Join Deke McClelland for an in-depth discussion in this video Starting a new document, part of Illustrator CS4 Getting Started.
In this exercise I will show you how to start a new document in Adobe Illustrator CS4. We are currently looking at the Welcome Screen, which comes up each and every time you start Illustrator as well as whenever you have no illustration open as is the case for me right now. If you don't see the Welcome Screen and you would like to display it, go up to the Help menu and choose the Welcome Screen command. Notice that the right side of the Welcome Screen lists a series of new document settings. These are called Document Profiles, these guys that say, Print Document, Web Document and so on. Clicking on any one of them will bring up the New Document dialog box with a group of predefined settings in place, but you can override those settings if you like.
If you would prefer to just cut to the chase and create a new document without having the New Document dialog box come up on screen then press the Alt key here on the PC or the Option key on the Mac and click on one of these items. I went ahead and Alt-clicked or Option- clicked on Print Document which created a single letter sized page as we see it right here. Notice that the document opens up inside of a tabbed window, so we are a seeing a tab at the top of the screen that indicates this document's name. Because it hasn't been saved so far it appears as Untitled-1.
Now let's see how to adjust the settings in the New Document dialog box. I'll go on up to the File menu and choose New or you can press Ctrl+N, Command+N on the Mac. That brings up the New Document dialog box right here, which invites you by the way to go ahead and name the document. So you can call it something that indicates your purpose. I am just going to call it 'My document' for now. Then you can select a document profile, which are those exact same options we were seeing just a moment ago inside the Welcome Screen. So if I bring up this menu, you can see that I have got Print, Web, Mobile And Devices and so on. The exact same options. All right, I will go ahead and escape out of there.
In Illustrator CS4 you have the option of creating multiple artboards, which are analogous to multiple pages inside of other programs but they are also different; it's a unique thing here inside Illustrator. Each artboard can be any size you want it to be and it can be any orientation, so that you can mix horizontal and vertical artboards inside of a single document and they are all going to appear side by side or above each other and below inside of a large canvas and you specify upfront how much spacing you want between each of the artboards. A Spacing value of 20 points is pretty nice for starters.
You can also specify the order in which the artboards appear by selecting one of these Arrange icons. You can change the layout from right-to-left so that the right-most artboard is numbered one and the one of the left of it is two, and so on. You can also decide how many rows. None of these things are set in stone by the way. So you can always override them later. You can also select from various paper sizes. Notice that, if you are going to print. Or you can enter your own custom artboard size if you want to. By default, Illustrator works in points, but you can override that. Even if you know what points are there, they're 1/72 of an inch incidentally. And even if you are familiar working with points from setting type for example, most folks don't know that 612 points equals eight-and-a-half inches.
So when you are thinking of larger measurements you are probably thinking of other units of measure. For example, I want these artboards to be 6 inches wide, so I will just type in 6in. As soon as I press the Tab key, Illustrator goes ahead and converts the measurement for me. I could also enter a value in millimeters and when I press Tab, Illustrator is going to go ahead and convert the value as well. I am going to say 8" for height, which is another way of saying 8 inches, and then press Tab. You also have this Bleed value, which is useful if you are sending your job to a commercial printer and you want to be able to print all the way to the edge of the paper. You would just ask your printer what the best Bleed setting is. And once you are done, go ahead and click OK in order to create that new document and you will see I now have a document that contains a total of 6 artboards and notice it's called 'My document' at the top of the screen which makes it easy to distinguish from the other document that I have open, Untitled-1. So there you have it. That's how you create a new document inside Illustrator CS4.
- Working with point and path text
- Selecting, isolating, and combining paths
- Reshaping paths and working with control handles
- Rounding corners
- Using Live Paint