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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Using rulers, guides, and grids


From:

Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

with Justin Seeley

Video: Using rulers, guides, and grids

Setup and preparation are very important with any type of project. After all you wouldn't expect an architect to start building a house without blueprints now would you? In this movie, I'll walk you through creating your own set of blueprints utilizing rulers, guides and grids inside of Illustrator. But first of all let's take a look at what these features actually are by looking at this document here. I've got the Grids and Guides document open and as you can see there are already some guides out on screen. These guides indicate exactly where the artwork is supposed to be in my document.
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  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
8h 48m Beginner May 07, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Adobe Illustrator can be used to accomplish many different design tasks, from illustration to app development. This course demonstrates core concepts and techniques that can be applied to any workflow—for print, the web, or building assets that will find their way into other applications. Author Justin Seeley explains the elements that make up vector graphics (paths, strokes, and fills) while showing how to use each of the drawing tools, and demonstrates how to combine and clean up paths and organize them into groups and layers. The course also covers text editing, working with color, effects, and much more.

Topics include:
  • Understanding vector graphics
  • Creating and setting up files for print or web destinations
  • Selecting and transforming objects on the page
  • Creating spot colors
  • Applying fills, strokes, and gradients to artwork
  • Adjusting appearances and effects
  • Working with anchor points and paths
  • Drawing with the Pen tool
  • Creating text
  • Managing layers
  • Creating and using symbols
  • Printing, saving, and exporting artwork
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Justin Seeley

Using rulers, guides, and grids

Setup and preparation are very important with any type of project. After all you wouldn't expect an architect to start building a house without blueprints now would you? In this movie, I'll walk you through creating your own set of blueprints utilizing rulers, guides and grids inside of Illustrator. But first of all let's take a look at what these features actually are by looking at this document here. I've got the Grids and Guides document open and as you can see there are already some guides out on screen. These guides indicate exactly where the artwork is supposed to be in my document.

Think of these in terms of boundaries that you want to constrain your art work within. Creating these guides is actually very easy. You simply find the rulers, which you can turn on by going to View and selecting Rulers and then saying Hide or Show Rulers or you can simply use Ctrl+R or Command+R on your keyboard, and once you have the Rulers open, you simply click and drag out a new guide like you see here. If you want to get rid of a guide, drag it up and drop it back on the ruler.

Same holds true for these rulers. Click, drag out, drag back to release. In addition to these basic guides, you can also turn on a grid so that you can easily align your objects here inside of Illustrator. If you go to View and then go down to Show Grid, you will automatically see a grid appear on your document. Now it maybe sort of hard to see in different areas, but you can always change the appearance of the grid inside of your Preferences panel, and I actually encourage you to do that because changing your preferences goes a long way to making sure this works the way you want it to.

So for instance, if you're working on something where the background is always blue, you wouldn't want blue guides necessarily now would you? So you would have to find a way to get in there in the Preferences and change that. And again that's in the Edit menu on PC, the Illustrator menu on Mac, and go down to Preferences and then you can find the Guides & Grid feature. Inside of Guides & Grid, you can change the color of the guides and you can also change the color of the grid as well. So if I want to come in here and change this to something like a dark gray I can do that and now my grid is more easily identified here on screen.

Now you will also notice that you have something called a Smart Guide available to you inside of Illustrator as well. Smart Guides enable you to align objects with other objects really easily. So for instance, let me jump over here into another piece of artwork really quick and I will grab my Selection tool. With my selection tool selected, I will start moving this piece of artwork around. Let me zoom in down here in the bottom so you can actually see what I am doing. As I move this around, you will notice that little green line that extends indicating different areas that I'm snapping to, so those are intersection points with that other piece of artwork down here at the bottom and you can see the different points that it snaps to each and every time I move it.

This is a great way to align objects to the edges of other objects inside of Illustrator. Now it can also be kind of a pain because it automatically snaps to these areas, making it hard to kind of nudge the artwork into a different position. So you may want to turn these off. If you want to turn Smart Guides off, you go into the View menu, go down to Smart Guides and uncheck the box, or simply hit Commmand+U or Ctrl+U on your keyboard. Once I turn them off, you will notice I can move this artwork independently and it does not snap to anything.

Now let's walk through how I can actually use these Guides & Grids and all these different features to set up a brand new document here inside of Illustrator and blueprint out where I need to go. So I will just go up and create a new file and I'm going to actually use the Web preset. Let's pretend that I am creating a web banner. In my web banner I want it to be about a 1000 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall. We will go and hit OK to create that banner and there we go.

Now I'm going to turn on the Grid feature for alignment purposes because when you're dealing with graphics that are going out to the web, they need to be what we call "pixel perfect" and pixel perfect means they are really sharp and really clean even on raster-based output. By turning on the grid and then also turning on the align or snap to pixel grid feature, you allow yourself to line objects up and eliminate anti-aliasing which just means jagged edges around things like curves and circles. So I am going to go up to the View menu and I am going to turn on the Grid, just like so, so there is my grid, making it very easy for me to line objects up on screen.

I'm also going to turn on my Rulers by going to View and selecting Rulers and selecting Show Rulers. I am also going to draw out some guides. I want to draw some guides here so that I have a 30 pixel margin around all sides of my document. So let's go ahead and do that now. One of the tricks that I use, because I'm not that good at math and I really don't like to use math all that often, is I bring up the Window menu and find the Info panel. This little guy is amazing because it allows me to tell where I am in any given time in my document.

See how I move my mouse around and it's automatically telling me the X and Y coordinates right there? It does the same thing when you are positioning guides inside of Illustrator. So if I come over here and drag out a guide, you will notice when I drop the guide on the canvas, it automatically tells me exactly where it is. Right now it's at the x-coordinate of 46 pixels. Remember I wanted it to be 30 pixels. So I'm just going to drag that until it gets right around 30, just like so, 30 pixels. Now I am going to drag out a guide to the other side.

Since this is 1000 pixels wide, I need to go until I reach 970 pixels, theoretically on the ruler right. So let's drag that out, drop it close to where I think it could be. Right now it's at 953. So I will just take that and use the Info panel to drag it the rest of the way, 970. Same thing here, I will drag down, drop that in. You can see my Y coordinate is 18 pixels, I will drag that down until I hit 30, just like that, and now I made this 400 pixels tall.

So I need to go down until I hit 370. So I will drag that down and I will reposition it all the way to 370, just like so. And so now I've got my guides out there which have created a nice 30 pixel margin all the way around my document. Now if I want that to be easier to see, I can temporary turn off my Grid by going to View > Hide Grid, and there you can see my nice 30 pixel margins all the way around the outside. So now that we have got our blueprints, we are ready to start building our project. You should take comfort in the fact to know that you've got a solid foundation on which to build your masterpiece here inside of Illustrator.

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