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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.
When you first launch Adobe Illustrator, you're presented with this screen that's called the Welcome screen. In fact the default setting for Illustrator is that this Welcome screen appears anytime there are no other documents open inside the program. If you are really not interested in seeing this screen each time you work with Illustrator, you can choose this option on the bottom over here called Don't show again. However before you decide that you don't need this Welcome screen and you dismiss it forever, take a brief moment to learn some of the things that it does. Besides the bright and cheery orange bar across the top of it, you might find it useful as you use Illustrator day-to-day.
On the right side of the Welcome screen is an area called Create New. This contains a list of something called new document profiles. Illustrator can be used for a variety of different tasks and can create artwork that will be distributed across multiple mediums. However, each of those mediums may require specific settings. Creating a new document from any of these new document profiles will make sure that your settings are correct for the intended use of your artwork. We will talk more about these new document profiles later on in the chapter. On the left side of the Welcome screen is something called Open a Recent Item.
Since I haven't started working on an Illustrator files yet, this area is empty. You will notice that this area will become populated with the files that you have most recently been working on. Often, when working on a variety of different projects you can save time by opening files directly from here instead of navigating through folders in your computer or servers. On the bottom left are a series of links. The first three actually point to Adobe's new community help system and give you quick access to some getting starter documents and new featured documents and a list of resources.
This last link called Illustrator Exchange will launch your web browser and take you to Adobe's Exchange site. It's a place where Illustrator users such as yourself can share swatch libraries, brushes, symbols, even Illustrator artwork and timesaving scripts. The bottom right actually serves as some kind of billboard advertisement for Adobe. What you see on your screen when you launch Illustrator may differ from what you see here as the content is dynamic and Adobe changes it from time to time. Finally, if you do decide to close the Welcome screen you can do so by clicking on this little button in the upper left-hand corner.
You can always get it back by going to the Help menu and choosing Welcome screen. Now that you are familiar with the Welcome screen and the new document profiles that are contained within it, you're ready to start creating some new documents. Let's go!
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