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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.
I remember working on my eighth grade yearbook. We had this huge pad of graph paper. I mean, we cut things out and then use rubber cement, and then stick them onto the graph paper and make sure everything was lined up. Ah, the memories! Well, now in a digital world, we do things much differently. Although I do miss the smell of the rubber cement. And while we explored using rulers and guides in the previous movie, there are times when having a grid on your screen can help you work in your design or your layout. Illustrator can help by actually turning on this Grid feature. Go to the View menu, and scroll down to the bottom where it says Show Grid, and that turns on this grid. It basically turns your document into what looks like graph paper.
What's great about the grid is two things. First of all, it's completely customizable. By going to the Preferences settings inside of Illustrator, and you can do that simply by going to the Preferences button right here in your Control panel, and clicking on that, I'll switch right over here to the Actual Guides and Grid Setting. Now, we can specify the colors of the grid lines themselves, and I could use lines and dots for example, I prefer the lines. I can also choose exactly how many grid lines appear, and how many sub-divisions there are. I'll click OK, and you can see that as I zoom-in, more and more of those boxes will become available that I can see. Again, this just helps me align things up, and see how things appear in my layout.
The second thing that's great about the Grid itself is that, you could set objects to automatically snap to that grid, and align to that grid. For example, if I go to the View menu, there's a setting here called Snap to Grid. It's not on by default, because in reality if you are not really prepared for it, you will see that your object kind of snaps things where it doesn't really belong. You can have Snap to Grid turned on, but also hide the grid. So that means you don't see the grid, but the objects automatically snap to the grid. Working with the grid can be very helpful. By setting the grids, it actually have a little square that shows every pixel available on your file, and you move things around, you can ensure that artwork snaps directly to the pixel grid. So it doesn't make it useful for certain types of artwork and again, depending on the kind of design that you do or the layout, you may find the grid to be very helpful. Again, it's always easy to toggle that grid on and off. The keyboard shortcut for turning on the grid is Command+Quote or Ctrl+Quote if you're on a PC. Simply turn that grid off or turn it back on again.
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