Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Changing the document setup, part of Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals.
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In this exercise, we are going to discuss how to change an existing document. For example, let's say you want to modify the artboards, you want to change the size of one or more artboards or you want to add artboards, delete artboards, that kind of thing. What do you do? You can even shift the positioning of these artboards relative to each other inside the larger canvas. Well, in a previous version of Illustrator, Illustrator CS or earlier, if you wanted to change the size of an artboard, you would go up to the File menu and you would choose Document Setup. If you are used to working that way, be prepared to be disappointed at least by this command because even though it's a logical choice, it doesn't give you access to much of what we have seen so far.
I will go ahead and choose it and notice a dizzying array of options that are available to us, all of which are applicable to the active document only. So, for example, if you want to automatically convert all your straight quotes to curly quotes you would want to make sure that turn Use Typographer's Quotes on and you can modify the Transparency grid if you want to. That kind of thing. We will see this stuff later on inside the series but for now, of the options, we have seen thus far only two are available for edit and that is the Unit of measure right here which we could change to something else, inches and so on or the Bleed and the Bleed is applied uniformly to all artboards, notice that. You can, of course, affect the top, bottom, left, and right settings independently but that will affect each and every artboard by the same amount.
If you want to change the artboards themselves, you click on this guy Edit Artboards, and that's going to close the dialog box and take you to a totally different round inside of Illustrator. This is the Artboard Mode as its known. The easier way to get here is to click on this tool in the toolbox, which is the Artboard tool, and notice it has a keyboard shortcut that I would like you to bear in mind, Shift+O, because you are going to be using this tool a lot by the way. The best tools inside of Illustrator have keyboard shortcuts either just the letter by itself or Shift+ a letter. So that's a good one to bear in mind, O for mode, of course, and by the way if you are looking at a single comp toolbox which clips off some stuff for me on the screen, it's at this position just above the knife there.
Now notice that we are seeing each and every one of the artboards against the deep gray background. That's the default view. You may see it differently if you have Overprint Preview turned on as per my earlier instructions. You may see a white background. We will be able to modify that in just a moment, I'll show you. But in the meantime, notice that you can just grab these artboards and drag them around, so you can just grab one of these dudes and move it to a different location. You can also grab a corner handle in order to resize an artboard or press the Shift key, as you are dragging one of these handles in order to resize the artboard proportionally, like so.
And then if you want to reinstate the artboard to its original size as I think I want to do, I'm going to go ahead and change these W and H values up here in the Control palette. I'm going to change it to 6 quote for W. That's a double quote character in case you can't see it on or in just to make it more obvious. And a Tab and that's going to convert it automatically to 432 points so I can still overwrite the unit of measure here as well, anywhere inside of Illustrator essentially. So 8in as well, tab, and it gets me the original size back. Now if I drag this guy, I'll drag him up here and notice that I have the Smart Guides, we will be talking about smart guides in more detail later. Actually, let me move my cursor a little bit so we have a better view of that because we are seeing the positioning of this point here, this point that I'm dragging inside of the artboard.
But we are also seeing this green Smart Guides pop up and as soon as you see that word Intersect right there and a horizontal line go into the right to the page directly to the right and a vertical line going down to the page below and those center points are in alignment. That means the entire page is in alignment and you can go ahead and release and you have an align setup going on. All right, so that's the basics of just, you know, grabbing a page, changing its size, and moving it into a different location, you can also, if you want to delete a page, you just press the Delete key or the Backspace key here. I'm going to go ahead and undo that modification.
That's the basics of modifying your artboards. I'll tell you more stuff about the Artboard Mode, more of the stuff that you can do that really is different than anything you can do in any other application, in the next exercise.
- Creating continuous arcs and looping spirals
- Building with geometric shapes
- Selecting, placing, and scaling type
- Creating spine curves with round corners
- Using the new Blob brush to quickly draw and merge paths
- Working with flattener and raster effects
- Saving illustrations for the web