Join Mordy Golding for an in-depth discussion in this video Intuitive Smart Guides, part of Illustrator CS4 New Features.
For several versions now, Adobe Illustrator had a feature called Smart Guides. This is a feature that was actually turned off by default. Now however, inside of Illustrator CS4, Adobe has enhanced that entire feature set working with Smart Guides and has also turned that feature set on by default, so more people have the visibility or the ability to make the choice of actually using that particular feature. What Smart Guides does, it actually allows you to be more efficient in your work. It kind of gives you pointers and helps you along as you work. For example, notice when I mouse over that piece of artwork, they kind of light up. These little icons that identify Path or Anchor for example, or other things like text objects will be identified, and you will also see little X Y which identifies exactly where that falls on the rulers of this particular document.
So let's take a closer look at what the Smart Guides feature is and how that works. I'm going to start off by just going to Preferences. When I press Command+K on my keyboard here, that's the shortcut for that Ctrl+K on Windows, or go to the Edit menu and choose Preferences, draw ( ph) in Windows as well. I'm going to go over here inside the General panel. I'm going to switch over to the Smart Guides panel. You will see a whole lot of settings here called the Alignment Guides, Object Highlighting, Transform tools, Construction Guides, Anchor/Path Labels, and Measurement Labels. Now Anchor/Path Labels what I was just showing you before, as I mouse over certain anchor points, identifies anchor, path, so on and so forth. I'll turn that off for now. And Measurement Labels are also, again, would allow me to actually see what the measurements are.
In fact, Measurement Labels are pretty cool, because it allows me to see the measurement of objects as I draw them. Let me explain. If I click OK, and I take my Rectangle tool, notice that as I click and drag with the Rectangle tool, the size, I want to say right now it is two inches by, let 's say two-and-half inches, so on and so forth. Those are indicative of the size that I'm drawing. Again, as I draw my objects, and my shapes, I will see the size, which will allow me to kind of quickly kind of draw out the exact size or shapes that I need, as I'm working in context basically. So it's a great little feature to have that's there. Notice of course as I move my cursor around to start drawing, it's identifying, these are what we call Construction Guides. Identifying where I might want to have something, for example, I wanted to create a shape that was aligned up to the top of the surfboard here, I know that right now that's the top of the surfboard, I can click and drag, and I can start to align them to the bottom of the surfboard.
I don't have to worry about measuring it and seeing what the size are, the guide is going to pop up, and what's great about this feature now inside of Illustrator CS4, is that the guides themselves don't just zip across the entire screen. For example, if I'm near this particular surfboard right here, the guide kind of stops right here, it doesn't go all the way across to the other side of my screen, which was very annoying in the past before, but now it just kind of shows me again in context, the information as I needed. I'm going to go again back to the Preference settings, I will choose here Illustrator Preferences, and choose Smart Guide here. So I want to show you that there is also setting for Transform tools, which is pretty cool, and also Object Highlighting. If I turn off Object Highlighting, by the way you will see, that now when I mouse over the Path, the path itself did not light up.
But the size there does, because I have got those measurement settings turned on right now, when I mouse over the objects. But because I have those Transform settings turned on, if I click and I move my object around, you will see that I can very easily identify that's the center of that object, that's the center of that object, and I can see how I can align objects that way very easily. And you will notice that I have a DX and DY, which called Delta X or Delta Y, the difference or how far I'm moving my particular object. For example, if I hold the Shift key down, there is no delta in the Y-axis, but there is in the X-axis. And if I go up this way, for example, I see there is no delta in the X-axis, but there is in the Y-axis.
So it provides me information as I do that. And if I go ahead and use this, for example, my Rotate tool, I will see that the rotation shows up there as well. If I'm scaling, you know that as I scale, I see that width and height, their percentage as I'm doing that, I'm holding the Shift key so I see that's happening proportionally. So as I'm working with a set of Illustrator, Smart Guides makes it that much more easy for me to see exactly what I'm doing and again, I don't have to worry about clicking and then taking measurements later, or dragging out guides, which it's important to work with guides and within a layout, but as I'm quickly moving things around, I don't have to worry about relying on those, it can very quickly just simply move my objects around, know exactly where they fall, and move ahead of my design.
- Using the new graphic styles behavior Previewing separations Working with the improved Smart Guides and alignment features Simulating color blindness Understanding changes to the default Pathfinder behavior