Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Getting around your illustration, part of Introducing Illustrator.
In this movie I'll introduce you to Illustrator's navigation functions, which allow you to get around inside your document. Specifically, I'll show you how to zoom in on a document. I'll show you how to zoom out. And I'll also show you how to pan around, so that you can see a specific part of your document. Along the way, I'll mention a few keyboard shortcuts. If you take some time to memorize these shortcuts, I think you'll find that you take less of your time hunting around for commands inside of Illustrator, and more of your creative energy on the document itself.
So, I'll start by resetting my view, which you can do by going up to the View menu, and choosing Fit All In Window. And that's going to zoom you out, so that you can see all of the art boards inside of a document. Now, let's say that I want to zoom in or out. I've got a couple of commands here in the View menu. Notice them right there, Zoom In, Zoom Out. And they also have, what I believe to be, very easy to remember shortcuts. It's Ctrl+plus to zoom in and Ctrl+minus to zoom out.
That's Cmd+plus and minus on the Mac. So, for example, notice I'm currently seeing my document at the 100% view size. And I know that's the case because I see 100% up here in the title tab, at the top of the screen. I also see 100% listed down here in the bottom left corner, of the screen. If I press Ctrl+plus, or Cmd+plus on the Mac, I zoom to the next increment which is 150%. And then if I press Ctrl or Cmd+plus again, I zoom to 200%.
And so on. If I now press Ctrl+minus or Cmd+minus on a Mac, I'll zoom out to 150% and so on. The thing about zooming in this way is that you're always zooming with respect to the center of whatever you're seeing on screen. So in my case, my view is centered on the intersection of these art boards, and so I'm going to continue to zoom in or zoom out on that location. What if you want to specify an area to zoom in on? Well, I'll go up to the View menu and I'll choose Fit All In Window in order to zoom back out.
And then I'll grab my zoom tool which is a little hard to see in a single column toolbox, so I'll switch the tool box to two columns by clicking on this double arrow icon up here at the top. And now notice the zoom tool, which looks like a magnifying glass. If you click on it to select it, then you can click on a specific portion of the artwork that you want to zoom in on. If you want to zoom out, then you press the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, and you get the zoom-out icon. And you know it's zooming out because it has a minus sign inside the magnifying glass.
And then you click. So you just click with the tool to zoom in. You Alt or Option click to Zoom Out. Now this is such a common operation that its got a keyboard shortcut. So, let's say I switch back to the selection tool. If you want to get to the zoom tool on the fly, then you press Ctrl+spacebar. That's Cmd+spacebar on the Mac, and then you click to zoom in like so. If you want to zoom out, then you add the Alt or Option key. So that's going to be a Ctrl+Alt+spacebar click on a PC.
Or Cmd+Option+spacebar click on a Mac. Now a special note to Macintosh users, if you just press Cmd+Option+spacebar, it's very likely you'll bring up a window with a search field, because Cmd+Option+spacebar is the default shortcut for the spotlight feature. Which is why on the Mac I recommend you press Cmd+spacebar and then add the Option key to zoom out. Another option that's available to you is to zoom way in. An you do that by pressing Ctrl+spacebar, or Cmd+spacebar on a Mac, and then drag around the area on which you want to zoom.
And notice that, that zooms you way in on that one specific detail. A few more commands you should be aware of. Up here in the View menu once again, notice you have the option of choosing Fit Art Board In Window. In which case you're just going to fit the active art board, which in my case happens to be art board four. Let's say I want it to be art board one instead. Then I could go back to the View menu an choose Fit All In Window, which is going to fit all the art boards. And then I would just click on art board one to select it.
And now I'll go back to the View menu and choose Fit Art Board in Window. And that will zoom me in on just that art board. And then finally, you have the option of going up to the View menu and choosing Actual Size which is going to zoom you to 100%, as you can see up here on the title tab. Alright let's say that I want to zoom in farther. for example I'll press Ctrl and space bar, or Cmd and space bar on a Mac, and I'll just go ahead and drag around the G inside of the pink shirt in order to zoom in on it. It's great to be this far zoomed in because you can often times identify small mistakes and fix them.
But of course, then you'll need to pan around. Now can take advantage of these scrolls bars along the side, and a bottom of the window. But they're pretty clumsy tools. You're better off by taking advantage of the hand tool. Now the hand tool you can also get on the fly, inside of illustrator. And you access that tool, regardless of which tool is selected by pressing and holding the spacebar. Notice with the spacebar down, I can see the hand tool. And now I can just drag my document around on screen in order to scroll to a different location.
And in our case I'm getting back to that G that's inside the pink shirt. And then finally, you can scroll using the scroll wheel on your mouse. So for example, I can just scroll down, or I can scroll up. If you've got a track pad that has other gestures, then you can use them as well in order to scroll inside of a document. If you don't, if you just have an old style scroll wheel, then you can press the Ctrl key rather the Cmd key on the mac and scroll down in order to scroll to the right or scroll up to scroll to the left.
And then finally to zoom in, you can press the Alt key, or the Option key on a Mac. And if you've got that key down, then when you scroll up, you'll zoom in and then when you scroll down, you'll zoom out. So just a few more shortcuts to know about. You can of course choose to memorize them or not, depending on your level of comfort. At the very least, though, of course, you'll want to know to press Ctrl+minus or Cmd+minus on a Mac to zoom out. Ctrl+plus or Cmd+plus on a Mac to zoom in, and then press the space bar and drag in order to pan your artwork using the hand tool.
And that, friends, is how you navigate in order to get around inside of a document here inside Illustrator.
- Setting up your first Illustrator document and artboards
- Drawing and painting basic shapes with the brush tools
- Creating and formatting text
- Coloring artwork with fills, strokes, and gradients
- Working with paths to create free-form shapes
- Creatively applying dynamic effects that are automatic and editable
- Tracing scanned artwork to create digitally editable graphics