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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.
Now let's take a look at the new interface and how we go about customizing the new interface here inside Adobe Illustrator CS3. In this exercise I'm going to introduce you to the docking pains and show you how they work. In the next exercise we're going to drags some palettes around and really do the actual customization. And then in the third exercise I'm going to show you how to save out your workspace, so two exercises from now. Here I am working inside of a document called Vectory.ai found inside the 02 Setup Navigate folder, and I have this document open just to have something bright and beautiful and vibrant open on screen, just so that we don't have a gray background going on.
Now Illustrator is one of four Creative Suite applications that sports the new interface. The applications are Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Flash. All four of those applications subscribe to what's called the OWL interface. You may see it referred to. OWL in all caps, at Adobe's web site. It's nowhere inside the documentation I don't think. This new interface totally R O C K S's. It's awesome babies. So let's take a look at how it's put together. Notice over here on the right-hand side we have a column of icons. Now it may look a little different on your screen. You may have some full-fledged palettes that you can see there, but in my case, by default it's showing up as a column of icons and you can see what those icons stand for by just hovering over them. You'll see that this one brings up the Color Guide palette. This one here brings up the Swatches palette, and if you want to see any of those palettes you just click on the icon and it goes ahead and comes up on screen.
What if you want those palettes visible all the time instead of having to click on icons to get to them? Well then you just click on the top of this docking pane right here. Notice that there's a dark gray area that's surrounding the little light gray icons. That's the docking pane here inside of Illustrator CS3. To expand the pane, just go ahead and click at the top of the pane, and that expands it. Now something people, there are some folks out there who are against the new interface. I was about to say, believe it or not, but I can believe it because I wasn't so fond of it at the very beginning either for the reason I'm about to show you. You can't drag this pane around. It looks like you've got a title bar up here, but you can't drag it. Notice if you try to drag it to a different location it does not move and if you click on it you collapse the pane again. So that's all that's going on with this title bar. It allows you to expand and collapse and that's it. And the reason is that each one of these docking panes is fixed in place.
You can create more panes if you want to on a single monitor, but you can't move panes around and that includes moving them to a second monitor by the way. But here's a nifty thing. You can go ahead and change the toolbox now, between a single column toolbox and a double column toolbox because it's inside of a pane as well. Now on your screen cause your screen's bigger than mine presumably, you may see a single column toolbox by default. But my screen resolution is 1024x768 so the toolbox gets a little bit clipped in a single column, but I'll go ahead and show you what it looks like and this is the way I'm going to work actually. I'll go ahead and click on that pane in order to send it down to a single column toolbox. If I want the double column toolbox, I just click on that pane again. So you just have to click on that title bar there. All right, let's stick with the single column toolbox though, because I think it's much more elegant. That's just the beginning of how you customize the interface. That's how the docking panes work. In the next exercise I'm going to show you how you can take these palettes, move them any place you want, start new docking panes, collapse and expand them to your heart's content and really achieve the best possible interface here inside Illustrator CS3.
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