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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 be introducing you to the new and improved Illustrator CS interface, which is part of this initiative know as OWL. And OWL, by the way, stands for Operating System Widget Library. And this is actually OWL version 2. OWL 1 was part of CS3, and the idea is to create a uniform UI, user interface, between the various Creative Suite applications, but at least two programs were left out of the mix, Fireworks and Dreamweaver. Now we have got Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Flash, Dreamweaver and Fireworks all sharing the OWL 2 interface, and there is some discrepancies between the programs, but things are more or less uniform and they are definitely improved in my opinion.
Just gets better and better. Now I'm going to have you open a bunch of different illustrations here. I'm working in the Bridge of course. I have got the Bridge trained on the Sample Art folder, inside of the Sample Files folder, inside of Cool Extras, and so on. Now there is a couple of different ways to select multiple files in Bridge. One is to click on one file, and Shift-click on another. Then you are going to select a range of thumbnails there. If you want to select non-adjacent thumbnails, which is what I want to do, then you Ctrl-click or Command-click on the Mac, on one of the thumbnails.
I am going to go ahead and select these guys. Now that's actually a fair range of thumbnails at this point. I could have clicked on this guy, and Shift-clicked on this guy. But I'm now going to take him out of the mix, as you may or may not have T-shirt artboards.ai, by Ctrl-clicking or Command-clicking on the Mac. So you can also Command-click or Ctrl- click to deselect a thumbnail. Finally, I want to show you one other thing. Notice my workspace that I have saved in the previous chapter. It's automatically assigned a keyboard shortcut. For me, it's Ctrl+F2 that would be Command+F2 on the Mac, because it's in the second position, but I could prioritize and I could move it over to the first position.
If this is my preferred workspace right here, and notice that it gets a new keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+F1, Command+F1 on the Mac. Just thought I'd that pass that along. All right, let's say we want to open all these thumbnails inside of Illustrator. Just press the Enter key or the Return key on the Mac, and bang, they open up. Lightening quick in my case because I already had him opened up and I just don't want to waste a lot of time. Now, notice that we have tabbed windows inside of Illustrator CS4, and inside the other CS4 applications, and you can switch from one window to another just by clicking on its Tab, and that will of course bring that window to the foreground, and I have showed this to you in the previous chapter, but you also saw how you can close anyone of these documents by clicking in its close box right there.
I'm going to leave it open for now because I want all seven of these guys open. If you can't see a tab, it's because you have too many documents open at the same time. You can click on this double right pointing arrowhead icon right there and you can choose one from the list, in order to go there. Also interesting I think is the way that you can divide these windows into groups. So notice this guy up here, this little Arrange Document icon that's up here in the application bar. If you click on it, you will bring up a bunch of different tilings that are available to you. Like you can tile everything or one of these guys into its own little window in a grid, like this.
It's kind of crazy and pretty hard to track. I think you should work in that way unless you just have the most gigantor monitor on the planet. But that's something that you can do. Or you can just go with a couple of different regions. Like I'm going to do this. I'm going to go ahead and divide things up into 2-Up. Okay, So I have this guy who is available by himself in the top group and the other six open documents, which are in the bottom group, and now I could just move around. I could say no you are going to go up here, and you are going to go over here buddy, and so we got three at the top, when we get four at the bottom.
And you can even do your own groupings if you want to, check that out. If I move this guy over to this side like this, I get this vertical line right here, and if I release he becomes part of his own window group. It is only independent window group. So that he's off there starting his own thing. So you have a lot of ability to control exactly how these guys are setup, so that you can juggle, if you want to you can actually juggle multiple illustrations at the same time on a single screen. So lot of what's going on in an OWL is that it's trying to make a Creative Suite applications work on a single big huge monitor.
So that you don't have to switch between multiple monitors, the way that many professional graphic artists do. It's easier just to work on one big monitor, if you can get away with it. So anyway, this is pretty groovy I think now. Check this out. If you are crazy for keyboard shortcuts, you can actually switch between windows from the keyboard. A little bit of a disclaimer. Some people, believe it or not for those of you who love keyboard shortcuts, some people hate them, like a really big time. If you don't like keyboard shortcuts then fine, don't use them. A lot of people just love him, and so I'm going to communicate keyboard shortcuts for those of you who like this kind of thing.
To navigate to the next document in a group, right here. So right now I have got this In the Cradle of the Deep, that guy is active. I would press Ctrl+F6. That switches you over to the next window. They are all based by the way on F6. So they all involved F6 to some extent to or to other. If you want to navigate backwards, you press Ctrl+Shift+F6. If you want to navigate to a different group, like you want to navigate to this group down here, then you press Ctrl+Alt+F6 and it doesn't look like anything is changed here.
But now watch this. if I press Ctrl+F6 or Command+F6, I'm switching between documents down in this lower region instead. All right so good. It's worth knowing maybe. That just FYI, Ctrl+Shift+Alt+F6 is going to move you backwards in the groups. So now we are back to this guy, and now you'll notice if I press Ctrl+F6 or Command+F6 on the Mac, we are moving between documents. So that's why I stressed upfront. If you are crazy for keyboard shortcuts, you have got those keyboard shortcuts there. One other thing, this is just if you are crazy in general. Notice by the way that these window will scale. If I were to widen the palettes by clicking on little double arrow icon or just clicking up here in this dark grey region, that will do it too.
And the window scales accordingly. But if you don't wanted to work that way, if you want the window to be in front of everything, you just going to want to peel one of these guys out and consider it independently of the rest of the gang. Let's go to Shell City right here, for example, and let's say I want that guy to be his own independent thing. I would just drag it a little bit like this and I'm dragging the tab and then I release it, and it is now out in front of everything. Check that out. It's in front of the menu bar. I can move in the front of menu bar here on the PC, and I can move it in front of the toolbox, and I can move it in front of the other palettes.
It can really be a complete hog. And then I could grab one of the palettes and drag it out and have it floating in front of this illustration if I wanted to. So that's more information than maybe you'd like to know, but here is the thing, Very flexible interface. So it allows you just to go crazy if you want to. If you want to go uncrazy, then you will grab this guy and drag him back in to the group. See that? So I'm just dragging the title bar back into the group, and he is now part of this uncrazy group right here. So a bunch of different ways to work with OWL 2 here inside of Illustrator CS4.
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