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Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustration by John Hersey

Working with the Links panel


From:

Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

with Justin Seeley

Video: Working with the Links panel

When you begin to place images inside of Adobe Illustrator, you're going to have to deal with something called the Links panel. In this movie, I am going to be exploring the Links panel, and exactly what it is, and how it helps you work with bitmapped images inside of Illustrator. I'm currently inside of Adobe Bridge, but you could simply open this file that I'm about to open directly from Illustrator if you want to. It's called missing_link.ai. I am going to find it right here, and I'm just going to open it up. When I open it up, you're going to see that I get a warning box telling me that it could not find the linked file, missing_link.jpg.
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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

Working with the Links panel

When you begin to place images inside of Adobe Illustrator, you're going to have to deal with something called the Links panel. In this movie, I am going to be exploring the Links panel, and exactly what it is, and how it helps you work with bitmapped images inside of Illustrator. I'm currently inside of Adobe Bridge, but you could simply open this file that I'm about to open directly from Illustrator if you want to. It's called missing_link.ai. I am going to find it right here, and I'm just going to open it up. When I open it up, you're going to see that I get a warning box telling me that it could not find the linked file, missing_link.jpg.

I can either choose to replace that, select another file, or I can ignore it, and leave the link unchanged. Any time you have artwork that's linked inside of an Illustrator document -- it doesn't even necessarily have to be a JPEG or a TIFF -- Illustrator is going to come up, if that object has been moved or changed since the last time you opened it, and it's going to tell you, hey, I can't find this file. So you are going to have the option to either replace it with another file, or go find the original. You can also ignore it and continue working, or you can simply hit Cancel to say, I don't want to really work with this file right now.

For now, I'm going to go ahead and hit Ignore. When I hit Ignore, you are going to notice that there's no image on my screen. However, I do have this bounding box here in the middle that indicates there's something supposed to be there. In order to get this image back into my artwork, I'm going to utilize the Links panel. To bring up the Links panel in Illustrator, you go to the Window menu, and choose Links. Once you do that, the Links panel will appear. If you have linked artwork inside of your document, it will automatically show up inside of the Links panel.

If there's a problem with any of the links, you'll see a small red X out to the right side, indicating that there's no link there. So in this case, with this link selected, I have a couple of options. I can use the Relink button to go out and find that link again; I can also Go To Link, Update Link, and Edit Original. Since this is currently missing, I cannot update it, because no changes have been made to it necessarily; Illustrator doesn't even know where it is. And I can't edit the original, because Illustrator doesn't know where it is.

So the first thing I need to do is relink the file. So let's click this little link button, and it's going to take me into a file browser. You're going to navigate to your Chapter 12 Exercise Files folder, find the images folder, and then inside of the images folder, there should be a graphic entitled missing_link. Once you find it, click Place. It will then replace that empty box with the artwork that was missing. You'll also notice that the Links panel now shows a thumbnail of the missing_link.jpg, the red X has gone away, and all of the options at the bottom are now highlighted.

I now have the ability to Relink, Go To Link, Update Link, or Edit Original. So let's start right here; Go To Link. Well, what exactly does this mean? If I don't have anything selected in my current document, I can target the link, and then hit Go To Link, and it will automatically go to the part of my document where that link is, and make it an active selection. So if you have several pieces of linked artwork in your Illustrator document, especially small pieces that are hard to define, you might want to select them in the Links panel, and then hit Go To Link, to allow Illustrator to find them for you.

It's almost like a search button. You can also choose to update the link. So if you go out, and you edit this file inside of Photoshop, or another program, you may want to come back in and hit this little update button, so that Illustrator goes out, finds the latest version of the file, and then updates it here inside of the document. This makes sure that you're seeing the exact representation of the file in its current state. I haven't modified this link outside of Illustrator yet, so really this doesn't have any point right now. Finally, there's the Edit Original button; this is going to allow you to open this file up in its original editing application.

In most cases, if you have the Creative Suite installed, it's going to open it up in Photoshop, but if you've created a ping graphic inside of Fireworks, it would automatically launch Fireworks, and allow you to edit in there. In addition to the buttons at the bottom of this panel, you also have a panel menu, and the panel menu has several options available to you as well: Relink, Go To Link, Edit Original, Update, and it also has Placement Options. If you look inside the Placement Options, you'll see that you can Preserve Transforms, you can clip it to a bounding box, and down here, it explains exactly what those mean.

If you choose to preserve the transforms, this will fit the linked file into a bounding box, and the replaced file will preserve transformation, but not the bounds. Basically what this means is, if you place a square photo into a rectangular container, it's not going to alter the photo, but it will crop it inside of that box. If you want to make a change to this, you can change stuff like File Dimensions, Proportions, Bounds, etcetera. For each different file that you place in Illustrator, these Placement Options might be different, so you might want to take a look at these.

For now, I'm just going to hit Cancel, because I am happy with the way it looks. In addition to that, inside of this Options dialog box, you can also reveal the file in Bridge, making it easier for you to find it on your hard drive, and you can also view Link Information. The Link Information screen is going to tell you the name of the file, the location of the file on your hard drive, the size of the file, what type of file it is -- in this case, it's JPEG -- what day it was created, any type of transforms that have been performed on it -- in this case, you see it's been scaled down to 73% -- and also, if it lives on a server, where that is located.

Once I'm finished looking at this information, I can hit OK. There's really no other point to that dialog box. As I said before, linking files inside of Illustrator does increase the file size, but it's a great way to get raster-based objects into your Illustrator designs without having to embed them into the file. However, if you find that you are going to be transferring files with linked information from person to person, or even sending it off to a printer, you may want to think about embedding your images directly into Illustrator, and we'll cover that in a future movie.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS6 Essential Training.


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