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Adobe Illustrator CC - Advanced Training

Advanced workflow tricks for Adobe Illustrator CC

Daniel Walter Scott

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All right, it's advanced tips and tricks work flow, speed up your daily stuff. There's lots in this whole section on work flow, but this particular one is lots of little bitsy things that don't deserve their own video. They're lumped together in this one, there's some good stuff though. 

First thing we'll do is, 'File', 'New', and you can do Math in any of these fields. Let's say I want to go to Print, I use the A sizes because I'm in Europe, and I want A2, but they don't have it as a preset for some reason. So, I know A3, and if I go to centimeters, I can times it by 2. And all I do is put in '*2'. And you click in here, and it times it by 2, it gives me A2, times it again and I can get A1, and then A0. Cool. You can do Math in any of the fields. You can divide by, by typing a forward slash, then 2, '/2', and it will do that. You can add to inches by typing it in. If you want it the other way around you can add centimeters to your Imperial Measurements. It will do all the Math in any field in Illustrator, not just a new document. The reason we did it here though, is I want to save it as a Template. So that's what I want. 

I'm going to have my Template, be RGB as well. I'm going to click 'Create'. Once you've got this document you're like, "I won't have to do that again" I go to 'File', there's 'Save as Template', it's another little trick. I'm going to put it into my blank templates, and this is going to be called my A-- where did I get up to? I'll use A2. Hit 'Save'. Now when I'm making a new document, it's not in that window we just saw, but you go to 'File', 'New from Template'. There's that list again, and I can say, you guys, let's get going. Awesome. So it's picked the right sizes, it's picked RGB. And we learned how to do Math, and we learned how to do Math in the fields. 

Next thing I want to do is finding stuff in Help. This is for Mac only, sorry, PC people. There's lots of time you're like "Hey, where's that filter thing Dan talked about?" "I remember it was called Half Tone, something, or other." So I've got this, and I go to 'Help', and I just type in 'half'. The cool thing about it is that Max goes, "You mean these two?" and you're like, "Yes, I do." And if you hover above it, it even points to it with a big black arrow. And you come down. You may actually just click on it here or sneakily come down, and just click on it. And I've got my awesome Half Tone. It's probably making your screen go crazy on the video, that's all right. 

Next thing we're going to do is cleaning a Path. I'm going to go out to this document I've got ready. Now there are times where-- If I go to 'Command Y', or 'Control Y' on a PC, there's a star there, a star there, but look, when I switch it back, they've got no Fill, no Stroke, I want to get rid of them. There's a couple of other things. That there is a text box that has no text in it. That there is-- I've used the Pen Tool, clicked once, forgotten what I was doing, and left it there. So if you want to clean up these things you can go up to 'Object', 'Path', and there's one that says 'Clean Up'. It goes through and asks you what you want to do, I'm going to do-- All of those sound good, click 'OK'. 

Now if I go to 'Command Y' the stars are gone, the random dots are gone. Just good for pre-presses, just cleaning everything up. Especially good when you're kind of, like Compound Shapes and Clipping Masks and you've kind of unpicked all of that, you can clean it all up using that trick. The other things that happens is Gradients. Gradients are awesome, they're back in fashion they are on my head anyway. But often they end up bending when they go to print. Often digitally, it's fine but they can bend badly when they go to print. 

There's a couple of ways of doing it. So, I've got this Gradient selected here. I can go to 'Object', I can go to this one that says 'Rasterize'. Basically what it's going to do is turn it from this lovely Scalable Vector thing to a Raster Image. Basically like a Photoshop document. Set the Resolution to the ppi, the pixels per inch that you want. If you want it to be really good quality, just leave it at 300, click 'OK'. And this thing now is, it looks the same except that it is made up of little pixels. I get to zoom in as much as I like, and it doesn't really show up because it's so dense. But trust me, it's now pixels, and not vector. And it has the tendency to print better if you're running into problems. If you're not having problems, don't do that. 

Another thing you can though, if you're running into-- say you got lots of kind of bending Gradient problems. Especially with, say a Gradient Mesh, instead of rasterizing it you can go to 'File', and during the printing process there's an option in here under Graphics. You get to say, Compatible Gradients Mesh Printing. It gives you a bit of a warning. When you hit print now, it will do the same thing but it will just kind of go through and do it on the way through. All right, Gradients. 

Next thing I'll show you, quick little shortcut is, if I delete this thing here, sometimes you're working, and you're like, "What is white, and what is see through?" Is that white, or is that see through? There's text in here somewhere. 'Command-Shift-D' is the shortcut. It shows you your Transparency Grid. It looks like Photoshop. And at least now you can see that's a hole, and that's actually white text. That's white, and not a hole. So just really handy sometimes when you're, maybe using the Shape Builder Tool or the Path Finder. You're just working out who's white, and who's blank. That is a nice one. 

Another one is Select Similar. Let's say that, we've got all these stars, and we want to change the color of them. I'm going to click this one, hold 'Shift', grab them all, and go insane from clicking stars. There's not that many, but if I click on one, and go to 'Select', 'Same' and you can pick any of these. Often Appearance just works, but anything that has the same Fill color, right? You can see, it's gone through this document, and selected everything. And I can go, actually I want to turn those to Ugly pick, or black and white. That's an easy one, I found that's really useful if say this is a stock library, Icon Set, that I brought. Let's say I want to adjust the colors, so I'm going to click on one of these colors. Say the 'White Arrow', click on this green one. So I want to find everything. You can see how useful this is going to be. Everything has that same Fill color. It goes through the whole document, even inside Clipping Mask, and stuff. 

You can go through and say, I'm picking a new color. You see, the whole document changes. Awesome! It could be Stroke Color, you could use Appearance. Real handy one. Maybe not so handy feature but useful to know, under 'Select', I can go to 'Object', and there's a bunch of options in here. Like I can select everything that has a Bristle Brush Stroke. Not sure why that's handy. The one that's probably handy is, I can select everything that has a Clipping Mask, this one here, All Text Object. I've only got two, but I imagine if you had a really long document, or a big document with lots of text boxes, you just want to select them all, change the font. That could be an easy way to do it. 

Another little known feature is, say I do select all of these guys and I either 'Shift' click them all, and spend ages doing it, or we use our trick, select 'Same', 'Fill Color'. Unfortunately my white is the same as the rest of it. Anyway, so I've got all of this, including these guys down here. So we spent ages making that selection. What I can do is select it, and save that selection. So I can go to 'Save Selection', give it a name, let's call it 'Stars'. The difference between that, and say, something like, if I grouped it now they would be kind of fused together, but what I can do is, I can start adjusting these things and say, you're over here now. And now I can go to 'Select', I want to select on 'Stars', and it grabs them all again. Cool, huh? 

Next super shortcut is on the Layers panel, which is handy, to know that if you click up here towards this, just in this area here, you select everything on that layer, just have to go anywhere in that layer, goodbye. Just easy to select everything on the layer rather than maybe a Select All, it grabs everything. Also the thing about the layers is, let's say you're working down here. My fox, it's a pretty good contrast, if I'm looking on these Anchor Points here. The blue lines and the handles, they are pretty good and contrasting, right? I did that earlier in this tutorial when we were doing a Gradient Mesh. It was on kind of a blue color, and these guys were blue. And it's just really hard to see them. 

So what you can do is you can actually double click on the word, actually anywhere above the word, that's what I meant. And you can say, actually I want this one to have a bright green. That means, nothings has changed, it just means that it's a little bit easier sometimes to see these handles against the particular graphic you're using. A somewhat useless next feature, down the bottom here, there's this thing. You can say, actually I don't want to show the name for my Artboard. I want you to show that current tool that I'm using, Direct Selection Tool. I want you to show me the date and time. I want you to write it in a really cryptic way that makes it useless. Month too. Number of undos. I feel there should be some good stuff in here. Document Color Profile, maybe that might be useful. Anyway, let's finish on a really good one. 

This Tool panel over here is full of stuff that you never use. And after this advanced course, you'd be like "Ooh, that's my new favorite." But say you get to a point, you're like "Actually just get rid of this stuff I don't want." So it's really handy to go to 'Window', go to 'Tools', and we're going to make a 'New Tools Panel'. I'm going to call this the 'Dan is Awesome Tool Panel'. Give it any other name you like. Basically just gives you the core, that thing there. Anything else, you drag on as you want. 

Let's say I do use the Black Arrow and the White Arrow. Even though I know the shortcuts, I don't use the Lasso Tool, I use the Pen tool a lot. I use the Curvature Tool a lot, the Type Tool, awesome. Edit these guys, you can decide. Actually I just want the Line Tool. So I don't use all the other junk. Yes I'll use you, but I'm going to keep this. You can skip on in this video now, well actually I'm going to go and show-- do you want more? I just want to build my own Tool Panel, don't know why. 

Once you've finished it, you've got to do a couple of things. You don't want this guy anymore. So you've got everything out of this, I'm just going to drag the top of it. It's that, like little gray that you need to drag out, close it down. Grab this tiny gray bit. Dark gray bit, and kind of push it to the side, and it goes blue. Then you go to 'Window', 'Workspace'. And if you haven't already created a new workspace, give it a name. I've given mine a name, called Dan. Actually I want to save over the top of this, so I want to reset Dan. So a new workspace, I'm just going to call it Dan. It already exists, by clicking 'OK', it's going to overwrite. So now when I'm kind of opening up my-- I'm working on Layout for some reason. I can go to 'Workspace', go to 'Dan'. And it's back to this, and if I accidentally get everything mixed up that drags out, and this ends up popping out. Everything goes wrong. I can go to 'Window', 'Workspace', 'Reset Dan'. Everything will be back except these guys. 

So that is it for these kind of like little short tasty work flow advanced things. There's a bunch more in this kind of section, so carry on with the videos. We'll do some more tricks. All right, next video.