Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Installing the dekeKeys keyboard shortcuts, part of Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Mastery .
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All right gang, in these first few exercises, I'm going to show you how to load a few custom keyboard shortcuts, and how to establish some desirable color settings that will serve you well across the various Adobe CS4 applications. Now, if you've been working with me since the Fundamentals portion of this series, then you might already have your color settings setup the way that you need them to be set up. So, if you'd work through, I believe if it was Chapter 3 of that series where we established the color settings, then they are still established, one would think. So, you don't have to do the color setting stuff. But I'm now giving you some keyboard shortcuts as well.
Now I'll caution you, you don't need to load these. This isn't a cautionary note. In other words, it's not going to hurt you. Loading anything I show you is not going to hurt your computer at all. It's all going to work out beautifully for you, but you don't have to do it if you don't want to. You can still follow along with me without the keyboard shortcuts and without the color settings. It's just that if you do go ahead and load these keyboard shortcuts, which I recommend because they are really great. And if you do go ahead and load my Color Settings, which I definitely recommend because they are really going to serve you well across the various CS4 apps, then you're going to get better results out of the software, and you and I will be in sync with each other.
So, that's the idea. So, if you have access to the exercise_ files folder, then you'll see that there is a 00_settings folder therein. Inside of that 00_settings folder, I'll go to it for a moment. You'll find this file called dekeKeys instructions.tif. You can open that inside of Photoshop, if you like. It gives you the instructions as to where to go ahead and install the keyboard shortcuts file, but I'll be showing that to you here on screen. So, it's not essential that you load this file. What you do need to gain access to is this folder right here, dekeKeys AIcs4, Adobe Illustrator CS4, 1on1.
It contains two shortcuts files, one for the Mac and one for Windows. So, if you're working on a Mac, use the Macintosh versions; if you're working on Windows, use the Windows version. Then what you got to do, you can't just double-click on one of these files, because that's going to attempt to open the file inside of Photoshop or Premiere or some other application, and it's going to fail. You can't just open the file directly inside of Illustrator. Instead what you have to do is install this file in a top-secret location. So, let me show you what that location is, right here in this file. It says Copy dekeKeys AIcs4 1on1.kys, which is keyboard shortcut file.
And of course, you grab the Mac version if you're working of the Mac or the Windows version if you're working on Windows. You'll copy it to a location on your hard drive, which depends on your platform. So, there's three different platforms that we have to worry about. Windows XP or Windows Vista or the Mac. So, you have one of those three and here is what you do. If you're working under Windows XP, the location that you need to copy this file, it's going to be on your C drive. It's going to be in the Documents and Settings folder. User, by the way, user is your computer login name. So, whatever ostensibly your name is, probably.
Application Data\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS4 Settings\en, en which stands for English, _US. Now, this part I imagine is going to change for those of you who are international users. So, if you're using the US version of the application, then you look for this en_US folder. These are folders by the way. Folders are divided by these backslashes on Windows. But if you're working with a different version, some international version of the software, then you'll see some different folder right there that you have to worry about.
Anyway, find that folder. Now, in order to find it under Windows, I'm switching back to this folder right here. What you're going to have to do is locate a command that's either called Folder Options or Folder and Search Options. Now, you can just run a search for it too, if you want to, in this little Search field. Once you find it, you'll switch over to the View tab. Then scroll down a little bit and notice that there's this Hidden files and folders folder thing, whatever that is, here in the weird twisted world of Microsoft interfaces. Notice that by default, it's set to do not show hidden files and folders.
You want that to be set to Show hidden files and folders. You need to see the hidden files and folders or you won't see this folder structure right there. I also recommend you turn off Hide extensions for known file types. You might as well see your extensions. You want to see those. Then definitely turn this one off, Hide protected operating system files (Recommended). They recommend you leave it on. I'm recommending you turn it off, because otherwise, you're not going to be able to install the keyboard shortcuts. And by the way, you're smart enough not to ruin everything on your system. That's the idea. Like, ss soon as Windows shows you a system file, why then you're going to want to just grab it and throw it in the trashcan, or something along those lines, and just destroy the hierarchy of everything that's going on in your system.
Not really, I think you can trust yourself. So, turn this on, turn these two off. Click on the Apply button, and then click OK. All right! So, we'll just okay out of there. So, that way, you can find this folder right there. Under Windows Vista, which is the operating system I happen to be using, you go to C:\user, meaning the user's folder. Therein you will find your folder, your user folder, that is your computer login name. AppData, not application data. That one won't work. AppData is the one you're looking for.
Roaming, whatever the heck that means, Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CS4 Settings, and there, of course, en_US. All righty! So, that's where you want to put the Windows file in one of these two folders, depending on whether you're using XP or Vista. Let's scroll down, why don't we, to the Mac. On the Mac, things are slightly easier, not that much easier. Go to the Go menu at your Finder, so at your desktop level, and choose the Home command, which has a keyboard shortcut of Command+Shift+H, by the way.
What that will do is it will open a folder. It will open your user folder. So, you don't have to worry about what your computer login name is. It'll just open that for you. So, you have to be inside that user folder to start with and that's how you get to it is by choosing Go > Home. Then go into the Library folder, go into Preferences, go into Adobe Illustrator CS4 Settings, and then go into en_US, like so, or whatever nation you're living in, and supposedly using the internationalized version of the software, or regionalized, I guess they call it really. So, let's go ahead and switch over to Adobe Illustrator.
Once you've done that-- and now you don't have to quit Illustrator and restart it, or anything like that. Just copy the darn thing to those folders as I've indicated. Good luck with that part. Let's go ahead and maximize Illustrator, so that it's covering up that background chunk. Go to the Edit menu and choose Keyboard Shortcuts. This is whether you're working on the Mac or the PC. So, go to the Edit menu, choose Keyboard Shortcuts. That's going to be Ctrl+Shift+Alt+K, or Command+Shift+Option+K on the Mac. You may recall that I'm telling you these keyboard shortcuts in the reverse order that Adobe does it, because Adobe and just a few other vendors are the only that do in this weird order.
Everybody else talks with Ctrl or Command first, Shift second, and Alt or Option last, but anyway. Go and press those keys, mash your fist down, press the K key. That brings up the Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box here. You'll go to Set. Click on this down pointing arrowhead or what you. Then you should see a dekeKeys AIcs4 1on1, either Windows or Mac, whichever one that you loaded in there, whichever one that you copied over. I happen to have a second one just because I was goofing around in advance here, but this the one you want. So, you go ahead and choose it.
And it should show up, because it's in the right folder. If it's in the right folder, it will show up here in this pop-up menu. Then just to confirm that you have got the right keyboard shortcut, switch over from tools to menu Commands. And what I want you to do is twirl open Object, which is the Object menu. Every one of these guys is associated with a menu. Then you would scroll down to the Expand command and you should see a keyboard shortcut that I've given you of Ctrl+M or Command+M on the Mac. Can you believe Ctrl+M or Command+M, was just sitting there fallow, waiting to be associated with something. The Expand command is what I associated it with.
Even though M does not appear in the word Expand, but it does in the word Expamed. So, like if you miss pronounced Expand, there's an M in it. Anyway. And I also gave you-- this is a really great keyboard shortcut. If you twirl open Effect, and then you twirl open Distort & Transform, so the first appearance of the word Distort inside of this menu right here. Then you see the Transform command, I've given it Ctrl+E, which was also open, or Command+E on the Mac, because it's an effect. It's the transform effect. It's the best effect inside the software, as we'll see in a much later chapter in the Mastery portion of the series.
Anyway, there you have it. We have now established the keyboard shortcuts. You and I are in the same keyboard shortcut page, go ahead and click OK in order to accept your new custom keyboard shortcuts. You are ready to go, folks. For example, if you go under the Object menu, choose Path. You'll see that you've got a keyboard shortcut for Outline Stroke, which is Ctrl+Backslash or Command+Backslash on the Mac, and Offset Path, which is Ctrl+Shift+Backslash or Command+Shift +Backslash on a Mac, and many more. So, there you have it.
In the next exercise, I'm going to show you Macintosh users-- this next exercise is only for Mac people. I'm going to show you how to change your system settings, so that you actually have access to your function keys. Stay tuned.
Recommended prerequisites: Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Fundamentals and Illustrator CS4 One-on-One: Advanced.
Download Deke's customized keyboard layouts and color settings for Illustrator from the Exercise Files tab.
- Re-coloring traced details in Live Paint
- Liquifying outlined type
- Creating custom color harmony rules
- Warping, re-coloring, and updating symbols
- Building graphs in Illustrator
- Mapping symbols onto a 3D object
- Recording and deploying actions