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Adobe Illustrator has long been a popular vector–based drawing program, but for many the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals, author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland shows users how to get in to the Illustrator mindset and overcome this learning curve. He covers the application's key features in a new way, making it simple and easy to master Illustrator. Deke teaches viewers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text, and the Pen tool. He also explains how to export and print. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this training can help make sense of it. Exercise files accompany the course.
The first time you open Illustrator CS4 you are going to be confronted by this screen right here, which is the Welcome Screen. It permits you easy access to functions that you are most likely to perform when you first launch the program. So, for example, over here in the left side of the screen, you are going to see a list of recently opened documents. The idea being that the most likely thing that you are going to do is open a document that you've opened in the past. That's the number one thing you're likely to do with Illustrator. That's the way it is with any piece of software, you're more likely to continue working on a document that you have created previously.
If this is indeed the very first time you have launched Illustrator CS4, you won't see any recently opened documents because you haven't opened anything yet. But you will see this guy down here, this little folder with the word Open next to it. If you click on that, then it brings up the Open dialog box, and you can navigate around and find in illustration on your hard drive, presumably. The second to most likely thing that you are going to do is create a new document inside of Illustrator, which is why we have these Create New options over here on the right side of the dialog box. These all represent new document presets, and if you click on something like Print Document, for example, it's going to be setup for print, but then you can override the settings inside of the New Document dialog box. This we'll learn shortly.
If you want to just bypass the dialog box and just accept the default settings, then notice I hover over this, we see this little keyboard shortcut there. Hold down the Alt key to skip the dialog box, on the Mac, that's going to say the Option key and that's what you do. So you Alt-click on Print Document for example or Option-click on the Mac, and you are just going to create a new print document, according to the predefined settings. Then finally, you can load a template if you want to. You can create a document from a template that you would load from a dialog box. At the bottom of the Welcome Screen are some help items here. These are all going to open Illustrator's Help system and take you to a certain of area of that system, whether you want to get started, New Features and so on.
Finally, if you like the Welcome Screen, just go ahead and do something, it will close automatically, when you open a document or create a new one, it will automatically close. And then when you close the document, the Welcome Screen will come back up. So if you have nothing open in Illustrator then automatically the Welcome Screen comes up and greets you and says what you want to do next buddy? But if you don't like that, if the Welcome Screen kind of gets in your face if you find it to be unwelcome, then you can turn on Don't show again. Then either perform one of these options here, open a document or create a new document, and then this will go away, for good, basically, or you can just click on this little Close button right there, and it will go as well. Now it won't come up anymore.
Now, if you want to, if you have done this and you decide well, actually I do want the Welcome Screen to come back up, because somebody else is going to be using this system, and I want them to see the Welcome Screen because they don't know the program so well or something. Then you would go up to the Help menu and you would choose Welcome Screen. That's how you get a backup, pretty simple! You would turn up, Don't show again and now it's going to show up again in the future. So it's totally up to you how you decide to work. In the next exercise we will see how to create a new document here inside Illustrator CS4.
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