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In Illustrator CS5 One-on-One: Advanced, author and industry expert Deke McClelland teaches how to take advantage of the wide array of dynamic features in Illustrator CS5. This course demonstrates how to apply these features to paths, groups, and editable text to create professional-quality artwork. The course covers Live Trace, Live Paint, and Live Color, as well as symbols, gradients, exporting, and integration with Photoshop. Exercise files accompany the course.
In this exercise, I am going to walk you through the various linking options that are available to you. So when you place an image into Illustrator, it's a linked file. The image that you see here in Illustrator is actually linked to a file on disk in other words, and that allows Illustrator to handle the file very efficiently by the way. So Illustrator is not that great at handling pixels when they're embedded into the illustration, and we will talk more about that in the next exercise, but if you've linked the file, then it handles the file very efficiently. So I have saved my changes as Image in front.ai.
I am going to click on the outline of this big image right here in order to select the entire thing. Notice that it has an X through it that just indicates that it's a placed image. If I press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y on the Mac, all of those pixels are going to disappear when I switch to the outline mode here and I'm just going to see a rectangle with a big X that indicates that I'm looking at a linked graphic that also allows me to easily select through to the other objects that are in the background. If I press Ctrl+Y or Command+Y again, I'll switch back to the preview mode so that I can see those pixels.
Now notice up here in the Control panel that you have got this item called Linked File, that's going to bring up the Links panels, I will show you that in a moment, but there are other ways to get the Links panel if you like. One is, if you have this little chain icon showing up in your panel strip, then you can click on it. You may not have set up your panel strip that way, however. Another way to get to that panel is to go to the Window menu and choose Links and that's going to bring up that Links panel right there. Anyway, I am going to go and hide that one, because probably the easiest way to get to this panel is to select the placed image, then click on Linked file, and there is your Links panel right there.
And it will show all of the linked images inside of this illustration. Now notice down here that we have this series of four icons. The first icon allows you to relink an image. So in other words, you can replace this image with a different one that's found on disk. And what you would do, as you click on relink, it would bring up the Place dialog box, you would select a different image and then click the Place button, and then you would replace this image with a different one. Next, we have got Go To Link, and this is really useful if you have a lot of links listed here inside the Links panel.
You click on a link, and then you click on Go To Link and you'll be taken to the artboard that contains that image, and you'll be zoomed in as well, so you can see the image large on-screen. Next we have got Update Link, so if some changes have been made to the image inside of another program, let's say Photoshop, and they are not showing up here inside Illustrator, you would go ahead and click the Update Link button in order to update that image information. And then finally, we've got Edit Original, and if I click on Edit Original, that's actually going to take me into Photoshop, so it's going to open the image inside Photoshop as we are seeing here.
Then I would make whatever modifications I want to in Photoshop. I would go to the File menu, choose the Save command in order to update the image, and then I'd return to Illustrator. And then when I return to Illustrator, I will see my modifications here inside the document window. All right, another thing I can see here in the Control panel is a resolution, and notice that this image is set to 279 and a 1/3 pixels per inch, PPI stands for pixels per inch. And that may seem pretty darned on standard; you may have heard that the best resolution setting, if you are going to place an image in the Illustrator is 300 pixels per inch, which is great for 150 LPI; that is line per inch half toning, which is one of the industry standards for commercial printing.
Another recommended resolution is 267 pixels per inch, which is designed especially for 133 LPI halftone screens. But that kind of information is overemphasized, you really don't need to stick with specific resolution values. These kinds of nonstandard resolutions are just fine; it's all about how big you want the image to be when you print it, that's ultimately the thing you're concerned about. So anything above 220 PPI is going to deliver pretty good results in anything between 267 and up, is going to be absolutely great, you are going to get very sharp imagery.
So 279 1/3 is just fine, it could be anything beyond 267, and this graphic is going to look great. And that's something you set inside Photoshop by the way. Now, we'll get modified if I were to scale this graphic, if I were to get the Scale tool. And I were to click let's say in the upper left-hand corner of this image, and then scale it to a smaller size, and I'm pressing the Shift Key, so I am scaling the image proportionally. Notice that the resolution value is changed, so when I reduce the size of the image, the resolution goes up, because I'm packing more pixels into a smaller space.
And so this value is always going to tell me the actual resolution at which this image will print. Anyway, I am going to and press Ctrl+Z Key, Command+Z Key on the Mac in order to undo that modification. Next, we have got this little link right there that says the name of the linked image, and if you click on it, then you will bring up a bunch of familiar options. There is Relink; it's just a command version of that Relink icon I showed you a moment ago. We've got Go To Link, Edit Original and Update Link, so they're all there. Slightly different order this time, Edit Original comes before Update Link in this list.
We've got Placement Options, which is going to determine how an image is going to be placed into a different container. So in other words, if you set up a frame in advance, how is that image going to fit to it. You can check out those options, they are actually well delineated inside the dialog box. And then finally we have this Link Information command, and if you choose it, you'll find out everything you need to know about this linked image. Where it's located, and this is telling me that is on my desktop, essentially inside that Exercise Files folder inside the 21_photoshop folder. It tells me how big the image is on disk, what kind of image it is, it's a tif image of course.
When it was created and modified and what kind of transformation has been applied? I went ahead and undid that scale; I applied a moment ago, so the scale values are 100% for both horizontal and vertical and no rotation has been applied. I am going to click OK, just to acknowledge that information. And that's what's going on, that's how you evaluate linked graphics inside a Photoshop. And in the next exercise, I will show you how to take a linked image and embed the file.
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