Learn how to use Smart Guides for precision alignment and to keep spacing consistent. Smart Guides display options, changing the snapping tolerance.
- [Instructor] Smart guides give us lots of visual feedback to help us precisely align elements on our artboard. You might find this visual feedback at times to be overwhelming. If you want to turn off the smart guides, you can do that under the View menu or you can use the keyboard shortcut cmd or ctrl + u. I recommend that for the most part you leave them on. There may be certain types of smart guide that you don't need and we can come to our Preferences to turn those off.
So I'm going to come to my Smart Guide, Preferences. I currently have them all turned on with the exception of Construction Guides. The Preferences are also where we can change the color of the guide, and we can also change the Snapping Tolerance. The bigger the number, the more likely one element will snap to another. The smaller the number of the snapping tolerance, the closer you can move one element to another without it snapping.
Let's just take a look at what these different guides do. Firstly, alignment guides. If I move my blue square up, a guide indicates when I'm aligning with the top edge of the red square. Likewise if I move it down, a guide indicates when I'm aligning their bottom edges. Object highlighting will show up if you have applied a live effect to an object to indicate that object's original path.
I'll come to the Effect menu and down to Convert to Shape, and convert this blue square to a circle. I'll click OK, deselect it. Now when I mouse over it, the object highlighting indicates its original path. I'll press Command or Control + Z to restore that to a square. Transform tools give us visual feedback when using the Scale, Reflect, Rotate, or Shear tools.
Let's select the red square and I'll choose my Scale tool, click at bottom left to scale from that point. Now when I scale up from the right, I get visual feedback that I'm making a uniform scaling, or if I go directly up, that I am vertically scaling, or if I go to the right, that I am horizontally scaling. Anchor and path labels appear when you are over anchor points, when you are over path segments or when you are over center points of objects.
Measurement labels show up when you are moving an object, when you are scaling an object, or when you are creating an object in the first place. You can see there the measurement label is telling me the size at which I am drawing that shape. Spacing guides allow us to ensure that the spacing between objects is consistent. I'll select the blue square and hold down my opt or alt key to duplicate it. And as I do so, moving away from it, my spacing guides kick in when the third square is the same distance from the second as the second is from the first.
Construction guides, when turned on, let's go and turn them on. Construction guides, when turned on, will give you visual feedback about the angle of your pen path. I'm going to choose 30 degree angles. I'm going to choose my Pen tool, Command + Click to deselect anything that's currently selected and I'm going to make sure that I have a color for my stroke, and no fill color.
So I will just click to make my anchor point and then move away from that anchor point. It tells me that I'm aligning on 30 degrees. So let me just put down an anchor point there and another one there. And then one more point I want to make is if we look under the View menu, we have this option Snap to Point. So with Snap to Point on, when I move over a point it will snap to that point. It uses the snapping tolerance that we saw in the smart guides preferences.
So that then is an overview of our smart guides options.
- Reviewing grid and guide tools
- Using the GuideGuide plugin for Illustrator
- Creating modular and baseline grids
- Designing using constraint angles
- Creating a pattern from a grid
- Creating type with a grid
- Creating a grid from an object mosaic