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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.
All right let's begin at the beginning. And where Illustrator CS3 is concerned, the beginning is this Welcome screen right here. Now, I think of it as being an unwelcome screen quite frankly. Not because there's anything terribly wrong with it, it's just that it's not all that helpful, as we'll see. And it's a little bit too dogged. It's kind of always there yapping at your heels every time you don't have a document open, again as we'll see. Now it's basic mission in life is laudable enough.
It's designed to give you options. When you don't have the file open, it's there to help you out, is the idea. So it's divided into four quadrants as you can see. Over here on the left-hand side you can open a recent document or if you don't see the document that you want to open in the list, then you can click on this Open button right here, in order to bring up the Open dialog box and locate the file that you want to work on. Over here on the right-hand side you can create a new document, either a blank page or a document from a template. Down here in the lower left corner you can access the Adobe Help utility and go to a specific page inside of that utility.
And over here in the lower right-hand corner, you can access Additional Resources. Go ahead and click on it to find out what that is because that's always in the state of flux. So just to give you a sense of what's going on here, I'll go ahead and create a new document. For example I'll click on Print Document, and that will bring up the New Document dialog box here. Now I've got my Advanced Options opened and if you want to see them, you can just click on this double arrow down icon right there. And the reason I'm showing you this is because I want you to see that there's not very much of a difference. Notice I'm working on a print document here, which is going to be in the CMYK mode, we'll visit that in more detail later what that means.
We have a Raster Effects set to High, which means everything that sobs like drop shadows for example, will have a High resolution of 300 ppi and you may have wondered in the past, if you've worked with Illustrator before, what's the difference between Print and Basic CMYK, since Basic CMYK would also be for Print? If you switch to Basic CMYK you're going to watch your Raster Effect is dropped to 72 ppi. But all of this is no big deal because even well after you create your document, you been working in it for several days, several weeks, several months, what have you, you can still change all of these settings later on down the line. So it really doesn't matter. You don't have to feel like you get every setting exactly the way needs to be in advance before you click on the Okay button. Really just go ahead and click on Okay. And so I'm going to go ahead and click on Okay and I'm confronted by the big blank page, which is a little bit sobering. Sometimes it's what you want.
Other times it's like, Oh boy, now what? So I'm thinking, Now what? You know what? I'm just going to go and close this document. I'm going to go to the File menu and I'm going to choose to Close command, Control+W here on the PC, Command+W on a Mac. You've also got this little close button up here in upper right-hand corner. Not the big red one, but the little guy right there here in the Windows side, you can click in order to close. On the upper left-hand corner on the Mac is where your close button is. All right and the reason I did that is to show you, Bang, who is back? It's the Welcome screen. Is it that welcome? I don't know. It's like you didn't even ring the doorbell and the thing has stepped forward and grabbed your hand and started shaking it and saying hello and you're feeling like, What are you welcoming me for? I was just here, just to say, Don't you remember? I just, I was, why? So anyway another option of course is to create a document from a template. And there's a method to my madness by the way. There's a reason I'm showing you all this stuff because in the next exercise, I'm going to show you what I consider to be the better Welcoming screen, which is an entire application known as the Adobe Bridge. But I digress. Let me first show you this.
From template you don't want the big blank page. You want a gentler introduction into Illustrator. You want to start inside of a template file that's sort of built. It has some design elements ready to go. So you click on From Template... and you're confronted by something else that's not particularly friendly, which is this dialog box just saying, Here's some templates. You search around, you know, wherever you want because it's folders upon folders inside of folders full of these tamplate files and where am I? Where am I on my hard drive, you might wonder. Well click on this down-pointing arrowhead and you see that, assuming that you installed Illustrator on your C drive here on a PC, you'll see that you're in your C drive and then in the program files and then inside an Adobe folder. On the Macintosh side, this would be your Applications folder on your main drive.
and then you go into an Adobe Illustrator CS3 folder that's on both the PC on the Mac, and then Cool Extras, which does have some cool extras inside of it as we'll see, and then Templates, and then Basic. So I point that out once again, because it's going to come into play, we're going to take advantage of that information in the next exercise. But for now, let's just open something. Artist I guess, and oh, Portfolio Card, why not? So click on that and we can see this tiny little thumbnail, the Portfolio Card.
You click New. You don't click Open, even though you are opening the template. You click New, because you're creating a new file based on that template. So I'll click New and up comes the documents, and I can see that it's an untitled document. That will force my to save my changes, if indeed I make any changes. And so I might play around with this file and do different things with it or I might say, You know, rejected this isn't the file that I want either. I'll go ahead and close this file and then who's back? That nutty unwelcome screen. All right, so here's what I suggest you do. If you agree with me that it's kind of nibbling at your heels and not in a very pleasant way, then turn on Don't show again, that checkbox right there and close the little guy and he won't come back.
Now, if you're regretting your actions, if you're thinking, Wait a sec, I did that Deke, but I didn't really want to. I was just following along with you. I want the Welcome screen back. Why then, just go to the Help menu, which offers a bunch of different help options here, and choose Welcome Screen and, Ha! There's your Welcome screen back onscreen and you can say, No, I want Don't show again off because I do want to see this again in the future. Totally up to you. As I say, for me it's unwelcome and that's why in the next exercise I'm going to show you what I consider to be the much better welcoming screen inside of Adobe Illustrator and that is the Adobe Bridge.
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