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Working with the Separations Preview palette


Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals

with Deke McClelland

Video: Working with the Separations Preview palette

In this exercise I'm going to introduce you to the Separations Preview palette. Along the way, I'm going to explain how overprinting works inside of Illustrator, and how you go about creating a trap if you want to. I'm still working inside the document Queen found inside the 11_printing folder. My only change is that I added some crop marks in the previous exercise. All right, so I'm going to make some modifications to this document here, just to best demonstrate Separations Preview. I'm going to go ahead and click on this column of text right there, and then Shift-click on this column of text.
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  1. 42m 8s
    1. Welcome to One-on-One
      1m 58s
    2. The Welcome screen
      3m 3s
    3. Creating a new document
      5m 6s
    4. Advanced document controls
      4m 43s
    5. Saving a custom New Document Profile
      8m 46s
    6. Changing the document setup
      4m 21s
    7. Special artboard controls
      4m 58s
    8. Accepting artboard changes
      2m 19s
    9. Saving a document
      4m 33s
    10. Closing a document
      2m 21s
  2. 1h 0m
    1. Adobe Bridge
    2. Opening an illustration
      4m 45s
    3. Modifying an illustration
      6m 27s
    4. Saving changes
      4m 58s
    5. Introducing Adobe Bridge
      8m 41s
    6. The all-important file type associations
      3m 20s
    7. Navigating inside Bridge
      4m 23s
    8. Previewing and collecting
      5m 55s
    9. Using workspaces
      6m 41s
    10. Customizing a workspace
      6m 14s
    11. Cool Bridge tricks
      8m 17s
  3. 1h 4m
    1. Preferences, color settings, and workspaces
    2. Keyboard increments
      5m 12s
    3. Scratch disks
      3m 48s
    4. Changing the user interface and setting Appearance of Black
      4m 14s
    5. Best workflow color settings
      9m 17s
    6. Synchronizing settings across CS4
      3m 2s
    7. Working inside tabbed windows
      7m 6s
    8. Organizing palettes
      5m 4s
    9. Saving a custom workspace
      4m 12s
    10. Zooming and panning
      4m 19s
    11. Using the Zoom tool
      3m 3s
    12. Navigating the artboards
      5m 5s
    13. Nudging the screen image
      3m 3s
    14. Scroll-wheel tricks
      2m 8s
    15. Cycling between screen modes
      4m 35s
  4. 1h 22m
    1. The Wedjat (or Eye of Horus)
    2. The line tools
      2m 57s
    3. Introducing layers
      5m 10s
    4. Creating ruler guides
      6m 18s
    5. Creating custom guides
      5m 16s
    6. Snap-to points
      5m 25s
    7. Organizing guides
      5m 44s
    8. Making a tracing template
      3m 42s
    9. Drawing a line segment
      4m 29s
    10. Drawing a continuous arc
      5m 28s
    11. Drawing a looping spiral
      6m 5s
    12. Cutting lines with the Scissors tool
      6m 20s
    13. Joining open paths
      7m 31s
    14. Aligning and joining points
      6m 34s
    15. Drawing concentric circles
      4m 41s
    16. Cleaning up overlapping segments
      5m 34s
  5. 1h 4m
    1. The anatomy of a shape
      1m 1s
    2. Meet the shape tools
      3m 5s
    3. The traceable Tonalpohualli
      2m 52s
    4. Drawing circles
      4m 38s
    5. Enhanced Smart Guides
      4m 1s
    6. Aligning to a key object
      4m 29s
    7. Creating polygons and stars
      5m 4s
    8. Using the Measure tool
      3m 47s
    9. The Select Similar and Arrange commands
      3m 56s
    10. Rectangles and rounded rectangles
      6m 8s
    11. The amazing constraint axes
      5m 26s
    12. Grouping and ungrouping
      3m 35s
    13. Flipping and duplicating
      4m 12s
    14. Combining simple shapes into complex ones
      5m 24s
    15. Cutting and connecting with Scissors and Join
      3m 31s
    16. Tilde-key goofiness
      2m 53s
  6. 1h 41m
    1. The ingredients of life
    2. Fill and Stroke settings
      4m 22s
    3. Transparency grid and paper color
      5m 47s
    4. The None attribute
      5m 4s
    5. Color libraries and sliders
      3m 39s
    6. Industry-standard colors
      4m 38s
    7. Using CMYK for commercial output
      6m 39s
    8. Using RGB for the web
      7m 23s
    9. Color palette tips and tricks
      7m 18s
    10. Creating and saving color swatches
      4m 35s
    11. Trapping gaps with rich blacks
      6m 46s
    12. Filling and stacking shapes
      5m 39s
    13. Dragging and dropping swatches
      5m 0s
    14. Paste in Front, Paste in Back
      4m 54s
    15. Filling shapes inside groups
      5m 28s
    16. Pasting between layers
      4m 41s
    17. Joins, caps, and dashes
      6m 50s
    18. Fixing strokes and isolating edits
      7m 12s
    19. Creating a pattern fill
      4m 57s
  7. 1h 50m
    1. The power of transformations
      1m 20s
    2. From primitive to polished art
      2m 42s
    3. Using the Blob brush
      5m 46s
    4. Resizing the brush and erasing
      4m 15s
    5. Selection limits and methods of merging
      6m 39s
    6. Cloning and auto-duplicating
      6m 45s
    7. Customizing keyboard shortcuts
      3m 7s
    8. Moving by the numbers
      5m 15s
    9. Using the Reshape tool
      7m 47s
    10. Modifying, aligning, and uniting paths
      7m 14s
    11. Using the Offset Path command
      4m 43s
    12. Styling and eyedropping
      5m 29s
    13. Making a black-and-white template
      2m 27s
    14. Scale and clone
      4m 57s
    15. Enlarge and stack
      5m 46s
    16. Positioning the origin point
      6m 59s
    17. Using the Rotate tool
      3m 55s
    18. Using the Reflect tool
      4m 15s
    19. Series rotation (aka power duplication)
      6m 48s
    20. Rotating by the numbers
      6m 12s
    21. Transforming the tile patterns
      7m 52s
  8. 2h 4m
    1. Next-generation text wrangling
    2. Placing a text document
      5m 38s
    3. Creating a new text block
      6m 1s
    4. Working with point text
      3m 57s
    5. Selecting the perfect typeface
      5m 44s
    6. Scaling and positioning type
      8m 57s
    7. Leading, tracking, and lots of shortcuts
      5m 54s
    8. Adjusting pair kerning
      6m 55s
    9. Eyedropping formatting attributes
      3m 54s
    10. Flowing text from one block to another
      8m 28s
    11. Creating and applying a paragraph style
      7m 39s
    12. Rendering the text in graphite
      5m 55s
    13. Creating a scribbly drop shadow
      5m 17s
    14. Advanced formatting and bullets
      7m 43s
    15. Setting Area Type options
      4m 57s
    16. Justification and the Every-line Composer
      5m 52s
    17. OpenType and ligatures
      7m 19s
    18. Fractions, numerals, and ordinals
      9m 7s
    19. Swashes and small caps
      5m 40s
    20. The amazing Glyphs palette
      8m 12s
  9. 1h 18m
    1. Points are boys, handles are girls
      1m 20s
    2. Placing an image as a tracing template
      6m 56s
    3. Drawing a straight-sided path
      6m 8s
    4. Moving, adding, and deleting points
      6m 50s
    5. Drawing spline curves with Round Corners
      9m 7s
    6. Smooth points and Bézier curves
      8m 29s
    7. Defining a cusp between two curves
      6m 59s
    8. Replicating and reshaping segments
      8m 31s
    9. Converting anchor points
      7m 55s
    10. Deleting stray anchor points
      5m 1s
    11. Separating and closing paths
      5m 43s
    12. Eyedropping template colors
      5m 55s
  10. 1h 40m
    1. Paths never rest
      1m 34s
    2. Exploring the Appearance palette
      9m 54s
    3. Snip and Spin
      8m 3s
    4. Adding a center point
      4m 12s
    5. Keeping shape intersections
      3m 42s
    6. Lifting fills and selecting through shapes
      5m 54s
    7. Saving and recalling selections
      6m 20s
    8. Rotating is a circular operation
      8m 32s
    9. Lassoing and scaling points
      5m 28s
    10. Using the Transform Each command
      4m 11s
    11. Using the Magic Wand tool
      8m 1s
    12. Eyedropping live effects
      9m 58s
    13. Merging strokes with a compound path
      6m 50s
    14. Selecting and scaling independent segments
      7m 59s
    15. Scalloped edges with Pucker & Bloat
      5m 16s
    16. Expand before you merge
      4m 17s
  11. 1h 26m
    1. The new pleasures of printing
    2. Outlines and artboards in CS4
      7m 35s
    3. Setting trim size and bleed
      7m 17s
    4. Creating custom dynamic crop marks
      3m 41s
    5. Working with the Separations Preview palette
      7m 42s
    6. Trapping an object with an overprint stroke
      8m 20s
    7. Placing multiple artboards into InDesign
      5m 17s
    8. Working with the Print Tiling tool
      4m 56s
    9. Setting the General Print options
      6m 9s
    10. Setting printer marks
      5m 16s
    11. PostScript-only output and graphics
      9m 10s
    12. The Color Management options
      6m 56s
    13. Adjusting the Flattener settings
      7m 32s
    14. Setting the Raster Effects resolution
      5m 33s
  12. 1h 32m
    1. Illustrator does pixels
    2. Illustrator, PDF, and Save As formats
      8m 15s
    3. Saving an illustration for the web
      6m 13s
    4. Saving a continuous-tone JPEG image
      10m 2s
    5. Saving a high-contrast GIF graphic
      6m 27s
    6. The versatile PNG format
      4m 45s
    7. Saving a scaleable Flash (SWF) graphic
      11m 0s
    8. Opening and placing an Illustrator file in Photoshop
      12m 44s
    9. Exporting a layered PSD from Illustrator
      12m 57s
    10. Exporting to Microsoft Office and PowerPoint
      7m 24s
    11. Sharing with InDesign, Flash, and Photoshop
      12m 12s
  13. 1m 4s
    1. Until next time
      1m 4s

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Watch the Online Video Course Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals
16h 48m Beginner Feb 06, 2009

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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.

Topics include:
  • Creating continuous arcs and looping spirals
  • Building with geometric shapes
  • Selecting, placing, and scaling type
  • Creating spine curves with round corners
  • Using the new Blob brush to quickly draw and merge paths
  • Working with flattener and raster effects
  • Saving illustrations for the web
Deke McClelland

Working with the Separations Preview palette

In this exercise I'm going to introduce you to the Separations Preview palette. Along the way, I'm going to explain how overprinting works inside of Illustrator, and how you go about creating a trap if you want to. I'm still working inside the document Queen found inside the 11_printing folder. My only change is that I added some crop marks in the previous exercise. All right, so I'm going to make some modifications to this document here, just to best demonstrate Separations Preview. I'm going to go ahead and click on this column of text right there, and then Shift-click on this column of text.

I'm using the Black Arrow tool, and I'm going to change the fill of those outer columns there to black, by going up to the Control palette, clicking on the white icon, changing it to black like so. Just a regular black, not a rich black. All right, so that's Step 1. Step 2 is to click off the type in order to deselect it. Now I'm going to change one of the colors here inside my Swatches palette to convert it from being a processed color, made up of cyan, magenta, yellow, and black inks mixing together. I'm going to change it to a spot color, a Pantone color.

I am going to do that by double- clicking on this little red icon. Now if you look closely at this icon here, you can see it's got that little white corner. That shows me it's a global swatch. Meaning that it's linked directly to the objects that are colored with that swatch. So if I make any change to that red, the color of my objects will change in kind. That's what I want to do. So this is the red that's used for THE KWEEN OF MURDER and the Q, and everything else that's going on. Of course, that Q doesn't really go with my misspelling of queen, does it? Oh well, I'm going to go over here to the swatch, double-click on it to bring up the Swatch Options dialog box. I'm going to leave the Global check box on, but I'm going to go ahead and rename this color Pantone 200C, like so.

I happen to be familiar with this color. This is a spot color of red that I use actually, for my One-on-One books. So it's the color of my One-on-One logo. Therefore, I'm very familiar with the fact that it's when expressed as a processing or when expressed on screen here, it is made up of 0 cyan, 100% magenta, 63 yellow, and 12% black. I'm going to now switch it from a color type of process color to spot color. Now notice, watch all the elements here inside the illustration. When I turn on the Preview check box, watch those scarlet colors change to more muted reds, like so. That's what I want, let's say, for my illustration here. Now I'll click on OK in order to make that modification. So we have got now 5 inks inside of this illustration. We have got cyan, magenta, yellow, black, and that spot color Pantone 200.

So in order to see how those inks mix together with each other, we can now bring up the Separations Preview palette. I'm going to go to the Window menu and choose Separations Preview. Notice there is no keyboard shortcut. This time you just need to choose the command, which is actually fine, because most of those keyboard shortcuts don't make any sense. Look at how right away the palette is sort of playing with you a little bit, because all of its options are dimmed. That's because in order to even so much as use this palette, you have to have overprinting preview turned on. Now overprinting is where you set one object, one or more objects inside of an illustration to print on top of everything below it.

So there is no knockout. One ink doesn't knock the other inks out, doesn't leave a white spot behind, which I'll show you what that looks like in a moment. Instead, you are just printing, for example, the black text on top of everything behind it. If you want to see what that looks like, you have turn on Overprint Preview. By default, Illustrator is not showing you that overprinting, which is craziness actually, but anyway, to use this palette and to use Illustrator effectively in general, you want to be looking at Overprint Preview. So you can either turn on that check- box right there, or you can go up to the View menu and choose this command. I just want you to see this command is available as well, because it's useful outside the context of Separations Preview. It also has a keyboard shortcut of Ctrl+Shift+Alt+Y or Command+Shift+Option+Y on the Mac. That goes and turns the check box on. Notice that and makes available all of these options, all these inks.

Now you can turn on and off inks, obviously by clicking on their eyeball. So if I wanted to turn off cyan and see what its contribution is by virtue of the fact that it's gone now. So we are just seeing all the other inks. I'll turn off cyan, like so, and my background would turn orange. If it weren't for that cyan ink making it green, of course. Another way to work, I'll go ahead and turn cyan back on, is to Alt-click or Option-click on a color. For example, if you wanted to see where all the black is, you would Alt-click on black or Option-click that is, on the eyeball for black, in order to see the black ink by itself. Then I could click in front of Pantone 200C, to see what the Pantone color, the spot color and black look like when they are mixed together.

Actually, those two inks are doing a lot of the heavy lifting inside of this illustration from one artboard to the next. All right, I'm going to move this back to the first page, so that we can keep an eye on the first page here. Now I was telling you about knockouts, and overprints, and all that jazz. I am going to turn off black for a moment, and I want you to see what happens when I turn on yellow, and magenta, and cyan. So all of the inks that make up the colors inside of the illustration. Notice that we are left with white text in these two columns on either side of the playing card, where we formerly had black. If I were to turn the black ink on, that text actually appears black. If I turn it off though, it appears white. That means we have a knockout.

So the black ink is actually knocking a hole into the inks below it. That is a fine thing, if we are working with illustrative objects, but when we are working with text, particularly when we have small text, that's a terrible thing. Let me explain why? I'll go ahead and turn black back on, and you can see, if you look closely your screen, you are not going to see it here on my screen very well that is inside the video, but there is slight little white edge here that's indicating that we could have some trapping problem.

So we can have little tiny white gaps show up around the black letters. If the black isn't exactly registered with the other inks, we are going to get some gaps right there. Now we can avoid those gaps as simply as overprinting. So here is what you do. You go ahead and click inside that text in order to make it active. Then you bring up the Attributes palette. So I'll go to the Window menu, and I'll choose Attributes right there in order to bring up that palette. That's Ctrl+ F11, Command+F11 on the Mac. There is Attributes, there is Overprint Fill. So I was telling you this palette, when we discussed adding a center point, you may recall that this palette is sort of a catchall for a bunch of options that don't go anywhere else. This is one of them, Overprint Fill right there.

If I turn it on, keep an eye on my text, it's going to go darker on screen. See it gets darker, and also gets thicker, gets better weight going. We don't have any of those little white edges showing up, those little edge highlights. Now if I were to click off the text, and if I were to turn off black, there is no hole left behind, there is no knockout now, because of overprinting, turn it back on, and we can see what the text looks like. Now let me show you something what happens when I turn Overprint Preview off, it doesn't show me the text accurately. That's why Overprint Preview is such an important function. So remember that it's up here in the View menu, if not also inside the Separations Preview palette. It's right there. It's a very good option for you to turn on, since it's turned off by default.

All right, I'll go ahead and turn that back on, so we can see the illustration as it will really print. This guy is a problem too, so click on him and go ahead and turn on Overprint Fill down here in the Attributes area. All right, I was telling you we are going to make a trap and we are going to make a trap, but tell you what, we are going to make that trap in order to prevent any gaps around our Pantone text. You'll see, in the next exercise.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals .

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Q: Adobe Bridge CS4 is not previewing files in the same way for me as it is in the tutorial. All I am seeing is a low-quality thumbnail of the image, not previews of each artboard.  Why is there a difference between the tutorial and what I am seeing?
A: There is a different view in the tutorial because the author used a beta version of Bridge during the recording. The final release of Bridge CS4 displays thumbnails as you describe.
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