of Illustrator, I'll be using a combination of the regular Selection tool to select entire groups or if I want to select parts of the group, I'll use a Direct Selection tool. There is the keyboard shortcut here, simply go ahead and click on this object if I wanted to select the entire group, I would Option+ Click with that particular tool to make that particular thing happen.

One great thing also about Isolation mode is that there are certain things you might be able to do directly with the regular Selection tool at all times. For example, in this case if I did want to edit just the surfboard itself, I can kind of go the exact reverse. If I basically click right now, I'm selecting everything. I want to work with just the surfboards, I double-click on the surfboards and now I notice over here I'm able to isolate just this group. Click again, now this group becomes isolated; click again, this group becomes isolated; click again, now I've gotten directly into this group itself and I can't move this shape around without moving this particular line around as well. I'm now inside of that group. I haven't left that particular Selection tool, but I basically have done the reverse.

If I were to use a Direct Selection tool, I can just click once and grab that surfboard and move it. With the Selection tool, I can use Isolation mode to start off with selecting everything and then drill down directly into that particular group. So I'm just going to go ahead and press Undo. I'm going to double-click here outside of the group. Now I have exited Isolation mode. That's a basic understanding of Selection tools inside of Illustrator. Now let's focus on using some of the other ways that you can select objects, besides these particular Selection tools.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 Essential Training.


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Q: I cannot get the new brush dropdown to allow me to create either a New Scatter Brush or a New Art Brush; the only ones I can click on are New Calligraphic Brush and New Pattern Brush. When I go to Windows > Brush Library and choose New Brush, again the only ones I can click on are New Calligraphic Brush and New Pattern Brush. How do I make these work like they should?
A: In order to create a new Scatter or Art brush, you must first have artwork selected on the artboard.
 
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