The BarbLog

Design, front-end dev and other random thoughts


All of the posts under the "illustrator" tag.

How to suck a little bit less in Adobe Illustrator

I started using Photoshop when I was 14. I used it to draw, paint, retouch, animate even… I love it and if I could get a ‘Team Photoshop’ shirt I probably would. Although it might be misinterpreted by all the feminists out there… anyway. When I ventured into Illustrator with 10 years of PS loving behind me, I quickly closed it again in fear. I did go back to it every now and then to try and make it do what I wanted, but always ended up in Photoshop since I could make THAT do what I wanted without problems – why bother with the rival?

Then of course the MA and Prisca came along and I now have to learn to use AI properly :P No, I realise I really have to if I want to be a designer. So I’m going to push myself and wrestle with it even if what I produce will end up looking like a squashed turd or something. Actually, a turd would be quite easy to do, maybe I should start with that, in memoriam of Justin’s abandoned civet coffee idea?

Helpful techniques from class that I will try to practise:

  • .EPS files save the embedded font as well, and have less chance of becoming corrupted than .AI, so better to save in this format
  • ‘Info’ window: helps get dimensions of a shape
  • Single click anywhere to insert a shape of custom, preset dimensions
  • Pathfinder: works with interaction of 2 or more shapes, so need to select at least 2
  • Group selection tool: better than Direct selection tool as it lets you move stuff around better
  • New layer > Select all shapes on the layer > Alt+drag coloured square in layer window to the new layer above it to duplicate shapes
  • Punch shapes in another shape: Pathfinder’s Exclude option (! keep editable copy to edit later if required, you never know !)
  • Artboard tool: Trim by just clicking on the shape you want
  • Saving for web: can change image dimensions in the dialog box
  • Selecting parts of a path: better to click and drag rather than just clicking
  • Align 2 points on a path on a vertical or horizontal axis: ‘Join’ command

Keyboard shortcuts to remember:

  • 100% preview Ctrl+1
  • Outlines/paths view Ctrl+Y
  • Preserve shapes in Pathfinder Alt (hold)
  • Convert anchor tool Shift+C
  • Join command Ctrl+J
  • Reflect tool Alt+Shift+drag
  • Repeat last transformation Ctrl+D

Barbara November 16, 2013 Leave A Comment Permalink

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