by David Blatner
[Note from AM: Many months ago, during one of our InDesignSecrets.com videocasts, I kidded David (Blatner, my co-host) because he still had some graphics in EPS format on his computer. Someone recently wrote us asking why I was making fun of his EPS images, and David wrote a great explanation, which follows.]
Adobe doesn’t ship printed manuals with their software anymore, at least, not with the Creative Suite applications. Instead, you use the Help > [program_name] Help command in each individual program, which opens either the new local Adobe Help AIR application, or your default browser. Either one brings you the main online help files for that program, “live” as they are hosted on Adobe’s web site.more >
When you save an Illustrator CS4 file with multiple artboards in native Illustrator CS4 format, the file extension is still plain old ".ai".
Earlier versions of Illustrator can open the AI file, but users will get the cryptic alert "This file was created in a newer version of Illustrator. If you import this file, some data loss may occur." When they open the file, they'll see only one artboard, the one that was labelled "1" in the original file. There is NO indication that there's a bunch of artwork missing from missing artboards.more >
You're familiar with Illustrator's View > Outline/Preview (Command/Ctrl-Y) toggle, yes? Normally you work in Preview mode, but when you need to edit "the bones" of an illustration, Outline mode is a keystroke away. It's like a wireframe view of your artwork, showing only paths (no fills, no strokes) and live type in pure black and none.
It's been around forever. We jaded veterans can remember when you could *only* work in Outline mode, and Preview was for sissies.more >
Both Layers and Groups are essential Illustrator features that help keep complex drawings organized and easier to work with.
Unfortunately, Illustrator doesn't let you truly combine the features. That is, if you select items that live on different layers, and then choose Object > Group (in order to treat them as a single unit for selecting, moving and transforming), Illustrator moves all of the selected elements into sublayers of the topmost selected item's layer.more >
Last month, investigating a new user's single, innocent question about Illustrator ("Does it have any patterns other than the ones in the default Swatches palette?") led me to hours of playing around with patterns in Adobe Illustrator CS3 and tons of new discoveries. There was so much I wanted to share with you, I had to break the article up into two parts.more >
A new Illustrator user recently asked me if Illustrator had any basic pattern fills, something less gaudy than the default ones in the Swatches panel. Truthfully, I haven't investigated the state of pattern swatches in Illustrator since about version 3. I remember how they used to choke my old Apple LaserWriter, though!
So I opened Illustrator CS3 to remind myself of the exact path to the pattern swatches and see if there were any simple ones he could use. You know, just do a quick check so I could e-mail him a how-to.more >
When the job is printed on oversized paper and cropped to the final page size (the page size specified in the layout program), the trimming lops off the overlapping artwork, resulting in a nice bleed in thmore >
Like a number of other Adobe CS3 users, I was initially aghast at the suite's new icons when they first showed them to the world late last year.
Adobe Systems — the company with the legacy of some of the most creative icons in the history of interface design, from renditions of Venus de Milo to color-enhanced X-Ray photography of starfish and butterflies — this same company was *seriously* considering icons that were colored squares and two-letter program name mnemonics? Were they kidding?more >