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Archive for the 'Illustrator' Category

Adobe CS Quick Tip: Customized Keyboard Shortcuts

I just recently downloaded a new app for my iPad called Actions, so I’ve been working on configuring it for the applications that I use often. Throughout this process, I’ve been searching applications for keyboard shortcuts for commands and buttons that I use often so I can decide whether or not I want to map it to an Actions button. While setting up my Dreamweaver shortcuts, I realized that a lot of the tools I use already have shortcuts, but some of them (like Save All) don’t.

After a little bit of digging, I discovered that Adobe CS applications allow you to customize the keyboard shortcuts that come standard in the application. I thought I would pass along the info to you all as well. I checked out Dreamweaver, InDesign, Photoshop, Fireworks, and Illustrator and the following will work for all of them.

To edit the keyboard shortcuts in an Adobe application, in the Menu Bar, click Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts…. You’ll see the following dialog box:

Dreamweaver Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box.

Dreamweaver Keyboard Shortcuts dialog box.

From here, you simply find the command you want to add or change a shortcut for in the Commands section, then click in the Press Key text box, press the keyboard shortcut you want to assign, then click Change. If you’re adding your first shortcut, you’ll have to save a copy of the default keyboard set, but the application will warn you if needed.

That’s all there is to it. If you are curious, here’s what I was working on setting up using Actions for Dreamweaver:

Actions Dreamweaver Shortcuts

My Actions setup for Dreamweaver.

Now that I’ve got that configured, I’ll be exploring how Actions can help my productivity in other applications. I expect I’ll write a post about Actions in the near future, so stay tuned.

Got Illustrator skills? Get more!

Adobe Illustrator CS6 is an awesome tool for making vector graphics. It’s probably the vector creation software of choice for most graphic designers and other professionals who create graphics for a living. Like all Adobe products, it’s packed with features, and comes with a steep learning curve.  I learned how to use Illustrator at a rudimentary level in two Indiana University IT Training Workshops, “Illustrator CS6: The Basics,” and “Adobe CS6: Pen Tool Basics.”  Now that I’m somewhat comfortable with the software, I practice on my own. My skills are improving a little, but if I’m going to become really good at Illustrator, I have to seek out some more training resources. (See the post I wrote  for the Tips Blog about taking the skills you learn in a workshop to the next level).

Random Illustrator objects.
Random Illustrator objects.

There are a lot of Illustrator tutorials out there.  I’ll share some of them with you now.

  1. Adobe Illustrator on Adobe TV. Learn the software from the source.
  2. Check the Adobe Illustrator Blog for more tutorials and tips.
  3. Vector Tuts+ has a lot of content including tutorials, articles, tips, and resources. Premium members can access features such as online courses and an ebook library.
  4. Astute Graphics’ blog has a quite a few free tutorials, tips, and tricks.
  5. Chris Spooner’s Spoon Graphics offers free Illustrator and Photoshop tutorials.  You can find more content on his Facebook  page too.
  6. An excellent source for technology training is lynda.com. Most lynda content is available  to paying subscribers only, but if you’re serious about learning, it’s probably worth the expense. IU students, facutly, and staff get lynda for free!

I think those are enough resources to get you (and me) started. I’m collecting Illustrator tutorial resources on Pearltrees, check there once in a while to see if anything new shows up.

it2go Episode 55 – Adobe Days 2013

In this episode, we’re back! After a long hiatus, the IT Training podcast has returned with an episode about Adobe Days and the events surrounding it on Feb 28th, and March 1st.

it2go – The IT Training Podcast

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it2go Episode 47 – New Adobe CS6 Workshops

On this week’s episode we’re covering some of our new Adobe CS6 workshops.

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it2go – The IT Training Podcast

Showing Motion Using the Blend Tool in Illustrator

This little tool can do big things in showing motion on paper!

First, create an object:

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Modifying Shapes with the Pen Tool

Let’s begin by drawing a triangle.

In the tools panel on the left side of the screen, press and hold on the rectangle tool. Illustrator has a unique feature that allows you to “tear off” a menu and have it open while you work. As you are holding down your left-mouse button, glide your cursor to the right until it is on the small bar with the black triangle. When you let go of your mouse button, this is what you will see:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hidden Treasures of Illustrator

Looking for clip art? What about additional color options in Illustrator? Check out this option!

 

To find Clip Art, go to the Window menu. Choose Symbol Libraries. There are lots of options from the fly-out menu. Choose one and click. This opens up the panel for the option you chose. To apply a clip to your project, simply press and drag from the panel to your project. Remember that you can re-size without losing any quality when working with a vector image!

One more feature! As you go back into the Window>Symbol Libraries menu and choose another panel, the newly chosen menu will be added as a tab in the same panel you opened with your earlier choice. Even if you close the menu by clicking on the X in the upper right hand corner, choose another panel and you will find the new panel is added to the previous one.

There are many panels in the Window menu that will give you options such as brush, graphic styles, and swatch libraries. You can get some interesting effects by pressing and dragging an effect, for example, on top of a piece of clip art.  Experiment and have fun!

Create a website with rollovers using Illustrator and Dreamweaver

Knowing the basics of Illustrator and very little Dreamweaver, it has become very easy to create an interesting and fun website, complete with rollovers without knowing any code. Here’s an example of what can be accomplished. I used CS5 on my iMac, but you can use a PC and Adobe versions as old as CS2 just as well.

To Start with, create a new Folder on the Desktop (or wherever you plan to save your website) and title is “website.” This will provide a location where all your files for this particular website will be saved. It is important to keep all web files for one website in one location.

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Illustrator CS5: Using the Shape Builder

One of the new features in Illustrator CS5 is the Shape Builder.  This tool allows you to combine and intersect shapes in a somewhat more natural way than the standard Pathfinder panel can accomplish. With this tool, rather than trying to decide which button to press to get the results we want, we can use the mouse cursor to get a preview of which shapes will be altered, and decided to add or subtract them to the final shape.  We can even press and drag over a group of shapes to add or subtract them all at the same time.

In this video presentation, we’ll examine some simple uses of the Shape Builder tool to get a feel for how this new tool might be used to create interesting shapes.

Illustrator CS5: Using the Shape Builder

See Adobe CS5 Design and Web apps early

On Friday, April 30th, from 12-1:30pm, I will be giving a presentation on some of the new features in CS5 applications like Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver and Flash. You’ll also get a first look at Flash Catalyst, and how it integrates with Illustrator.

You can attend in person on the IUB campus at the Kelley School, room CG1014 or on the IUPUI campus, in ICTC room IT497.

You can find an online link to the presentation here: http://webcommunity.iu.edu

Hope to see you there.

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