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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.
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 bleed.ai 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.
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