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Mordy Golding demonstrates how to be more productive, efficient, and creative by taking advantage of Adobe Illustrator to create pixel-perfect web graphics and interactive Flash content. Illustrator CS4 for the Web investigates the pros and cons of pixel- and vector-based web graphics, demonstrates efficient workflows, and explores the creative options available in Illustrator. Mordy also covers design techniques, such as creating typography that works well on screen, adding reflections, and making Flash animations. He discusses new Illustrator CS4 features, including using multiple artboards, bringing art into Dreamweaver, and utilizing Flash Catalyst. Exercise files accompany the course.
Adobe PDF is an extremely popular way to move documents around, especially so on the web. And even more so, PDF files can be interactive. Now unfortunately, Illustrator itself does not have the capability to author interactive PDF files like say InDesign can. However, it's really easy to add some basic functionality directly inside of Acrobat. To do so, start off inside of Illustrator with your design, go to the File menu and then choose Save As and for the File Format choose Adobe PDF. I will put this on my Desktop and I will choose Save. A dialog box appears asking me how I want to save my particular document. I could choose this option here called Smallest File Size. In doing so it will actually make sure that it's set to the screen resolution and that I can easily email this or post this up on the web for people to easily download.
I can also choose a few other interesting options. I can choose over here, from Compatibility, to choose a later version of Acrobat. Let's do Acrobat 8 for example. That just means that I will have more capabilities or things that I can do to that PDF file once I bring it into Acrobat. I will also choose View PDF after Saving. That will actually open up Acrobat and open up the file in Acrobat for me to work with. And I can even choose this option here, Create Acrobat Layers from Top-Level Layers. I will show you in a moment how important that can be. Now let's choose the Save the PDF file. I will click OK at this dialog box just letting Illustrator know that I really don't want to preserve the Illustrator editing capabilities of this file. And here we are inside of Acrobat.
First of all, take a look over here on the left side. There is a button here that allows me to access all the layers of my file. Here, I can actually see that I can turn these particular layers on and off. This could be useful if I want to show my client different possible design ideas. The layers actually show up and you can interact with them even in the free Adobe Reader. But for now, let's add some simple interactivity to this document. For example, maybe when I click on this Groundswell logo I want it to be able to direct me to a website. I can move over here to the Tools menu. I will choose Advanced Editing and then choose the Button tool. Here I will simply click over to create a button. I can also resize that button as well to make it big enough to cover the entire logo. I will double- click on the button so that I can change its settings.
First of all the Form Field itself, I would like that to be hidden. I don't want to see the particular button that's there and for its Appearance, I could set both the Border Color and the Fill Color to none. Underneath Actions, I will set it to that whenever a person clicks on it and releases the mouse, it should execute not a menu item, but it should open up a web link, and I could choose what that web link should be. For example, over here I will type in an URL to go to lynda.com. I will click OK and I will close and just like that I was able to add some interactivity to my PDF file. One really cool thing about Acrobat 9.0 is that you can also add multimedia to your documents. For example, where it says over here Flash tool, I could actually click-and-drag and place Flash content directly into my PDF document.
This allows others to be able to open up a PDF file and see Flash content playing directly inside of that window. So while you may not think of PDF as web graphics format, it certainly can be a great medium for you to deliver contents across the web.
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