Discover the anatomy and categories of Illustrator panels.
- [Instructor] Illustrator does have quite a few panels, to be fair, and you can always find them here in the window menu because that's where they all live. And I'd broadly categorize these into four different areas. I'll talk about those in just a second, but what I want to do is point out my fifth one here, the access all areas, or at least almost category here, a new category in the form of the properties panel because the idea with this is to make all of your work in editing as context-based as possible.
You'll see at the moment, it's just about the document. But as soon as I select something, the context of the panel changes and I can execute certain quick actions here as well, just to reduce the reliance on having stacks and stacks of panels around, but that doesn't make them completely redundant. You will definitely need them. The categories I've put them in is the first one Command and Modify, those are things that execute certain commands such as alignment commands in the case of the align panel, and modifications such as the stroke panel changes the appearance of strokes on objects that we draw.
Then we have panels that store things such as swatches storing color swatches, and brushes storing brush tip shapes, talk about those in a sec. And then a Create category that I had to introduce for myself a couple of years ago because the asset export panel didn't fit any of my other categories, because this allows you to create other objects based on your Illustrator artwork for use in other applications. So you could drag out work into that, and export it instantly as SVGs or PNGs or JPEGs and so on.
That comes along later on in the course. And then panels that manage things, like the layers panel and the artboards panel. They can both introduce new things of their own kind, so the layers panel can introduce a new layer and also remove layers and change their order in the stack, and the artboards panel can introduce and remove artboards and rename them and reorganize them, so all about management. There are some characteristics, though, that you need to be aware of with any panel.
So what I'm going to do is just hold down my space bar and move this artboard out of the way and I'll bring two panels up. I'll bring up the color panel, just for a second, and we'll leave that over on the side here. And don't worry if mine looks slightly different to yours. I'll also bring up the swatches panel, which will almost certainly look different to yours because in this particular document, I've got a few extra color themes and so on going on there, but don't worry about that. It's of no consequence. Let's look at the color panel first because both of these have tabs.
You can see one here that says Swatches and here one that says Color. But the Color one has this little marker over on the left-hand side, and this allows it to toggle between two or three different states. For example, there's a collapsed state, totally collapsed, so if I just double-click the Swatches one, this is it totally collapsed. If I double-click the word Color, you'll see it partially collapses, just down to the essential elements, just there, and if I double-click it again, then it collapses completely. A single click on both of those will restore the panel if they're in a collapsed state.
So two or three different panels that I can think of have this show and hide options marker just there. If you see it, you'll know that you can actually change that and compress it and expand it to whatever you require. I'll close that one so we can just focus on the swatches panel. So the next most important thing, I think, is the flyout on the right-hand side, and this gives you a panel context menu. Okay, so you can see here that I can add new swatches and new color groups and so on from there, and they're all different based on the context of their own panel.
You can change your view in some of them, so because this one stores things, I can view them as a list or as a grid, whichever suits me. And then there are some specific commands for the panel down at the bottom of the screen, there like so. These panels, ones that store assets, they actually have one thing that none of the other panels have, and that's this loader down at the bottom left-hand corner. And this allows you to access other libraries of assets, not like the Creative Cloud libraries, but actually documents in effect which store these things up.
And you can access documents that you've got on your system from other library, but any of these you can get from there, and they are actually an Illustrator document which is on your system with these things in the name, sys for things like brushes. You can see there's a loader and symbols as well. So if it's got a loader in the bottom corner, that's what makes me think it's the storage panel. Now we'll be using these in more detail as we move on throughout the course, but for now you know the essential parts of the anatomy. Look out for the flyout menu, or the context menu, top right-hand side, expand and collapse by double-clicking and clicking on the tab, and if it stores something, then it has a loader down at the bottom.
- What is Illustrator?
- Navigating documents
- Saving a custom workspace
- Working with multiple artboards
- Creating and deleting layers
- Drawing shapes
- Transforming objects
- Adding fills and strokes
- Working with color
- Creating complex shapes, such as compound shapes
- Working with type
- Editing graphics
- Adding content to CC Libraries
- Printing and exporting artwork
Skill Level Beginner
Q: This course was updated on 05/04/2018. What changed?
A: New videos were added that cover modifying Anchor Display and opening PDF files in Illustrator.