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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.
This is the first in a series of exercises that I'm devoting to the topic of navigation, that is zooming and scrolling around inside of your illustration. Illustrator and all the other Adobe applications as well really, they all devote a ton of energy to zooming and scrolling and otherwise getting around, and it may seem like overkill, because there's like a dozen solutions inside of Illustrator. But it's not. So if you're thinking in terms of traditional media then scrolling and zooming is totally silly.
I mean, you've got your pencil and your piece of paper. What do you do? You lift it up and hold it closer to your face in order to zoom in on it, but Illustrator is not a piece of traditional media. You probably noticed that by now, and it's really a virtual world and you're operating inside of that virtual world using a piece of machinery, Illustrator itself. So you need to come to terms with how to drive that machinery before you can really work with it. That's basically what it comes down to. So let's say you want to zoom in on this illustration, and as I mentioned a few exercises ago, I'm working inside of a document called Vectory.ai that's found inside the 02 Setup_Navigate folder.
Let's say you want to zoom in on it, you want to magnify the details. Then you go to the View menu and you choose Zoom In, or of course you could zoom out by going to the View menu and choosing Zoom Out. Now that's fine, but really you want to know the keyboard shortcuts right? Because you don't want to be saying, Oh gosh, I want to zoom in I'll choose zoom in, and then I still want to zoom in some more, so I'll choose Zoom In again, and you'll be choosing Zoom In all day, versus just pressing Control Plus or Command Plus on the Mac to zoom in or Cntrol Minus or Command Minus on the Mac to zoom out and that zooms out incrementally. You also have the option of choosing a zoom level. Lots of different zoom levels from this pop-up menu down in the lower left-hand corner of the screen or you can just enter your own Zoom value or you can nudge the zoom value. If I press the down arrow key, for example, I'm going to nudge slightly out from 200% to 199% and these percentages are based on the notion that 100% is roughly the size the illustration will print, it's really not because Illustrator has no way determining what your screen resolution is and figuring it out accordingly but it's a rough approximation, pretty darn rough as it turns out. So I'll keep zooming out by pressing the down arrow key. If you want to zoom out more quickly by 10% increments then you press Shift+Down arrow, or of course you press Shift+Up arrow as well to zoom in by this 10% increment.
Now, once you've zoomed in to this amazing level right here, go ahead and press the Enter key or the Return key so this option is no longer active then you'll want to scroll around and you can scroll around using the Hand tool, which you can get by pressing the H key. Every single one of the tools inside of Illustrator is accessible from the keyboard by pressing either a letter key, or Shift and a letter key. But there's an easier way than having to go over here and grab the Hand tool. Again you're going to be using the Hand tool all the time to scroll inside of Illustrator, the easier thing to do this just press and hold the spacebar and then drag the image around, drag that illustration around inside of the window.
So the spacebar gets you the Hand tool. All right so those are the basics of zooming and scrolling around here inside of Illustrator. In the next exercise I'll share with you some more expert, more precision techniques.
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